talking-- at my wit's end!!

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Beezus, Sep 24, 2008.

  1. Beezus

    Beezus Cohort

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    Sep 24, 2008

    I am at my wit's end! This group just cannot stop talking! I also have 4-5 who cannot stay in their seats! In the middle of instruction (during a mini-lesson or just new directions), they pop up out of their seats and come up to ask me/tell me things that are completely unrelated to what I am talking about. I mean constant interruptions during my teaching!
    I have tried: positive reinforcement (this worked at the very beginning-- but stopped really quickly), we have modeled and practiced, I have moved desks (there isn't any better arrangement), I've tried power teaching techniques (class! yes!-- but I can't get all the little sweeties on board), and today I was a total drill sargeant (hate it!).
    Please help!! What else can I do??
     
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  3. trayums

    trayums Enthusiast

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    I hear ya Beezus!!! It's really frustrating. It sounds like you have really tried so many things. Have you tried talking to their parents to get them on board?
    Can you give the kids that keep popping and talking a behavior chart wherethey get a sticker or something for each subjectwhen they do not pop up and talk to you at inappropriate times? Maybe they could have lunch with you at the end of the week if they earn a certain amt. of stickers?? Just a thought.Hope things go better for you. I am feeling frustrated aswell.
     
  4. LiveNLearn

    LiveNLearn Comrade

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    Sep 24, 2008

    I do power teaching sometimes.
    I also teach the quiet signal (hand up for active listening) and it works well because we wait for EVERYONE to have their hand up. A little peer pressure is what makes this one work- the kids get sick of waiting for the last ones to get on board and generally say the offender's name in disgust (JOHNNY! Raise your hand).

    Just an idea...
     
  5. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    I have started counting to five. I just did it out of frustration one day, and by three they were going crazy trying to find their seats. Really weird. But they've taken to it. After a while, just counting got old, so now if we get to five, they have to run an extra lap in PE (the PE teacher's suggestion). They had to run three extra laps today in the heat-I think tomorrow will be a great day....
     
  6. Beezus

    Beezus Cohort

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    Yep-- I've done both of those things. We began the year with give me 5....but it takes so long to get them all on board. I hate wasting so much time waiting for their attention!
    I also count....again- have to wait a long time to get them all.

    It does tend to be the same kids that we're waiting on...I've tried having them change their cards.

    At this point-- I'm actually wondering if I haven't tried TOO many things, and that's why I'm having problems!
     
  7. firstgradeteach

    firstgradeteach Comrade

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    I feel your pain! I think that I love that just as much as you!

    I emphasize and remind my students daily about the three big reason that they may interrupt me.

    1. If I have to call the nurse because they are bleeding really bad or are going to get sick.

    2. If I have to call the fire department because they are on fire.

    3. Another giant interrupt.

    It takes about two weeks to train them. At first I will act really shocked when they come up (usually at the reading table during small group) "Sally! Oh no! I must have to call the fire department! I know you wouldn't come up here unless..." I then get out my fake fire hose and pretend to spray the child with water. Originally they think it is funny for 3 days or so. Then it wears off. Now if they come up I don't even stop teaching and start to act like I'm getting my hose out and they smile then hurry to go sit back down. (These are my flighty students who really are taking longer to learn the rules.)

    We also review the rules and my expectation often. If they interrupt they have to read the rule sign (which I tell them by pointing and holding up the rule number.) Then they pay me a penny from their earned token economy money. I never give them the time of day besides nonverbal language.

    All classes are different! Maybe some of my things will work- maybe not!
     
  8. firstgradeteach

    firstgradeteach Comrade

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    Sep 24, 2008

    I also hit my bell or say "freeze." They don't move a muscle and seriously freeze mid turn of a page step etc. I have someone tell me what rule some people were breaking and then we try again.
     
  9. tgim

    tgim Habitué

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    Sep 24, 2008

    When we had trouble w/ a student or two doing this last year we just had to get tough and say NOT NOW. I had one who stayed in at recess to write a paragraph for me explaining WHY it was important not to interrupt instruction....grrrr! This is a real pet peeve. I started out trying to be nice - tell me at recess, write it on a slip of paper and stick it on my computer table, etc., but it can truly eat up teaching time and impact concentration/focus! :confused:

    Tomorrow start by discussing w/ them what it is about this that bothers you. Tell them that when it happens from now on, you will just wave him/her away and write down his/her name. That student will need to stay in at recess to WRITE about what was so very important that they needed to interrupt instruction. (Be very clear about what "instruction time" is.) For my kiddos, missing recess is serious...I hope it helps!
     
  10. Chevygirl97

    Chevygirl97 Companion

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    I'm right there with ya!! Today I tried ANOTHER new thing (I also feel like I've tried tons of new stuff.) I wrote all their #s on the board. I told them that if I saw inappopriate behavior (ie popping out of the seat/talking while I'm teaching, etc) that I would erase a bit of their #. If their # was on the board by the end of the day, the next day there would be a prize on their desk. I had 19 out of 22 left. Prob is, it's those 3 that I'm trying to encourage. It's only the 1st day I'm trying this, so I want to give it a couple of weeks to see if it really makes a difference.
     
  11. Beezus

    Beezus Cohort

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    Sep 24, 2008

     
  12. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    That's a good idea, Beezus! I have velcro stars on the desks of my repeat-offenders. I had forgotten that. I just walk over and take a star. There is a consequence for three lost stars.
     
  13. firstgradeteach

    firstgradeteach Comrade

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    Sep 24, 2008

     
  14. Beezus

    Beezus Cohort

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    I like the sign idea! Maybe I'll start with the post-its (to make a bigger impression) and then put up the sign in a day or two.
     
  15. Luv to Teach

    Luv to Teach New Member

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    I know exactly how you feel. Last year I had the class from Hell. I use to count down from 5 and ended up in the negative numbers. What I did was send a contract home to the parents explaining that the kids were going to start off with 100 points and I would add or subtract according to behavior, homework, classwork. The kids had to maintain at least 70 points to attend any field trip, participate in parties, or any other fun activities I do during the year. The kids that really wanted to participate changed their behavior and those that didn't missed out on a lot of activities. Just a thought.
     
  16. Loomistrout

    Loomistrout Devotee

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    Sep 24, 2008

    Structure has to do with furniture arrangement and teaching one's rules and routines. Sounds like you are there or at least have visited. Can you be more specific about "we have modeled and practiced"?
     
  17. Beezus

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    Oh, goodness...well, among other things, our school is a Positive Behavior Support school. Classes receive "stars" when they exhibit exceptional behavior. We talked about what a classroom looks and sounds like when they are earning a star. We practiced that a lot...I'd tell then show me what a star classroom looks like, and they snap to attention. They are awesome with that.
    Come to think of it, perhaps that is part of my problem. I haven't been doing that recently. Perhaps I stopped too early for them.

    Today was much better. I did do the post-its....only gave out about 5 of the post-its. It took care of a few of the blurters and poppers. I just have 2 that seem to have a chronic case.
    I'll go back to the practicing...that should help.
     
  18. maroki

    maroki Comrade

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    I don't have any more advice, as I am struggling with the exact same thing!!! I count down from 5 to 0 when I turn the lights off and if they are not quiet when I get to 0, I put a tally mark on the board. A tally mark indicates one minute of free choice they forfeit to put their heads down. Today they owed me 10 minutes of free choice time with their heads down.

    We don't have school tomorrow so I'm going to use the weekend to rethink how I'm handling the talking situation in my class. We use Make the Day at my school so if they talk and interfere with others, they choose step...but it is impossible for me to be running around the room as much as they are choosing step. Unless I want to get absolutely no instruction done.

    I feel your frustration though; know that you don't have the only extremely talkative class!!
     
  19. Loomistrout

    Loomistrout Devotee

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    Consider: Make a list of all the rules and routines you will have to teach. Don't leave any out - from where to put backpacks, pencils, line-up, passing/collecting materials, moving desks, what to do with notes, how to get help, hand signals, etc. I usually come up with about 20. From your list prioritize the R&Rs which are most important to you (must have) and need to be taught first to less important which can wait. If you are not sure which to teach first put yourself in the place of a new, mildly confused student who inters your room first day. From student's perspective, what's the first routine he/she needs to know?

    The R&Rs become *the* lessons - more important than any curriculum lesson - and are taught like any structured lesson with all the elements of Lesson Design until the kids get them right. I write my list on the board and check off each as I teach it and erase as kids master (also helps me remember priorities and lets kids know what is important to me).

    As review and checking for understanding I don't wait for kids to make a mistake then react to it. I start each lesson with a review of a rule or routine whether kids need it or not. Again, I'm not teaching anything new rather signaling my commitment to discipline before instruction.

    Line-up is my first lesson. I model arm's distance, facing forward. Then I teach a student. Next same student teaches me. Class pairs up 1-2. 1s teach 2s then 2s teach 1s. I move among kids and listen. Any errors and we start over. It takes us five tries to make it to the library which by the time we have practiced there is no library time. We review line-up before each recess, lunch, and dismissal. If any kid goofs off at any time during line-up no matter day, time, event we stop and review lesson again from scratch. No class has mastered line-up the first week.

    Once kids realize the teacher is committed to each rule or routine, will teach and practice until perfect, willing to stop instruction at any time to review R&Rs, will always put discipline before instruction they will begin to stop testing (it isn't working so why try?), give up and less time will need to be spent on teaching future R&Rs.

    The alternative is to gloss over R&Rs because we are in a hurry to get to the curriculum (so much to teach - so little time!) then chase after the kids on a daily basis attempting to establish oder until June.
     

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