Your Class Procedures/Behav. Mgmt

Discussion in 'High School' started by ayotte04, Jul 28, 2007.

  1. ayotte04

    ayotte04 Comrade

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    Jul 28, 2007

    I realize I could post this question on the behavior mgmt page, but the responses I get from the elementary teachers don't usually apply.

    What is your classroom management system? How do you deal with procedures/ behavior problems?
     
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  3. Lyquidphyre

    Lyquidphyre Comrade

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    I plan to have a discipline hierarchy in which the students must sign (behavior contract) along with their parents. It will include my rules and the actions I plan to take when they break the rules. If you want, I can go into further detail of what my rules will be and what will happen. (I just didn't want to type it all out if that isn't what you are interested int =o) )
     
  4. ayotte04

    ayotte04 Comrade

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    sure if you want to private message me i'd love to see what your ideas are
     
  5. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Mine isn't complicated at all.

    I walk in as though I am in charge. (Well, I AM!) There's no need to question me; my demeanor says it all. By the time the kids hit my class, they're old enough to know what is and is not acceptable in a classroom. I hit the high points and start the material. My emphasis on the material tends to make the point for me.

    As I just mentioned on another thread, I don't write a lot of referrals. I think that to do so gives away your authority. Most of my conduct problems are small ones-- kids who are chatty or something. Those I handle myself after school. (Now, the big offenses-- like throwing a slurpee in the cafteria-- obviously they get bumped to the dean's office with a referral.)

    That air of authority was hard to cultivate a million years ago when I was a new teacher. But now it's second nature.
     
  6. EnglishMiss

    EnglishMiss Rookie

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    Alice!! Can I be you when I grow up? :haha:
    I aspire to have that demeanor! I admire your teaching style so much; from your posts here you seem to have everything under control! Just wanted to say that in all honesty.

    OK, I did have a question I wanted to post here too about implementing procedures (been re-reading Harry Wong this summer), and I've decided which procedures are most important to me. It just seems, the way Wong describes implementing them, almost too "elementary" - do you MS/HS people use the same technique, i.e. telling the steps, asking students to tell it, everyone getting up and practicing it? I suspect your answers will be "yes, if you really want the kids to do it!" but I guess I'm looking for some reassurance that it really works with high schoolers and they don't tune you out as way too childish! Anyone? :thanks:
     
  7. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I guess, no, I don't do that. I teach procedures by making sure that we do the same things the same way every time. My kids would probably laugh me out of the room if I told them to repeat the steps to handing in their papers using the basket on my desk.

    When it comes to teaching content, then yes, I do require them to repeat things back to me. They might laugh at me when I make them say "sum es est sumus estis sunt" over and over (and over and over) again, but at least they learn it! :haha:
     
  8. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I use a progressive discipline plan. In a nutshell, it's this:

    First offense: Verbal warning, student/teacher conference in the hallway
    Second offense: Parent contact, usually in the form of a letter home to parents so that I can retain a copy for easy documentation
    Third and subsequent offenses: Referral to the deans' office

    Along the way, I might add in a few other steps for the less severe offenses... I might move kids to a new seat, remove certain classroom privileges, or issue detention.

    I don't issue many referrals except for ditching class. Sometimes kids can be so dumb in that regard--Okay, students. If you plan to skip my class, do not say hello to me in the hallway immediately preceding and following our scheduled class time.
     
  9. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I don't do that. And, sacriledge though it may be, I've never read Harry Wong. (Although I would like to someday.)

    And I don't mean to oversell things. OF COURSE there are days and periods when my control slips and my classes don't behave as I would like. There are times when I would just love to shut the door and really let them have it-- call them all spoiled little brats and call all their moms!!! But after 22 years in the classroom, I've figured out what tends to work for me more often than that. It's no act of brilliance, it's trial and error till you find out what works for you.

    What works for me is a quickie 15 minutes on my expectations. I teach HS (with the single exception of last year's 7th graders) These kids KNOW what's acceptable in a classroom. So I hit the high points and then start with the material. I hope each year to hear some kid leave on that first day saying "*^%, she means business!!"

    I don't play getting to know you games. I don't have them practice leaving the room in an orderly fashion or passing up papers. As we hit each new behavior, I explain how I want it done. The next time, I remind them and kid those who have forgotten.

    If I have one area of skepticism about what a lot of new teachers seem to have learned, it might be this: My classroom is not a democracy. I sincerely hope that kids enjoy my class. But I'm not angling for an invitation to anyone's sweet 16. This is MY class. So, when they enter on the first day, I tell them where they'll be sitting. I let them know how things will work, I don't ask them. I spend all that modleing and voting and getting to know you time on the math that I teach. As a result, I find that I have lots of time to teach my kids, to add in supplemental material, and to work with those kids who need a bit of extra time. For me the big emphasis is on the material; the classroom management in my class springs from that. From what I've read in a lot of posts, it seems that most people see it the other way around. It may work for them, but I don't see it working for me.
     
  10. ayotte04

    ayotte04 Comrade

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    Jul 29, 2007

     
  11. ayotte04

    ayotte04 Comrade

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    Jul 29, 2007

    ---> classic, just classic

    Now Cassie, I recall you and I talked about your carbon paper copies of the letter? Is that correct? Anyways, you find it easier to write the letter home rather than to call the parent? I mean if I had the choice (oh wait...I do!) I'd prefer to send a letter instead of playing phone tag
     
  12. ayotte04

    ayotte04 Comrade

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    Alice, you have not read Harry Wong? :eek: OMG...how did they issue you a teaching certificate? I'm kidding, kidding. Sheesh. I'm just laughing because there are moments where I think Wong is way overrated.
     
  13. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Yes, I think we did talk about the carbonless copies. And yes, I find it much easier to send letters home than to call.

    At the beginning of the year, I did call. What I discovered was that I was unable to contact nearly all of the parents--seriously, like 9 out of 10 calls would go unanswered, or I'd find a full voice mail box, or the number would be disconnected. Since I wasn't willing and didn't have the time to try calling more than twice, I decided to try sending out letters instead.

    I like the carbonless copies because it's so easy to document parent contact: I just take the yellow copy and file it away. The same could be done by just printing out a second copy on regular computer paper if you don't have access to the carbonless stuff.

    One advantage to using letters as opposed to phone calls is that it seems more official and parents seemed more willing to fix problems.

    Some disadvantages to using letters is that I can't be certain that a student didn't intercept the letter before the parent had a chance to read it, and sometimes the parent wouldn't get the letter until 3 or more days after the event. When I talk to a parent on the phone, I know that they got the information and I know that I notified them in a timely manner.
     
  14. ancientcivteach

    ancientcivteach Habitué

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    :clap: Ditto, Alice! I tell my kids that it is a benign dictatorship. :lol:

    I believe my class is warm and welcoming and that there is room for everyone. But the main order of business is learning a staggering amount of world history (6,000 years of it!) and hopefully coming to appreciate it along the way. Good lessons on the content go a long way toward heading off discipline problems.


    So that this isn't completely off topic:

    I teach my procedures like Cassie - I explain how I want things to go as they come up and I do them consistently the same way. Like Alice, on the first day I cover the basics, and teach a short lesson. On the second day we set up notebooks and I teach a short lesson, on the third day we are rolling!

    Behavior - case by case. I've used a step program before - warning, name on board, etc and that was ok, but I almost feel like the warning gives them permission to act up once free. Consequences are natural - if they are having trouble in their group, I separate them and let them work independently. If they are not completing my work during class, they can work on it during their break, etc. If a child won't re-direct or is just having a bad day I have a "time out corner" where they can go to get it back together. I use a version of Wong's (there he is again :haha: ) action plan that basically asks them to document what they did, why it was inappropriate, and to get anything else they want to share off their chest in their own handwriting. We have a short recess, so they can give me "time during that".

    I try to handle as much as I can between the students and I, then its the students, parents, and I - only extreme cases get "referred". I agree with other posters - everytime you send a child to someone else you are telling that child that you don't have the authority to deal with what they did. In a case of violence, that is absolutely right! In the case of throwing things into a trashcan (hi dave!), that's overkill. Or, really what I tell new teachers all the time - If I can't handle chewing gum, I'm in the wrong job. :)
     
  15. Lyquidphyre

    Lyquidphyre Comrade

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    Jul 29, 2007

    I plan to do the letter home thing. Mine is basically this-
    1st offense- verbal warning
    2nd offense- talk after class
    3rd offense- detention and during that detention they write their letter home that says "Dear..... Today in class I.... when I Should have been..... because of that I had detention..Next time I will....."
    I will take that letter, photocopy it for my records and give the original to the student to be signed and brought back to school the next day. If they don't have it signed, it's another detention (there they will get a copy of their original letter and then write ANOTHER letter that says "I had detention today because...." and repeat this cycle until I get a parent signature)
    4th offense- Parent conference
    5th offense- to the office

    I figure if the parent has to sign it, they at least saw the letter. If problems keep occurring and a parent conference is needed I can pull out all the letters (copies and signed originals).
     
  16. ayotte04

    ayotte04 Comrade

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    oh Lyquid...I like that you have the students write it. mmm such a Dilemma....Teacher written vs. Student Written
     
  17. Mrs. R.

    Mrs. R. Connoisseur

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    Alice, I hadn't either, but people kept referencing him, so I checked the book out of my local library. I skimmed it in about 20 minutes, and there was not a single thing in there that was news to me. Based on what I've learned about you in your posts since I joined this board last year, it wouldn't be news to you, either.
     
  18. Brendan

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    Amen to that, I too do not really do not go over how my high schoolers should behave--they should kknwo how to already. Basically, I spend the time to tell them how I want things done in their assignments, the do's and don'ts of my classroom that won't be obvious, how I want daily assignments completed, etc. I use my time to tell my kids things that are unique (for exaple my grading) to my class, not what they should know.

    I too have not read Harry Wong. Just Adam Waxlers eTeach.
     
  19. EnglishMiss

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    Thanks for all the responses, everybody!
    I agree Mrs. R, Wong is definitely not rocket science, and his book would be nothing new to all the experienced teachers. I just feel that for me as a new teacher (second year, but I still feel "new" in so many ways!), everything we have to remember seems overwhelming, and his book kind of breaks it down into very simple steps - steps that the experienced teachers, like you and Alice and others, have internalized long ago!

    Can I say I love this board!
     
  20. Mrs. R.

    Mrs. R. Connoisseur

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    I think that was my point. I do wish that book had been around 15 years ago. I could have saved myself some hard lessons! I also wish boards like this were more common (they were around, you just had to know where to go to find them). I love reading what everyone else does. It's invigorating!
     
  21. newACPtxteach

    newACPtxteach Rookie

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    calling home

    I have a colleague who as soon as a discipline problem happens, they have the student call home on a cell phone (theirs or his) IN FRONT OF HIM, and explain why they are going to have detention or what not....do you think this is a good idea why or why not?
     
  22. ayotte04

    ayotte04 Comrade

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    to do it immediately, no i dont think its a good idea. it takes up class time...to do it right after class, during lunch or after school...i think is fine though
     
  23. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I think that publicly embarassing a teen is putting a great big chip on his shoulder.

    The odds are good that mom or dad will be angry and will either force the kid to explain in great depth (eating away at your class time). Or you'll reach an answering machine and the whole thing will turn into a big joke. Or the kid will "forget" mom's phone number or claim that dad is out of town on business.

    A kid who is in trouble already is going to try to save face in front of his peers.

    And in my school, the kids aren't allowed to have cell phones on them.

    I think this policy is going to create more problems than it solves with any kid over the age of 10 or so.
     
  24. newACPtxteach

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    I forgot to add that he doesn't do this during class, but right afterwards-so that everything is still fresh and with our school-the kid will walk out of the room after getting in trouble, whip out their cell phone and call mom and tell them Ms. so & so is harping on me...blah blah blah... :)
     
  25. MtotheC

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    Sounds to me like he's competing with a teenager. I appreciate that he wants to nip it in the bud and have both him and the student present for the conversation, but it seems like things could be handled differently. That would not have worked for me in HS; I was a very sensitive emotional teenager and the slightest embarrassment sent me into a fit against that teacher.
     
  26. babyraptor

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    I do have the reputation for being kind of a *!$#? among my 10th graders but I just stop class and ask the student, "Do you need attention?" when they do something that's clearly inappropriate. I do that maybe once or twice a term and everyone is fine. I don't know how appropriate or positive it is, but it works.
     
  27. Historyteaching

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    My former P gave me his copy of Wong's book.. I flipped through looked at a couple of things..being a new teacher (3 years) I DON'T like Wong. Don't see the big deal with him-and agree he's also very elementary, though not sure I'd use it if I taught elementary.

    As far as my behavior mgmt. It's gotten better over the 3 years. I, too, let them know its my room, my rules, its not a democracy its a dictatorship (works well when I teach history and they know wht a dictatorship or totalitarianism is)

    I don't generally have 'steps'. I let them know how my class is to be ran, they get a couple of warnings and its a write-up or if need be they are sent out of the room to sit by the P's office-this has happened 3 times so far this year (One came back after a "nice" lil talking too and was good as gold the entire month following before he moved)

    Our admin suggests contacting parents if sometimes things aren't so bad for a big write-up/referral but needs addressed.

    HS kids will try to test you and see how far they can go anyway...
     
  28. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    I have found over the last 17 years that the best classroom management strategy for me is to keep the kids busy from bell to bell with meaningful, relevant work.

    When something happens, I deal with that student individually, but like others have said, I certainly don't list class rules or go over procedures and such the first day. I teach "procedures" as I go and as the need arises in my class.

    It's been years, literally, since I've written up a kid, and I teach in an alternative school. If you know what you're doing, if you make your lessons meaningful, and if you show the students that you care about them as people, you generally won't have problems.
     
  29. CindyBlue

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    "And I don't mean to oversell things. OF COURSE there are days and periods when my control slips and my classes don't behave as I would like. There are times when I would just love to shut the door and really let them have it-- call them all spoiled little brats and call all their moms!!! But after 22 years in the classroom, I've figured out what tends to work for me more often than that. It's no act of brilliance, it's trial and error till you find out what works for you.

    What works for me is a quickie 15 minutes on my expectations. I teach HS (with the single exception of last year's 7th graders) These kids KNOW what's acceptable in a classroom. So I hit the high points and then start with the material. I hope each year to hear some kid leave on that first day saying "*^%, she means business!!"

    I don't play getting to know you games. I don't have them practice leaving the room in an orderly fashion or passing up papers. As we hit each new behavior, I explain how I want it done. The next time, I remind them and kid those who have forgotten.

    If I have one area of skepticism about what a lot of new teachers seem to have learned, it might be this: My classroom is not a democracy. I sincerely hope that kids enjoy my class. But I'm not angling for an invitation to anyone's sweet 16. This is MY class. So, when they enter on the first day, I tell them where they'll be sitting. I let them know how things will work, I don't ask them. I spend all that modleing and voting and getting to know you time on the math that I teach. As a result, I find that I have lots of time to teach my kids, to add in supplemental material, and to work with those kids who need a bit of extra time. For me the big emphasis is on the material; the classroom management in my class springs from that. From what I've read in a lot of posts, it seems that most people see it the other way around. It may work for them, but I don't see it working for me."

    Alice, I swear we are clones! I just found this post from you and read it with the grin on my face getting wider and wider. This is exactly my philosophy and practice, and for me it really works - the focus is on the math; the time for math is maximized if the procedures and behavioral responsibilities are logical, clear, expected, and a consistant part of every day. It is my classroom - I am the adult. Thanks for making my day (and it's been a long, frustrating day, not because of kids, but administrative stuff...sigh...)
     
  30. looneyteachr

    looneyteachr Companion

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    i agree about the referrals - handle the stuff yourself - kids will respect you more - i also think ignoring some behaviors works as well as humor and not sweating the small stuff
     
  31. doubletrouble

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    I would love for you to pm the info to me as well.
     
  32. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    I agree with Alice on the air of authority. Once you develop that, everything else falls into place. I tell my seniors, "You've been in school for a dozen years. You know how you're expected to behave. I encourage you to demonstrate that knowledge." Of course, I write out my expectations very specifically in my classroom policies and procedures, and parents sign and return an abbreviated version of that document. No one's getting away with "I didn't know" as an excuse.
     
  33. Mr. A

    Mr. A Rookie

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    First off, whenever I've had misbehavior it has usually been MY fault due to poor planning. I need to create the conditions that enable a) order and b) learning. If they have time to screw off, they will do so.

    1. Class syllabus is the warning.
    2. Parent phone call AND seat change are strike two.
    3. Referrals until the kid is gone. (Referrals are very very rare if you contact parents. Try it on Friday about 6:00PM for max effect.)

    You don't need too many rules...

    1. No food in the classroom. Taxpayers bought this place and they intend for it to last for a long time.
    2. No cell phones visible.
    3. No talking while teacher is addressing class.
    4. No talking unless working in groups.
    5. No talking across rows no matter what.
    6. You may leave the room three times (bathroom, etc.) per semester.
    6. No personal insults.

    Most other misconduct (truancy, etc.) will be reflected in their academic grades if the class is rigorous.
     
  34. Mr. A

    Mr. A Rookie

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    You tell us---when you peek into his classroom, is there order or is there chaos?
     

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