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Re: More on Middle School discipline problems


From: dawn stien (dawnstien_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Fri Mar 07 2003 - 20:18:35 PST

--- wrote:
> I have an 8th grade class that is causing me
> fits. When beginning a
> lesson and I'm speaking they just love to talk when
> I'm talking.

I have "my time" and "discussion time" during which
extraneous talking is not allowed. If there's a
problem with adherence, I usually send the "worst"
one/s into the hall with a reminder that they may not
prevent someone else from learning. This has worked
well for me, but I've heard that at some schools, it's
not OK to put them out. I have a wall of windows so I
can moniter...

Another thing I've learned about is playing music
(calm/no words) to indicate that it is OK to talk. If
they are louder than the music, they are too loud.

I also give them lots of feedback by table - the
"ripple" effect is awesome! I also have a red, yellow
and green feedback flag system that I use for some
projects. Green is for on task, quiet talking, Yellow
means proceed with caution - maybe the conversation
needs to be changed or become more quiet, and red
means 10 minutes of silence. I try to give them
feedback a couple of times during their work time. I
found something similar online - I thought it might be
a little dorky, but it actually works well for my 6th
graders. (I've found that most of the teachers at my
school talk through the entire class- they are
constantly redirecting and reinforcing positive
behavior as they blurb on about percentages etc.
Constant, Non-stop, talking.)

> I also would just like to ask all the jr.
> high/middle school teachers if
> they allow students to get up and walk around doing
> nothing.

Nip it in the bud. Now.
This is the time that they get into trouble, right???

I tried to be understanding for having good reasons to
be up - I just need to throw this away, I just need to
sharpen my pencil, etc. But this is always when
someone must touch somebody's something...

I came from Montessori school, so this is a pretty
extreme statement for me, but I had to go with the
school climate on this one. In most classes they
can't get up, and if you only have them one period
each day it's very hard to teach them how to handle
themselves. It also leads them to need to find out
what other rules don't apply in this "classroom." I
have small $store trashcans and pencil sharpeners at
each table now. They are dismissed by table (Quiet
ones first or other bribery/reward methods...) to wash
hands, and paintbrushes, etc.

Review classroom expectations often.

I'm glad this discussion has been going on- I thought
the crayon thing, among others had something to do
with me - Dawn

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