"What did you say!?" / "What are we supposed to do!?" UUUGGGHHH!!!

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by SportsJunkie25, Aug 27, 2009.

  1. SportsJunkie25

    SportsJunkie25 Rookie

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    Aug 27, 2009

    I'm a long term sub at a middle school; we just started school on Monday. With that said, is it normal for 8th graders to always say, "What did you say!?" every 2 seconds? Ugh! It's soooo annoying. What do you mean what did I say? I just announced it 2 or 3 times...about 2 seconds ago! To me, it's like they're not paying attn.

    Is this normal? Are they at the age where they can't remember stuff or are they just not paying attn? What do you guys do in this situation? High schoolers seem to do the same thing so that's another reason why I was thinking they're just not paying attn.

    Also, notebooks were due today - I have almost 130 kids total and probably 15, at the most, had both of their notebooks! :eek: :confused: :mad: I even told them if they didn't have them today, they would lose daily points. I also told them if they wouldn't be able to have them by Thurs they should let me know. No one said anything...

    When I start checking notebooks - "Ms. SportsJunkie, what kind of notebooks do we need!?" I just don't understand. It was on the board in HUGE letters on Tues and Wed. I announced it on Tuesday at the beginning of class....on Tuesday at the end of class...on Wed at the beginning of class...and Wed at the end of class. What do you mean you forgot? What do you mean you didn't know what kind of notebooks were due?

    *sigh* Perhaps I need to teach at the college level. ;)
     
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  3. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    Aug 27, 2009

    Middle schoolers are bundles of hormones - they have a really hard time concentrating on anything that doesn't apply to their own interests at this very moment. High school students are just a little better. A lot has to do with the fact that their pre-frontal cortices just aren't developed yet, and that's the part of the brain that deals with consequences.

    You might want to try some elements of Whole Brain Teaching. With my seniors, I use class/yes, I enforce the Big Rule (Listen While Your Teacher is Talking), and when I give them a page number to turn to, I ask, "What page?" and they repeat the number back to me three times. WBT techniques will probably work very well with squirrely pre-teens.
     
  4. SportsJunkie25

    SportsJunkie25 Rookie

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    Aug 27, 2009

    Oh, ok...

    I'll look into Whole Brain Teaching. Thanks!
     
  5. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Aug 27, 2009

    Yes, it's normal.

    And I've found that a large percentage of the time they really DID hear it. Sometimes it's a processing issue. They DID hear it, but the mouth says, "HUH?" before the brain gets the message that they did hear it.

    A little wait time is sometimes all it takes.

    Middle school kids have lots of "brain to mouth" issues. LOL
     
  6. dovian

    dovian Comrade

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    Aug 28, 2009

    Have you tried asking one or two of them to repeat it back to you? Or, instead of saying, "The homework tonight is blahblahblah," try, "Can someone tell me what the homework is?" (assuming it's posted somewhere already). Just make sure they're all listening before you try either - use a signal of some kind so they know it's time to listen.

    If there's supposed to be a routine, like come in, sit down, write down hw, start preclass, make sure they're doing it and give them gentle reminders. With my tough cases I sometimes find it necessary to stand next to them until they do what they're supposed to be doing. If there's not a routine, maybe that's a place to start. Sub or not, you have the advantage of having them from the beginning of the year, so you can set up whatever routines you need and they'll do it (eventually).
     
  7. SportsJunkie25

    SportsJunkie25 Rookie

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    Aug 28, 2009

    No, I've never told them to repeat anything I've said. It's normally pretty quiet in my class, especially in the beginning of the period b/c I told them that's when I'll be talking roll and making announcements and blah blah blah. So everyone is looking at me when I walk to the front of the room so I start talking. Normally, when people are quiet and looking at me, I'm assuming they are paying attn but I guess not. Lol.

    Yes, there is a routine. They come in and get their folders and have to be in their seats before the bells rings. Then, they have to write down their hw, announcements and start working on their bellringer. I told them this on Tuesday. It's friday and most people are still sitting quietly in their seats once the bells rings (@ least they are quiet, though.) but they're not doing anything. I have to keep telling them, everyday, "Bellringer!" and then they get out their paper n stuff. :confused: How long does it take for students to get used to a routine?
     
  8. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Aug 28, 2009

    Some kids will have it the first day. Some kids will still need to be told the entire school year. Most fall somewhere right in the middle.
     
  9. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    Aug 29, 2009

    I found giving them a blank stare until their mind turns back on to be a very effective practice.

    Make sure you blink frequently and slowly to point out how ridiculous their question is without saying so.

    You can also try "ask three then me" where a student has to ask 3 other students a question before coming to you. Question management is very real in middle school. Some of it is legit, most of it is just to annoy you.

    Silent stares handle both reasons quite well.
     
  10. ancientcivteach

    ancientcivteach Habitué

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    Aug 29, 2009

    :rofl:
     

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