The complaining and the arguing

Discussion in 'Fifth Grade' started by jen12, Oct 4, 2011.

  1. jen12

    jen12 Devotee

    Joined:
    May 8, 2007
    Messages:
    1,010
    Likes Received:
    5

    Oct 4, 2011

    I've pulled a significant number of 5th grade sub jobs this year. Generally I get the younger grades, but at the beginning of the year you take what you can get.

    I rarely get a cooperative group of 5th graders.

    First, there's the talking...incessantly....

    When I tell them to take out whatever book, math, LA, etc...I get an AWWWWW.....

    When I give them an assignment, it's "do we HAVE to do 1-20? Can't we do 1-10?"

    When I say "no" I get, "but my teacher lets me."

    Then there is the constant work they do to get each other in trouble. If the classes spent half the time working that they do trying to get out of work, they might actually learn something.

    Today's group missed recess due to rain. They were convinced that I'd shorted their time when the bell rang and I made them get back to work.

    Because I'm a sub, I'm automatically at a disadvantage. The glee on their faces when they see that they have a sub is like they're waking up on Christmas morning to a pile of gifts. I remind them first thing that the same rules are in play, no matter who the teacher is on a given day. I tell them that arguing with me will get them nowhere and might even get their name on the board or whatever the system is in the class. I never back down on the "my teacher lets us" arguments. I give out whatever consequences the teacher leaves me and I do all the management things in the book in the limited time I'm with them.

    I'm honestly at a point where I'm considering dumping classroom management upside down and writing all the names on the board when I come in and telling them that they will earn the right to have the names erased. I may experiment with that and see if the shock of a backward system will make an easier day. And it'll be easier than constantly having to write names up during trouble.

    It's always 5th grade. Younger grades and older grades have their own sets of issues, but 5th is the most challenging --- and I just know that when I finally get a contract, that's where I'll end up!:rolleyes:

    So 5th teachers, I know you know this age group. What works?
     
  2.  
  3. Bumble

    Bumble Groupie

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2008
    Messages:
    1,225
    Likes Received:
    1

    Oct 5, 2011

    I always say, "cry me a river, build a bridge, and get over it!". Being tough works with the 5th graders.
     
  4. Joy

    Joy Cohort

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2011
    Messages:
    579
    Likes Received:
    6

    Oct 5, 2011

    I know what you mean about 5th graders. I think they get even worse in the spring when they are getting ready for middle school. I try to avoid them unless it is in music. I can put up with any class for 30-45 minutes.
     
  5. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2007
    Messages:
    2,680
    Likes Received:
    450

    Oct 5, 2011

    You have to be consistent. If you say stop talking, and 15 children continue, those 15 get a consequence. It won't take long before they realize you're serious. If they pull the "my teacher lets me," you tell them you are not _____ (insert teacher name), but you are in charge today, and today they are doing ______( whatever you said). Let them earn some reward time at the end of the day, perhaps 10 minutes right before dismissal to talk to friends. Put 10 minutes on the board first thing in the morning and tell them if they work hard and follow all directions, they'll get those 10 minutes. Every time you have to tell them to stop talking or someone complains about the work, erase a minute from the board.
     
  6. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2010
    Messages:
    3,014
    Likes Received:
    473

    Oct 5, 2011

    Have to say I laughed a bit when I read your post--it was so true. I subbed 5th grade awhile ago and now I teach it. It is a very social age and this is good and bad. Some things I do.

    1. I keep them very very busy. If it should take 20 minutes, I give them 15-I spend a lot of time making sure I'm really prepared because transitions with 5th grade need to be super short.

    2. I let them work in partners with who they are sitting next to for several activities. You must keep them really accountable and they'll be okay. Also, be ready to switch back to individual if you need to.

    3. Yes, the whining. They quit whining once they see it doesn't do them any good. I just ignore it. I guess that doesn't help much if you have a day sub because it takes a few days for them to see whining is useless. Whatever you do, don't argue with them. They enjoy this way too much.

    4. As the previous post said, you must be consistent and completely ignore their complaints. If they are suppose to get a consequence, you must give it and don't even acknowledge their complaining. Just like a coach that ignores the booing of the fans.

    5. Show you're real. Share a bit about yourself, tell a joke, talk about a pet. When they see you're human, many lighten up a bit.

    6. Give them an incentive. Tell them if they get all their work done correctly, you'll play a game at the end of the day.

    5th grade isn't easy... and it is even harder as a sub. I do really enjoy this age though as they are funny, fun, still like to learn, work fairly well with others, and are a good discussion age. Enjoy them...even with the challenge.

    Kevin
     
  7. jen12

    jen12 Devotee

    Joined:
    May 8, 2007
    Messages:
    1,010
    Likes Received:
    5

    Oct 5, 2011

    This is a good idea. I've done something similar in the past where I write something like "If we listen, we willl play a game" and tell them that I'll erase a word each time I have to remind them about following classroom rules, but if there is one word left they'll still get the game. I haven't pulled that one out of my bag of tricks this year yet, but I may have to use it.
     
  8. jen12

    jen12 Devotee

    Joined:
    May 8, 2007
    Messages:
    1,010
    Likes Received:
    5

    Oct 5, 2011

    1. I keep them very very busy. If it should take 20 minutes, I give them 15-I spend a lot of time making sure I'm really prepared because transitions with 5th grade need to be super short.

    I like the idea of shorting the time. I'm always afraid of not giving enough time and having too many of them not finish, but they just stall and I end up with the fast finishers asking me what to do next while some haven't even put pencil to paper. I pretty much have transitions down, I count to ten and tell them they'd better be ready to move on to the next subject when I'm finished.

    2. I let them work in partners with who they are sitting next to for several activities. You must keep them really accountable and they'll be okay. Also, be ready to switch back to individual if you need to.

    I'm always afraid to do this because of the socializing. However, I do find that if the room isn't so tightly packed with desks that I'm not able to walk around and get between rows, proximity does wonders with this age.3. Yes, the whining. They quit whining once they see it doesn't do them any good. I just ignore it. I guess that doesn't help much if you have a day sub because it takes a few days for them to see whining is useless. Whatever you do, don't argue with them. They enjoy this way too much.4. As the previous post said, you must be consistent and completely ignore their complaints. If they are suppose to get a consequence, you must give it and don't even acknowledge their complaining. Just like a coach that ignores the booing of the fans.

    Yeah, I'm over the whining and arguing. Like I said, I make it clear that it doesn't do any good and they're not at a swap meet. Bargaining is not an option and regardless of what they want me to believe their teacher lets them get away with, today is MY day and I'm in charge. Last year I got one class completely under my thumb by telling them I'd erase their party points. Evidently that had never happened. They could only earn them, not lose them. I assured them that I would explain the situation to their teacher and she would definitely take my side. They were on their best behavior the rest of the day. Unfortunately, not every class has something so valued that I can use for leverage!
    5. Show you're real. Share a bit about yourself, tell a joke, talk about a pet. When they see you're human, many lighten up a bit.

    This is something else I tend to shy away from because one piece of information makes them think that it's share time and they want to interview me about my life in order to stall the work. But I guess a few carefully slotted tidbits might work if I toss them in without making it seem like a discussion.

    6. Give them an incentive. Tell them if they get all their work done correctly, you'll play a game at the end of the day.

    This is also something I could probably do better. I rarely do it if the teacher left a lot of content because I want to get to everything, but it might be a good strategy if the group is particularly difficult, although those tend to be the groups I least want to reward!.

    Thanks so much for all the suggestions! I know the things I experience are due less to my actions and more to the age group, so it's always good to get feedback from people more experienced with the daily challenges.
     
  9. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2007
    Messages:
    2,680
    Likes Received:
    450

    Oct 6, 2011

    If you shorten the time, you can always lengthen it if the students were all working and they are not quite finished.
     
  10. Bumble

    Bumble Groupie

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2008
    Messages:
    1,225
    Likes Received:
    1

    Oct 9, 2011

    I have a question/comment box to decrease the complaining. It actually works.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. i.heart.trees,
  2. ssgirl11,
  3. MrsL74
Total: 320 (members: 4, guests: 289, robots: 27)
test