So mad at my students right now!

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by DrivingPigeon, May 18, 2014.

  1. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    May 18, 2014

    Last year I did a Lego Fractions activity with my students. I put the Legos in baggies with a card that said something like "Which fraction are blue?" I used people, trees, flowers, doors, windows, and just regular blocks.

    I went to get the activity ready today, and I was completely shocked to find that almost all of my "fun" lego pieces are gone! No flowers. No trees. Only 1 person. Last year I did this activity the last week of school, so I know they disappeared this year.

    I know that they are not anywhere else in the room, because the Legos are always in one cupboard (I cleaned the cupboard out). I just re-arranged my room a few weeks ago, so the pieces aren't hiding anywhere. They are simply gone.

    I am shocked, because I had this set for 6 years now with no problems. I also paid about $120 for it. :( We had a lot of indoor recess this winter, because it was so cold, and Legos were definitely the most popular activity. I'm actually pretty sure I know who it was, but he moved away last month.

    So, what would you do? Obviously, no more Legos this year. I plan on giving the class a talk, too, but I feel like there isn't really anything more I can do. I think I mostly just needed to post to get it off of my chest, and I knew you guys and gals would understand!
     
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  3. TnKinder

    TnKinder Companion

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    May 18, 2014

    Totally understand

    This happened to me earlier this year. I was out for a week and when I came back many manipulatives and center activities pieces were missing.
    I would explain to the class that because thing are missing, they would have to miss the planned activities. I did this with my class and avfew days later things started to magically appear on my desk. No one owned up to it, but I did get the things back.:thumb:
     
  4. missrebecca

    missrebecca Comrade

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    May 18, 2014

    Sorry to hear that! I think talking to the class is still important, to let them know what happened and why they can't play with the Legos. You can emphasize that if the pieces are returned (even anonymously), they will be allowed to play with the Legos again.

    I have had some very nice things go missing or get destroyed in my class, as well, and it STINKS. I feel your pain. :(
     
  5. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Fanatic

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    May 18, 2014

    You could be right that it was the students, but possibly another teacher borrowed them. I wouldn't give the class "the talk" unless you know what happened.

    One thing that you can do is explain that you are missing the legos and that someone in the class knows what happened to it. Hand out a piece of paper to every child in the class and have them write anything they know about your missing legos. Tell them they don't need to put their name on it and you won't share it with any other students. I have done this many times when something is "missing" and usually the person confesses or someone else tells on that student.
     
  6. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    May 18, 2014

    I agree with the previous posters. I would discuss with them that the LEGO pieces are missing and that unless the missing peices are returned, there will be no more playing with the LEGO set. I think it´s important that they understand the importance of respecting classroom material. Sorry about the missing pieces I go crazy when I have missing pieces of anything...I always have to go out and replace it immediately because it drives me crazy and makes me so upset.
     
  7. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    May 19, 2014

    If the culprit moved away, what will you accomplish by giving your class "the talk?"
     
  8. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    May 19, 2014

    I like the above suggestions. I'd also mention it in the parent newsletter. Coming from the angle that some Legos are missing and if your child accidentally brought some home you would like to have them returned.
     
  9. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    May 19, 2014

    After speaking with the class (assuming the administration at your school are okay with this) I would send home a note to parents to let them know someone may have accidently taken home your Lego blocks and it's not a big deal but you'd like them back.

    (EDIT: I just glanced up and saw 2ndTimeAround said the same thing. LOL)

    Anyway, definately stress the accident part and I wouldn't punish the student(s) who stole them, but I'd def keep them locked up or in a place that the kids hopefully can't get to them.

    Also, I understand your pain. I had an expensive science kit (like $60) that I put on top of my bookshelf. I had decided to take it back to the store and get a different kit that was more age appropriate.

    During dismissal a student asked me if she could see it and I told her not today. Then they called her bus. 10 seconds later, two other students come running into my classroom yelling, "MS. CATZ, SUSIE TOOK YOUR KIT!" and I don't see it on the shelf anymore.

    I ran out my classroom and caught Susie as she was getting on the bus. Made her open her backpack and there was my kit, with the plastic wrapped all ripped off and the top of the box torn.

    I was PO'd to say the least because:

    1. I felt betrayed because like you, I'm the type of teacher that does nice stuff, outside the box stuff for her class, so it was hurtful

    2. I was a new teacher and didn't have much money since so much had gone into buying posters, supplies and decorating my classroom

    3. My P at the time witnessed the entire event (me unearthing the kit from her bookbag in the hall) and did NOTHING

    4. Because she'd ripped the box all up trying to open it on the way to the bus, I couldn't return it and get my $60 back or do an exchange
    :mad:
     
  10. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    May 19, 2014

    I don't know for sure if it was this student, though. I also want them to know that if they ever see someone stealing that they should tell me.
     
  11. Mrs.DLC

    Mrs.DLC Comrade

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    May 19, 2014

    I understand

    I found out a pirate figure ended up in a pocket 2 weeks ago..(I got it back, someone told me.)......I am sure there have been others. Sad, isn't it? We have had other small things missing, I think it is 2-3 students. I try to watch, but....Hope things work out.
     
  12. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    May 19, 2014

    So sorry. I agree that you should talk to your class, but don't let them accuse each other.

    I had a student steal from me today. He was seated near my prize box and just helped himself to a few things. My para caught him playing with them at recess; otherwise I wouldn't have known. It's hard not to take it personally when kids steal from you - at least it is for me.
     
  13. terptoteacher

    terptoteacher Connoisseur

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    May 19, 2014

    Just this year I've had to take away the Bendaroos, the Play doh, the playing cards, the Scrabble letters, and the smelly markers too. This is the worst group of kids in regards to taking care of other peoples property.
    My "June Box" is full to overflowing with Pokémon cards, and those stupid rubber band bracelets.
    But the worst was that my mom bought me an SRA kit ($1000) and some kid last year lost one of the cards. It really bugs me that my kit is incomplete now!!!!:mad:
     
  14. jen12

    jen12 Devotee

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    May 20, 2014

    I've been having a thievery problem also. Judging by this thread, it's not uncommon. Definitely give the lecture and guilt trip and if you can, maybe tell them that that if the missing items turn up, there will be no questions asked. Maybe they can leave them with the office or with another teacher in your grade level to avoid embarrassment with you.
     
  15. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    May 20, 2014

    I had so many little things go missing lately....after a dump of everyone's desks, 90% of the stuff was found! Suspicious!

    Maybe a little Spring cleaning is in order.
     
  16. jen12

    jen12 Devotee

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    May 22, 2014

    So, what did you end up doing about the missing stuff?

    Yesterday after school I noticed a marker from the scented set we use to do the morning message was missing. I'd seen a few kids lurking around the area where I keep them, but I couldn't be sure who actually took it. Today I wrote the morning message about the marker being "borrowed" and how much we enjoy using them, but won't be able to if the missing one isn't returned. The kids knew just which color was missing and pointed the finger at one girl (naturally). I didn't respond to any of the naming, just went on with my lesson. She sat there in tears and I just finished the message, which said that I would like the marker to be returned to my desk while I'm working with students.

    Anyway, she wouldn't stop crying and when I pulled her aside and asked what she was upset about, she told me she'd taken the marker and that it wasn't in her pencil box anymore. A little later on one of my boys brought it forth as if he'd just found it on the floor in the back of the room and was a hero. Whether or not it was in his backpack is still unclear to me.

    Anyway...I just thought that story was relevant considering the sticky fingers that seem to be running rampant in classrooms lately. I'm finding myself having to put away EVERYTHING lately. It's like there's an epidemic going on.
     

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