02-09-2012, 07:36 PM
I would definitely build community in your classroom. I teach Tribes every year as my first social studies unit. We teach the rules over and over, act out scenarios, role play, and do several activitis a week. One of the main Tribes rules is NO putdowns, which it sounds like is a major problem.
Teach them how to respond to a put down, role play and practice- correct and incorrect ways. Have them tell the good/bad things.
Each time someone does a putdown put an x on a post it on their desk. 3 x's = lose recess/gym minutes/call home/etc...
Do you do a credits/debits? (Google Beth Newingham) A put down would = a debit on our class.
Pass out paper tickets when you see someone being positive. Every 10 tickets they can get a reward or special privelage or homework pass.
Ask principal to come in and remind them of school rules.
We do a community read aloud about bullying/friendship each Monday morning.
We also do talk time each morning. They have about 10 mins. to talk to each other and then they share what someone else told them.
Right now, we're doing a Kindness Counts bulletin board. Whenever we see someone helping, showing kindness, etc...we put up a heart. Every time we get 10 we have a 5 minute break. When we get all 100 up on the board we'll do some kind of big reward.
When someone does something unkind, we stop, go to the carpet and talk about how that action makes the victim feel, as well as the other classmates. Then, the offender has to repeat how it makes others feel and tell what s/he can do in the future.
Gather the kids and tell them what you've noticed. See if they have any idea about how to stop it. Make charts and review them daily.
Send kids to a lower grade for 15 mins. It might be embarrasing for them to be there. Maybe they'll "get the picture".
When kids are rude, look sad, say you don't like your friends being put down, and isolate them to a different area of the room. After a couple minutes allow them to return. Send them away again if it continues.
Hope some of this helps...yes, it takes time, but if kids are at each other's throats you aren't getting a lot done anyway. Good luck!