working w/ kids after school - HELP ME!

Discussion in 'Fifth Grade' started by mizteecher, Dec 12, 2007.

  1. mizteecher

    mizteecher New Member

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    Dec 12, 2007

    i'm not even a real teacher. just a college student that works as an "assistant teacher" at an afterschool program (much like a daycare?)
    i work with the 5th graders and i really need some advice!! what are some ways to get them to be quiet and let them know that i mean it?? i try not to be mean but they are also all extremely disrespectful, rude, and completely annoying. i dont think i'm being paid enough to put up with them :mad: and i really shouldnt have to! there is no way that that is how they act at their day school!

    oops that was kind of ranting. (today was an especially terrible day with those kids!!) please please please give me some advice on what to do! they all have huge attitude problems and they know they can do what they want and take advantage of me when i'm there because i'm young and also standing at 5'2" (about the same height alot of them are, if not shorter than them!!) :|

    :):thanks:
     
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  3. roamer

    roamer Companion

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    Dec 12, 2007

    You might try reading Fred Jones' book Tools for Teaching. He has a great section on body language and how to look like you "mean business."

    I just finished my student teaching, but I've subbed or have been an aide for the past seven years. Classroom management is still my weak point. I think part of that comes from always being the sub or the aide and not the teacher, but I have learned a lot from that book. I read the chapter on body language and went to school the next day and consciously tried some of the things it mentioned. It worked. I even tried it at my son's basketball game last Saturday. There were two kids being rowdy on the sidelines and I just stood there, staring at them disapprovingly, not smiling, but not saying a word. The one I was looking at most calmed right down and when the other one threw a ball that bumped into me, the first one fussed at him and apologized to me. :2up:
     
  4. cmw

    cmw Groupie

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    Dec 12, 2007

    I've done daycare & it's tough...especially after school when they are wound up!!!! I have bus duty & there are about 50 kids who wait in the bus room to go day care...and I can only imagine how they are!!
    I would suggest some sort of individual point or stamp system for those who cooperate. You also could do the names on a stick idea. (AT the beginning of class pull a random stick or two. When those students go to leave if they had a good day they get a small prize. The trick is you do not announce the names until it is time for them to leave.) After so many points they can get a candy or something. Or maybe even a game day or popcorn party day that they have to earn. Those that don't earn it should have to sit with the director or go to the preK room (where they can learn manners)! :p
    Good Luck!!!:D
     
  5. noreenk

    noreenk Cohort

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    Dec 12, 2007

    Be FIRM.. sometimes that looks and sounds like being mean, but tell them your expectations and stick to it. Only the kids that listened the first time get the privilege. The rest have to deal with whatever consequences you put in place. Once you've stuck to your guns the first few times, they should get the message. Think about what you can reward them with and make sure it's something manageable.

    I'm also 5'2" and young-looking, but I know how to get 50 fifth graders to stop on a dime ;) it's all about your tone and letting them know you mean what you say. don't give up!
     
  6. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Dec 12, 2007

    hahaha Noreenk. You are sooo right! Kids have to know you say what you mean and mean what you say. Be very consistent. Don't let little things slide if you know that is breaking a rule or will lead to bigger things. Also if you are consistent then that means what you did for Paul you also did for Peter. The way to do this is to be clear what the rules are, decide what your expectations are and decide what your discipline plan is from warnings to consequence. My teacher manages to give out discipline effectively but the kids don't listen to her quite as well. They love her but she negotiates with them sometimes, etc and then later when she needs to nip it in the bud she has a harder time than me getting it done. I walk into the room and give my best teacher face. Then I might make an example out of one of them (that means moving a clip on our behavior traffic lights). They immediately straighen up and sometimes they even nudge each other. I'm 5'4" AND an AIDE so it's really about showing your presence and then being a positive influence to balance it out. Be clear and consistent.

    You may even need to have a review session and iron out your expectations. Be sure to tell them what will happen if they don't follow it (or rewards). When you are deciding your expectations also try to figure out which issues are occuring more often and look to see if you can do to change it. Sometimes you need to change the way things are set up, the transition times, etc. Other times you need to decide what consequences need to be in place.


    Kids in school can be quite unruly. It takes practice to get Classroom Management down. It really is management because it doesn't happen on its own. After school programs can sometimes have more issues because they expect it to be all fun and games and to them this means not doing stuff that is expected at school like lining up or following directions.
    The last part of the puzzle is to engage the students. Make sure you are interacting with them, providing activities that optimize their participation (ie, they really like it) and showing that you are genuinely interested in them.
     
  7. MissMeliss

    MissMeliss Rookie

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    Dec 12, 2007

    I too work with fifth graders in an after school care program. It was very challenging in the beginning but we know each other well now and I am establishing routines.

    I have found that my kids tend to act up during snack time or whenever else they are bored and having nothing to do. I've solved this problem by coming prepared every day. My kids LOVE rebus puzzles and so every day, I hand out a sheet with 8-10 rebus puzzles for them to work on during snack. When they are busy, they are less likely to act up. I really recommend googling "rebus puzzles" and putting some together for your kids.

    I also read aloud to my group and let them draw while I am doing so. I would definitely give them a drawing project or topic to work on while you read aloud because it is important for them to have something to do so they aren't tempted to mess around while you're reading.

    Whenever I need to get their attention and get them to quiet down, I count backwards from 5 out loud "5...4...3...2...1...ZERO!" and by the time I reach zero, they are usually quiet. The funny thing is, I never taught them this, I just saw someone else do it at my last job and have used it with them since then. There's no need to yell or try and shout over them- explain that when you are done talking, they will have a turn.

    A few times a week, our group gets to go to the computer lab, which they LOVE. They are supposed to work on a math program for 30 minutes, but I usually give them 5-10 minutes of free time at the end if they behave well- I may award individuals free time during the day when they are following directions, etc. Find something to motivate them with and try to point out when kids are doing the right thing.

    Another tip is to try to get to know them as much as you can. At the beginning of the year, I had all of mine write me letters about themselves so I could learn more about them. Take time to have conversations with individuals to show you care.

    Good luck!
     
  8. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Dec 12, 2007

    MissMeliss, it is funny that you mentioned the countdown technique never being taught. I can go into any classroom from pre-k to 5th grade and when I say that along with using my teacher look and tone of voice, it never fails! They have NO idea what happens when I reach 1 and I guess they don't want to find out. It works on my toddler too. I don't overuse it though because then they may want to test it. I learned when my own children were little that counting UP works against me. They learn to count and they start counting with me and it tickles them to death. This may or may not be a problem for older kids but I've continued my habit of counting backwards anyways.

    Interestingly enough today there was one student, on meds, who was being highly disruptive, stealing studen'ts projects, lying and being disrespectful in the bus waiting area. The secretary was trying to get him to go to the principal's office. She was being somewhat firm but she was standing too far away and she was responding to what he had to say. I knew he was just playing with her so I stepped up, stepped close, looked him dead in the eye and said, "FIVE", he tried to say something else. I said, "Go now! FOUR", he kept playing, "GO NOW! THREE." This student who usually never bends, got up and left. As I said, I don't use this constantly. I used it here because the student was manipulating the situation, turning it into a game and it was going nowhere.

    I do absolutely agree that students must stay busy at all times even during transition times. Deaf kids can't work on something while attending to what we say unfortunately, but in an after school program care should be given to decide what will happen every step of the way, what the choices will be and what is expected for all to participate. What is the backup if a student doesn't want to participate. It should be structured. Even free time can have choices but too much freedom ends in chaos.
     
  9. Beth2004

    Beth2004 Maven

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    Dec 13, 2007

    I worked at an afterschool program for 8 years and still sub there on school vacations so I know how tough it can be. After being in school all day, the last thing they want is another 3 or so hours of school-like rules to follow.

    What works with my 5th graders now, is a Simon Says game that I play when I want them to listen. I actually just did this 2 mins ago when I was getting them lined up for gym! haha

    I speak very quietly and say things like, "If you can hear me, raise your hand. If you can hear me, touch your nose." etc. Eventually the other ones see the hands up and stop talking to see what I'm saying. If it takes a really long time to get the others to stop talking I'll say, "If you can hear me, clap your hands twice." or "If you can hear me, stop your feet three times." The others hear the noise and usually stop to see what's going on. I've got a pretty tough group and it works really well with them.
     
  10. noreenk

    noreenk Cohort

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    Dec 15, 2007

    I love that technique, Beth2004! I used it with my first graders all the time and think it's hilarious that it's just as effective with fifth grade! My kids also like chants, where I say something and they need to respond with something in unison.
     
  11. teacherpippi

    teacherpippi Habitué

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    Dec 15, 2007

    I would just add to what others have said... be FIRM.

    You don't need to be their friend. They don't need to like you. They just need to learn from you.

    Kids need and want limits to be set and enforced.

    ETA: This came across sort of hard. That wasn't my intent:D.
     
  12. teacher333

    teacher333 Devotee

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    Dec 31, 2007

    We always let them have a break right after snack, as most of them never get outside to recess these days due to the weather. At 4:15 we start HW and our program rule is no two students can sit together who are in the same grade level or same class. This works well because many times when a 5th grader is sitting next to a 1st grader, the 1st grader will ask them for help, and they love it! We also assign them "jobs", such as being in charge of things like pencils, the pencil sharpener, signing out dictionaries or calculators. I have also asked some of the teachers in my school for any jobs they have they have not been able to get to that they think my kids can complete and those that finish their HW, have it checked and it is done correctly, get to complete these jobs. They will work for something as simple as an extra snack at 5:15 or some Hershey kisses or even a free HW pass that I will give to their teacher (check with a teacher that might be willing to do this reward with you, I am sure you will find at least one!)
     

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