> I have a class of second graders that has been increasingly disrespectful,
> out of control, rude and can't even sit still long enough to hear the
> directions which adds to the problem.
I have great success using lots of positive reinforcement. I also do something
which I know many people on this list will be tremendously opposed to. I give
candy as a reward. My classroom has six tables with about 3 children at each
table. Each table has a different color plastic box with a lid which sits in
the center of the table. So they are the "red table", the "yellow table", etc.
The children have assigned seats and I seat the trouble makers far apart from
each other. If children talk too much to their tablemates I switch them to a
different spot. Occasionally a child will have to sit at a table by himself.
When I switch kids around I always do it in a positive way by telling them I'm
putting them near a child who will not distract them.
Anyway, in every class we have a contest. ( I meet each class once a week for 45
minutes.) The contest starts as they enter the room. I tell them I'm looking
for the table that sits down first (no running) and is quietly waiting for
directions. I usually announce which table did the best. They work as a team
with their table mates. If one child is misbehaving I tell them that it is too
bad because that child is ruining the chances for their whole table to win. The
next part of the contest involves listening to directions. I make pauses in my
directions to point out a table that is winning "points" for good listening.
Then comes the "concentration and careful work" part of the contest, followed at
the end of class by the best and quietest cleanup. At the end of class they
stand up by their pushed in chairs silently waiting for me to announce the
winner. I use this time to review what concepts we learned in class that day
because they are trying very hard to be good so they are very attentive.
I know it would be great if I could get them to do all this without a reward but
I get excellent behavior and artwork from these kids. They never get tired of
the "contest" and all the children love it from first to fifth grade. The
winning table comes up to my desk to pick out either two Swedish fish or one
jolly rancher or two stickers. I keep track of every table that wins so they
only win once every six weeks. They all think that their table has a chance of
winning every single week.