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


From: Laurie Reber (lareb18_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Tue Aug 16 2005 - 21:29:45 PDT

I teach 7th and 8th grade. They, too, can be talkative
and as you already know, it is very important to set
the ground rules and stick to them. If you have
already gone over your expectations and consequences
then here is what I would do. I told my kids that
respect is the most important "rule" in the classroom.
This includes talking while the teacher is talking.
The first days of school we reviewed what I would do
to get attention - I simply say, "May I have your
attention please?" We practiced this - whenever it got
too loud in the first couple of days and I had to say
it more than two times, I discussed with the students
that this was not acceptable and they had to help each
other to quiet down. Now we are into the 4th week of
school and I generally do not have to repeat my
request for their attention more than once. At our
school, we use a program called RTP which stands for
Responsible Thinking Program. It is designed so that
we ask the students what they are doing when they are
breaking the classroom/school rules. They are requried
to think about what they are doing and then decide
whether or not to disrupt the classroom again. If they
make the choice to break the rules again, they are
deciding to leave the classroom. We have a Responsible
Thinking Classroom where the students go to write a
plan to help them observe the classroom rules. The
plan is then negotiated with the classroom teacher and
the student follows his/her plan. So, if a student
disrupts and I beging to ask "the questions" i.e.
"What are you doing?" "What are the rules?" "What
happens when you break the rules?", etc., the entire
class quiets and they realize I mean business - they
don't want to leave the classroom. Now, realizing that
you probably don't have this program in your school,
you can still set up your classroom in a similar
fashion and ask those same questions, but just have a
desk set aside where a student can think about what
he/she is doing when he can't quiet himself, etc. and
then he or she can write a plan to help the student
work toward the goal of following classroom rules.
Also, I think that sometimes the talking can get in
the way of the working. They come to realize it is a
problem when you set a due date, and, because of the
excessive talking, they are not close to finishing the
project. When you tell them that the last day to turn
in a project is fast approaching, suddenly the talking
decreases and they work more quietly. I also play
music in my room, so they often like to hear the music
and talk in hushed tones to hear it better.I am
learning what works and doesn't work as well, so I
hope this might help a bit. If I think of anything
else, I will pass it along!


--- wrote:

> 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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