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fresh ideas for discipline in a rowdy class

Posted by on Jan. 27, 2009 at 7:56 PM
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i have been teaching for about 15 years in the fourth grade and i have a small class this year.......usually they are very good when they come back after christmas break, but this year, this class has been awful since we have returned; i have 4 students that are the rabble rousers and the rest are fine........they are a very smart class, and they are getting lazy with their study habits as well........i have started assigning lunch detention for the students who dont do their homework (which is working very well) and for the ones who get a conduct check b4 lunch time and that is helping, but does anyone have any fresh ideas for discipline? i am getting ready to move their seats around next week and put the 4 stooges in the 4 corners of the room! and i am also about to implement a reward program for the 5 or 6 students that i have that never get into trouble to make good examples of them.............

proud grammy to 18 month-old Andrew AND a sister (Elizabeth Ann) on the way in May proud mom of two Iraqi Freedom Army vets and one beautiful daughter expecting my third grandchild (Kaitlyn Danielle) in May proud mil to a dedicated SAHM and a hard-working policeman and proud wife, daughter, and sister to my three best friendssmile

by on Jan. 27, 2009 at 7:56 PM
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sarahjoy
by Member on Feb. 1, 2009 at 2:14 PM

well how is your room arranged.. the desks.. I have found that with a chatty class its nice to have "learning clubs" and provide assignments that are group work based so talking is permitted.  and kids learn great when they can collaborate.  also doing some self assessment at the end of each day or week... like how did your learning club work together, whats one problem and how can you help to fix it, did your learning club stay on task, how can you help each other do better.  Have the kids be a support for each other.  also with an "energetic class" provide a small movement activity as a transition from one thing to the next.. like a game that is great for getting the kids to quiet and settle back down is "silent ball" .  you get a small stress ball- soft and not too small or large. (can start with a large one til they get the hang of it).. the kids spread out around the room.  they can not talk for the game... they toss the ball underhand to their classmates.  you can start with 2 hand catches and as they get better move to one hand catches and then opposite one hand catches (where they use their non dominant hand to catch).  encourage quick movement so the game only lasts a few minutes.  If they catch the ball when its thrown to them they stay in.. if they miss it or it bounces off of something or hits their body they are out.  It lasts about 3 minutes.  gets them quiet and allows for movement.

do lessons that encourage movement..its shows in research that movement increases brain activity which then increases learning ability.  just make sure you set your expectations up with the kids before they start things like that, otherwise you will have behavior problems.. with the right expectations that are clear, good classroom management, fun lessons you will have a great learning environment.  and these things will take a while for the kids to get used to so it may be difficult at first if they are not used to talking when doing assignments or movement stuff.  just make sure your expectations are there and reminded often. 

also I dont believe in "rewarding" for good behavior because its something i expect anyway.. and then the "misbehaved" kids then think oh that kids a goody goody or ahh i never do a good job anyway so the reward is not worth it.  I find that "natural consequences" work well... like if a student didnt get their work done in class then well it has to be completed so you will have to work on it during lunch.. its not a form of punishment when you word it that way therefore the student sees it as being in their control and your not the almighty powerful one that can just tell them what to do all the time.  I think with discipline plans its all in the wording you use with kids....rather than okay you were good all week so you get a prize out of the bucket.. then then kid thinks oh if i be good i get a prize.. natural consequences are more of like okay i know this stuff is a priority.. i need to get my work done to get a good grade and to learn so I am going to decide to do it.  i like to tell my students that each day I have a set plan of what needs to be covered in class... when that work is finished successfully then thats all.  if my plans get finished then we have "free time" if not then no "free time".  its a natural thing.. its up to them, they have a choice rather than you dictating to them.  they learn to think about things in a "real world" kind of way. 

hope some of this helps or gives you some ideas.  its just my philosophy that i have found to work even with 40 kids at a time together.  and im am not a teach just yet but I have had lot of experiance with "behavior problem" kids.. like i said at very large groups at a time.  and these methods have worked wonders.  I encourage self assessment at the end of each day.  anyway just my opinion.  good luck with the rest of the school year.

Andrewsmom70
by on Feb. 1, 2009 at 2:35 PM

You can put them into groups- not necessarily sitting in groups but groups of people that sit near each other and give them numbers.  Then give group points at random times during the day when they are doing as you ask.  Then, at the end of the week you can give some reward to the group that has the most points for the week.

Fayanne
by Member on Mar. 21, 2009 at 8:14 AM

I find one of the best techniques is simply "Catch 'em being good!"

As I begin each class... I'll look around and say something like "Your desk should look like.... ummmm..... Charlie's !  when you are ready!" "Betty looks ready!" " I like the way Fred is waiting quietly!" ..etc.  

         Happy Trails!
twarmymm
by on Apr. 25, 2009 at 12:35 PM

sorry, it took me so long to read and reply but it has been a very busy two months........alot going on in the spring at school..........and i have other responsibility at school besides just my class............it is a small private school and we wear many hats............i have also had alot going on in my personal life, 2 grandbabies due in a few weeks from 2 different ppl and we just went on vacation as well......

thanks for all your replies.......they have calmed down some, but the laziness is always there at this time of the year especially..........and SAT are over.......and they are playing baseball and there is just alot and they think school is OVER when it isnt..........

yall have some good ideas, i like the squishy ball game and i do use a lot of natural consequences, like the one : here is our work for the day and when we get it all done we can play...........i am very efficient with time in my class.........and my dawdlers and slowpokes just have to stay in and finish while the others go out and play, or they miss computer time..........i also rearrange the room and do many group projects where they can talk, especially here at the end of the school year........thanks again for all your replies!

proud grammy to 18 month-old Andrew AND a sister (Elizabeth Ann) on the way in May proud mom of two Iraqi Freedom Army vets and one beautiful daughter expecting my third grandchild (Kaitlyn Danielle) in May proud mil to a dedicated SAHM and a hard-working policeman and proud wife, daughter, and sister to my three best friendssmile

Mama2Aiden
by New Member on May. 1, 2009 at 10:43 PM

I like a lot of the ideas mentioned! I too believe in having groups work together to get a task accomplished. It helps when they can learn from each other. Natural Consequences are good too. I use a lot of techniques from love and logic in my classroom and with my kids. My students know that they have choices to make and there are consequences that go along with those choices. I also give out "dollars" for certain things. If a student is consistently on task for the whole period they can earn a dollar, when homework is finished on time they get a dollar, etc. Then they can cash those dollars in for certain things as they earn them. They can cash them in for a night of free homework, a few extra credit points, so free time in the room, etc.

I too expect students to behave, but it also helps when we recognize their good behavior. It can be hard to always be on task and being "good" ya know?


Good luck!!

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twarmymm
by on May. 2, 2009 at 11:00 PM

my group projects are really loud and i have to just let it go because this is naturally a loud group of kids...............i am one of those a type personalities who likes order and quiet and i have to get out of my comfort zone sometimes and just let them go...........i have a room full of chiefs and only a few indians!

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