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What does normal first grade classroom management look like?

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tacocat tacocat is offline
 
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What does normal first grade classroom management look like?
Old 09-17-2020, 01:32 PM
 
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I teach first and this may sound like a weird question. I feel like classroom management is my biggest struggle and I leave each day exhausted. My class isnít out of control but itís little behaviors that happen over and over.

One of the biggest is inattentiveness. I feel like Iím always redirecting kids, whether itís during independent time or whole group. No one is disruptive...itís just little things like staring off into space or playing with a game instead of playing the game. They just canít stay focused.


I feel like a failure each day.
Iím just wondering...is it normal to have to redirect so much or should things run smoothly if a classroom is management properly?


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Teacherbee_4 Teacherbee_4 is offline
 
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Observe other teachers
Old 09-19-2020, 04:03 PM
 
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It's hard to say without actually seeing for myself what's going on. I will say this though. When I first started teaching, I used to get so down on myself if students were day dreaming, off task, etc. I used to think it was only acceptable if 100% of the students were engaged and on task 100% of the time. As part of being a first year teacher in the district I started in, you had to observe other teachers. One of the best things about that for me was I noticed other students doing the same things my were doing and still thinking the lesson was great and the teacher was great. It gave me a new sense of confidence. I would highly suggest observing other teachers if you get the chance.
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Old 09-19-2020, 10:10 PM
 
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the whole lesson can be long, but limit any single activity to ten minutes. And remember, they're six. Focus is not in their repertoire. Constant redirecting is exactly what you SHOULD be doing! Sounds like you're doing fine.
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Fenwick Fenwick is offline
 
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Self-Eliminate
Old 09-21-2020, 10:36 PM
 
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If redirecting is working it should self-eliminate. Because itís a good technique you should find yourself using it less and less. If you find yourself using it over and over itís time to reexamine and ask, ďIs this (redirecting) really getting me anywhere?Ē It could be the technique is fine, but itís used incorrectly. It could be itís the wrong technique for the situation.

Consider: Redirecting due to misbehavior is after the fact or reactive management. Reactive management follows a philosophy based on negative sanctions. Mind-set is ďWhat punishment should ______ receive for doing _____ ?Ē Redirecting as punishment is almost always public - ďHey, you two back there. Remember no talking during seat workĒ. Singling out students for their misdeeds in front of the class is one of the quickest ways to destroy relationship.

This doesnít mean redirecting should never be used. It should. But it should be done before misbehavior occurs. This is what proactive teachers do. Their mindset is ďWhat can I do to prevent _______ from occurring in the first place?Ē Proactive types might plan in advance for students off task and staring out the window. They donít wait for it to happen then react. They head it off by reviewing on-task - model, CFU, structured practice, teach your partner etc. - before releasing students to do the activity. And not just once. Itís done before every activity the first week(s) of school. Does this guarantee every student will be on task and save the teacher from intervention? Nope. It will make it easier for most of the kids to do what you want them to do the first time you ask. The few leftovers are far less stressful to manage than half the class.
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