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Re: [teacherartexchange] Advice Please...rowdy kids

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From: Holmgren (holmgren_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Tue Aug 16 2005 - 19:56:57 PDT


Hi Stacie,

I have addressed this issue before, and never got any responses from my
comments, so I guess my method probably doesn't appeal to people. But--what
I have found works is to, at the very beginning, tell the students what my
signal for attention is. (My signal is to say, "May I have your attention,
please".) Then I explain exactly what that signal means--in great detail,
acting out what it looks like--and what it doesn't look like. I.E,:--it
means, "stop, look, and listen". What does "stop" mean? It means to stop
whatever you are doing--when? right now. For how long? until I tell you to
return to work. And the same for "look", and "listen". Then I have a group
of students demonstrate what it looks like.(I have them start working at a
table, then I say, "may I have your attention". We discuss if they have done
what I have asked.) Then, yes, we do lots of practicing the first days of
school. I let them know that the reason for this is there are times when I
need to give them directions, etc.--and if they respond to this immediately,
we will not waste time. I also let them know that I refuse to try to talk
to them if they are not giving me their attention. I teach at the
elementary level, but this technique was presented (by an educator from Los
Angeles who used to come to our district every year to give seminars) to be
used at all grade levels. It really is based on the premise that we need to
let people know exactly what our expectations are. It takes alot of time to
do this--I do it first thing in all my classes the first time I see them
(with my youngest kids, I give an example of a person having a birthday
party and saving the very best game--with presents for all--until the very
end. And then, that person cannot get the attention of their friends long
enough to explain the game--and the party ends, and everyone loses out.
Then I say that the same thing can happen in art class, if I cannot get
their attention.We will waste much time, and not be able to get to the
really neat things. Then I go through explaining the signal, etc.). By the
end of the week, when I have done it 26 times, I am ready to go crazy--but
it is really worth the time and effort. It is important to periodically test
the kids--and reinforce them doing it right. It is really a matter of
respect--their respecting me, so I can teach.

My two cents--works for me.

Mary H.

----- Original Message -----
From: <StacieMich@aol.com>
To: "TeacherArtExchange Discussion Group"
<teacherartexchange@lists.pub.getty.edu>
Sent: Tuesday, August 16, 2005 8:45 PM
Subject: [teacherartexchange] Advice Please...rowdy kids

> What do you guys recommend for my classes who can't seem to follow
> directions
> or get quiet? I'm having trouble with some fourth grade clasess, with my
> sixth graders and with my 7th/8th grade class. They are just so wound up
> and
> talkative. They won't get quiet when I ask them too or when I give them a
> look
> or when I stand quietly waiting. If they do finally "get it," as soon as
> I
> start talking, they begin talking again. It's as if they can't control
> themselves. I've already gone over rules, consequences, and daily
> procedures. I need
> to drive it home that they should enter quietly and look for their
> directions
> on the board.
>
> How should I begin tomorrow's class? Should I ask them to look at the
> board
> for their directions and see if they can follow them? Should I begin by
> getting them quiet and telling them that we have a real problem in the
> classroom
> and ask for suggestions? Should I ask them to come up with a signal I can
> give
> whenever I want their attention? Should we practice it? Then should I
> tell
> them that they have had two days of grace period and that today begins
> "consequences" and then follow through. If anyone talks while I'm
> talking, should I
> immediately ask them to sign the behavior log?
>
> Suggestions please! I know that what I do this week is critical! I have
> no
> problem being strict. I thought I would, but I've realized that I'm so
> desperate to get control that I won't feel badly if they CHOOSE to ignore
> warnings
> and then have to pay consequences. Of course I want them to like me, but
> I
> NEED them to respect me too.
>
> Thanks!
>
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