Be the change, behavior, punishment, students

Common Misbehaviors and How I Work With Them

I am editing my book (to be published in mid-July by PLPress!) and while I am taking much out because it seems redundant or unclear, tonight I added more thoughts on getting rid of punishments.  As so often happens my thoughts kept evolving and I came up with this, hope it is helpful

Old Ways
New Ideas
A child constantly blurts or interrupts
Reprimand, check mark or anything else that signals they were not following rules
  • Partner share – have them tell answers to children at their tables before sharing with you
  • Dry erase board – this way they can flash you the answer rather than blurt it out
  • A tally sheet – They mark down when they blurt out to create awareness of problem, no punishment attached
The child that cannot sit still
Force them to “Pay attention!”

  • Give them a movement break – a quick walk around the school usually helps
  • Allow them to work wherever they choose, at least  then they will not distract their seat mates
  • Change up the way you are teaching
    @Cybraryman1 reminded me of ball chairs – which I actually have in my room and forgot to mention – these are also great for kids that are falling out of their chairs.
The class that cannot concentrate
Yell or raise voice, give them a lecture about importance of information
  • Change the way something will be taught
  • Ask the students how they would like to learn about it
Late or missing homework
Missed recess or phone call home, loss of privileges
  • Ask them how they plan to fix it.  Often students will brainstorm a way to get it done.
  • If they say they left it at home tell them you believe them and that they can hand it in the following day
  • Conference to set up plan for remembering in the long run
Yelling or raised finger, immediate dismissal to office
  • Much of this can be prevented through establishment of community, however, if it happens stay calm and try to joke about it
  • Speaking privately to the student about the disrespect and ask for reasons behind it
Constant chatting between students or passing notes
Singling out students, loss of privilege
  • Recognizing the conversation and asking them to stop then changing how the lesson is delivered  
  • Give students time to discuss or work with partners
  • Ignoring behavior if it is not a big deal
Excessive violation of classroom rules
Loss of privileges, loss of recess, sent to the office
  • Classroom discussion to see if rules need to be changed
  • Asking child why they are doing what they are doing and what you can do to help
  • Keeping it low key to not give it more importance and trying to figure out what is causing it rather than just focusing on the infractions themselves.

10 thoughts on “Common Misbehaviors and How I Work With Them”

  1. Many of these solutions seem to be to change things on the teacher’s end and much less emphasis on having the student adjust their behaviour by taking responsibility.

    1. I see it as prevention rather than kids not taking responsibility.  Why should we create situations where kids misbehave when we can prevent it?— Sent from Mailbox

      On Sun, Jul 6, 2014 at 1:15 PM, Blogging Through the Fourth Dimensi

  2. I am not sure how long you have taught 5th grade, but I do not see these tips as holding the students accountable for their behavior and setting them on the path to correct it. These tips are simply band–aids to get through the lesson/day. Making a joke of disrespect just makes you the joke in class. I hope these work for you, but I hope new teachers don’t set themselves up for failure by trying these tips.

    1. Hmm , interesting how different we can view it. I have been teaching for 6 years and these have worked for me. In the end it has always been about the relationships I have with kids. I think students are held accountable through discussion and prevention of behaviors. Sometimes it seems some would rather have students misbehave than try to prevent it.

    2. Wonderful tips! I have been teaching for over 20 years and building the relationship along with high expectations of behavior and mutual respect from day one are key to a successful year! I have taught almost every grade level from k-8 and it has worked for me.

  3. I like the idea behind this. However, I am a special area teacher and only see the students for 30-40 minutes once a week. I work hard to show respect to my students, and attempt many of the strategies you mention, but do you have any advice for, say, a first grader who refuses to be quiet while I am teaching and the rest of the class is trying to listen? I teach computers, so my lessons are very hands-on and engaging, but I have one or two students who just can. not. sit still and pay attention.

    1. There is no easy answer and I hope my post doesn’t come across that way. I also always have a few kids that seem to bend every rule and toe every line. What works for one, never works for the other and my ideas only seem to work for part of the time. One thing I have found that helps is close proximity seating, which I am sure you do already, re-stated expectations, the post-its to mark down how many times they blurt out interrupt (for self-monitoring) as well as any kind of squeeze ball to keep their energies elsewhere. I also try to find special time to work with that student one-on-one so that I get a closer relationship with them, sometimes that seems counterproductive but I figure killing them with kindness may help.

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