I have had my fifth graders also come in an unruly manner in the past. This
year I have a new discipline plan that works great. It was shared by a great
art teacher friend of mine. We call it status. At the end of each class the
students each rank themselves with a 1,2,3, or 4. 1 as the lowest and 4 as
the highest to correspond with our report card grading. Each number has a
criteria, for instance:
4- you must come in the room quietly, get out your supplies, maintain eye
contact during instruction and work silently. ....
3- you are on task working but have done some visiting. ...
2- you have required 1 reminder to quiet down. ...
1- your have required more that 1 reminder to get to work and quiet down,
you are disturbing others, may need to be removed from you present seat.
You would create your own criteria. This works for me because they are
grading themselves for their behavior/on task grade which is on the report
card. I take about 2 minutes at the end of each and every class to do this .
I either agree with what they tell me, or disagree and tell them why. After
a few times, they get the hang of it. When you meet several hundred kids
each week, it also takes care of the grey area when you have to sit down and
give then a behavior/ on task grade at report card time. Good luck!