Singing/humming/Tapping

Discussion in 'New Teachers Archives' started by fifthmonkee, Nov 15, 2006.

  1. fifthmonkee

    fifthmonkee Rookie

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    Nov 15, 2006

    One of my consistent discipline problem is students singing and humming, sometimes even talking gibberish during what are supposed to be quiet work times (reading, doing exercises, in-class writing--all "homework" must be done in class at my school).

    I find it very distracting and annoying and imagine some of the other students do as well, but maybe I'm being to anal?

    My students, all boys, arrive in my English class late in the day, between 4 and 7 pm, after a long day of religious study and prayer and are typically wound up. (For more details, see my other postings).

    Should I

    a. Be more strict and really lay down the law about these kinds of disturbances (including tapping of pens, pencils, etc.)?

    b. Let it go on, figuring it's a harmless outlet, and my annoyance is due to wanting too much control?

    c. Lead the class in some sort of sing-a-long or percussion game at the start of class to "get it out of their system?" Or will that just wind them up more?

    Of course, some may say, and perhaps, rightly, that these students are bored, and I need to do more to stimulate them. Fine, I'm open to suggestions, but really, I'm doing the best I can right now and there are inevitably times when students will have to do something that is less than thrilling to them as individuals. Right?

    Please advise.
     
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  3. TeacherShelly

    TeacherShelly Aficionado

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    Nov 15, 2006

    Hi there! Here's my advice:

    Ninth and 11th grade boys should be able to participate in a discussion and help devise a solution. You could have a poll on the board when they arrive: Does the humming/tapping/singing during quiet time annoy you? Let them put their answers on papers and vote; then have two of them tally the votes (one reads, the other tallies on the board). Then brainstorm as many ideas as they can come up with for solving the problem (if it is a problem, of course). Write all the ideas on the board, then vote. (Use the N/3 voting method: divide the number of ideas on the board by 3, and give each person that many votes, i.e., 8 ideas = 2 votes, 9 ideas = 3 votes). Let the kids make statements to advocate for or against the top ideas, and finally choose one or two to implement.

    Don't worry if unworkable ideas get chosen - just say they can try that for a day and see how it goes (or for 10 minutes, if that's all you can take).

    In my view, this makes it fun (hopefully!), leaves the boys responsible for their own behavior, gives practice debating, and leaves you much less stress than handing down and enforcing a rule.

    BTW, of your three choices, I'd pick C.

    Good luck!
     
  4. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Nov 15, 2006

    Does that student have other issues? I know ADHD can lead to poor impulse control. While they have to be taught at times to be more socially appropriate, there are other times when it is appropriate to let them go ahead (for concentration, etc purposes). I'm not suggesting this student DOES have ADHD or that this is the only reason that could lead to this, but rather I am asking you to search for reasons this is happening.

    IF nothing is causing this to happen and you have asked the parents for feedback and advice, then do teach them to stop and have it not be appropriate. You will have to be firm and consistent but realize that habits are hard to break and take time.
     
  5. fifthmonkee

    fifthmonkee Rookie

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    Nov 15, 2006

    It's not just one student, in one of my sections it's three. Of course, they may all three have ADHD. . . .
     
  6. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Nov 15, 2006

    Honestly, I'm not proposing that they have ADHD, just that you be aware of outside reasons the students may be doing this first. That's all. :)

    If 3 are doing it in the same class and sit closely together, they may be feeding off each other too. Just another thing to consider.

    Also, I haven't quite caught the age group of your students. I saw high school mentioned by another poster, but I didn't see anything in your original post.

    Keep your eyes/ears open, analyze/evaluate, and you will come up with the answer. Good Luck!
     
  7. english9teach

    english9teach Rookie

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    Nov 16, 2006

    I have that problem with my 9th graders and, for the most part, I don't believe ADHD has much to do with it. (And is it just me, or do an unusual number of kids have ADHD now?) I think much of it is impulse control and some of it is just seeing what they can get away with. I define disruptive noise as any thing done to intentionally disrupt the class, like humming, singing or tapping while I'm teaching. If I think the student is unaware of it, I'll just tell him to quit it. However, if the student just keeps on doing it or is doing it in such a way that I know they are doing it on purpose, I treat it the same as talking.
     
  8. kmm898s

    kmm898s Rookie

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    Nov 16, 2006

    I have that sometimes in my room. I will usually let the student know that Band/Music time was earlier in the week (or whenever you might have it) and if they would like to keep practicing "Band and Music" the only time I have available for them is at recess or after school....let them choose. You are giving them choices, so it seems like a good deal to them, but no matter what they choose it always benefits you. If they decide NOT to choose, you make the decision for them.
     
  9. kmm898s

    kmm898s Rookie

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    Nov 16, 2006

    Oh, I forgot to add that the students will understand that the choices they are given are ones that they DO NOT want to choose from, so they will usually choose not to make the noises anymore.
     
  10. MrsMikesell

    MrsMikesell Cohort

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    Nov 16, 2006

    Hi!

    I am a 31 year-old, grown, professional teacher who can't concentrate at all after 4:00pm. I would be a problem in your class if I didn't have the opportunity to wiggle, talk for a minute, get it out! :)

    I think if there is any way you can lead them in a relevent song, activity, etc... I would. Try to tie it into whatever you're teaching.

    Some Kagan - Cooperative Group activities might be great for them. They can move, talk, work together and still remain within the curriculum.

    I work in a low SES, very rough neighborhood. I have strict rules and procedures, but within those procedures I have taught the children HOW to work in groups and work together. I have found that I have many less behavior problems when I put the learning onto the students instead of the teaching onto me. Plus, I get much better academic results!

    Good luck!

    Kelly
     

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