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At my wit's end!
Old 11-03-2010, 04:10 PM
 
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I am a veteran teacher, and this is about my most challenging group of 4th graders ever! They are nice kids, BUT they talk and talk and talk! About 75% of my students received check marks on their report cards under "listens and follows directions." I've also talked with parents about it during conferences. It has gotten a little better, but not at a satisfactory level.

I would have to say it's mostly my boys. I've tried many things: taking time off of recess for my teaching time that they waste (I don't like this because the entire class is penalized) and not leaving the room to go to specials or recess until their voices are at a whisper.

Also, since they are talking all the time, they are not listening and therefore, do not follow directions! As soon as I've given directions, I have about 5 kids who will ask,"What are we supposed to do?" or "Are we supposed to _____?" or "What did she say?"

Suggestions? Thanks!


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Old 11-03-2010, 05:42 PM
 
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I too have a very talkative class. The other day I decided to reward the good kids. I gave everyone a raffle ticket at the beginning of the day, and as students yelled out or didn't follow directions, I took it away. At the end of the day all the students that deserved the raffle ticket still had it. It was a different approach, and I liked it.
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Old 11-03-2010, 06:22 PM
 
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I'm feeling the same way and understand your frustrations! My class is very immature and can NOT follow directions. I have also tried many things - I have a point system and that has worked in the past. What about sending notes home? I might have to try this - if you are talking more than X amount of times, then you get a note home. And for the good kids, send a note to them saying they behave very well. I agree with PP that good kids definitely need to be rewarded! I know that I need to do that more often.
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Old 11-03-2010, 07:41 PM
 
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My grade level has the same problems. It must have been something in the air when these kids were born. I have heard that the 4th graders in our district are like this as well. I have a behavior sheet that I use with my kids that really helps. It goes along with the Character counts. They give themselves stars for good behavior (Only when I tell them to) and tallies (when I tell them to) for bad behavior. The stars go towards class money, that they get only if their parents sign their behavior sheet and they bring it back on monday. It makes my job easy because all I have to say is "give yourself a tally" and they know what it means.

I also have Friday Free time- and if they have 3 tallies in the week they don't get to go, and they have to do extra work (which they hate) which is usually very boring and a lot of work. I have attached my behavior sheet if you want to use it. They have to reflect daily as well- which is hard for some kids but when they see how they are doing, I've noticed that their behavior starts to change.
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File Type: xls character counts.xls (30.0 KB, 181 views)
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Old 11-04-2010, 04:05 AM
 
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We started using 123 Magic. http://www.parentmagic.com/classroomsolutions-view.cfm


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Old 11-06-2010, 10:07 PM
 
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I also have a rowdy bunch of 4th graders this year. About 8 boys try to spoil the whole bunch.

However, I use a color card system (I bought it at Really Good Stuff a few years ago, but I think they are discontinued now, but you could use a small pocket chart and colored "stick" laminated card stock. Everyone starts on green (good to go). If student talks out or misbehaves in class, he/she must move card to yellow (warning). If student continues inappropriate behavior for classroom, the card is changed to red (behavior must STOP and recess is taken away for that student). If child has still not changed behavior, the color changes to blue (consequences that will make you and I sad- note home, visit to principal, etc.) Usually after changing 1 card to yellow makes an impact on the whole class.

To reward good behavior, at the end of the day if you are still on green, you will get a whole punched in your good behavior card (I think I got these at For Teachers Only, but you could make your own--has place to punch 20x on one card, much like a coffee club card, etc.) When student gets 20 hole punches for good behavior, they will be rewarded.
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Me TOOO!
Old 11-07-2010, 08:54 AM
 
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This class cannot stop talking to save it's life! Someone in a earlier post said, "something was in the water that year..." I agree. All the fourth grade classes at my school site are having the same problem. It has gotten so bad in my class that one day last week, they took home 3 pages of unfinished classwork added to their homework. And they still came in talking the next day! I am at a loss. I have never had a class like this before. Some years they have been talkative, but never this bad.
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Old 11-07-2010, 01:07 PM
 
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I feel your pain! I have a large class....29 students + a 3rd grader who joins me for math instruction, and they are so talkative and off-task. I have a whole class reward jar, an "excellent job chart" the kids sign when I catch individuals doing the right thing, and I have a card system to track those not following the rules. It is way too much, yet it is NOT affecting the kids at all. I was very honest with parents about the talking and off-task behaviors during my conferences last week, so I hope some of the parents will back me up, and some of the students will start to see how it affects their grades.

I am honestly thinking about tossing the card system and the whole class jar. A friend gave me an "I Can Manage Myself" plan that is similar to my card system, but has better consequences and rewards. I like the "excellent job chart", since it does help with hallway behaviors and when they come in to school in the AM, since that is when I am most able to "catch" them doing the right thing.
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It's EVERYWHERE!
Old 11-07-2010, 03:01 PM
 
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The great majority of my 36 fourth graders are unfocused and talkative. Raffle tickets and prize drawings every two weeks wasn't making much of a change. Because I hate to see the well-focused, well-behaved students penalized, I started a self manager program. All students completed a sheet rating their performance on behaviors aligned with our character traits program. When all the ratings are at the "Almost Always" mark, the student gets the title of self-manager. Now, when there is lost time before recess, self-managers are excused. They are also first to line up and get whatever preferential treatment I can afford them. It's far from perfect, but I have seen some definite improvements.
GOOD LUCK!
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Chatty 4th graders
Old 11-13-2010, 08:43 AM
 
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My class is the same, and it seems to be mostly boys.

Anyway, to make sure that the students understand the directions, I use the see, say, do method. I have them look at the directions,on a paper or written on the board, and repeat back what I have just said, then I have them do it, while closely monitored.

My students all have nametags on the front of their desks, and I give stickers as rewards for following our 4 rules - respect, responsible, kind, and safe. The stickers go on the name tags. The more stickers I give out, the better the behavior becomes. (Not every student recieves a sticker every time, intermittent reinforcement works best.) When the nametags are full the students can decide what to do with them, such as hang them on their lockers, bring them home, or have two name tags on display. Make a big show of putting a few stickers on the backs of your hands to give out during a lesson.

I also use physical proximity - I rarely stay in one spot, and having me stop talking and stand in front of the offender and stare for a few seconds is usually all it takes for a student to get back on track for the rest of the lesson.

Yes, they still do some gabbing - they are often horrible for the teachers who come in for specials, if I am not in the room, but they are improving. I am gradually working on their behavior when under the care of other teachers. I also make sure that they do have some legitimate times to talk to each other during the school day, with discussion groups and partnered activites.

A lot of this come from Fred Jones's Tools for Teachers.


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