Middle School Classroom Management - ProTeacher Community



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Middle School Classroom Management
Old 02-10-2008, 12:31 PM
 
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Hi,
I am a student teacher in the 6th grade at an all girls private school. The girls are very talkative when I am trying to teach, but all my classroom management experience has been in elementary school so I am not sure how to get the girls to stop talking and pay attention when I am teaching, without becoming a tyrant. Please help me with your tips and ideas.
Thanks!


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Old 02-11-2008, 08:34 AM
 
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I would maybe try giving a behavior grade. Come up with a list of about 5 things as a class that show good behavior (positive spin is always nice and it will give you a good discussion) and the girls have to determine if they did all of those things that day and they get a point for each thing they did. In the end a 5 = A, 4=B, etc. I did this with one of my classes and it worked well for awhile. Some of my behaviors were:

* I got all of my materials out before class started
* I was quiet and paying attention when someone else was talking
* I wrote down my assignment when the teacher asked me to

Obviously you have to give them an incentive in order for this to work. For my students, I made it a relatively large percentage of their grade average. You could also do some sort of fun game/class period or something else you know motivates them.

Sometimes you just have to tell them to quiet down or they're out and they owe time. I guarantee you if you do that a few times, the kids will stop a bit because they know you mean business.

I hope this made sense and helps a little bit!
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Polly J. Polly J. is offline
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I Agree
Old 02-12-2008, 02:50 PM
 
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I think a behavior grade would be very appropriate for 6th grade, especially if the kids have a chance to grade themselves. It is really, really important that you model for the kids how each grade can be earned.

Also, don't ever raise your voice and yell at the kiddos. My first year teaching I had a really tough group, and occasionally I lost it and would yell out to get their attention, but as soon as I stopped raising my voice, (no exceptions, make a choice not to speak above your regular volume), my class completely changed! I had no idea such a simple thing could cause such a dramatic change.
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Thank You!
Old 02-13-2008, 01:14 PM
 
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I will be trying the behavior grade in my classroom next week. I think that this is a great suggestion. I really do like the idea of offering a fun class period as a reward. Thanks for your suggestions!
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Old 02-27-2008, 02:02 PM
 
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I was also in a sixth grade all girls school placement last semester and yes it is very different. I can suggest something that my teacher did last semester. She came up with a classroom management plan, where the students had an Improvement Point system, known as "IP's" to the students. If the teacher saw that the girls were doing their work, she quietly walked around without announcing what she was doing; she wrote "+5 IPs" or however many "IPs" she felt like giving based on the task at the top of their paper or assignment book, etc. The girls around the student who received the "IPs" saw that by being on task she was rewarded. Therefore, the students around became quiet. All around the classroom my teacher had charts posted where at the end of each class if students got "IPs" they wrote them up on their chart. This allowed the teacher to either provide extra credit or some other reward that was predetermined. Also, something short and simple that worked for me, is I became quiet and didn't continue until I had full attention. They may be chatty at first but they will catch on that you are not moving on until they are focused. Give it a try and let me know what you think!


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Thanks!
Old 03-09-2008, 02:46 PM
 
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I will try this with my girls on Tuesday and let you know how it works. This sounds like an excellent idea.
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This Worked
Old 03-15-2008, 05:49 AM
 
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I was not able to try the IP system because my school supervisor felt that was not necessary, but I will try it when I have my own classroom. The becoming quiet and not moving on until they are focused and quiet works really well. The first time the girls chatted for several minutes and then finally got the idea. I also had a talk with them about respect, and how would they feel in my situation. Things seem to be going well at my placement. The girls are not as nearly chatty.
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