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dusty dusty is offline
 
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first graders and self control
Old 04-25-2018, 02:05 PM
 
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I am getting frustrated with some behavior I am seeing in my first graders and I'm torn between whether I should be doing a better job as a teacher so that they are better behaved, or I need lighten up--they're only 6 and its to be expected.

Today we did some exciting activities, and even though I say do not touch, do not move closer to the desk, the same 4 or 5 students move closer and touched the materials they were told not to touch (one student even did it RIGHT AFTER I spoke to everyone about not ruining the fun for everyone else, in a separate activity the same students ran after me trying to grab bubbles I was blowing even though I repeatedly said they will get a turn if they stay in their area. Yes, I did have some first graders leave the activities but the behavior just happened again when they were able to try again at another activity. Also, students were told not shake a bottle that was to be used for a later activity, and of course they shook the bottle as soon as I walked away and then because of the shaking, the activity did not work the way it was meant to. I realize these are very exciting activities so should I just lighten up and go with the flow, or should I be handling it differently, even though no matter what i do it doesn't seem to make a difference.

The same thing happens during normal days--we sometimes use dry erase boards during math lessons, the same students ALWAYS start drawing on the board instead of pay attention and waiting, every time I take the board away but the next day the same thing happens so the consequence of losing the dry erase isn't really fixing their behavior.

While I'm at it, It has also been frustrating having to repeat myself 3 or 4 times to some first graders, ex; go put your lunch bags in the closet and one student just sits there even though I already told the class two times and everyone else in the room is doing it. I have to repeat the directions or they'll be sitting there all day not paying any attention and making us late. I can't believe I still have to tell them to turn off their voice when we line up.
I am very firm about giving consequences as well as providing positive praise/encouragement when they are doing the right thing. My logical consequences don't seem to actually improve their behavior in the long term.
So again I ask, Do I need to just lighten up and accept that this is typical behavior for some 6 year olds that I'm going to have to deal with no matter what, or is not o.k.?



Last edited by dusty; 04-25-2018 at 02:33 PM..
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No, don't lighten up!
Old 04-25-2018, 02:11 PM
 
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I have first also, and I am tightening the reigns. I tell them they are almost second graders and expectations for behavior are even higher. I give less reminders and repeat myself less often, and try to only give directions once. After that I tell them I already told them, use the "look around rule" to see what the others are doing, or find someone who was paying attention. This past week I've reviewed and practiced daily routines. And I will continue practicing routines as needed. I have 39 days left- Whoo hoo!

Continue to hold them accountable, and keep your focus I those who are listening. It's most of them, it's just that the ones who are acting up are so draining. I'm right there with you!

For the white boards, I give those who chronically misuse them a clipboard with paper instead for a few days. It usually solves the problem.

Last edited by Munchkins; 04-25-2018 at 03:49 PM.. Reason: Added
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Old 04-25-2018, 03:09 PM
 
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Yes, it's typical. But that doesn't mean you need to lighten up.

I usually have a little more patience when it comes to new and exciting things. But the every day stuff - the white boards, for example - I don't give. If I have a student that demonstrates the same behavior multiple times then they lose the privilege for a while. (Just a thought for you - when we use white boards I always give them 2 minutes to draw. It helps tremendously!)

Hang in there. Spring fever is tough! But the end is in sight...
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please don't lighten up!
Old 04-29-2018, 04:56 AM
 
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I agree with Munchkins and Sbkanga5.... please don't lighten up....tighten up! I love the clipboard and piece of paper idea... and the minute to draw....

Some of the little cuties have short memories, so your corrections have to be done immediately. They will get better!

Repeating... start speaking with a lower voice and counting the times you repeat instructions... set a goal for yourself to do less repeating... TELL them to watch a neighbor AND they are about to miss an exciting activity because they didn't have their listening ears on.

Stick to your procedures and consequences!
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Donít lighten up
Old 04-29-2018, 05:54 AM
 
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I would continue to teach and consequence as needed. Pps have already given good suggestions.

Are there extenuating circumstances? Are there diagnoses attached? ESL or perhaps children with language comprehension difficulties? If that is the case youíd need to rethink how you give instructions, but barring any of that, hold strong. Grade ones can behave and follow instructions. Some just require more practice than others!


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Old 05-04-2018, 03:10 AM
 
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Don't lighten up, the students that need the most help sometimes are the ones that have the different family situations/language situations and are the ones asking for help in a different way. What I've used is asked them to put their hands on their head or behind their back before starting the activity. It helps remind them of self-control and of course it is probably the most difficult lesson ever. Aside from that kids are constantly excited and wanting to touch and grab on to things, sometimes I have to ask some of the students to stand outside etc., to get the rest of the kids in line before continuing. I also try to repeat myself less as we pretty much do the same things over and over. Hang in there!
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Old 05-13-2018, 06:43 AM
 
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I almost laughed while reading your post because there is always someone who grabs. One of my tricks is I give an instruction and have the kids repeat what I say. However, I remember seeing a little boy reaching towards an item while at the same time saying ďDonít touch...Ē lol.

As far as your initial question, you can have compassion and patience for your students since they are six, but donít give up on your expectations and consequences. Remember that their mistakes are not a reflection on you, and that while a behavior modification will work for awhile it may stop working or will need an adjustment.
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Working in a preschool program
Old 05-22-2018, 06:20 PM
 
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for special needs kids and coteaching with a speech and language therapist I learned to always give directions in the positive, not the negative.

It was a combination of young children often not hearing the first two words and/or the thought process that creates that problem of "don't think of an elephant" and then that is all you can think of.
It isn't fool proof, but I learned to say "everyone put you hands in your lap" rather than a statement to "keep your hands to yourself." "Keep your hands on the edge of the table" rather than "don't touch" "Make silence" rather than "don't talk" It helped a lot of the little ones to be able to control their actions better.

Again, not fool proof, but helpful.
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