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lindsey98 lindsey98 is offline
 
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Need help with 5th grade class
Old 05-11-2010, 06:49 PM
 
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Is it too late to regain control of a rowdy 5th grade class? I am at my wit's end. My class doesn't want to do work, they talk non-stop, and it is really a challenge to get them to listen at all. I don't know how to get through another month when it takes all my energy to get through a day. This is my first year. I am starting to really dislike teaching because of the constant disruptions from students.

They used to be my best class -- focused, well-behaved, polite. Then, the hormones started raging and it's been downhill ever since. Do I amp up my discipline or just try to have fun and get through the rest of the year?

thanks...


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Idea
Old 05-11-2010, 06:56 PM
 
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I want to start by saying this is just an idea and I've never actually tried it but what about letting them talk throughout the entire class time and at the end of class giving them the work (and maybe even a little extra) they would have done in class as homework? I would think this would work after a couple of days because they've already shown that they do know how to behave.
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I am sorry...
Old 05-11-2010, 08:01 PM
 
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for your experience, but it is a typical one for first year fifth grade teachers. As a mentor I have had this happen to me and have witnessed all new fifth grade teachers go through the same experience. Do not give up on teaching! You are learning from every experience, difficult as they may be. Have a class meeting, be clear that you are excited that your students will soon be sixth graders, and let them know that there is nothing that they can do or say that will lessen the desire that you have to see them succeed next year. However, they need to begin to show that they can manage their behavior the way sixth graders do. You want to help them, and you will do this by pointing out when they have "mismanaged" and give them a warning. THe second time that a behavior slip happens, teaching stops, and the appropriate behavior is retaught. Next, you have a student model the wrong behavior choice (and emphasize that it IS a choice) and then a student models the correct choice. Sixth graders make the correct choice because they know that their lives are better because of these correct choices (teachers trust them and give them more fun learning opportunities, they get more learning choices and more "freedom"). Then you restart teaching. Everytime a student makes an incorrect choice you go through this routine, trying desperately to end on a positive note before you get interrupted by a pull-out, etc.

This routine is a pain, but it works with most classes because they want to show that they have the ability to be part of the elite sixth grade group.

I wish you luck!! There are many more behavior modification tricks that you will learn over the years, including the ability to foresee that this will happen. You can do it, and remember the secret that all good teachers know.....there's always next year!!
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not alone
Old 05-11-2010, 08:35 PM
 
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I am a veteran and mine are behaving the same way. I have a kid who is the most difficult in 9 years --a loudmouthed, controlling, dominant, argumentative, genius. He can wipe my class out in 30 seconds. Never had a kids like him. ANd his dad is the same way....ole apple did not fall far from the tree.

A month left.....hang in there...smile...it is all we can do.
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Old 05-12-2010, 04:04 AM
 
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I have tried the wait for the students and assign the class work as homework- just be aware that parents will be calling, so stand your ground and let them know that this is the situation. I would send home a note to parents ahead of time and let them know that the students are excited for summer vacation, but that their excitement should be for all the interesting things left to learn in fifth grade. Then segway into the fact that there is a lot of activity in the classroom impacting learning and so classwork may be sent home as homework if a lesson cannot be completed in school due to student behavior.
I used to count until the students were quiet and then however many seconds they took from class time is how many seconds they lost at recess. They would have to sit on the curb and once the entire class was there, I would start counting. I liked this because the other classes got curious and then my students would have to explain why they were sitting out while there teacher counted loudly. After a few days they quieted immediately when I started counting.
I am using letters for my students now. They were so rowdy in PE the other day that I posted "Field Day and Picnic" on my board. If they are not following directions or are talking too much at inappropriate times, I quietly go to the board and unpin a letter. If they receive a compliment (but they cannot ask for one!) they receive a letter back. The students seem to like the visuals, and my principal even complimented me on the idea.
Good luck! It's always difficult during this time of year to accomplish everything while still having fun and maintaining control. Just know you are not the only one in the boat!!


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Do you have...
Old 05-21-2010, 12:24 PM
 
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... any extra fifth grade activities going on during the next few weeks? Over the years, we've had to implement various solutions to a very similar problem. One year, we made a chart with each kid's name on it, and every time they had to be corrected, they had to shade in a box on the chart, and that resulted in one minute taken off of that fun activity. We also did a color chart - green=good, yellow=warning, blue=recess off, etc - and gave some sort of a consequence relating to that fun activity. Once they realize that their behavior choices (I like that someone else said that - it's very good!) can impact the "fun" parts of their year, they're more likely to change it.

I think that meagkeb had a great idea with the letters of the fun activity. It's a good visual, and gives them a chance to redeem themselves.

I also do "Stop and Look 1... Stop and Look 2.... Stop and Look 3..." If I get to 3, I start "changing" kid's colors on their color chart. "Stop and Look" seems to work well because it gives kids a chance to settle down without immediately getting into trouble.

Good luck, and hang in there... we've all been there. This is my 3rd year, and I remember my first year like it was yesterday. Trust me - it gets better. As has already been said - you are learning SO MUCH from this experience
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