So I have that class that everyone talks about, help!!

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Pisces_Fish, Sep 5, 2011.

  1. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    Sep 5, 2011

    From the things I saw and heard last year I knew this years' class would be more difficult. I was right, and I need some advice!

    Most of my 22 students came from the same teacher last year, and she had two strikes against her 1) she was first year and 2) She came in mid-year. She did her best, but her management was poor. As a result, her class learned bad behaviors like blurting out, bickering with each other, picking on classmates, and so on.

    Last year my class was sweet, quiet, and a pleasure to be around. This year I'm really struggling to manage their behaviors, making for a looooong day :(

    Here's a few things I'm struggling with, maybe you can help....

    - Constant blurting out. For two boys, I know they can't help it due to one having autism and the other ADHD.
    - Walking around the room during instruction.
    - They trip each other, talk, and spin around while walking in the hallway.
    - Talking during instruction. Sometimes they will look at me, then go right back to talking even after I've called them out on it! :mad:

    I've modeled, modeled, modeled and praised the children who show good behavior but I feel like I'm making no gains. We've also practiced, practiced, practiced and still no improvement!

    What would you try?
     
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  3. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Sep 5, 2011

    Remember that it takes 21 days to change a bad habit, so don't expect to see changes in just a few days. It sounds like you are doing all the right things. Talk with your teammates or administration about a time out area (out side the class room -- like in another teachers room or with an adminstrator) as a way to help stop the pattern of chaos.

    Keep reminding yourself that these habits had half a school year to develop, and it isn't going to be fixed overnight. Now it will take more modeling and setting a good example to get them where they need to be. Good luck to you.
     
  4. maya5250

    maya5250 Comrade

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    Sep 5, 2011

    I am no expert because I am a second year. But I have ran into the same problems that you have in my 6th grade classes last year and this year. The blurting out and getting out of their seat - main issues.

    I didn't read it in your post- do you give consequences to those who break the rules. You have model and praised them. I think it is time to add consequences if they don't do it and stick to it. Luckily my consequences were set by the AP. They get two verbal warnings, then if it continues- they get a student-teacher conference. If they still can not pull it together, they get to do a fix-it plan in a different classroom and a call home. Last, within a period, they still can't fix their behavior after doing a fix-it plan, they get a referral to the AP.


    Also, on the praising part, I have given out stamps/stickers to students who are following expectations. They placed them on index cards. Over time, they can trade a certain number of stamps/stickers for an award. Last year, I kept the index cards and passed them out every period. Last year's rewards were pencils, erasers, $1 toys from the dollar tree, etc. This year, I am teaching them to be more organize by having them keep the index card themselves. Also, this year, I am going for more intrinsic rewards - homework pass, positive phone call, lunch with the teacher/patio, etc.
     
  5. crunchytxmama

    crunchytxmama Companion

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    Sep 5, 2011

    I was that teacher last year. I have "that" class that no one wanted. :( I looped with the same group because no one else would, and I was determined to change their behaviors this year. We have been in school three weeks and it is a 180 degree change. Everyone keeps raving about how much they've grown up over the summer.

    I have a very simple behavior management plan. I have five very specific classroom rules (for my kids, stuff like "Do your best" isn't specific enough), and consequences. I expect every single one of them to follow them. I have one student with an IEP and he is also able to follow the rules. If they do a procedure incorrectly, like walking in the hall, then we do it again until they do it right. If they do any procedure incorrectly, I tell them why it was incorrect, and have them try it again. I don't raise my voice or get frustrated, and I rarely praise them for doing it right. I will simply say "thank you, please do this every time." My class is soooo much more calm and productive now. They had a rough time with the rules for a few days while they had to re-train their brains and bodies the right way to do things, but it has gotten easier for the ones that struggle with it.

    Check out smartclassroommanagement.com . It has completely changed how I manage my classroom.
     
  6. Speechy

    Speechy Comrade

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    Sep 5, 2011

    I only did a semester of student teaching, but I do have some suggestions!


    Like someone else said, certain behaviors are not going to be reversed over night. As you know, patience is key (yes- this still applies, even if you do feel like ripping your hair out) and if you are consistent and go through with everything you see, these behaviors will be improved.

    I don't know the specifics of what you are doing, but when recreating a new behavioral management plan, keep what you've doing. Just rework it a bit. It's fine to have a rule change but don't change up everything. It could be confusing to the kids and it's a little late to be trying to execute a completely new plan and rules. Stick with what you have, just improve it.

    If they are walking around, say "Everyone needs to be in their seats". After that, say "Someone is still not in their seat before I can start the lesson..." Make them wait. The importance is not to say names, even though everyone will know who they are. If that does not work, then pull those children aside later and tell them what they are doing is unacceptable and won't be tolerated.

    The teacher who I did my student teaching with taught third grade and she called the floor 'lava". If any student was standing on the lava during classroom, then they were not following instructions and did not get the award for the day. How well this will work obviously depends on the age group.

    What options have you tried limit those who talk out of turn? Do you have them raise their hand to answer the questions? Or do you call on them each individually? With each lesson I would try to (gently) remind them of the rules of answering a question. If a few of them speak out of turn, I would ignore their answers and pick on someone who is raising their hand. This could be set as an example to the other students who are talking of turn. (and they could have had the correct answer!)

    Talking during instruction can be handled the same way- just make them wait on you for a change. Chances are you won't be waiting all day. Once they see how quickly and smoothly things will go without you having to stop every five seconds, then it will eventually sink in.
     
  7. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    Sep 5, 2011

    I really appreciate everyone's responses so far. My management plan isn't my choice, I use a flipcard system. I don't like it because if I use it every time a student 'messes up' he'd be 'on red' in under an hour! So far no student has gotten to red, which means I'm obviously having to ignore a lot of behaviors. I end up feeling that the kids don't take me seriously.

    I also have two jars of pompoms on my desk and when the class is behaving they earn a pompom. They will earn etra recess when the other jar is full. I do take away pompoms when the class isn't being good., so it serves as a consequence as well.

    I don't have anything in place for individual rewards, I need to work on that. I liked the idea of using an inde card to reward students who do the right thing. I had an individualized plan my 2nd year, didn't need one my 3rd year, now I think I need one again.

    I've already tried most of what people have suggested. I've practiced walking in line, practiced lining up/coming to rug/using bathroom, I've calmly reminded students of the rules over and over and over and over....but I think I need to remember to keep at it, keep being consistent, and keep being patient.
     
  8. Speechy

    Speechy Comrade

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    Sep 5, 2011

    I can completely understand why you feel this way. The important thing to remember is at that age is hard for children to see anybody besides "mom and dad" as a figure of authority. Your class has come to you with a set of bad habits, but it is nothing consistency and patience can't fix (like you said).

    Your students will come to respect you if you are fair, balanced, and consistent with the rules and consequences that you lay down. In time they will understand your expectations of them. Just takes time.
     
  9. queenie

    queenie Groupie

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    Sep 5, 2011

    Please don't take this the wrong way- I am NOT trying to be judgmental and don't claim to be a management expert by ANY means- but I think there are two problems here. 1- you don't have faith in your own management plan. If you don't buy into it, the kids won't either, and 2- you are not consistent. In order for a plan to work and for kids to take you seriously, you MUST be consistent. Make sure they know the rules and consequences and then enforce them.

    Here's what I do in my classroom this year (second grade):

    Our rules: Be kind, Think before you talk, and Follow procedures

    Our consequences: 1 card = loss of 5 mins. recess; 2 cards = loss of 10 mins. recess AND a note home; 3 cards = desk moved away from rest of class; 4 cards = loss of fun activities; 5 cards = time out in another class room

    The cards are actually drink coasters (kind of like thick foam circles I bought at Dollar Tree) that I place on the edge of their desks when necessary.

    I have a form letter ready for when I have to send a note home and I just add the date & child's name and check off the behavior and consequence. The student must bring the letter back signed or I call the parent and take away the next day's recess. No exceptions.

    I like the sequence for our consequences because 1 card is like a warning. Also, we don't take away more than 10 minutes recess because the kids really need to get that energy out!

    BTW, if a desk is moved, it will be moved right back the next morning.

    The first week I gave out a TON of cards- especially for calling out or talking without permission, but now, after two weeks of school, I give out about 3 a cards a day at the most.

    Remember that behavior can be RIGHT, NOT RIGHT, or NOT QUITE RIGHT and the last one is still not right! In other words, it's sometimes difficult to tell whether you should give a card to a student who is normally very well behaved if he/she is talking to another student (especially if it's to offer help) and stops when you look at him, but the fact is that the student is talking without permission and must be given a consequence. Otherwise your management system holds no weight.

    One more thing- I don't take it personally when a student misbehaves. I simply give them a card and move on. We have discussed the desired behaviors and consequences and I remind them often, so they know why they receive a card and usually agree that they earned it.
     
  10. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    Sep 5, 2011

    Sometimes you have to make an example of someone. Tomorrow might be the perfect day for someone to get to red.
    Can you modify your flipchart system? I know several teachers who use one where the students flip down for negative behavior, but can flip up for positive behavior (they start in the middle of the chart and can go up to fantastic). This way students don't lose hope b/c they're down on red in an hour.
     
  11. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    Sep 5, 2011

    Some of the other teachers use a card system and use tickets. If the kids are on green (or whatever is "good") at lunch they get a ticket and then another at the end of the day. When they get 10 tickets they can buy a treasure at the end of the day. I have also heard of a "tilt" as a warning for going from green to the next color so you can actually see if you have given them a warning. On pinterest I have seen a blurt chart - all of the kids names on it with 3 mini post-its and each time they blurt they pull off a sticky note. After 3 they have to call/write a note to their parents and discuss why blurting is a disruption to the class. I haven't really needed it, but I think it could work.
     

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