Um..... What about sleepers in your classes?

Discussion in 'New Teachers' started by Pi-R-Squared, Aug 31, 2013.

  1. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Groupie

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    I'm flooding the new teacher forum with so many questions and concerns! As you can tell by the topic, I've got some sleepers and they will get me in trouble if I don't stop it. I've made the necessary phone calls to parents but one mother replied back that he gets plenty of sleep, cuts his power out at 9, takes away his electronics... So it's just a matter of stimulating his mind, otherwise, he will fall asleep. Another one in another class has a history of migraines so he could be on meds. No IEP on him though..... Teachers have suggested that I make them stand up the whole class period if they fall asleep. Some have resorted to spray bottles of cold water. I need to nip this stuff fast! One time, my mentor, the AP, walked in, observed, and saw someone with her head down. I met with her later and she asked me if I had noticed that!:eek: I guess that's one strike so far. :help:
     
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  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I would recommend avoiding any sort of physical action like making students stand up or doing anything with cold water.

    Instead, be direct and assertive. "Billy. Sit up." If he doesn't or if he lays back down after a time, then you start progressive discipline for insubordination. Parent phone call, parent conference, office referral, detention, whatever your school's policy is.

    Even if a student has a medical issue, they don't need to sleep in my class. If there's a medical issue, the student should be in the nurse's office.
     
  4. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Groupie

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    I did write them up in my behavior book for sleeping documenting the date and time. And I've called the parents. I know it's gonna happen again and others have suggested sending them to the AP for a discussion.
     
  5. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    What's your school's discipline plan?
     
  6. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Groupie

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    I'll have to read up on that! But, since I've done the write up and called home, the next action would be to meet with the parent and admin in a conference. They say NEVER arrange a meeting alone with a parent!
     
  7. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Then it sounds like you need to have a conference.
     
  8. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    Sleeping is the easiest thing for any kid to do when he's not into what's going on in the classroom, dealing with problems, tried from staying up late, etc. At times I feel like I'd rather have the student put his head down for a few minutes to get himself together, instead of becoming the problem, but then you'll have half your class sleeping.
    That cannot happen.

    I simply ask them to sit up and follow the lesson. I try to be nonverbal about it (walk by, gently tap their shoulders), or at least private (walk by, and whisper 'sit up') but sometimes I just have to be direct and tell them they can't sleep in class.

    I haven't had many of those yet, but last year I had 1/3 of a class who just wanted to put their head down. All I had to do was to announce that they'd all get detention - they had no problem staying upright. Obviously by that time I went through the gentler approaches and they didn't work.

    I would NOT do things like making the class stand up and DEFINITELY would NOT spray water on them.
     
  9. BumbleB

    BumbleB Habitué

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    We occasionally do stretch breaks in my class. It seems to help the sleepy ones snap back to reality and then focus for a little longer.
     
  10. HistTchr

    HistTchr Habitué

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    I would definitely not use this advice! If I was observing a class and the teacher did this, I would not be happy. Address the students ASAP if they put their heads down. If they continue to refuse to put their heads up, I would call them out into the hallway and ask if they are ok or if they need a pass to the nurse. If they don't need to go to the nurse, then it must be more of a behavior issue, and handle it accordingly.
     
  11. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    Are you lecturing the entire class? I try to break my 50 minute class period into segments when planning. I may break it into 2 25 minute or 3 16 minute segments and plan different activities. I try to never talk to the entire class for more than 20 minutes and try to keep it within a 16 minute segment. In between segments they usually have to get materials so they move around a little.
     
  12. Pi-R-Squared

    Pi-R-Squared Groupie

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    I have a habit of lecturing too much I guess.
     
  13. RadiantBerg

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    There's your problem. That's why you spend the summer coming up with engaging lessons. You can still do it now though. Try something more enjoyable.

    Last year I only had one sleeper. She was in period 1. She did well the first half of the year, but then she joined debate team in January.

    When I asked her why she was sleeping, she said it was because she was up until 4 am preparing for debate (we have a renowned debate team). I tried contacting home and the debate coach, but it didn't work. She went from As in MP 1 to a C- by MP 4. She was an odd case though, she would even sleep during exciting review games.
     
  14. RadiantBerg

    RadiantBerg Cohort

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    Also--I find it odd that your AP is your mentor. Our mentors can not be people in admin. roles....they can only be other teachers.
     
  15. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    First time: "John, are you OK??"

    Second time: "John, do you need to go to the nurse??"

    Third time: "John, next time it's detention.

    4th time: detenion slip written out.
     
  16. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    A quick and easy way to turn lecturing around is asking questions instead of telling. I know for sure that not everything you're lecturing about is 100 % new to the students. Try to build on their background knowledge, ask them questions, have them give you the answers, this way they're more involved. Have them do think-pair-share, or think-write - pair - share.
    You will still be giving them information, just not everything.
    This also allows you to call on the sleepers and get them involved; you're also sending the message that they must be conscious during your lessons.
     
  17. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    I do not know what math you are teaching but with chemistry, I usually show them how to work a particular type of problem then I will give them 2-3 similar problems that they work on individually or in small groups on small whiteboards while I walk around helping and listening. We will then come back together as a whole group and I pick groups or individuals to go up and present their whiteboards. Students sitting at their desks write the correct answers in their notebook. One thing that I have learned in 15 years of teaching is that the student is responsible for their learning. Go and look at websites of teachers that teach the same subject as you do and look at the lessons they use and tweak for your personality and students ability. Do not be afraid to try different things--if it does not work, then don't do it again but you might find something that really works for your students.
     
  18. Special-t

    Special-t Enthusiast

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    (No spraying or forced standing - could actually be considered humiliation and a cause for recourse.)

    Our algebra teacher just used this - really fun. He taped 15 classwork equations up and down our hallway. The kids had to walk around with their notebooks and copy all the equations, then after about 15 minutes, they settled back into the class room and solved. This could be done as an outdoor activity if you have easy access to the outdoors.

    Use a beanbag toss to call on students at their seats or standing in a circle.

    Practice some mental math by having kids stand in a circle and solving multiplication (pair up teams in a large class) - last one standing gets a prize.

    Have the kids stand up and do a quick Harlem Shake.

    Post solutions to class work around the room so students have to get up and walk around to check their work.

    Have students number off 1s and 2s and rotate partners frequently with whistle or hand clap.
     
  19. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

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    If it's an ongoing BEHAVIOR problem (meaning it's not a rare occurrence or caused by a medical/life issue and simply a student acting out), I just tap. Every single time I walk by his desk (which I do constantly), I tap with my marker, loudly. I may not be able to force you to sit up and take notes, but I'll annoy you so much, you'll never get to sleep. :p

    Of course, this is also accompanied by parent contact and detention.
     

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