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TeAcHeRinFL TeAcHeRinFL is offline
 
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I Need Help
Old 10-03-2005, 06:45 PM
 
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I definitely need to vent. I am a first year teacher and I teach grade one. I have six boys in my class who are have the worst behavior I have ever seen from children before. They blatantly don't listen when given directions, get out of their seats when they feel like it....its horrible! I use the color flip chart, but some of them could care less if they are on the last color (black). I send home weekly behavior charts to the parents, but usually don't hear anything from the parents. There isn't alot of parent support at my school either. I have one student who has been suspended twice and its only the beginning of October....
I've tried many different things to try and turn their behavior, but it either works for a while and goes back or never works at all. I thought about the yacker tracker, but I think my kids would take it as a joke. They steal things from the classroom, for example, pencils, erasers, crayons, scissors, binder rings, paper clips, math manipulatives....I could probably go on! I've also had books written in and cut up.
I'm willing to try anything if anyone has an worthwhile ideas. All I know is it's only October and Ihave all the way until May to go!


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Haleigh B.
 
 
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I feel your pain
Old 10-04-2005, 12:27 PM
 
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I probably won't be much help, but I really feel for you. OMG- I can't believe they take math manipulatives! Those are so expensive. I would probably (and this is me) take everything away. Games, manipulatives, etc. It sounds like you have a very tough class and drastic times call for drastic measures. Don't do anything w/ manipulatives; just have them work and practice the old-fashioned way with paper, pencil, and chalkboard. Oh well if it's boring. If they take pencils and erasers, don't give them any rewards either. And let your helpers be students who stayed on green. It most definitely sounds like a Yacker Tracker wouldn't work- and they'd probably break it anyway. Don't spend your hard earned money on them. I wish I could say something that could help you but I'd just give them plenty or work, keep them busy, and make them work through recess. All our recess has to be is unstructured time. So let them do their work laying down, there- that's unstructured. My thoughts are with you for this year as some of them sound totally disrespectful. Hopefully someone on here will have some helpful hints as I'd like to know myself.
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Rules and Consequences
Old 10-04-2005, 12:29 PM
 
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I teach k-2 music and 5-12 band, and I have a couple students in my junior high that sound like your students. They might be acting out strictly to get your attention, or to make you mad. Have you set up rules and consequences in your class? Sometimes it is good to post them, so you can constantly remind the students that they know what will happen when they misbehave. I try to keep my classes very routined and structured. This keeps the students more calm, because I am not throwing anything new at them. I am also a first year teacher, but I know many experienced and they have helped a lot. First of all.....when you have a consequence for an action, DO IT. When you tell a student he/she needs to behave or you will send them to the principle.....SEND THEM! Don't let them test you. You are the boss, you are the one who is smarter! They know when they are getting under your skin, trust me. I had a teacher in Junior High who cried in front of the children, because of 'bad' students. No student respected her after that. Students will respect the strict, tough teacher (maybe not at first, but eventually). Be tough and don't let them break you down! I have been challenged and I just do exactly what I tell them I will do and I am seeing positive results! Use certain priviledges, and if they are misbehaving take them away. Just some thoughts, let me know how it goes.
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Some Thoughts...
Old 10-04-2005, 03:47 PM
 
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1. Plan, plan, plan! Plan things that keep them engaged. If the lesson doesn't keep your problem kids engaged, at least it keeps the good ones engaged so you can address the problems. If you can assign something that they can do independently, that leaves you free to monitor their behavior. (In other words, hover over them! Remember, a teacher on her feet is worth two on their seat.)
2. Remember to have morning seat work for them to do as they enter the room. Worksheets or something on the board for them to copy and do independently, without instruction.This sets the tone for your day, and frees you to do "a.m. desk tasks" like attendance, lunch count, etc.
3. Lessons should be short and to the point. Attention spans have not developed in these "little dimpled darlings" so they probably can't "be good" for very long. Prepare physical activites for transition times, like between subjects or lining up to go to lunch, art, etc. Attention-getters work well with Q&A's as activities to keep them focused. The awesome teachers who frequent this site listed some attention-grabbers you can find in the archives
4. Consult teachers who have had these boys! It's not a good thing, but the "new kid on the block" often ends up with the worst kids. Look for a good teacher who has smiling students and is in control of them. Compliment her on her classroom managements skills and then ask her how she does it! Ask for specifics and ask for permission to visit her room.
5. Take a look at the website "You Can Handle Them All" which is actually a book/seminar/system, but has good tips on reasons for specific behaviors.
If all else fails, talk to your guidance counselor, mental health counselor, and anybody else who will listen to get ideas and assistance. Give them specific examples of behaviors and what you did to address them.
You need to document who did what (your response, too) and date it in a daily log to defend yourself if an administrator or parent asks.
Keep rewarding those well-behaved students and remember that they need you,too.
Hope this Helps!
Best Wishes for the School Year
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preety much been there, done that already
Old 10-04-2005, 05:36 PM
 
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Thanks for the input, but I've actually done most of those things you mentioned. I don't sit down except for a period of time during the first half hour when I do attendance and such, during reading groups, and on my break. They have journals to do in the morning and the topic is on the board. The trouble ones come in every morning acting like they forget the morning routine everyday.

We run on a scheduled basis so all lessons are supposed to be during a certain time frame. For example, reading is 1.5 hours, math is 1 hour and everything else is anywhere between 15-30 minutes long. Reading and math are in the morning followed by lunch, special, and recess. In the afternoon is everything else.

The guidance counselor talked to three of my boys (mind you all three of these boys have repeated some grade level at some point) to no avail. I have also talked to their kindergarten teachers and checked their cumulative folders. The one teacher told me she felt sorry for me. Basically, I've been told to pick and choose my battles with these children......


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Old 10-04-2005, 06:18 PM
 
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Can you call the parents in to sit with the kids? That is the policy at our school and if the parents won't do it the kids are sent home. It may help. Sometimes hitting parents in the pocketbook is the only way to get their help and if they aren't at work they can't earn a paycheck.
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One thing that I have tried
Old 10-05-2005, 06:31 AM
 
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I feel for you. I have had classes like that. I have classes that take my things and also classes that didn't stop talking and ignored me. One thing that I find helps is for me to try to find anything positive that is happening. I have a spot on the board where I make a daily list of "Things We Did Well Today." Sometimes the only thing is that everyone came to school on time. If they take out their books quietly once, list that. Both you and the class starts to see there are positivies.
When I have had a class that takes things, the rest of my things get put away. I had a couple of small stuffed animals taken last year so the rest of my animals went home. I had colored chalk taken and art supplies disappeared two years ago. No more art projects using my personal materials unless my things were returned.
Good luck. Try focusing on the positive, as hard as it can be!
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Been There
Old 10-05-2005, 07:30 AM
 
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The first year that I taught, I had first grade...I got the job at the end of September when the veteran teacher decided to retire rather than face the rest of the year... I learned much more than the children that year, with homework every night and nightmares sometimes on weekends!

The next year I taught kindergarten, and used some of the experience to my own advantage...I developed a system based on Assertive Discipline where I had about 5 class rules, taught them, sent them to parents, and posted them. I had consequences and rewards. The consequences started out warning, name on the board, check, another check, discussion with parents, discussion with principal, discussion with both parents and principal...
I never got past the parent discussion on the list because of the rewards.

Individually, the reward was a "good day" badge--just a little 2X2" sticky note with a happy face at the end of the day. (Or nothing, by which parents knew that there had been a problem and asked the child about it.)

At the end of the week, we would have movie time for the ones who had at least 4 happy face badges. I must say that very few children missed their movie (which was one that I wanted to use for theme purposes anyway.)

Later, when I taught 3rd grade, I adapted the thought. Since we used agenda books for assignments, I used red, green and yellow stickers. If I put a green sticker in the book, the child had had a nice day. Yellow meant we had had a few warnings about things, but was favorable toward the class reward at the end of the week, but red was that the student had gone past all of the attempts that had been made for keeping him/her in good standing.

I really felt that this was a good behavior management plan that worked for me.
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Any other teachers?
Old 10-06-2005, 10:16 AM
 
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Do any other teachers have problems with the same three boys? Does the music, art or PE teacher also struggle with them? If you are not sure, find out and maybe they have strategies that work. Or maybe the three teachers can come up with something by discussing what goes on in the various classes. It might be worse in music or PE, because it is a more "relaxed" environment and "fun". I noticed that my kids tend to get a little hyper before music and they have a hard time controlling themselves. Just a thought.
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specials
Old 10-06-2005, 01:42 PM
 
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The PE teacher is a guy who won't take crap from any of those kids. The music teacher has trouble with the same six boys usually and the art teacher definitely has my worst boy on her hitlist. She is very good at seeing who is a nice child and who has no manners.


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