Seating the chatty kids together

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by Nichole906, Apr 10, 2014.

  1. Nichole906

    Nichole906 Rookie

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    Apr 10, 2014

    So far this year has been going well, with the exception of 1 class. They are a very immature group of young men who tend to be very talkative and energetic during my last period class. What normally happens is one student will say something and then it will ignite a flurry of comments and responses. I won't talk over them, and it never takes more than a few seconds for them to quiet down, but the talking will start again almost immediately. I have tried separating them, sending them out in the hall, talking to their parents, making them stay after school, etc, and they still continue to talk.

    I am making a new seating chart, and considering putting them all together as a sort of reality check. If they are disruptive, I'll warn them once and send them to work in the hallway. If they miss instruction because they aren't in the classroom, I'm hoping they will figure out that they need to shape up. At the very least, I'm hoping it will allow me to teach without constant disruptions. Any thoughts?
     
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  3. Loomistrout

    Loomistrout Devotee

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    Apr 10, 2014

    What is your rule regarding call-outs ?
     
  4. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

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    Apr 10, 2014

    It's totally against "Best Practices" but I did this once. I had a very specific group of young men who were constantly talking and joking despite everything I tried. Finally, in frustration at the other students missing out, I segregated them from the rest of the class. I had my classroom in 7 rows of 4. I put these 8 young men in the last 2 rows, left a row empty and put the rest of the class in the remaining 4. I didn't say a word about it, but started completely ignoring everything they did/said and basically taught with my back to these rows.

    Now these were honors-level juniors, who needed this class. I'd never try this with my regular freshmen who have no sense of what failing does to them, but with these specific kids in this specific class, it worked like crazy. After 3 days of being isolated and ignored, they all apologized and promised to straighten up.

    TLDR: If you know your kids, forget the "best practices" and do what works. If you honestly believe it'll snap them out of it, go for it. If it fails, it's no different from all your other attempts, right?
     
  5. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Apr 11, 2014

    Unless your instruction is very engaging and fun, in many cases I don't think missing instruction is much of a consequence.

    But I agree that your general approach that you need to start enforcing consequences regularly with calling out is correct.

    I have a time-out of sorts that I send students to as a consequence. They can't work in groups, they can't participate in any fun activities, I don't call on them for questions or answers, and they're not allowed to talk to anyone or really do anything except work quietly and independently. They're not missing instruction in this case, but they're also seeing how much fun everyone else is having while they are not.

    If they break a rule of the time-out, then I call home. If further action is needed, admin gets involved.
     
  6. mr_post22

    mr_post22 Companion

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    Apr 11, 2014

    Don't sit them together but tell them if they don't be quiet they will recieve a 0 on the assignment they are doing\will do and if they talk after that, walk over and put a big 0 on their paper.
     
  7. Loomistrout

    Loomistrout Devotee

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    Apr 11, 2014

    Using grades as a discipline technique is a questionable strategy because: 1) effective discipline has to do with the precision in which a teacher can disseminate her/his management plan 2) many students are not motivated by grades.

    If there is a category on the report card for citizenship as some schools use that is the place to enter a grade reflecting a student's social-behavior skills. Docking an assignment in the heat of the moment merely tells the student the teacher has no strategies (skills) to deal with discipline. Any grade on an assignment should reflect what the student can do or a skill/concept learned or not. Discipline or enforcing one's management should be separate from one's academic plan. If students are goofing off there should be a clear signal in both the teacher's body language, facial expression and movement that instruction has just ended and the lesson has switched to discipline.

    The whole idea of being regarded as a professional is possession of skills learned through education, training and experience which allow one to do discipline in such a way that it protects the student while, at the same time, signaling "No" means no.
     
  8. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    Apr 12, 2014

    Okay this is a bit off the topic of the OP.

    But I've used grades as a technique before and it worked marvels. My classes were never putting their names on their papers, leaving them behind, etc. So now when I give out a paper I immediately walk around with my pen and if someone doesn't have their name I write "-5" on it. You should see the scramble to get names on papers now! I never actually take off the 5 points, but it makes them aware of the fact that they need to put their names on the papers.
     
  9. Ms.SLS

    Ms.SLS Cohort

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    Apr 15, 2014

    I've done something similar, mostly with freshman, where I say they are getting 10 "participation points" for the day for being on task, not interrupting, etc. I walk around with my little roll sheet and clipboard, and when my chatterboxes start up, I give them a look and make an obvious check mark on my sheet. The first time, they just look nervous. Then, they'll do it again and I'll do it again and I say something like, "you've already lost two of your points." They freak out and go "what?? No!" Their friends will say, "wait, how many have I lost??" etc etc.

    I rarely actually put these points in my gradebook, but for younger kids, (7-9th) for whatever reason, it's been really successful for me - even in schools where kids don't care about their grades.
     
  10. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Apr 15, 2014

    Honestly, I don't know if it would help to seat them together. If they talk, they will talk then as well, and they might even see it as a reward for their behavior. Wouldn't you want to sit with your buddy in mischief?
    What are your consequences? How are their grades? Have you talked to them individually? As a group? Have you called home?
    I think there's probably 1 leader in that group, there's a always a leader. Try to figure out who he is, and talk to him.
    How are they in other classes? It's always an eye opener for to hear a student knows how to act in another class but with me he acts like he lost his mind. It helps toughen up and hold him to the same standards as others, and it works (I should do that anyways, but I guess this is an area I still have to work on)

    I have one student right now who returned to us and he was a huge problem for me in the fall. Since then I've learned a lot about how to deal with him and students like him, but he's still resisting. My P suggested to take a desk, put it in the corner and face it towards the wall. That's his seat from now on.
    I could do do that with 2-3 if I had to. Would it work for you?
    It's better to give them a seat they don't like and they have to earn their normal seat back with the class, then to put them all together to goof off.
     
  11. Rox

    Rox Cohort

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    Apr 15, 2014

    If I have two students that are chatty, I will often seat them together. Once they cause problems, they are seated separately. This seems to help them realize that if they want to sit next to each other, they need to behave.
     
  12. Loomistrout

    Loomistrout Devotee

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    Apr 15, 2014

    Glad to see holding kids accountable for proper form is working for you. Essentially, this could be called grading on the fly or checking papers as students are working on them.

    The OP had to do with talking and interrupting; a non-academic issue. If you were to -5 off students' papers for talking it would be using grades to do discipline not to mention a negative association with the assignment and ones like it.
     
  13. Nichole906

    Nichole906 Rookie

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    Apr 16, 2014

    Thanks for the replies everyone.

    We aren't allowed to grade on participation, so their chattiness has no direct effect on their grade.

    1 of the 3 students actually chose to sit away from the group after a couple of days, and has done very well. He said he knew he would get into trouble if he sat there and asked to sit alone. I take that as a good sign!
     
  14. Mamacita

    Mamacita Aficionado

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    Apr 17, 2014

    Seat the behavior problems together in the back and put the real students in the front. Speak softly, and frequently reward the real students. Let them eat/drink/play with their reward right there in front of everyone. Whatever you do, don't raise your voice. The good kids will love it and the others will usually get curious enough to move forward and listen. (That's an option for them; sit with the idiots if you want and move to the front if you wish to learn.) I fully understand that the bad kids in the back need love and attention badly, but there comes a time when such things, from non-family, must be earned. This has always worked well for me. Just remember, speak VERY softly, so the kids in the back can't hear unless they shut up.
     

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