The whole class talks... Need advice

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by teacher667, Sep 29, 2007.

  1. teacher667

    teacher667 Rookie

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    Sep 29, 2007

    I'm a seventh grade science teacher. What should I do if students talk over me even when I signal them to stop (I raise my hand to gesture). I've done this in the past, and it doesn't work. Let's say that no recess is permitted in the school, so taking it away is not even an option (I've been hired to work in a school with no recess). Like I said, the majority of the students are having full conversations during class, so it'd be difficult to isolate just a few (b/c it's almost everyone!) Please give me specific advice. I'm a new teacher and don't want to burn out! I had a tough time last year with this same issue. Also, I'm a cluster, so I don't see the same students all day. Thanks in advance.
     
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  3. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Sep 29, 2007

    Some ideas I have seen on this forum are to just stand there saying in a monotone voice, "We will begin when you are quiet" over and over. Tell them that what you don't get to in class that day will be homework(make sure you let the parents know this in advance). Email the parents and let them know the problems that you are having in class. Spring a pop quiz on them over material that you would have covered the previous day but didn't get to because they were talking. After giving the pop quiz, tell that you won't grade them unless their talking becomes a problem again.
     
  4. Lyquidphyre

    Lyquidphyre Comrade

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    Sep 29, 2007

    I hold my kids after the bell.
    At first I just stared at my watch and didn't say anything and then I started saying "That's 5 secs of my time... 10 secs of my time..."... and now I just go "That's 5 secs!" and they know that is 5 secs after the bell. If they start up again I say "Do you want to make it 10?"... and sometimes when they make me really mad I say "That's a minute!"

    Another one of my teachers, in his problematic class, used post it notes. He said if you received a post-it note, that was your warning.. if he signed it- that was a detention. If the kid kept on, it was to the office.

    Also, have you tried a seating chart?
     
  5. KLily21

    KLily21 Companion

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    Sep 30, 2007

    I do what smalltowngal says to do. I also teach 7th grade science.
    I write my goals for what we are to accomplish on the board for the day. If students are talking I say in a stern voice "You are aware of our goals for today. We WILL accomplish what I want to TODAY, whether it is here in class or you have to take it home for homework. Listen to who's voices you hear...these are the people who are giving you more homework." You'd be surprised how fast they SHUSH each other and get quiet. No 7th grade students wants their peers mad at them!
    This way, you are not assigning homework as a punishment, but simply because their talking made it impossible to accomplish your educational goals.
     
  6. soccer14

    soccer14 Rookie

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    Sep 30, 2007

    I do the same thing and I teach high school. I will not say nothing and wait with a look. The students will notice and begin to quiet the others. When it is quiet I will ask if their conversations are over now. Also I have just gone to the homework board and started writing more problems to their homework. Also I tell them since they are wasting my time I will waste their after school so I will keep them after school as well. Good Luck!
     
  7. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Sep 30, 2007

    Soccer, I use the same approach with one exception: I never imply that homework is "wasting" their time.

    My phrasing is more along the lines that we NEED to get through a certain number of problems; if it doesn't get done at home then it needs to get done at home.
     
  8. ddb23

    ddb23 Companion

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    Sep 30, 2007

    Let them know that you will get your instructional time in. Whether it's in the time alloted by the school or on their own time is up to them. Hold them after class and when they're late to their next class let them know it's their fault and not yours. As fewer students begin to talk, it will be easier to identify the individuals. Also, be prepared to have some tough conversations with students and parents. But, that will be better than feeling like you wasted an entire year...


    good luck,
    db
     
  9. willsgirl

    willsgirl Comrade

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    Sep 30, 2007

    I pretty much do a combination of these strategies that have already been posted. I have a terrible time with my jr high kids talking like no one else were in the world, so, just this last week, I started making a place on the board that says [grade-section-hour] ____minutes_____seconds delayed. Then, as the off-task behavior escalades, I just stop what I'm doing and lop off 30 seconds of their passing time, up to the entire time they have to get to their next class. Since they have just three minutes (small school) to go to the restroom, lockers, and the oh, so necessary social time, they can count on being late. The other teachers support this (they are having the same problem with talking, inattentiveness, etc) and just send directly to the office for tardy slips (which are recorded on the main attendance register). Day one, the kids were shocked and appalled that I would do such a thing. :mad: The principal called the room and asked if I had held students and I said yes. Then, later and privately, explained what was going on. He was agreeable. :cool:Day two they began to hush up, but still had to wait a bit. Day three you could have heard a pin drop when I said it was time to be quiet and pay attention. That, combined with added homework and the eternal threat of a pop quiz has worked so far. We'll see what next week brings...

    Good luck to you...7th graders are little angels from H**l.:eek::angel:
     
  10. interart

    interart Rookie

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    Oct 2, 2007

    I've been at it for 7 years, there are still classes that won't listen. If they don't do homework and the parents don't care, there isn't much you can do. I think it's great that so many people are in districts where there is so much support, but if not ... it isn't your fault. Don't hurt your throat by screaming, it won't help. The test idea is good - if for no other reason than to cover yourself and give you something to grade. Odds are there are at least a few kids who want to work. Try giving them the work - put them together and speak softly. The others may become interested. Good luck!
     
  11. mrs. dub

    mrs. dub Companion

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    Oct 9, 2007

    There's some excellent advice above! The one thing I also do is stand right next to the group that's talking, or in the middle of them if I can, and look annoyed. Using proximity works wonders--students tend to not want to talk if the teacher's right there listening.
     

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