Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Calling all experienced teachers!!


Word of the week.

I am beyond stressed right now. I am a first year 6th grade teacher. My class has been pushing my buttons lately. Very rude, disrespectful, and plain mean to each other. What do I do? 

Seating charts have been impossible. I am working with ADHD, autistic, talkers, and bullies in my class. Yeah, imagine putting all those in a civil seating arrangement! Ha! I have been searching online and found this website: http://www.lessonplansinc.com/classroom_management_seating_chart.php 
I think I am going to try the second seating arrangement. What do you think? 

I think my kids are just ready for spring break (so am I!) 


  1. I can totally relate. We took this quote ("If you can't be kind, be quiet")from Dana at 3rd Grade Gridiron and used it as our writing inspiration today: http://www.3rdgradegridiron.com/2013/02/motivation-monday-be-quiet-freebie.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+3rdGradeGridiron+%283rd+Grade+Gridiron%29.

    ~April Walker
    The Idea Backpack
    Balancing the Backpack

  2. Our class motto is "be kind" to each other, things around us, ourselves.... I like the above comment, be kind or be quiet ha ha

    Maybe some reward program (I know some don't like this, but if they can come together to earn rewards, it may help?)

    An approach I started to take was what I think of as reverse response... like if student A is poking student B I move student B so they can feel safe and be away from student A... instead of moving student A for "bad behaviour"

    Perhaps having quiet work spaces available as reward for students working well... like a cloak room, hall way, carpet, corner of the room... as rewards, not punishments?? Something I used in my 6/7 class and have also used in this year's grade 8 class.

  3. Hi, Well I have good news and bad news for you. The bad news is, as a 6th grade teacher myself, this happens at this time of year, every year. For some reason, after the holiday break, the hormones start changing, and the kids get out of control. I am currently facing the same thing right now, as are my other 2 team members.
    Good News - not long till spring break and then the year is overs. (I know not what you wanted to hear.)
    As far as ideas, here are a few that sometimes work for me
    1. Follow your discipline plan very consistently - sometimes this means going back like it is day 1 of the class and being extra strict.
    2. If it is allowed at your campus, have the kids call the parents directly from your room in front of their peers. This does two things - 1 makes the kid responsible for their actions, because they are having to tell their parents before you talk to them, and 2 - shows every other kid in the class you mean business. I know it sounds harsh, but one or two phone calls, and usually the rest get the idea.
    3. Find a way to reward the good behaving students. Is it an extra treat? extra computer time? free homework pass? etc.
    4. Get your administration and/or counselor involved. If we are being rude and disrespectful to our peers, has it become a bullying situation? are they becoming so disruptive it is preventing the others from learning, if so why not write them up. Again, may sound harsh, but if it only takes one or two and your administration will support you in it, it might be worth it.

    Hope this helps you a little.

  4. @April - how did you use as your writing inspiration. I am interested, because we might need to do something! I love that saying, "If you can't be kind, be quiet!"

  5. I've just started at a new school and dealing with some similar overt personalities. I have started trying to implement a social skilling program (ambitious considering how little time there already is to do the stuff I actually have to be teaching!) and it seems to be on its way to working.

    My system is about developing a common language and behaviour principles around 'respect' 'tolerance' 'kindness' 'patience' 'co-operation' 'perseverance' i have posters for these up on my wall and we talked about what each of these things mean. Each week we have one that is our focus so the kids get to kind of 'practice' it.

    I use it as my behaviour management language "I like the way __ is showing co-operation"/ "I'm looking for people showing kindness" and it also gives me an opportunity to put it back on the kids if they do something wrong "what aren't you showing" so they are also considering their behaviour. I also use a raffle ticket reward system to back it all up - prizes are fun! good luck!!

  6. I'm experiencing the same thing right now, especially this week with Valentine's Day. No matter where I sit my students it doesn't change anything. What seems to help me is taking the student who is causing the most trouble and just sending him out to show the other students that I'm not playing around. If someone else is still a problem then I send them to a different teacher's room to work.

    Let's just pray that this is just a few weeks of restlessness that will pass.

    Sixth Grade Tales

  7. I can totally empathize! Have you heard of Class Dojo? It is a classroom management tool that can help you provide reinforcement for positive and negative behaviors. Check it out when you get a chance! www.classdojo.com

    Surviving Sixth Grade