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Discussion Review (newest messages first)
Jamie1443 09-20-2018 02:42 PM

I totally get it. I used To feel this way all of the time. My advice? Less is more. The more they talk over us the more we feel like we’re losing control and need to gain it back. So instinctively we talk louder.. but then they ignore us and talk even louder. When we’re speaking loudly telling them to stop doing just that we’re saying “do as I say not as I do”.. and children have a hard time grasping that. They’re less likely to hear your words and more likely to hear the volumes of your voice and internalize it as “oh she’s talking loud so I can too.”

Often I’ll give a statement just one time and wait for 10 minutes if that’s what it takes for them to comply. This happens often in the beginning of the year while kids are getting oriented. I’ll say “when you show me you are ready by standing silently in a straight line we can go outside” and follow it up by “I’ll wait”. Then I just stand there.. and I find that silence is way more to powerful than a lot of words!! The fewer words the better. The more we try to regain control the more they can feel that we’re losing it and take advantage of that.

I hope this works for you!! It has for me! Best of luck

lilian1230 06-22-2018 04:42 AM

I love your tips on how to increase engagement level and use it to reduce undesirable behavior!

whd507 04-14-2018 05:31 PM

I tell my students that they are the most important things on earth, way too valuable to mess up. that when they talk that its showing disrespect to their people, and also to them, becuase they are more than the 11 yr olds that they see in the mirror each morning, they are impressive, amazing adults in training. I encourange them to work each day to be the amazing adult that they want to be, for the amazing life that they want. I ask them to think of an adult that didnt make the cut, (but not out loud) and ask them if thats what they want in life. I tell them I do not expect silence, except during a test, but I do expect them to respect themsleves and their classmates and work respectfully, I know its crazy but they do respond well to praise and the notion that they are actually exceptional.

but mostly I tell them that they are too valuable to let them mess themsleves up, and I will do anything to make sure that they succeed in life.They do not want to fail in life, they know what that looks like...

so far that works for me, but they know that I care deeply for them, and they mean the world to me. (even though I'm a sub, i'm a very popular sub)


praise the good, (even if you have to make it up) and see if you can see the needs behind the behaviors.

Song of Joy 04-05-2018 03:55 PM

I'm really hoping you find something that works.

And, yes, the 1 minutes conversation is one person talking to the whole class. As long as it's for short period of time, kids usually will listen quietly to other students. Use this to create that atmosphere that you want.

Best wishes to you.

Kishkumen 04-04-2018 09:15 PM

Quote:
* Have students present mini-lessons - they could correct DOL on the board, explain how to do fractions, whatever.
I will definitely try this.

Quote:
They like to talk, so a reward could be "1 minute conversations". You write 4 or 5 topics on a piece of paper, and a student has to talk 1 minute without any ums, or ahs. Topics depend on them, but could be ice cream, spiders, manicures - you know what they would like.
This sounds really interesting. You mean one student presenting to the whole class, right?

Quote:
* Be stealthy - give a silent signal for going to recess and target all the students who are following your directions.
I have to walk the whole class out for lunch, and they go to recess directly from the cafeteria, but some other incentive can be used as well. Recently I've been taking in four students each lunch to play board games (Carcassonne or Forbidden Island). A few could be picked this way.
Song of Joy 04-04-2018 06:50 PM

It's so hard to make suggestions when we can't see your actual classroom, but I would try:

* Gathering students to a group floor area for very short group lessons.
* Then spread students out to every corner of the room during independent work so they're not close enough to talk. If they talk, it's back to their seat. I let students use headsets to partly block out noise if they say they can't concentrate.
* Have students present mini-lessons - they could correct DOL on the board, explain how to do fractions, whatever. The talkers are used to listening to each other, so everyone will probably stop talking. You can either give the advance notice of the topic so they can get thoughts together, or you can ask for volunteers on the spur of the moment.
* They like to talk, so a reward could be "1 minute conversations". You write 4 or 5 topics on a piece of paper, and a student has to talk 1 minute without any ums, or ahs. Topics depend on them, but could be ice cream, spiders, manicures - you know what they would like.
* Teach in mini-bursts, and then do a lot of turn and talk where they discuss the answer and report back to the class. It would look be like this: "Today, class, we are reviewing Author's Purpose. Previously we used the letters P I E to remember the different kinds of Author's Purpose Find your talking partner (I assign the same one for the day) and talk about what they are. Then I do a clap/snap/hand movement cue and say "Talk!" and they respond with the same clap/snap/hand movement and say "okay!" and talk for 2 or 3 minutes when I bring them back together. I pull a name from the basket and call on that student.
* Form groups and let then do some assignments together and circulate around the room. When you find a group that knows what they're doing, they can be the experts and can disperse to be the helpers for the other groups.
* Be stealthy - give a silent signal for going to recess and target all the students who are following your directions. Let the talkers keep talking as they room empties out. Finally they'll realize 2/3 of the class is gone and they'll ask you what's going on. Oh, you say in surprise, recess has been going on for 10 minutes already. I send quiet students to recess, are you ready now?

All these ideas have a similar theme. You have a very talkative, social group, so take advantage of their gregarious nature and make it work for you.

I'm wishing you great success in the final quarter of the year. You can do this!

Fenwick 04-04-2018 11:48 AM

It's difficult to say which incentives "work" because there are several factors that can influence desired result. Probably the most important attribute of a successful incentive is the precision by which it is disseminated. Fred Jones puts it this way, "Any technique has a nasty habit of failing if not performed correctly in the first place." Preferred Activity Time (PAT) is used successfully by many teachers. It took me four tries before I started to use PAT the way it was intended. A trap many fall into (I'm one) is using incentives to do discipline. Discipline is handled with discipline techniques like Limit Setting. Incentives are used for motivation or answering for students, "Why should I?" Getting kids to enter quietly, find seat and begin on bell work in under 20 seconds would be a job for incentives. Bringing pencils and materials to class, clean-up, hustle during transitions and any procedure where students tend do waste time can be handled with incentives.

Kishkumen 04-02-2018 05:24 PM

So, what incentives will work?

The admin has told me to no longer use the school PBIS system, because they want the site numbers to improve. I'm on my own for consequences.

Fenwick 03-23-2018 03:38 PM

When things are going south it can almost always be traced back to structure. Structure is more than rules and routines. It includes instruction, motivation and discipline. If there are misfires in one it will effect the other two. For example, if students are talking there needs to be an incentive (motivation) to prevent it before it starts. The incentive needs to be powerful enough to outweigh the natural pleasures of talking to a neighbor in the moment. If the incentive is weak, not something students want or realized too far in the future it is likely to be no incentive at all. An example would be a special activity offered on Friday if students behave on Monday or any time in-between. Very mature students might be able to wait for Friday. More likely daily or every other day will keep it alive. Kindergarten teachers often use incentives hourly. As students move through the grades it is assumed, due to their age, they will put off indoor sport to get the prize three or four days later. Not true. When to schedule time for using an incentive like PAT should be based on students' maturity level not age. Something to consider: Don't have any set time or day for PAT. Use it when needed. If students are particularly squirrely one morning, say after vacation, schedule it first hour.

Kishkumen 03-19-2018 11:01 PM

So, today, Monday, right after Spring Break, I tried to restart the procedures. Students were able to line up, sit down, walk in the hallway all flawlessly this morning. We started practicing a writing prompt for the upcoming state tests.

The expectation was that students would work silently. They chose not to. Matter-of-fact, they would not stop talking long enough for me to tell them to stop talking! I would get their attention, would start explaining the expectation, and before the first sentence was complete the class would be talking again. How do you practice the "no talking" expectations if the students will not stop talking to begin with?

The well-behaved students are getting frustrated. Today, several students told me they cannot concentrate because it's too loud. Meanwhile I hear shouting all around me (as I circulate the classroom) but can't tell where the noise is coming from. Noise is like a heat mirage on the highway; It's is always coming from "over there" until I get there. Then it's coming from another place. Meanwhile, the students see me not controlling the classroom and start joining in the fun. Since I can't find individuals, my only option is to punish the whole class. That causes me to lose support from the well-behaved students. Previously quiet students are starting to become disruptive as well.


Quote:
JUST A WHILE, have ALL your
students working as ONE group in EVERY SUBJECT. In other
words, ALL the kids will learn the SAME stuff at the SAME
 time
. -Been doing that all year. I'd like to start implementing centers, but it's impossible until I can enforce quiet. Everything is done whole-class.

Quote:
This is a good time to mention that Sweathog is NOT 
suggesting that you transform into a shouting, screaming
 maniac scaring and threatening the heck out of your
students.
I've never done that. I rarely raise my voice at all.

Quote:
DON'T let anyone into the classroom! Have
 the students line up in the hallway OUTSIDE the classroom.
Make sure you've got a well behaved SLOW WALKER at the
front of the line. Quieten the kids down as much as
possible. With a smiling face and a cheerful voice, "GOOD
 MORNING, boys and girls!! I missed you! I'm glad you're
back!" In a forceful, yet controlled voice, tell the kids
to walk SLOWLY to THEIR DESKS, and NOWHERE ELSE. (Winter
coats and boots right to their desks with them). To your
desks, please! Sally, to your desk, please! Yes, I know!
But first, TO YOUR DESK, PLEASE! Thank you, SALLY! (Smile)
.
-I've been doing this all year. Should it start working at some point?

Quote:
Once each kid is seated, "STAY in your seats, please! NO 
WANDERING AROUND! YOU MUST STAY in YOUR SEATS! ( always a
forceful CONTROLLED voice, NEVER ANGRY!) No, John! I did
 not give you permission to sharpen your pencil. Sit down,
please! You'll have time to do that, later! Thank you,
John! ( SMILE, and make sure John sees you smile!)
Suzy! No talking, please! Thank you, Suzy! By the way, I
LOVE the way you have your hair done! VERY nice! (smile)
-I already do this. When the students simply ignore me and talk anyway, then what do I do?


Quote:
Shoy, I don't know your school's morning routine. Chances 
are that some old geezer comes on the intercom with
 announcements like the upcoming bake sale to raise money
 for basketball valve needles, and would students please 
refrain from running on the school roof during school
 hours. Sure, I'm being facetious but you get the drift!
It's imperative that the kids be totally silent during the
morning announcements. YOUR control of the students MUST be
 MAINTAINED even with outside interruptions!
-What happens if the students are NOT silent?

Quote:
Right after the principal's announcements, I suggest you do
the following: TRAIN the students to settle down by using
a "hand signal". It sure beats screaming! Many teachers use
it but not to great effect! Shoy, use it as if you're a
very spoiled little brat with the only game around and the
 other kids can't play until they settle down!
-Hand signals and call back signals used to work, but are no longer effective.

Quote:
Boys and girls, when I raise my arm
straight up like this, that means EVERYTHING STOPS!!! No
more talking, stop walking, YOU FREEZE!, pencils down,
hands together, ALL EYES ON ME! and I mean it!! If your
 neighbors don't see me, say "SHHH! to them or you raise
 your hand, too. It means that I've got to tell you
something very important! Let's try it out! Boys and girls,
go ahead and whisper softly to each other. (Shoy, give them
10 seconds) Raise your hand above your head. What's this
mean? Let's do this again until we get it right! (THEN DO
IT AGAIN and AGAIN, Shoy, until it's right!)
-I do this several times a day, every day.

Quote:
YOU MUST 
DEMAND 100% ATTENTIVENESS! and cooperation! --- or you're
done like a dinner! ---- "The art lesson WILL NOT
 CONTINUE until everyone DOES EXACTLY what I say."
-So if students don't want to work, all they have to do is start talking, and I'll graciously stop the lesson for them?

Quote:
If it's noisy (even slightly), use the hand signal!!!!! DO
 NOT START THE LESSON UNTIL YOU HAVE 100% ATTENTIVENESS!
! -How long do I wait for the class to respond, thirty seconds? Five minutes? Just standing there waiting for 100% attentiveness? When the quiet signal no longer works, what's the next step?

Quote:
TELL, not ask, TELL the students to clear their desk tops
-- no pencils, no rulers, no erasers, no books, no paper,
etc. NO NOTHING! You've got to get rid of the "toys". The
 ONLY things on the desk tops are clasped hands and 2
elbows. Shoy! That's crucial! Don't start your FIRST lesson
 until EVERY student complies. You're using peer pressure in
reverse. The "usually bad behavior" kids feel obliged to
comply because, now, most of their peers are complying. If
some kids "unclasp" their hands, clasp your hands and STAND
 RIGHT in FRONT of them. Don't say a word, Shoy! Just SMILE!
---- and show them YOUR clasped hands!
-What happens when they choose not to? After three or four minutes of this, even the attentive students give up and start talking

Quote:
The students must become
 CONVINCED that when Miss Shoy talks, and if WE listen, then
 WE LEARN!!!!
-Yes, I can expect that all I want, but how do I enforce it?

Quote:
During the instructional part of the lesson, if a kid turns
 around to whisper or whatever, (STOP TALKING), and announce
 most officiously, "I will not continue the lesson until we
 have FULL ATTENTION! You have no right to interfere with my
 lesson." (Shoy, DON'T SMILE! but make a FROWN right at the 
kid.) Soon, the kids realize that the old bag means
 business! Stop talking EVERY time there's even the
 slightest variance from paying attention by any kid. Don't
say a word. Just stare and frown slightly.
-I let the students stop the lesson every ten seconds? What happens when that doesn't work and the students keep talking anyway?

Quote:
When you finish up the instructional part, it's time for
 seatwork related to the lesson. This is a crucial time!
 While the seatwork is being distributed, there is a
tendency for friendly chatting to start up. Shoy, STIFLE it
IMMEDIATELY! No noise, please!
-That's the problem. How do you practice the students "not talking" when they won't stop talking? How do I "stifle" it?

Quote:
PAY COMPLIMENTS (tons of
them every day and you don't even have to smile each time
you pay a compliment). Don't miss a kid! Nail each kid with
a compliment at least once sometime during the day. VITAL!!!
If you overlook a kid, nail him the first thing the next
morning. "Teddy, I like your jacket! Nice color. Warm, I
bet?"
This is the one thing I don't do. I give plenty of feedback based on behavior, but I don't get into personal compliments. Constantly I'm pointing out students doing the right thing: "Billy got his notebook out and was the first one on the writing prompt!" "Susie has been working quietly this entire time" "Look how Calvin is being such a great example in line" "Thank you, Sally, for showing me the quiet signal the first time." During this time, five or six students are happily chatting away. I can't determine who they are.
Why do these techniques work for other teachers but not for me?
MathWA 03-03-2018 04:48 AM

Here is a famous post from a veteran teacher called Sweathog who responded to a plea for help from a teacher named Shoy. Shoy had an out of control classroom where the students had made the decisions. Hopefully some or all of this will help you finish the year successfully.

Unfortunately Sweathog has passed on but his classroom management wisdom will live forever!

————————————

Shoy, in your own words, you say you
 are having a "terrible" year. Yes, Shoy, you are and it
 will only become worse! However, the year is still
 salvageable but you've got to do certain things! If you
 don't, you will become even more frustrated, go home in 
tears more often, start "blowing your cool" more and more,
and, soon, the principal will be camping out in your
classroom. WHY? --- to determine if you will be retained
 next year! Hopefully, if your principal is worth his or her
 salt, he will take you under his wing!

Here is the situation as it stands right now!!! Shoy, very
 little effective teaching and learning is occurring in your
classroom right now. In the early months of this, your
 first year, you were getting good results. We're now at mid-
year and your students have "got you figured out". They
 have clued in to what they can get away with! --- almost
 anything!!!

Shoy, you could work 16 hours a day preparing 
lessons and still, everything would seem futile. You've got 
so much you want to give but the little folks just aren't
receptive. They are not attentive and many of your hours of lesson preparation seem to go down the drain. The students
 are unhappy! You're unhappy! They feel it! You feel it! You 
go home every night totally exhausted and feeling VERY 
depressed. You've still got lots of love in your heart for
 your students, but that's diminishing quickly, especially
 with the serious discipline cases. Soon, parental
 complaints will begin and you will have those additional
headaches with which to contend. Shoy, as I mentioned
previously, I've been there! done that! MANY teachers 
have!!!!!!! Perhaps, some right here on this board.
Shoy, you've got ALMOST all the traits and skills necessary 
to become a great teacher!!!

Please notice the "almost".
Every good teacher MUST develop "effective classroom
 management skills." Without them, a teacher hasn't got a
chance! Today's kids don't walk into a classroom and behave
 automatically. They must become convinced that behaving is
 much better than misbehaving. Been there! Done that! I'm
ashamed to say that Sweathog was one of the worst behaved
 students in the history of Wallaceburg District Secondary
 School. Hence, Sweathog's name!!! I raised h--- in every
classroom except in Miss Quigley's Latin class. The lady
 was superb! She knew EXACTLY how to handle a student like
me. In fact, Shoy, the remainder of this message to you is
 dedicated to the BEST teacher I ever had. ---- NORA QUIGLEY
--- May God bless her! As she looks down from heaven, I
hope old Nora never finds out I became a teacher! Well,
really yes, I do! Miss Quigley is the only high school
teacher who never gave up on me!

It's very easy for teachers to say that today's kids are
 wild and spoiled and out of control, and impossible to
teach. Hey, I was that way in the 1950's. It's just that
 there are more Sweathogs out there than ever before. It is
true that today's kids are MUCH TOUGHER to manage. However,
they are still MANAGEABLE!!!!

Shoy, you are the ADULT (and the surrogate parent) in your
classroom, and the only one! How goes you, goes the class!
Give the kids an inch, and they'll try to take a mile!
Don't let them take a mile, only an inch!

For JUST A WHILE, throw out your programs, and much of what
you learned in teacher training. Good stuff but they're not
working for you right now. Forget "group work" for awhile.
JUST FOR AWHILE, forget about varied learning styles and
dividing the kids into bluebirds, canaries, robins, and
dodo birds( isn't that awful?) or whatever, and according
to rates of learning. Shoy, for JUST A WHILE, have ALL your
students working as ONE group in EVERY SUBJECT. In other
words, ALL the kids will learn the SAME stuff at the SAME
 time. Yes, just like your university class!!!! One prof
 teaching to ALL! Geez, Sweathog! You sound like a heretic!
Yup! --- and I've been called worse! Shoy, it's mandatory
 that YOU SEIZE CONTROL of the learning environment!!!!
Right now, your students are running the classroom. They
are controlling the learning environment. They do what they
 want, when they want, if they want.

For JUST A WHILE, you MUST become a kind, esteem building
 DICTATOR just like NORA QUIGLEY. Shoy, YOU will determine
 WHAT the kids do WHEN you want it done and HOW neatly and
 ACCURATELY.

May I suggest that you initiate your palace coup on a
Monday? NEVER ANY OTHER DAY, but Monday. The kids have come
back after a 2 day hiatus and worn out from the weekend.
You nail them before they have a chance to recuperate! It
 will set the tone for the whole week!

This is a good time to mention that Sweathog is NOT 
suggesting that you transform into a shouting, screaming
 maniac scaring and threatening the heck out of your
students. God forbid!!! We've got enough of those around
 now. Perhaps, they should seek other kinds of work! ----
yodeling, perhaps!

Shoy, This coming Monday is a good day to start your
 dictatorship.
Bell rings!!! DON'T let anyone into the classroom! Have
 the students line up in the hallway OUTSIDE the classroom.
Make sure you've got a well behaved SLOW WALKER at the
front of the line. Quieten the kids down as much as
possible. With a smiling face and a cheerful voice, "GOOD
 MORNING, boys and girls!! I missed you! I'm glad you're
back!" In a forceful, yet controlled voice, tell the kids
to walk SLOWLY to THEIR DESKS, and NOWHERE ELSE. (Winter
coats and boots right to their desks with them). To your
desks, please! Sally, to your desk, please! Yes, I know!
But first, TO YOUR DESK, PLEASE! Thank you, SALLY! (Smile).

Once each kid is seated, "STAY in your seats, please! NO 
WANDERING AROUND! YOU MUST STAY in YOUR SEATS! ( always a
forceful CONTROLLED voice, NEVER ANGRY!) No, John! I did
 not give you permission to sharpen your pencil. Sit down,
please! You'll have time to do that, later! Thank you,
John! ( SMILE, and make sure John sees you smile!)
Suzy! No talking, please! Thank you, Suzy! By the way, I
LOVE the way you have your hair done! VERY nice! (smile)

No, Fred! I SAID NO GETTING OUT OF YOUR SEAT! Thank you!
(smile)
Shoy, pick out the worst behaved kid in the class.
Manufacture a compliment, if necessary! I meant to tell
 you. Last week, on recess duty, I was watching you play
soccer. Young man, you ARE GOOD!! Where did you learn that
stuff? I'm glad you're in my classroom!
Shoy! Your students will notice the change! (On the
 previous Friday, you were sullen and at a loss, and
questioning your decision to become a teacher). Now, on
Monday, your students don't know what the heck is going on
but they do know they LIKE it. The FIRST day using the NEW
you is super important. The kids will try to REVERT to
their OLD habits. YOU MUST STIFLE THEM IMMEDIATELY!!! or
this becomes an exercise in futility!
Shoy, I don't know your school's morning routine. Chances 
are that some old geezer comes on the intercom with
 announcements like the upcoming bake sale to raise money
 for basketball valve needles, and would students please 
refrain from running on the school roof during school
 hours. Sure, I'm being facetious but you get the drift!
It's imperative that the kids be totally silent during the
morning announcements. YOUR control of the students MUST be
 MAINTAINED even with outside interruptions!

Right after the principal's announcements, I suggest you do
the following: TRAIN the students to settle down by using
a "hand signal". It sure beats screaming! Many teachers use
it but not to great effect! Shoy, use it as if you're a
very spoiled little brat with the only game around and the
 other kids can't play until they settle down!

SERIOUSLY!
You OWN THE GAME! YOU CALL THE SHOTS! or I'll take my game
home! Then, you'll be sorry! Teaching is ACTING!! Plain
 and simple! --- Boys and girls, when I raise my arm
straight up like this, that means EVERYTHING STOPS!!! No
more talking, stop walking, YOU FREEZE!, pencils down,
hands together, ALL EYES ON ME! and I mean it!! If your
 neighbors don't see me, say "SHHH! to them or you raise
 your hand, too. It means that I've got to tell you
something very important! Let's try it out! Boys and girls,
go ahead and whisper softly to each other. (Shoy, give them
10 seconds) Raise your hand above your head. What's this
mean? Let's do this again until we get it right! (THEN DO
IT AGAIN and AGAIN, Shoy, until it's right!)

YOU MUST 
DEMAND 100% ATTENTIVENESS! and cooperation! --- or you're
done like a dinner! ---- "The art lesson WILL NOT
 CONTINUE until everyone DOES EXACTLY what I say." --- and,
 believe it or not, the following works: --- "I won't let
 you do any more math questions until you do the following:
--------". --- works even with grade 8's. Go figure! I
don't why it works on grade 8's but it does! Heck, it even
 worked in Nora Quigley's grade 12 Latin class on Sweathog!

Shoy! If you 're accepting of Sweathog's suggestions so
 far, you're about to teach the MOST IMPORTANT lessons you
will EVER teach!!!

FOR JUST MONDAY and the first few days next week, FORGET
 the timetable! FORGET the curriculum! Choose YOUR favorite
topics in your FAVORITE school subjects, but not art or
 other noise inducing subjects. It's ABSOLUTELY IMPERATIVE
 that you make THIS lesson the FIRST lesson you teach on
MONDAY morning.

If it's noisy (even slightly), use the hand signal!!!!! DO
 NOT START THE LESSON UNTIL YOU HAVE 100% ATTENTIVENESS!!

TELL, not ask, TELL the students to clear their desk tops
-- no pencils, no rulers, no erasers, no books, no paper,
etc. NO NOTHING! You've got to get rid of the "toys". The
 ONLY things on the desk tops are clasped hands and 2
elbows. Shoy! That's crucial! Don't start your FIRST lesson
 until EVERY student complies. You're using peer pressure in
reverse. The "usually bad behavior" kids feel obliged to
comply because, now, most of their peers are complying. If
some kids "unclasp" their hands, clasp your hands and STAND
 RIGHT in FRONT of them. Don't say a word, Shoy! Just SMILE!
---- and show them YOUR clasped hands!

Shoy, once you have 100% attentiveness, start your lesson!
Make it a BANG UP lesson!!! The students must become
 CONVINCED that when Miss Shoy talks, and if WE listen, then
 WE LEARN!!!!

During the instructional part of the lesson, if a kid turns
 around to whisper or whatever, (STOP TALKING), and announce
 most officiously, "I will not continue the lesson until we
 have FULL ATTENTION! You have no right to interfere with my
 lesson." (Shoy, DON'T SMILE! but make a FROWN right at the 
kid.) Soon, the kids realize that the old bag means
 business! Stop talking EVERY time there's even the
 slightest variance from paying attention by any kid. Don't
say a word. Just stare and frown slightly.


When you finish up the instructional part, it's time for
 seatwork related to the lesson. This is a crucial time!
 While the seatwork is being distributed, there is a
tendency for friendly chatting to start up. Shoy, STIFLE it
IMMEDIATELY! No noise, please! Thank you! I'm sorry, boys
and girls, no one said to take out your pencils, yet! PUT
them away, please. Thank you! Once every student has the
seatwork on his or her desk, TELL them to take out their
 pencils, rulers, and erasers. (even if it's 5 seconds AFTER
 you told them to put them back in their desks). Yes, John!
NOW, you may sharpen your pencil! NO, George, wait until
John has finished. Then, YOU may leave your seat to go
 sharpen your pencil. (SMILE) ---- but, George, not until
 then!! O.K., big guy! ("handsome dude" works wonders
also!)

Shoy! CIRCULATE! REMEDIATE! and PAY COMPLIMENTS (tons of
them every day and you don't even have to smile each time
you pay a compliment). Don't miss a kid! Nail each kid with
a compliment at least once sometime during the day. VITAL!!!
If you overlook a kid, nail him the first thing the next
morning. "Teddy, I like your jacket! Nice color. Warm, I
bet?"

Mary, remember to dot your "i's". Hey, nice "p's"! Emmy,
remember your loops in "e". See that "e". Make the others
just like that one. Hey, Joey! You remembered to cross your
"t's". I'm so proud of you, young man! In fact, boys and
girls, please put your pencils down. (Wait until everyone
has complied). I'm so happy with you guys and gals! Did you
 know that all of you are better printers than I was when I
was in grade 3? O.K. gang, back to work! Isaiah! You're
getting better every day! How's your mom? Is she home from
the hospital, yet? Tell her I said "Hi!" Mary Gaye! WOW! I
hope the next sentence is just as neat as that first one.
Janey! You make the best "a's " I've seen in a long time.
No, boys and girls, stay in your seats! Janey, bring your
 page around and show everyone. Show them how you do it.
Hughie! You keep surprising me every day but watch your
periods and commas, big guy!

Shoy! Stay in this vein for at least a couple of weeks! You
 will have gained TOTAL control of the classroom, gained the
kids' confidence in their teacher, let the kids know in no
uncertain terms that you will not tolerate any more
nonsense, raised their self esteem with your positive
criticisms, and convinced the students that, "Hey, school
 ain't that bad! I really like Miss Shoy! She makes us
 behave!"
When you have created a happy, caring, positive learning
environment, you can get back to "group" work! But, Shoy,
always be ready to revert back to being a "kind dictator"
for as long as it takes!

Shoy! Our Creator has called you to teach! Hang in there!
Teaching CAN be a most wonderful human experience!
Have a great Monday!

--Sweathog

MissESL 03-01-2018 08:57 AM

I did videos, too! My kids love the dominoes falling competitions/videos!

I donít know anything about Fred Jonesí system, but in my room, giving my kids MORE time would look like permission to keep pushing boundaries and/or take way more.

Kishkumen 03-01-2018 06:02 AM

In the interest of being "consistent" I've continued doing the video technique. The Simon's Cat animations are good because they are less than two minutes long. we often have one video in the morning when student give me three "class class / yes yes"
After that, the students simply don't care enough to stop talking. After the signal is given, there are two or three conversations continuing. So we practice again. And again. And again. When there is finally a good response, I'll mark that as "one" and wait for a second or third. But the next call-back signal is usually ignored except for one or two voices. Then to much groans and complaining, we'll practice again and again. I'm calling this technique ineffective; My class prefers talking to any kind of incentive.

One method that almost works is when I draw three sticks. I won't announce who they are, but as I walk around the room, I'll take special notice for those three names. I'll announce the students who were working well. If all three are working, the class gets 30 seconds to their Fun Friday pool. Most of the time, one of the students is simply sitting there, talking, drawing, or staring ahead. This indicates that one-third of my class is off-task at all times.

I'm awarding minutes and reducing seconds, but the time always goes down. Students simply don't care about incentives or consequences. In the last three weeks, I've never had a lunch break without two or three students in for lunch detention. Usually it's the same students, but some of the well-behaved students are earning detention as well.

No matter what I do, the class is only getting worse.

ma1151 02-21-2018 02:40 PM

Hello I am new to PT community but as soon as I started to read your post I felt an instant connection to your situation. I just took over a teaching position for a teacher who left on a medical excuse. The class is a 1 and 2 combo at a charter school. The students have been without a perm teacher since before winter break. This is my second week with the students and I am already feeling over whelmed by their behaviors. I have read through some of the other posts here and I am going to try some of the suggestions made until I find one that works for me. Maybe try the same approach and come back in a few days and tell us how it went for you and I will do the same.

Kishkumen 02-15-2018 05:53 PM

The video incentive is no longer effective. The only result is the "good" kids are now frustrated because their reward is denied. I'll give the call back signal and have three student respond, while five or six unknown students continue talking. The call-back expectations are repeated a dozen times, along with multiple procedure practices each day. Usually what happens is the same few kids will shout back louder, but half of the students don't even respond. I don't know who they are.

Every day I take five or six students into my classroom for their lunch recess. I have them write sentences as a consequence or finish the classwork they refused to do. I call parents every day.

Small-group instruction has ceased this week, because student volume is too loud for me to hear the students at the small table. I now spend that time policing the classroom, keeping individuals on-task and quiet.

The admin and four different coaches have tried to help me over the years but been stumped. I'm doing everything they've suggested but am not getting the same results. Asking for further help is simply providing evidence of my own inability, so I'm on my own.

Kishkumen 02-08-2018 07:03 PM

The video incentive is having some partial success this week. My rule is three good call-backs in a row earns a video. Even through it took us twelve bad ones in a row, plus lots of reteaching and practice, the class saw one yesterday and two videos today.
I try to put fun things in. The eight students who had turned in their writing assignment last week got to play board games during writing today. The rest had to continue writing and turn it in today, because progress reports go out tomorrow.
A little experiment was done today. I gave a directed drawing lesson as a break from math today. It was done on the back of a worksheet before everyone turned it in. Eleven students out of my 28 third-graders chose not to. They either drew something else or left the back blank. That means at least a third of my class is off-task during everything, even "fun" things

Loveandmercy 02-03-2018 06:13 PM

I can relate to your entry. Here is what happens to me. Maybe some of my ideas would be helpful.

Laughter diffuses my tendency to get into a power struggle with my students. I am not hearing that in your entry at all -just saying that I get that way and if I can get them laughing (and also seeing me laugh - humanizing the teacher ) it really helps them to focus.

I Use short 1 or 2 minute videos on YouTube as a reward on my Smart Board. (All short term rewards) So I say," If you can finish your paragraphs by 9:30 then we will watch a funny video! You can do it!" Then if they do it, I play "Ultimate Dog Tease" or one of the many hilarious Panda cub videos.Thereis so much on YouTube. It gets them laughing and I get a short break. Laughter is also helpful to ME. So I can lighten up! This also contributes to more effective classroom management because I am relating to them in a more relaxed way!

I use whatever is of great interest to the kids. Last year, I had a TOUGH class. This often worked. I remember I found some fabulous waterslide videos and the class LOVED them! One was the world's longest waterslide!

The only thing is this can not be used all the time. The key is novelty.

I read once about "Smacker Smudges." I bought a pack of soda scented Lip Smackers with different varieties. When I would want the kids on task I introduced Smacker Smudges. I would walk around and if children were on task, I would rub a little on the back of their hand. So they could sit and sniff grape soda on their hand! Or Cherry Coke flavor! Or Sprite! They all immediately quieted down and worked.

It helps me because I can fall into a habit of saying things like "Cmon guys, we have a lot to do today blah blah blah" and when I get that way (overly wordy) the kids just tune me out! (And it is no wonder.) If I can make it fun then I can get them to come back and focus.

Of course I teach 3rd graders. I don't know what kind of impression this would make on the 8th graders!!

I also play "Just Dance" videos on the Smart Board as a reward. They LOVE these!

I also announce a surprise word for the day. The first child to stand after hearing it wins a Stars Wars sticker! Or an Olaf sticker - something fun. I try to make the word silly. So I would say at announcements, "The word for the day is NUTELLA!" THen during Social Studies, if everyone is falling asleep because it is about history maps, I'll say that Gaspar dePortola brought his NUTELLA to the New World!!! They knock over their desks trying to be the first to stand up! It's fun to see who is really listening!

Then of course, If they can earn the letters to the word "R E C E S S" that I write one at a time on the board for good behavior, that is always motivating.

Hope this was helpful.

Good Luck!

Kishkumen 01-30-2018 06:10 PM

I've tried a new technique that seems to be effective: I pull three names at random (popsicle sticks) without revealing the names. But I announce I'll be looking closely at three students. if all three do the assigned work, the class gets 30 extra seconds.

On the other end, I've had to contact three different parents last week and two today due to behavior in class. Three or four Students have been held for recess in my classroom every day last week. Monday I just had one, but today I had three more. Four are scheduled for tomorrow.

Behavior keeps getting worse and worse.

Kishkumen 01-27-2018 03:46 PM

Other teachers are using Class Dojo. I'm considering it, but my old iPhone 4 is too old. In the meantime, I'm using a class points system, a clip chart, and the site-based behavior tickets for good behavior.

The admin is unable to help. I've done everything they've suggested without result. I'm afraid further requests for help would be seen as proof of incompetence or merely complaining.

pausebutton 01-26-2018 03:00 PM

It sounds like you are doing all you can and trying to be consistent.

Would it help if the admin got involved...or would that be more of a pain for you? Some Ps are helpful but some are simply not.

Tounces 01-25-2018 08:42 PM

Do you have Class Dojo? Maybe theyíd care more if their parents knew.?

Brown_Sugar3 01-24-2018 06:22 PM

Your class sounds exactly like my class. Iím am getting frustrated.
My class wasnít always like this but itís getting worse. I donít know how it can get better. Right now Iím finding myself counting down the days but June canít come soon enough.

Kishkumen 01-24-2018 05:51 PM

The procedures that I practiced at the beginning of the year, re-taught in November, and re-taught again after Christmas break are no longer effective.

Students are ignoring the call-back signal. Only two or three students respond, the rest keep right on talking. I've retaught the procedure several times, but it's only getting worse.

Students are constantly talking. They talk during instruction. They talk during small-group time. They talk when I am telling them to stop talking. They talk during silent reading time. I can't tell who is doing the talking, unfortunately, so consequences are rarely given.

I've been using Fred Jones' plan of giving students time to earn. They earn the time by following directions quickly, and spend it when they use up instructional time. If they have more than ten minutes saved that week, they get to spend it on a Fun Friday. It worked during the first half of the year, but it's no longer effective as of this week.

For example, it should take the students five seconds to get out their reading textbook. I'll state they should have twenty seconds, and any extra time goes to their time pool. They'll take thirty seconds. The class has collectively chosen NOT to earn extra time. It doesn't matter if I count backwards or stay silent. Half the class will continue socializing, fooling around, playing in their desks. They did not have Fun Friday last week and this week looks unlikely.

If I give the call-back signal and students are still talking, I'll start counting. I'll take that time away. Usually, I'll get to 10 or less before everyone is ready for instruction. This week I've been counting to over thirty seconds, each time. That will get me a few minutes of instruction time before everyone starts talking again, requiring another thirty seconds to get them quiet. Students consistently lose five minutes of earned time every day. They've now chosen not to earn extra time to make up for it.

It's been suggested that I simply wait for compliance. After thirty seconds, then what do I do? All that seems to do is reward students with more talking time. If you don't want to work, simply start talking, and teacher will courteously stop the lesson for you!

I give out positive reinforcement to students (clip up, give out tickets, etc). This worked earlier in the year but has become less and less effective.

I've practice procedures continually since the beginning of the year. Instruction time has been stopped to re-teach these procedures, but they are still losing effectiveness.

Conferences with students and contacting parents has never been effective, yet I keep trying it because other teachers claim it works.

When I finally determine who is talking repeatedly, I'll give them one warning, then they lose lunch recess. I hold lunch recess in my room daily. Monday I had two students. Tuesday I had six. Today I had another two. Tomorrow there is at least one more. Admin is no longer interested, as they've told me to stop sending office referrals for repeat behavior. I'm on my own.

I can only imagine that the consequences (positive and negative) are not effective, yet they work for other teachers at my site.




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