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Student conflicts
Old 12-23-2015, 12:57 PM
 
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Hi all! Hoping for some guidance from all my fellow PTers.

Ended the final day before the holidays with hurt feelings. I have a problem in my 4th grade class with students who have disagreements, point the finger at others, and are never satisfied with the outcome.

It always seems to be "he said, she said" when I try to get an explanation of the problem. No one usually will confess to doing anything wrong. Then they go home and complain to parents and I get emails.

What do you do? I do speak with both students separately to hear their sides. Then I often have them explain their version with the other student. This usually produces some constructive conversation between them. But, I am at a loss. Sometimes they seem to want the "bully" to be "tarred and feathered." The infractions are never that serious that they need discipline other than talking them through their problem and working on solutions and behavior changes.

Now I have to go back in January and try to set up a meeting with my administrator for guidance.

Hope you have a fabulous holidays!


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conflicts
Old 12-23-2015, 04:27 PM
 
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I had a similar third grade class years ago, and I implemented something that worked like a charm. Create a form that students must fill out IN DETAIL if they want to "file a complaint" against another student. Make it long and require full sentences. Tell students that if they have a problem with another student they must FIRST fill out the form before coming to speak to you about it. Very few students want to do the work of filling out a long form and therefore you will dramatically decrease the complaints, but the form is actually very useful when something serious happens. It was many years ago, but if I recall correctly, I received NO forms. If students started tattling I just directed them to the forms and told them I'd speak with them when they had completed one! Voila!
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Complaint Form
Old 12-23-2015, 09:40 PM
 
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I do something similar, would you please post your complaint form?
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Conflict Resolution
Old 12-26-2015, 08:07 AM
 
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4th grade is a tricky age. I have been successful teaching conflict resolution skills. We had school wide programs in the past. I held on to the process. You could look it up and probably find something usable for your class. It's not a full out class or program, but a process I use when the kids come with problems. Usually they are just past the tattling stage, but in need of strategies to deal with everyday annoyances.
I encourage the kids to use their words first. Tell the other child exactly what they are doing to annoy and ask them to please stop. If it continues, it becomes an issue for an adult to help. A good discipline system will warn and allow the offender to make a decision. If the behavior continues, I have one stop (missed recess) before administrative referral.
I find that the conflict resolution lessons about once a month, with role playing, still works for my kids. Some still want to bulldoze over the process, but if I slow down and make them walk through it, they generally see each other in a different light. It's an environment I create, not a fix to every problem.
I use a form where the child describes the offense, tells one strategy (way) they tried to make it better, and give two suggestions to deal with the problem(doesn't matter how ridiculous). It helps the kids process their own problems.
Good luck and PM me if you want. I have many years at this age level.
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Old 12-28-2015, 11:44 AM
 
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Thank you!


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"Bucket Filling Class"
Old 01-27-2016, 09:28 PM
 
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I have one of those classes with "Drama" and I call it for what it is. I tell the kids it's a "No Drama Zone". We found that limiting our recess to only 15 minutes really cuts down on it. Drama starts happening after 15 minutes. We have the shortest recess in the whole school, mainly because of our schedule. The kids balked at it at first and tried campaigning for a longer recess in their student council speeches! ! But they're used to it now. We also have a color system on a clipboard and kids have to stand out. I also do the "form" idea, but make it in the form of an essay, etc.

Our guidance counselor arranges for an amazing anti-bullying drama team to come once a year named "Creative Action". She also talks to the students about being a "bucket filling" class. I'm about to set up paper bags with a bucket picture on the front so that students can leave edifying notes to each other. I will only allow them to gather notes on Fridays after I've previewed them.

We have a positive behavior program in our school and we give tickets to kids doing helpful things. I also have a monetary (fake money) system that the students earn for things and then can be "fined" for things also.

It's a lot of work, but it helps. Two years ago I had a "warm fuzzies" shoe box and would designate one person a week. The students would write notes to that person and I'd preview and they would get to open the box on Friday.

It sounds kind of babyish, but helps. Classroom jobs helps, spinning things positive helps, etc.

I put my class through a two-week restorative justice technique http://www.edutopia.org/blog/restora...ces-matt-davis
to help ready them for a project. It was mainly to build team work. We do it every Monday now because we love it so much. We sit in a circle and hand an item around (like a stuffed animal) and answer a question or talk about our weekend. I usually start with "You're in my boat if . . ." and finish the sentence with, "you slept most of the weekend" or "you went to the movies". This takes a good 10 to 15 minutes, but seems to start the week off well.

We have an amazing guidance counselor. Have you been able to use that person as a resource rather than going to your Principal? She will pull kids out for discussions and tell them to "drive in their own lane" and shows them a visual of a road, etc.
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Old 01-29-2016, 02:44 PM
 
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Thank you for all of your ideas! Wonderful. Some of the things we do as well.(monthly positive behavior tickets)
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