Procedure help!!

Discussion in 'New Teachers' started by Nikkiski21, Oct 9, 2015.

  1. Nikkiski21

    Nikkiski21 Rookie

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    Oct 9, 2015

    Okay so I'm a new teacher, 5th grade ELA. I'm having some issues with behavior management and procedures that I could really use some advice for...the first thing on my list is the bathroom issue! Yes, who knew it could be an issue?

    Everyday I have tons of kids leaving my class to use the restroom. It's tough for me because I give them the first ten minutes of class to sign out and go...but some of them take so long and then the list gets backed up! And I'm starting a lesson with someone still in the restroom. I hate it! And I know some of these kids are just doing it to get out of class. So I started giving them a minimum bathroom pass of three times a week in my class. They sign their name on the chalkboard after using the restroom. Then they put a checkmark next to their name when they go again. Once their name has two checkmarks, they're done for the week. However, while this had made the issue a little less of an issue...the chalkboard is a mess. The handwriting is terrible, the checkmarks are backwards. I need help...is there a better way to go about doing this or monitoring bathroom issues? I have no clue how to handle this.

    Next issue...I have one class who loves to challenge me. I several kids in the class who never stop talking, even when I give them behavior marks (our discipline plan). They are constantly talking out and questioning me to the point where the other kids are suffering because I constantly have to be talking time away from a lesson or activity to tell the misbehaving kids to stop. What do I do here??

    And finally..absent kids. I've tried one plan, with a file folder for each day of the week with the day's work. That's not working. The kids were told about the file folders but fail to collect their work and then I get behind and overwhelmed with all the make up work I need to give. Any advice for an absent student procedure?

    Thank you to anyone who reads this mess and tries to help me!
     
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  3. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Oct 9, 2015

    Bathroom: Teach them how to know when it's a good time to go. I trained my second graders to know that they were not allowed to go to the bathroom when I was in the middle of teaching a lesson (except for emergencies, and I could typically tell when those were real), but that they could go anytime during independent/partner/small group work time. It took awhile to get there, but they eventually learned it. They would ask me, "Now is a good time to go, isn't it?" In the beginning, I kept a check sheet where I would add a tally mark every time they went to the bathroom. I told them that they could go once in the morning (between arrival and specials), once in the middle of the day (between specials and lunch), and once at the end of the day (between lunch and dismissal). I never took whole class bathroom breaks, as I think it wastes a tremendous amount of learning time, and I don't believe in making kids go to the bathroom on cue. That never worked for me as a kid, and it still doesn't work to this day. Plus, I know that I could easily use the bathroom three times a day, especially if I am drinking enough water to stay hydrated. So, I felt that three was a reasonable number of bathroom visits to allow, with reasonable intervals in between. Even though I told them that they only got those three bathroom visits, I let them go more often if it was apparent that they really needed to go and didn't abuse the privilege. Over time, I stopped the tally check sheet, as I learned who would abuse it (only one who was questionable and none who I was certain were abusing it) and who only asked when they really needed to go. They respected my bathroom policy, so I respected their right to go when they told me they needed to. I also taught them a hand signal to show me so that they wouldn't interrupt my lessons by orally asking to go to the bathroom, and I would nod or shake my head in response.

    Absences: Honestly, I found that what worked best for me was for me to just keep a file tray near my desk where I piled up unfinished work (for both kids who fall behind and those who are absent). When I passed out an assignment, I took an extra and wrote the missing students' names on their copy, and then I put it in the file. I would usually paperclip all of the papers for an individual student together. Then, when the students returned to school or when there was extra time to complete missing assignments, I pulled out the unfinished papers and passed them out to the students, often with a brief explanation and/or mini-lesson for those who had been absent. I found this worked much better than a folder that they needed to check and much better than just leaving the papers on the students' desks. It gave me a chance to touch base with the students and make sure they had the assignment and that they understood it. Plus, for those who were not so organized, I had a safe place to keep their unfinished work that was past-due. (Keep in mind that these were second graders, so I didn't hold them to as high of standards, regarding responsibility, as I might with older students.)
     
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  4. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    Oct 10, 2015

    I pull student work together during each period, write the kid's name on it, and put it in my tray for the next day. I look through the stack during each period and hand the student their make up work. My third graders aren't old enough to get it themselves.

    For the restroom, when we switch classes every 90 minutes, students are allowed to go to the restroom. For the first 45 minutes, no one can take the pass (unless there is a medical reason on file with the nurse or if they were out recently due to illness) or for the last fifteen minutes of class. That leaves a 30 minute period that students can go if we aren't doing direct teach.

    They get seven chances to use the restroom throughout the day with transitions.
     
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  5. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

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    Oct 10, 2015

    I would keep stackable trays, one per student, on my desk. Any make up work, graded work to send home, notes to parents, etc. were put in the tray until the end of the day when I'd place everything into a folder. The folder had a signing sheet stapled to it, and the parents would sign the folder that it was checked. If a parent consistently neglected to sign a folder, I would conference with that parent. On the signing sheet, I could write a quick note alerting the parent of various important items in the folder, but at a recent workshop, I learned of an upgrade for this system--next to each date that the parent is to sign, include several check boxes of items that might be in the folder. So if there is make up work, the teacher could place a check mark in that particular box.
     
  6. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Oct 10, 2015

    Bathroom- I've seen middle school teachers use some sort of check off form that is kept in student notebooks/agendas with a prescribed 'limit' on how many bathroom usages per week/month/whatever works for you. You might want to check with your colleagues on how they handle this.

    Absences- in my district, middle school textbooks are mostly online so kids can easily see what is missed during an absence. You could assign class 'study buddies' to list missing class work or create files such as those described above.
     
  7. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Oct 10, 2015

    talking- I wouldn't put on the board...it's too public. Use proximity, signals as reminders. Set consequences that are easy to manage and don't interrupt teaching...saying student's name, use a clipboard or class dojo to track those who are interrupting instruction.

    Bottom line, it sounds as if you're students need to know YOU are in control. Be proactive, set and execute consequences. The constant bathroom usage and talking could be seen by an administrator as a lack of control on a teacher's part. Nip those behaviors now.
     
  8. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

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    Oct 12, 2015

    I thought of a few cautions about restroom restrictions, too, that might be helpful to keep in mind. Basically, a lot of how you manage restroom activity depends on the location of the school. On the extreme end of situations, I've taught in schools where individual trips to the restroom were discouraged due to it being considered possibly dangerous for a student to be alone in a hallway. Also, sometimes parents are over sensitive about regulations concerning restroom use, (although I agree with the above suggestions concerning restrictions); it's just good to keep this in the back of your mind in guiding your decisions. A great resource for developing restrictions that best meet your students' needs would be teachers in your school who've already dealt with local issues. Another thought, today's students often experience a diet that contributes to unusual restroom needs.
     

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