Shut your mouths?!?!?!

Discussion in 'Middle School / Junior High' started by ayotte04, Jul 25, 2007.

  1. clogalbo

    clogalbo New Member

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    Jul 27, 2007

    I have used many different methods, but has anyone found one of them to be more productive or responsive to students?
     
  2. Irishdave

    Irishdave Enthusiast

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    Short of the fear of God! I don't know, since socialization is an important part of child develop, especially in the later years (middle school & High school)
    I find it hard to combat. When I was teaching "shop" I allowed talking, just "when Mr. P speaks everyone listens" (they knew I had sharp tools and I know how to use them). :toofunny:
    From my Adolescent psychology classes I gleaned that a time for student socialization in important just when does it stop?
    Most of the activities that we teachers find disruptive are quite normal for child socialization.

    A side note, tho I did not like it, back when I started teaching, teachers could use corporal punishment. My classroom discipline was great!
    The sad thing is why was a threat of physical punishment so successful?
    Why can't students come to us with their behavior in check? :rolleyes:
    What could parents do to help? :help: :rolleyes:
    (OMG parents dealing with student behaviors):rolleyes:
     
  3. wig

    wig Devotee

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    Jul 27, 2007

    Any phrase using "shut" comes across as rude IMO. There are many nicer ways to ask students to be quiet, yet get your point accross. Remember, part of our responsibility as teachers is to model good behaviors. Rude phrases would not fall under that category.
     
  4. adellesmama

    adellesmama Companion

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    Jul 27, 2007

    Personally, I would shy away from "Shut your mouth(s)." I think that "Close your mouths" has a much better sound/connotation to it because as some many others have said above, "shut" just sounds kind of rude/nasty. At the middle school level, you're going to have a lot of "Shut up" going on with the students anyway, and you don't want to feed into that tendency any more.
     
  5. adellesmama

    adellesmama Companion

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    Jul 27, 2007

    The most effective method is probably to teach them about respect from the beginning...respect your teacher, respect your classmates, respect yourself. Once they have respect for you and themselves, it's a lot easier to follow the rules.
     
  6. FutureFLTeacher

    FutureFLTeacher Companion

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    Jul 27, 2007

    I LOVE these! It gets the point across without talking in a degrading manner to the kids.

    One of the best suggestions I ever heard of to get a noisey class to settle down was this:

    Start writing on the board...something like "Turn your book to page 36 and begin reading then take the quiz." The secret is after every word or two you write you erase them and replace them with the next word(s)...eventually you hear "Shhhs" and the like with the kids trying to figure out what it is they might be missing. ;)

    Let's face it, kids love to be chatterboxes, but in the end they also want to make sure they do what is expected of them....well, at least the vast majority are that way.
     
  7. bridge

    bridge Rookie

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    Jul 27, 2007

    My fifth grade teacher told me, "Shut your fat yap!" I was mortified- still am!
     
  8. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Jul 27, 2007

    What an awful thing to say! :eek:
     
  9. ayotte04

    ayotte04 Comrade

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    Jul 27, 2007

    duct tape. love the idea, love the sarcasm of humor, wonder if i'll have a lawsuit on my hands because of the potential to abuse a child though...
     
  10. ayotte04

    ayotte04 Comrade

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    Jul 27, 2007

    wait this sounds interesting...i just am not able to picture write/erase/write again...can you explain and/or type it up?
     
  11. ayotte04

    ayotte04 Comrade

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    Jul 27, 2007

    ive done that before and it can work sometimes, but its not cool when the classes your kids are late for, their teachers come after you and are ticked off =(
     
  12. Irishdave

    Irishdave Enthusiast

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    ON the AOL teacher board they had a big disscusion about how unprofessional it was. My reply was "get a life, I teach Middle school"
     
  13. ayotte04

    ayotte04 Comrade

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    Jul 27, 2007

    ok and reading over all your responses...I agree with modeling and not wanting to come across as rude by any means. But I've found that using more passive measures does not work and i find myself in the same position day after day after day because they just continue the behavior the next day. And even "evil eyeing" them while looking at the clock doesn't always get the best results.

    Again, this has been my experience and I know ya'll's is different.
     
  14. wldywall

    wldywall Connoisseur

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    Jul 28, 2007

    I think part of the problem may be is you did not get the class right from the start, it is hard when you are a student teacher, because you know the kids know you have no REAL authority. YOu will be there from the first day and that changes things. I also want to tell you I said "just shut up" to my class once, it took me days to get them back! I walked into a horrible situation with my first job, there was a LTS who had no ed classes uncertified, and no clue what he was going, he was there for 8 weeks! He planned poorly and when one class complained he gave them a different lessson, by the last class of the day they did whatever they wanted and expected me to give in. My principal called it a poo storm (no he did not say poo, get creative and see what you think he REALLY said ;D) I can tell you whever I got harsh, it didn't work. You raise your tone of voice, the kids raise theirs, you raiser your, they raise theirs again....soon you are all shouting.....not the result you want. GEt your voice really low, really soft. We will move on when you are all quiet and listening to me, and repeat yourself. Trust me if you do this and STICK TO YOUR GUNS< they will respond, and kicking a few serous trouble makers to the office once in a while will help.

    I am tempted to yell, every time they irritate me, but trust me we cannot let it happen. You actually sound a lot like me and how I automatically want to deal with things!
     
  15. kyblue07

    kyblue07 Companion

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    Jul 28, 2007

    I agree and this is kind of what I use in my classroom. I calmly and quietly say, "I'll wait till you are listening and ready". I guess it sounds silly, but it works for me. Inside, I am sometimes boiling mad, but I know if I show it they got the best of me. I also have to remember that my behavior and reactions are an example to them.
     
  16. OtterMom

    OtterMom Comrade

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    Jul 28, 2007

    I tried this last year (on occasions when I was feeling patient):

    When the little darlings started getting loud, I would start talking more softly. Sometimes I would get all the way down to a whisper before they noticed, but it worked. They got quiet because they were curious about what I was mumbling. I need to do that more often.

    We're doing Dual Language at my school this next year, so we'll be incorporating a lot of Spanish into all facets of school life, including announcements, mottos, etc. Maybe I could replace "Zip it" with "Silencio" in the fall. :)
     
  17. ayotte04

    ayotte04 Comrade

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    Jul 28, 2007

    ooo "Silencio" good idea. I have lots of ELs in my classes. And yes I've done the quiet talking/almost whisper and it does have an effect.

    I always find it entertaining to loudly raise my voice to get their attention (especially if I'm getting impatient)...then when I do, I drastically shift my tone and calmly, cooley, softly talk about the lesson again. You should see how quickly they can respond.
     
  18. Irishdave

    Irishdave Enthusiast

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    Jul 28, 2007

    I still Like "shut your pie hole":toofunny: "cierre su agujero de la empanada" I think that is right, it sounds so nice in Spanish

    BTW it is "Silencio por favor" to be correct
     
  19. ayotte04

    ayotte04 Comrade

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    Jul 28, 2007

    isn't it por favor?
     
  20. ayotte04

    ayotte04 Comrade

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    Jul 28, 2007

    I learned the hard way that "Kyante" or however you spell it in Spanish is NOT the appropriate term to use.

    haha...it was funny though
     
  21. teacherSMK

    teacherSMK Habitué

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    Jul 28, 2007

    For every minute of class time wasted with chatter boxes, I add an additional problem to homework. If they are talking during math....additional math problems, English, extra sentences, etc. It is very effective, who wants more homework? :)
     
  22. Irishdave

    Irishdave Enthusiast

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    ¡ cállate ! is the proper spelling of Shut up in Spanish.
    It too is a rude term.
     
  23. FutureFLTeacher

    FutureFLTeacher Companion

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    Jul 28, 2007

    Sure!!! :)

    Say you want to write "Open your books to page 36 and start reading".

    First you would write "Open" then erase that, then write "your" then erase that...and so on. Some teachers prefer to do two words at once, that really freaks the kids out..."Open your" then erase that and write "your books"...etc.

    I used it when I subbed and lemme tell ya, nothing starts a panic storm and gets kids to quiet down than them thinking they might have missed something important! ;)
     
  24. txmomteacher2

    txmomteacher2 Enthusiast

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    In the hallways we have a school wide way of dealing with the noise. We use Voice levels. Level 0 is NO talking at all not even a whisper. Level 2 is talking among friends sitting next to you or during a group discussion. Level 3 is giving a presentation and level 4 is outside voice. I always tell the kids if you are talking, your ears can't be listening, so please give your brain a break and only listen.
     
  25. nsatterfield

    nsatterfield Rookie

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    Jul 28, 2007

    Ditto...This has worked well for me. I usually cross my arms and pat my foot. It doesn't take long once one student has realized what is happening.
     
  26. Terrence

    Terrence Comrade

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    Yeah, I agree that saying "be quiet" never works with my middle schoolers. The only thing I find that works is saying in a firm loud voice "knock it off!" "shut your mouths" "Quiet!". The other day, I had to fill in for one of our teachers who were teaching summer school. I walked in there acting like I owned the place and told them to sit down, shut your mouths and get to work. I didn't scream it, but in a loud, firm voice. Needles to say, after 10 seconds, the class was absolutely quiet. They knew I wasn't a pushover, and I don't take any junk. They had to sit there and do their work. No laying down, no resting their heads. I told them that if they passed regular school, you could rest your head all summer long, but since you didn't, you have to spend your day doing work. No time to relax. One kid got up out of his seat to get paper without raising his hand and I laid into him. After that, everyone raised their hands. One kid started to get up out of his seat, but automatically realized he was making a mistake and sat back down. I had that class in check! lol. This was a far cry to how I started out last year, which was my first year of teaching. Those kids walked all over me the whole entire year. But, you learn as you go I guess. I walked into that summer class yesterday, and the kids were talking, one got up out of his seat without permission. I was gonna get onto them, but i didn't want to do that in front of the teacher. What's funny is, the teacher who is teaching the summer class was my BTSA coach, and she observed me with my bratty kids last year lol. I had to take a couple of kids down to the office for putting their heads down in class, and I laid into them both right in front of the V.P. Later, that day, she called me in class and said she was shocked at how much I have changed. She knew last year I was this very easy going guy. She told me that I did a good job with the discipline. She said that I am "The new and Improved Mr. Smith" lol.
     
  27. willsgirl

    willsgirl Comrade

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    Jul 28, 2007

    Question is, do they normally act unruly and disrespectful with the other teacher, or were they just testing the waters with you til you showed them who was boss?

    IMHO, I often think that male teachers can get away with a harder handed method than many women teachers can. At my last school, I was known as a tough teacher cuz I didn't let them get away with squat. I tried to set the precidence like a man cuz I'd been told by a man (who was really pretty rough with the kids -- these were jh/hs in a small school) that I wasn't firm enough. I didn't scream or belittle them, I just used directives and expected (and usually got) results. But, I'd get called on the carpet for it. I guess the belief is that female teachers are all about (imagine whiny voice) "Now class, let's be quiet" instead of being able to assertively control a classroom of misbehavers. Of course, we usually aren't, but sometimes I think there's a double standard.

    BTW Terrance, I don't think your rough as you describe your situation. In my experience, when kids are in summer school for remedial purposes, most of the time they have been goofing off and think this is just another picnic. You've got to be tough (but kind) with them or nothing's gonna happen. More power to you for becoming "new and improved."
     
  28. TulipsGirl

    TulipsGirl Cohort

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    OK, I definitely hear what you're saying - the idea of being passive and letting the behavior go on till you have to nag and nag and nag - the thought of it alone makes me insane!:down: (I haven't found looking at the clock to work for me, either, personally. Works for others, though.) You want to do something thats gonna shock 'em a little, and get results, right?

    I have a feeling that the effect of "shut your mouths" is going to wear off after a while. It's seen as an emotional response by kids - not a "matter of fact" response. You'll still be seen as nagging (only louder), the behavior will return, and you'll be just as frustrated as before.

    But being passive about the behavior is not an option either. So it's time for consequences - consistent consequences. The best part about consequences is that you can administer them in a perfectly polite way and still get your point across: "You are responsible for your own actions. You choose to talk, or be disrespectful in any other way , there will be consequences."
    When you do this you still model for kids how to respond to others. Kids desparately need it. How will you show them to respond?
     
  29. ayotte04

    ayotte04 Comrade

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    ooo. had not heard of that. I may try that idea as well. thanks!
     
  30. ayotte04

    ayotte04 Comrade

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    OOOOOOOO that is so cool! Love it! thanks for the tip
     
  31. ayotte04

    ayotte04 Comrade

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    Jul 28, 2007

    ok ...and what do you use as consequences? that's probably part of the problem for me, was not using more direct consequences.
     
  32. rchlkay

    rchlkay Companion

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    I understand what everyone is saying. I've found my best approach to be to sit there and stare in a different direction until I had attention. Now coming from a very high functioning SpEd class, my experiences may be different, but this didn't take too long until one of my two "sweet" students started elbowing the others and telling them to be quiet. Then, when it was quiet, I would come in with a surprised voice and say, "Oh! Are you ready to listen now? Great!" And then on with the lesson. Now, as I said, coming from a SpEd class, I had several kids that never paid attention and did not stop talking. I quickly learned to say, "John, you're interrupting us. Either stop talking or leave the group." Normally they didn't leave but if they did, that was fine and there was no repercussion for this (remember SpED). When I finished my instructions, I would go and give them to the other student. If after the first warning they still talked, I would then tell them to please go and sit across the room. Then I could remind them about how important it is to be paying attention and also give them their individual instructions. I think coming from a Special Education background where more than half of my student have ADHD, I have a much more relaxed way of getting attention. However, it works for me.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2007
  33. Terrence

    Terrence Comrade

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    I agree, you have to be firm and direct in your commands. You know how it is when kids walk in a classroom, they think they can all of the sudden start chatting as they get to their seats? Well that's what this group decided they were going to do, so I said sit down, and shut your mouths! Just to let them now they better sit down and be quiet. That I was not here to mess around. That was the only time I said it. It's not like I use this term freely. It set the mood, and they were quiet for the rest of the period. When they were quiet, I kind of made a few jokes and such to let them know that I'm not 100% mean. As for the normal teacher, let's just say she is less strict than I was. When I went in there yesterday to drop something off to her, there were kids talking, a couple kids up out of their seats, etc. I was gonna lay into the class, but I decided not to as that would be sort rude to do in front of the teacher. I would not have tolerated that. I would expect nothing but complete silence. To me, summer school is not chit chat time. I agree though, that using this term every day would lose it's effectiveness. I am working with one female teacher who is absolutely scary! lol. The kids are scared of her. She's super mean. She yells a lot and doesn't take any body's messing around. However, she jokes around with the kids. I don't want to be so mean that kids are afraid of me, but I want to be firm and strict and send the message that I don't deal with stupidity, so don't act stupid!

     
  34. srh

    srh Devotee

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    Well, Terrence, I'm certainly glad you didn't impose yourself on the other teacher's class WHILE SHE WAS IN THERE!! I still don't believe it is ever a good choice to use "shut up" or shut your mouths" in a classroom. Think about how you would feel to have your own child in a classroom where the teacher had to resort to that...every student in that class, whether or not he/she is being disrespectful, is being treated the same--as unruly and disrespectful. I can see how it might be easier to use this approach, and how it might even get "quick results," but it doesn't mean it's a good idea! I know that my principal and BTSA mentor would also be surprised if they heard me doing that...but it wouldn't be a GOOD surprise!!

    There are lots of other suggestions in this thread for dealing with this problem, even in middle school and high school. There are also lots of veteran teachers sharing their feelings about hearing derogatory language...I think they know what they're talking about too! I have one memory of a teacher in junior high saying things like that, and my memories are not positive ones. Her language had a way of sticking with us, and we were ALL victims of her outbursts, top students on down to the few who were causing the problems.
     
  35. Irishdave

    Irishdave Enthusiast

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    You have to remember this is a Middle school class sometimes you can not mince words. They are "smart" they will push just as far as they can. The "don't smile till Thanksgiving" is a good method to establish who is the Alpha dog. As a middle school teacher I find that students come to me as "coddled children" this age is where we need to cultivate some personal responsibility. they are not 6 years old any more and what they are doing is not cute anymore.

    With that said, usually say to my students "I can be a Mean old man or I can be a kindly grandfather, you choose by your behavior" if kids get out of Hand other kids with just say "Abuelo, abuelo" to other students and they shut up.
    Abuelo is spanish for grandfather.

    The only time I ever say anything to another teachers class is on request or (my pet peeve) when I enter another teacher's class and trying not to disturb, students feel it is important to "announce me" they think they are greeting me for the teacher or something but good gosh I am a big man if a teacher can't see me ...... They will say in a voice that is not in the least Low "Hi Mr P" even when I have a finger up to my lips as you would do if you were going shhhhhhhh!

    BTW Terrence you say "afraid" like it is a bad thing :toofunny:
     
  36. Irishdave

    Irishdave Enthusiast

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    My response was (since I have taught 4 of my own children) "And you did what?" "nothing" was never Acceptable. "Did you add to the problem or detract from the problem?"
    I am not blind to the fact that a teacher could be out of line. but as a teacher (of Middle school 33 years) I have been there, done that, I own the T-shirt. I have talked to teachers that kids have said flew off the handel. 99% of the time we have a frank professional discussion. That 1% is fodder for another thread
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2007
  37. srh

    srh Devotee

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    Yeah, apparently the teacher I referred to (junior high) was a part of that 1%...in another thread I described how she also slapped me one day as we waited outside to go into the classroom! Sadly (on more than one level), it was a case of mistaken identity, and I wasn't even the one who did what she thought had happened. (l-o-n-g story!!). Not that the RIGHT person should have been slapped either...

    I understand the dilemma in middle school. I work in a K-8 and have "subbed" briefly in eighth grade. There are certainly some difficult kids in the group. I just think it is worth the extra effort--researching, practicing, asking others--to use strategies other than hurtful language. With some parents, using "shut up" is akin to cursing at a student. I don't think it's the same as cursing, but it's just not very motivating. It probably works because it is a command, a threatening command depending on how it is executed. But to each his own, and I mean that sincerely. What works for one certainly doesn't work for all! We just have to do our best and not fall into traps!
     
  38. TulipsGirl

    TulipsGirl Cohort

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    I'm sure that the consequences are very different for first grade then they are for middle school. You have to know your kids to decide what will be effective.

    *If we're playing a game and kids are talking or or yelling out of turn, the consequence is they lose a turn, or if need be, they don't play at all.

    *If we're in the middle of a lesson, I may have them (the specific student(s)) close their books/put away their materials. I explain to them that since they are disturbing others' learning, they can not participate. This work will be made up during their free time/recess/homework etc. (If you know that your students will cause more disruptions by not being engaged during this time you may need to use a different consequence. At this age, my students are usually dissapointed that they can't participate, so it is effective.)

    Maybe other posters have consequences that they have found effective in middle school?
    Whatever the consequences are, (from my experience, anyway)they go a lot farther in decreasing behavior than resorting to what many believe is harsh language.
     
  39. Irishdave

    Irishdave Enthusiast

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    :hijack: That 1% When MY oldest son was in 6th grade and in my school his LA teacher wrote a referral on him. The Asst Principal asked me to talk to the teacher as a professional courtesy and only told me it was a referral but not what it was for. It was for throwing a waded up piece of paper in the trash can from more than 5 feet away! Truth! he did not walk all the way to the trash can and drop it in.
    I was upset with him that he had a referral, referrals were used for serious offences! Now I am ready to apologize and to ask for forgiveness for my son. When I came into her room she in a voice that sounded like she was Scolded me said "You know what J*** did? he threw paper into the trash can........" now my mind was going between How am I going to 'beat' (not really beat him) my son and in true GEICO Caveman manor "WHAT?!" I mean she wrote a referral for throwing paper away! (I had heard that her whole discipline plan was "write a referral") after my momentary blank stare my reply was "well did he sink the shot?" her jaw fell open. not letter her have a chance to pull her jaw up off the ground I then said "You are going to pull that referral right?" "and you will keep him after school and have him throw paper away the way you want him to even if it takes throwing the paper away 50 times, right?" "Thank you Have a nice day" and left the room. I was fuming on the inside.

    Later that day the VP called me in and closed the door I thought here it comes I am being called on the carpet BUT no she (the VP) said "how did you keep your temper with her?" my son's teacher had come down and complained to the VP and the VP had told her off basically saying "it is not like Mr. P doesn't know how you run your class, you are lucky he didn't put in a complaint about you!" The teacher moved to another district and is teaching 1st grade now.
    Now my son was no angel but to get a referral for throwing paper away from too far away!

    now this is the abridged story so I might have left some things out but the story is true
     
  40. wig

    wig Devotee

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    I have read all the posts on this thread (including mine :D ), I think we can all agree that firmness and consistency is the key.

    Most of us agree that using the term "shut up" or variations of it is not appropriate. As read the posts of those of you who use it and think it works, what I actually see is that the students are responding to firmness in your tone of voice and consistency in enforcing what you are asking them to do. You will never convince me that it is the rudeness that is making them do what they are supposed to do. But I understand that just saying "be quiet" does not always work and comes across whimpy.

    Students need to understand your expectations for behavior on the first day of school. And sometimes it takes practice.

    Before the students come in I have exactly what I expect to cover that day on the board. It ALWAYS begins with bell work (which is a grade) and ALWAYS ends with the word assignment (whether I have one or not). I plan my lessons so that the assignment can be completed or at least more than half done in class. My students know that if I do not finish my lesson in class due to misbehavior (like being unable to start on time), that they finish it at home and a quiz the next day is a strong liklihood. So starting on time is important to the majority of them. If there is disruption during class time, I do pretty much what tulipsgirl does.

    During the first week we do some practicing - in other words verbalizing to me my expectations. I do follow through on the consequences, however. "I notice that when we came in, some of you chose to visit as opposed to doing bell work. We cannot go over our bell work until all have completed it. What happens if I do not get the agenda on the board finished. That's right, you may end up homework." I plan my lessons with the knowledge that we will probably have to stop and talk about good and bad choices periodically.

    Although I always have Assignment at the end of my agenda, that does not necessarily mean that I must give one. On occassion where I feel out lesson went very well and a reinforcement assignment is not necessary, I tell them so and they get what I call "chatter time" until the end of the period. On the other hand I have had frustrating periods where being on task seems to be an impossibility. I will not raise my voice unless there is a problem, but then I will do what sisterkenny does, add work. Every 15 to 30 seconds I had a +1, +2, +3, etc. The highest I have ever had to go is 4. When I add to the assignment, I almost always give a quiz based on the homework the next day.

    I have perfected "The Look" after years of being a Mom and Teacher. Occasionally just walking around the room and touching a shoulder or putting a finger on the desk serves as a reminder to get back on task.

    Having said all this. I will say, that everyone needs to find what works best for them as a teacher and for the students. I would just urge keeping rudenesss out of the equation. We cannot expect students to be respectful when we do not model respectful behaviors.
     

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