05 February 2014

Rowdy Students: Yes, We've All Had at Least One

I don't know if all this cold weather and being cooped up with kids all day long is making my class a little more rowdy than usual.  What I do know is that my patience is stretching a little thin.  After being completely worn out yesterday I reached the conclusion that my class and I are spending way too much time together.  I know many of my blogging buddies are tired of snow days, but I just wish this poor gal could get at least one out the mix.

All joking aside, I decided to blog about how I handle discipline in my class.  I would love to tell you that after 14 years I have found the secret formula, but sadly I have not.  I do know just as with my own personal kids, what works for one does not always work for another.  I have 24 students in my class this year.  Out of those 24 only 9 are boys.  So I have a room full of girls.  Some of them came back from break just a little more sassier than normal.  This past month I have really been putting my foot down and enforcing the class rules.  This year my school started implementing whole brain teaching.  In every classroom we all have the same set of whole brain rules.  Of course at the beginning of the year we teach the rules with the motions and sayings.  I have also been reteaching these rules a lot since we have come back from Christmas break.  I try to keep the rules, color chart, and positive behavior chart all in one area.  I have the 5 main rules posted at the top of the board.  


I also use the color method in my class.  I know that many of you use this or some form of this as well.  I have sticks with their student number on it {everything we do/label in my class is by a number}.  Each time a student gets in trouble then he/she moves their stick down.  In my class the colors stand for:  Green/Ready to Go, Yellow/Warning, Red/some form of punishment {Teacher Choice}, Orange/call home or office.



So now your probably wondering {if I kept your attention so far} what types of punishments do I implement on red which is "Teacher Choice".  This is where I do not have a set rule.  Usually if a student gets on red I take a portion of their recess away.  I normally start off with a small amount of time such as five minutes or less.  This is the easiest and it will usually correct the problem for me.  If the problem continues to occur and it happens frequently then I sometimes have them lose their whole recess or class computer time.  However, recently I was at a workshop and the speaker suggested that a loss of recess was not appropriate punishment {I gave a look when he said this}.  He suggested take some other enrichment time away like Art or Library. I really would not want to pull their Art or Library time away because this is usually my only planning period I get throughout the week.  It may be a little selfish, but I like to use my planning periods to actually plan and get things accomplished, not sit with a child that has a discipline problem.  I don't know if that is the right answer or not, but I suggest you have to do what works for you.

If losing recess and class computer time does not work.  Then I usually try to conference with the student and their parent.  I usually can take care of the problem myself, but a few years back I had one student that gave me a run for my money.   This particular student was constantly getting on reds and oranges.  I would conference the student, call home, take recess way, pull his computer time, he visited the office {which I rarely do}.  He was only my second student I sent to the office since switching from middle school to elementary school.  I was really starting to feel defeated by this student.  I tried what seemed like everything and NOTHING work.  So what is a gal to do when all else fails, she resorts to old school teaching methods.  You heard me right - I brought back some old school methods.  I finally started having the student write whichever rule he had broken in lines.  And guess what it worked!  I couldn't believe it.  After everything I tried I thought to myself you have got to be kidding me, lines are going to be the thing that somewhat gets his attention.  Who would have thought that old fashion line writing would have worked, but it did.  After doing it a few times the child stopped acting out as much.   I am not going to say he was perfect, because he was not.  But I could look at him and say if you break that rule again you are going to have to write it and he would honestly try to straighten up.   Now I know this would not work for every student and this is not something I do all the time.  As a matter of fact I am not a big supporter of line writing at all.  My point is what works for one student does not always work for another.  Sometimes you have to think outside of the box for discipline ideas or in my case go back in time, but you have to keep being persistent and always let the child know you care but that you are in charge of the class.



Most of the time {notice I said most} I can correct the behavior simply by talking to the child one on one or calling home.  I very rarely send a student to the office.   I can only think of a couple of times I have had to send a second grader to the office.   I try to correct the behavior myself with the help of the student and the student's parent.  I try to not to sweat the small things.  On days {especially like the past few I have been having} when the class/student is crazier than normal I try to remind myself that tomorrow is always a new day and the students are most likely feeling just as cooped up as me.

Before I end this super long post {I am making up for my blog slacking} I wanted to share with you one of my favorite pins from Pinterest.  I am sure some of you have seen this before, but it fits our crazy job description.  Some of the quotes are so true, especially on crazy days.



I would love to hear from you!!!  If you have any great ideas, tips, or tricks that you use in your class that works with disciplining students please share.   Some of the best ideas come from others.   As always thanks for stopping by and taking a peek.  I {heart} comments and followers!!!



             









2 comments:

  1. Hey Jaime!! I have totally had times where I've had a difficult student (OR FIVE) but I found that the kids who lost recess were usually the ones who needed it the most. So I never took their recess away but like you said what works for one student, doesn't work for another. I tried a lot of positive reinforcement and having students work to earn something they really enjoyed. In kindergarten I did a lot of visuals and charts and in second grade I would use behavior contracts. I didn't have many behavior concerns in second but one year in kinder was REALLY tough. Also, the more I worked with parents the more results I got in the classroom. But like you said, it might have to take trial and error to see what works for students. Good luck!!

    Dixie
    Teachin' Little Texans

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for stopping by!! I do use a lot of positive reinforcement. I was thinking about doing a blog post part 2 to this. This was just covering what happens if they land on a "red". I like the idea of behavior contracts. Thanks for the tips!!!

    ReplyDelete

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