Trouble Makers?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Aspiring1, Jul 7, 2009.

  1. Aspiring1

    Aspiring1 Rookie

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    Jul 7, 2009

    Hi everyone,
    I am currently teaching at an English summer school to first graders in Spain for the month of July. It is only four weeks long and it is not very intensive at all as the kids don't understand much English yet, but I have a few trouble makers in one of my classes that will not respond positively to any type of discipline. They throw markers, run around the classroom, hit each other, etc. I write their names on the board and they continue, I sit them outside and they make faces in the windows, I ask them nicely and they obey for thirty seconds, but then turn around and do it again. The students who actually behave don't get to learn as much, as I am constantly dealing with the bad ones! Because it's a month-long summer program and I am a senior in college from the States, some of them always treat me as a substitute (and you know how hard kids can be with subs). Any tips?
     
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  3. Missy99

    Missy99 Connoisseur

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    Jul 7, 2009

    To be honest, first-graders could care less if you write their names on the board. That will not serve to correct their behavior or direct them to behave.

    Because asking nicely does not work, and because YOU are in charge of the class, quit asking. They are not your guests. The are your students. So, TELL THEM what to do and let them know that there will be repercussions if they do not do exactly what you tell them to do.

    As to repercussions --can you contact the parents to let them know how their children are behaving in class and that their children cannot learn if they won't behave?

    What about the administration at your school -- do they have any suggestions as to how they would like the matter handled? It would be best to check with them first as to how they handle such behaviors.

    Good luck!
     
  4. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jul 7, 2009

    You need to nail them. (not literally!!:eek:) Tomorrow, list the expectations for class behavior. List the consequences for not following the expectations and the rewards for doing the right thing...Consequences: 1. Warning, 2. Time out chair, 3. Sent to office, 4. Note/phone call home. Rewards for doing the right thing:stickers, treasure box, candy??
    Here's a behvior management list of ideas:
    http://www.teachingheart.net/classroombehaviormanage.html
     
  5. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Jul 7, 2009

    Kids can smell fear a mile away. Be FIRM yet kind. Show them that you're in charge! Make them aware that there will be consequences for bad choices & rewards for good choices.

    Use the well-behaved students as examples for the rest of the class. For example, say something like: "Wow, I love the way Adrian is sitting." Then, you can give him a stamp or sticker. Or, "Oh my goodness, I absolutely love the way Alexa raised a quiet hand when she had a question." The naughtier/rougher kids will want to be praised/recognized, too, so they'll most likely model the other students' behavior.

    Like you said, summer school is only one month long. However, you definitely need to get the kids under control--otherwise, this will be the longest month of your entire life!

    Best wishes. Keep us posted!!!
     
  6. Bumble

    Bumble Groupie

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    Jul 7, 2009

    This is what I do in my kindergarten summer class:

    I use group contingencies (table starts).
    I hold up the "mystery prize box" and say, "ok I guess you don't want a mystery prize, but the purple triangles look like they want the prizes." Usually, the behaviors stop.

    Good luck! Controlling behavior is the HARDEST part of our job.
     
  7. Aspiring1

    Aspiring1 Rookie

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    Jul 9, 2009

    Thank you everyone for your feedback! Today I went into the classroom with a less cheery-cheery attitude and wrote czacza's 4 punishments on the board, and it worked! I TOLD them to do things and didn't budge. It worked out really well and we got things done--thank you all! :)
     
  8. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    Jul 9, 2009

    And there are always skittles and m/m's right?
     
  9. COMrs.S

    COMrs.S Rookie

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    Jul 9, 2009

    What about using Love and Logic? Also, using positive behavior support and rewards...just a thought. :)
     
  10. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I suggested rewards as well, but I think first the OP felt a need to 'get serious' and show the kids she's in charge...Also, please notice I referred to 'consequences', not punishments.
     
  11. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    Jul 9, 2009

    Yes, you definitely did a good job laying down the law it seems. Keep it up! First graders will be exactly as naughty as you allow. If they see you are no pushover, they will start behaving. Do you have your teacher look down?? You have to modify it a bit for first graders or you will make them cry, but it can be very effective. And Love/Logic skills should be universally useful. Little stinkers!
     
  12. Bumble

    Bumble Groupie

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    Jul 9, 2009

    Also, repeat over and over that they are not doing what they want. It is school and they do what they are told.
     
  13. Aspiring1

    Aspiring1 Rookie

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    Jul 10, 2009

    Of course I have a rewards system as well, but czacza is right, I really needed to show them I was in charge. Even the super energetic ones responded well to the balance between positive feedback and rule reinforcement.
    I'll practice my teacher look down. :) Thanks, everyone!
     
  14. KinderESLtchr

    KinderESLtchr Rookie

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    Jul 10, 2009

    ooh, the teacher look....also those famous words "you have a choice..."
     
  15. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    I like to say "You are doing ________________. This is a problem. Do you want me to fix the problem, or do you think you can fix it yourself?" Said with a stern face. (trying not to crack up!) I have never had anyone say "You fix the problem." They know they will not like my fix, so they fix it themselves. Sometimes they say "I will fix it myself" and I ask them "What is your plan?" If they really want to fix it themselves but don't have a plan, then I offer some reasonable ways to fix it themselves. Sometimes they don't know how.

    By the way, this works with your own kids too! ha! My DD never let me fix the problem. Glad things are going better for you!
     
  16. Aspiring1

    Aspiring1 Rookie

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    Jul 11, 2009

    The really difficult part is that they don't speak English! Though I speak Spanish, too, I'm not supposed to let them know that I do because the directors think they won't learn anything if I explain the English language in their native language. I think a complete English immersion course for six-year-olds is a bit extreme! Makes controlling the classroom a bit tough!
     
  17. KinderESLtchr

    KinderESLtchr Rookie

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    Jul 11, 2009

    Respectfully, you can list expectations and state them and the consequences until you are blue in the face but if someone doesn't understand what you are saying, you might as be reciting Shakespeare.
    Are you taking into account that a lot of this misbehavior could be due to the fact that those children don't have a lot of English proficiency (and I am assuming you are teaching them totally in English?) Some kids can be very resilient in this sort of situation and some may act out because they don't understand anything (not that this is an excuse for them--I would just focus on finding a way to make expectations and learning comprehensible to them.) I would suggest making sure that you are using a LOT of supportive strategies for these children, like visuals, realia (bringing in real objects,) total physical response, cooperative learning, etc. I am an early childhood ESL teacher and I would be happy to give you some more info on some things you can do if you would like. If you could get your hands on some Dr. Jean cds, there are songs in both English and Spanish that you could play that could make things a lot of fun for the kids (there is a rules song along with content songs) and maybe it would help you not want to tear your hair out too! Make a rules chart with pictures of what is expected and even pictures of what will happen if they do and don't follow rules (I know this a short term assignment, but you could even use drawings here--better yet have the kids help you draw!)
    Buena suerte con su verano!

    Btw, I just read your last post and if there is any way possible, you need to tell the directors that bilingual ed is by FAR the best practice as per research. It's commonly known in the ESL field. There is absolutely NO reason why you should not be able to redirect and give rules in Spanish and English both (usually bilingual ed involves a percentage of the day being taught in the first language and a percentage being taught in the 2nd language until everything is eventually taught in the 2nd language in later years.) Your students may have some social English proficiency but their academic English profiency will take years and years to develop. Students can learn the harder material that requires a lot of understanding and critical thinking in Spanish and then when they have acquired enough English, they will do something called transference (they will transfer that skill set to their new language.) I am sorry you are having to put up with people who obviously don't understand ESL. Let me know if I can help you at all! (Btw, I also teach in an immersion setting--ESL can unfortunately be highly politicized instead of being about what is right for students.)
     

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