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Ameri Ameri is offline
 
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Help me with this behavior issue!
Old 02-14-2020, 04:29 PM
 
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Help me get rid of this behavior. It's driving me nuts!

I teach 3rd grade general ed. I have a girl in my class who is showing this same behavior pattern over and over again multiple times per day. It is driving me crazy I'm having a hard time squashing it.

First she does something that she is not supposed to- example gets up and starts writing on the board (instigating and fishing for someone to react).

Second, another student in the class will take the bait and react negatively. Maybe the student reacting will get up and try to erase what this girl has written. A little bumping and shouldering action will most likely happen, as they are children.

Third, the girl who first instigated and wrote on the board, will run over to me and tattle on the person who reacted.

Fourth, I will figure out what happened and point out that neither of them were making the right choice and get back to work.

Last, this girl will then point a finger at me and comment that I "never take care of anything", emotional, and start to argue with me while simultaneously throwing a tantrum.

OMG! How do I get rid of this behavior????? I have contacted parents with my concerns as her behavior has escalated from kind of sassy to horrendous.


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Old 02-14-2020, 04:43 PM
 
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1. Document, document, document.

2. Have a class meeting regarding being non-reactive toward other’s poor choices.

If you can cut out step 2, the rest of the domino’s should stop falling.
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Old 02-14-2020, 04:46 PM
 
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I’d use Love and Logic.

I’d just look at her and say “thank you” when she she tattles and walk away.

When she complains you don’t do anything I’d look her square in the face, say, “Could be”, and walk away. I wouldn’t engage and I wouldn’t encourage the behavior. If kids continue to complain I always say, “Feel free to argue with me after school,” and walk away. In 11 years I’ve never once had a kid stay after an argue.

I wouldn’t spend any more time “investigating” anything.

If she’s a kid that really needs to be heard, let her write you a note. But, I feel like this sounds more attention seeking/complaining than a legit need seeking behavior.

This year I’ve had to spend a lot of time telling kids to ignore poor choices.
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Old 02-14-2020, 04:54 PM
 
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Tell her that you respect her too much to argue with her. Tell if she wants to have a discussion about it with you that you will make time for her during her recess time. Do not argue with her. If she wines, tell her that she will need to report to your room at recess and there will be not more talk about this at this time. At recess, call her mother/father and explain that she got out of her seat and wrote on the board, another student went up and bumped her and attempted to erase what she had written. Neither student were to be at the board and both were sent back to their seats. And this is when she decided to be disrespectful and argue about the unfairness of it all. Tell the parents on the phone that she would not top arguing about it to you and she now is in your classroom missing recess for this behavior and for showing disrespect by arguing about afterwards and failing to be responsible for her actions and for the consequences will not be tolerated in your classroom again.
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Old 02-14-2020, 05:01 PM
 
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Two very different responses -

When it happens, call her out on the order of events. Remind her that you did talk to both students about their bad choices, but that since her bad choice happened first, she was also being a bad example, and she might want to think about that from your perspective.

When it's not happening, pay attention to her. What she really wants is to know that someone notices her, and cares. Show her that whenever you can do so without it being connected to the bad behavior. - Start a conversation at recess, choose a read-aloud you know she would like, ask for her genuine help with something in the classroom...

It sounds to me like some bad patterns have been established at home, and she need to realize that things work differently at school.


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Behavior issue
Old 02-14-2020, 05:20 PM
 
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I vote wholeheartedly for greyhoundgirl’s suggestion. Love and Logic never fails. You’re putting the responsibility right back on her.
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Old 02-15-2020, 05:23 AM
 
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To add on... I also teach third and I would also maybe have a whole class conversation regarding tattling vs telling. I also would possibly have a class discussion (without her in the room) regarding ignoring her behaviors and not reacting.

If she’s having a tantrum... I would completely ignore it and tell the other students to also ignore it, she clearly wants the attention.

Is there anything going on at home that would cause her to act out or seek attention?
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Old 02-15-2020, 07:02 AM
 
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I agree with Greyhound's suggestions. They are the best way to stop the issue. Why give it more attention?
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Old 02-15-2020, 07:18 AM
 
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I agree with the class meeting, but I would guess that those who are intervening and not ignoring this student bad behavior are usually the same handful of kids...its usually the same handful that have low tolerance for this child's behavior and feel compelled to intervene and correct it themselves in my experience. Most ignore but a few continually get sucked in and provoked to react.

Those handful that keep getting sucked in to this childs attention seeking behavior should be talked to separately and set up a reward plan for them not reacting to this students provocative behavior. Reassure them that if they dont intervene then you can focus solely on the misbehaving child and her actions. Also I would tell them that part of the reason some people make bad choices is because they want to make other people react to them-so we have to not react to them to get them to stop dong the behavior. I would meet with these kids at the end of the day and if they did their job to ignore completely that students misbehavior I would give them a small reward (ticket for my class economy, small edible, a marble in that small groups personal marble jar towards a special privileged ect).

I also had a hand signal or my kids to ignore behavior-but this was usually for larger behavior that I was try to "teach through" and that was fist with a raised pinky held at my chest-the letter "i" for ignore. The class would get ignoring points if they followed it-the points would be written on the board and get cashed out for whole class rewards when my big behavior students were in counseling or getting an out of the classroom reward themselves.

Some kids though get terrible anxiety that I wont know that the student is misbehaving and they feel internal pressure to let someone know when someone else is doing wrong because of deep seeded internal sense of justice, inflexible thinking, and tendency to be anxious. For those kids I set up a what basically amounts to a tattle box for them to tell me about any misbehavior that isnt a safety issue (safety issues you need to tell me immediately if you think I dont know about them). I have box or manila envelope attached to my desk and the student gets a stack of index cards for their desk and if they see the student misbehaving and they are worried I wont know about it they can write me a note and put it in the box/envelope. That helps them "do something about it and keep me informed for their internal sense of justice while still allowing them to ignore and not intervene with the student.

Cutting off peer attention/reactions is so key to breaking behavior patterns for some kids and yet its so hard to do.
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A couple of thoughts
Old 02-15-2020, 10:18 AM
 
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I don't think tattling is the issue. The issue is that this girl just got up and wrote on the board without permission or any reason. The tattling would not happen if the first issue is dealt with immediately. As soon as the girl got out of her seat, I would ask her if she had a reason to be out of her seat. If she can't tell you a good reason, she needs to sit down. A class meeting would only draw attention to the behavior and waste more class time. I'm not trying to criticize the suggestions of others. I'm just offering my thoughts.

I agree that the girl needs positive attention at other times during the day.


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Old 02-15-2020, 10:42 AM
 
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I disagree Linda. I think if the writing on the board is dealt with it will reinforce the behavior. This sounds a lot like attention seeking, and in those cases the child often does not care if the attention is positive or negative so long as they are getting attention. Addressing the girl’s initial provocation is giving her attention.

I still feel that the best way to handle it is to remove any and all attention for negative behavior unless of course the behavior puts the child or others at risk. The class meeting should also not be about the child per say, but a general class meeting on ignoring the poor choices of others.

If the others stop reacting, then the child is deprived of the attention she is seeking and the OP can then start substituting attention for positive behaviors teaching the child that the way to get the attention she so desperately craves is by making good choices.

If the OP must address the writing on the board, etc., I’d so very matter of factly. “Sally, return to your seat. This is your warning.” If not obeyed, then folder signed, card pulled, dojo point deducted, whatever behavior tracking system OP has in place. No discussion. No big deal. Optimally, no attention, but if attention must be given as minimal attention as humanely possible.
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Seen the Light
Old 02-15-2020, 01:14 PM
 
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is right on in my opinion. Cut out #2 and it will end the problem IF:
At the same time, you get control of your voice tone/ facial expressions ( I am not saying you are emotional or loud..)
The voice tone you use has to be totally unemotional and detached almost and your face almost expressionless imo.
If the kid senses you feel no emotion over what she is doing, you win! I know it is hard at 1st, but it works... There were times I could get mad, but if I needed to, I'd go almost w/ a flat affect towards a kid stirring crap like this 1.
They have to learn school is not like home. You get attention for the good you do. She reminds me of a kid from a chaotic home that wants school to be comfy to her w/ her in charge.
Also, I quit engaging in arguments a long time ago. I state something, walk away, and immediately find something I like that some 1 else is doing. I draw the class's attention to the good.
I wish you the best of luck! I know how tricky and maddening these types can be. My dad used to always say: They won't get your goat IF they don't know where you tied it.
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Old 02-15-2020, 03:19 PM
 
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Exactly summer and seen the light, exactly.

Not a magic wand cure all but it will help a lot. No attention, no reaction, no pay off to keep the student using this behavior (unless there is another payoff or piece to the puzzle you did add).

I just want to add that the student might get worse before they stop the behavior.

It’s worked for them to get attention for a long time and it sounds like she already has a tendency to have a victim narrative (takes no responsibility for her actions or role in the event and sees herself as a victim of mean kids a teacher who doesn’t care) for these interactions so she may at first try harder to get a reaction and then when it continues to fail to get the desired attention she may see everyone’s ignoring her as one more example of her victim status because of her skewed perspective. Be sure to be on there look out for opportunities to build relationships, give attention and praise when the student is doing something good (or in the very least isn’t doing some to get negative attention). That should help balance out some of her internal narrative and give you a rebuttal if the parents say that your discipline and cutting off negative attention is you “picking on their child” since they haven’t been supportive to this point.
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Old 02-15-2020, 03:58 PM
 
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In my mind, your bigger problem is the other kids who are getting out of THEIR seats to correct her. They obviously KNOW kids aren't supposed to be out of their seats either. They see her getting attention, and they want a piece of that action, too. Immediately go over and pull the cards of ALL who were out of seat or talking about it, without saying a word. Then carry on.
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