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melonjar melonjar is offline
 
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Getting control early on
Old 08-31-2007, 11:54 PM
 
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Hi. Looking for ways to get control of my classroom early on so that they can all learn, I can teach and the rest of the year can go smoothly. On my 5th day of school, the kids were crazy...talking quite a bit and being a little on the wild side. How can that be? In our district we have 5 days of school, then almost a week off for a local festival, then back to school again. So, right now we're on the break and when we get back I have the chance to get control... AGAIN and set some expectations (which I thougth I had done!)

Anyway...need all the pointers I can get.

Thank you!


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Getting control
Old 09-01-2007, 02:48 AM
 
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Hi, I start on Tuesday with my new class of kiddos after 2 grueling days of inservice and putting the class back together. I always try to maintain a very solid attitude. Going over what is expected of them and everytime I see something which is just a little bit out of my expectations I stop the whole class and draw attention to the incident. NOt in a bad way but in way for everyone to understand this is not allowed. I think the single most important thing in the beginning for me is to make sure THEY know, reallly know what is expected of them. They are young and really truly are overwhelmed as much as we are the first few weeks.They forget really fast but if they see, hear and listen to what is expected then they will "understand and internalize" the rules. Be consistent to the extent that it gets almost annonying to the kids when someone breaks a rule. Asking the kids what was wrong with what xxchild did.Every teacher finds "their way" of discipline. I have seen teachers just enter the room and my kids "know" she/he means business.I know that probably wasn't what you wanted but it has works for me. I will see how this new class will be like I might have to tighten up a bit. I am lucky as I have been in my school for 8 years now and know a lot of kids and families. I finally have a reputation!!My principal told me I am requested a lot by families. One year as we were sitting on the carpet doing our first a.m. meeting a child started to get fresh with me and before I even opened my mouth another child told the boy "Hey I know about Mrs. .... and she doesn't play, my brother had her and she is tough but fair and you learn everything". The child said "sorry" and that was that!!Sorry for the length
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Getting Control
Old 09-01-2007, 03:49 AM
 
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Here are a few things I do... take what you like and leave the rest!

We sit together as a class team and make the rules that will be followed for the year. I write them down, then we condense. We have about 5 simple rules, that cover a wide area. Next, we talk about situations that may come up and how it should be handled. The first few weeks, I may pause class to demonstrate several times. We talk about the words, "respect" and "appropriate" and "inappropriate".

I have a pocket chart, that I put a red, blue, yellow and green card, (about 3 x 4) in. The cards have the child's number on. If I have to warn them, they go from green to yellow, if I have to talk to them again, they change their card again....... They have to walk around the playground at recess time, if they have a card change, yellow is their warning, which I take out the yellow card after the 2nd week of school. To go along with all of this they have a sticker chart and when they fill it they get to choose from my treasure chest. They also have a calendar I have created, on the side it has infractions numbered. 1. Talking in the hall 2. Playing in the restroom..... 15. Other....... If a child gets a card change, they have to write the number in that they did, at the beginning of the year, I do it. They have to have it signed by their parent when they bring it back the next day. I know it sounds complicated, but they love to choose fom the treasure chest, and most children really love to please.

I turn songs like, "If your happy and you know it", into songs like, "If your quiet and you know it say, sh, sh......." Hope this helps!
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Manage
Old 09-01-2007, 05:10 AM
 
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I think classroom management was the hardest thing for me to figure out! Some years are better than others because each class is different. What worked one year may not work the next. The parents and students know they are loved in my room, it is a relaxed atmosphere, and we have fun in first grade.

With that being said, my students know when I mean business. All I have to do is count back from five and they are all together. If they don't go quietly to their desks, we do it again until they can follow directions. Sometimes a little peer pressure can go a long way when a child is being silly and the class has to line up 10 times.

I also have a corner in my room with a poster I got from a travel agency of a cruise ship, a desk, etc. When a child needs to be away from the class for consistently not listening and disrupting the class they go on "vacation!" It works wonders. The students do not want to work by themselves. I have had a few just put themselves over there and it is funny. But they know they work better alone!!

I had a professor tell me it is easier to be hard and then go soft then be soft and go hard with the kids!

Good luck!
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Practice, Practice, Practice
Old 09-01-2007, 07:30 AM
 
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I think the most important thing is to PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE, those management routines. Teach them your "Quiet signals", i.e chimes, countdown, special clap, ...,and rehearse how they work. I let the kids wiggle and make noises, then I give the signal and demand silent, frozen bodies. We practice how to line up and face forward quietly. I stop them walking down the hall if they are fooling around. I personally am not good with management charts and behavior plans, but my "teacher look" goes a long way!! I will walk and stand right beside a child who is off task and give the look and wait. I build in games and silly time, but I let them know that we can only be silly if they know how to be serious when it is time to be serious again. I let them know that I know they are big kids now and that they can get control of their own selves. Show them respect and they will show it back to you.
Spend the time going over the routines and be very explicit during the first weeks. Good Luck!


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Old 09-01-2007, 08:06 AM
 
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I struggle with the same thing. What has really helped me has been Responsive Classroom. It's an approach to teaching that has logical and compassionate consequences. It promotes community building too. It really has helped me a ton, esp. at the beginning of the year!!
Here is their website

www.responsiveclassroom.org

We also have a board for it here on Proteacher - Magnolia Room!
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classroom management
Old 09-02-2007, 05:48 PM
 
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I read 1 2 3 Magic for Teachers this summer and so far it is working very well. It is very very easy to implement and it takes the emotion out of handling problems. The rest of the first grade teachers read it in our building also and are using it too. Check it out!
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