Classroom Management

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Kat., Jun 7, 2019.

  1. Kat.

    Kat. Companion

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    Jun 7, 2019

    I've been teaching for 3 years, all in first grade. Next year I'll be moving up to 5th. I'm super excited but also very nervous.

    I was wondering what classroom management strategies you use in your upper grade classrooms. I want to be as prepared as possible!
     
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  3. Kat.

    Kat. Companion

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    Jun 8, 2019

    I spent 3 years teaching a grade I didn't want to teach before I requested my move.

    However, with me moving up to 5th, someone had to be moved to 1st to fill my position. That person was a pre-k teacher and she was asked to move by admin.
     
  4. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Jun 8, 2019

    5th grade is one of my favorite grades to teach. I love the humor, the excitement of the students, the ability to carry on concrete discussions, the variety of curriculum.

    The biggest advantage in classroom management at that age is the willingness of the students to develop an honest rapport with you. They want to share their lives, their hopes and dreams, and their difficulties...and they will do that with someone they trust.

    As far as discipline, I never choose a public discipline plan. Every student knows who the troublemakers are...how do I change their behavior if we are constantly throwing that unwanted behavior in their face? We are better served by addressing things in private and modeling the behavior we want.
     
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  5. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Jun 8, 2019

    I agree completely with this.
    Classroom management is all about building trust and building relationships.
     
  6. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Jun 8, 2019

    And I think this is true in any grade level, no matter how young or old the students are.
     
  7. Kat.

    Kat. Companion

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    Jun 8, 2019

    Oh I totally agree with building relationships and keeping consequences private!

    I guess I was looking for ways to encourage positive behavior that are geared towards older kids, if that makes sense.

    For example, I hate color charts but did have one with my first graders. I wouldn't do that for fifth grade. I also had a Mr. Potato Head - each time the whole class got a compliment in the hallway, they earned his eyes, nose, etc. Once filled up the class earned a reward. I'm not sure if that would be too "kiddy".
     
  8. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    I taught fourth this past year and didn’t do any incentives of any kind. Some of my colleagues would do the thing where the kids had to spell out a word and then they got a party (for example, they earned letters towards the word “kindness”, and when they had the whole word spelled out, they celebrated with a board game party). I didn’t do that though, and I never had any major trouble. I just focused on strong positive relationships, and I had individual plans for the students who needed them. We had a daily class meeting and circles for problem solving when needed.
     
  9. Kat.

    Kat. Companion

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    Thank you! I guess I'm used to the little babies who have to be taught every little detail. I had several who had never been to school before, so I REALLY had to show them everything!
     
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  10. Preschool0929

    Preschool0929 Cohort

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    Jun 8, 2019

    Our K-5 uses class dojo. K-2 use it as frequent positive reinforcement for good choices (I.e. “Thanks Johnny for following directions so quickly, you earn a point!”) and can trade their points in for rewards. 3-5 get points every day per subject (1 for reading, 1 for math, 1 for writing, etc.) and have a grade level or classroom reward each Friday for students who have 80% of their points for the week.

    Our school requires teachers to follow this (we’re a PBIS school), but at my previous school I didn’t use any behavior management system. Like above, individual students may have a behavior plan, but overall I just taught and retaught expectations. I did a lot of “reteaches” for not following directions.
     
  11. CherryOak

    CherryOak Companion

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    Jun 8, 2019

    I love fifth grade. Don't let their height fool you - they're still kids and sensitive. They will be hurt by barked orders and trumping/I'm boss maneuvers. They will try to save face and escalate it if you try. They are great lie detectors - keep your words real and praise genuine.

    I used a whole class reward of just tallies and extra recess and no homework. For corrections, I talked to individual offenders privately. I use lots of Wong's smile, say we can do it better, and insist on do-overs. They need just as many detailed, classroom procedures as first grade! Seriously. I really only need the occasional big voice. Just keep it real, explain the why behind your expectations and procedures, and hold your line respectfully.
     
  12. Kat.

    Kat. Companion

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    Jun 8, 2019

    Thank you!
     
  13. Loomistrout

    Loomistrout Devotee

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    Jun 11, 2019

    Proximity

    A strategy that doesn't look like anything (unless one is trained in what to look for) is walking around. It makes sense. If you are a student bent on goofing off are you going to try some stunt with the teacher standing six inches away? How about if the teacher is across the room, bending over and helping another student? Any kid with half a brain thinks, "Green light special!" Moving among students during direct instruction and seat work may not seem like much of a strategy until you observe in a classroom where the teacher doesn't move.
     
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  14. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    Jun 29, 2019

    Get yourself a copy of Teaching with Love & Logic by Jim Fay. I found it in the spring of my 1st year teaching (I taught 5th grade and 5-7 math) and wished I'd found it sooner. It's more about building those relationships and different ways to address those behaviors that need addressing. It is not a bunch of "do this technique" stuff. I felt I was able to do a lot of personalizing to my kids and needs. In the upper elementary grades I found that kids thrived on choices within limits and when I gave them a chance to fix their behaviors before getting other adults involved. No one likes to be called out in front of their peers so try to do this quietly, either one-on-one or with silent signals. I love 5th graders! They are more independent. Their humor is evolving. They have tons of energy and creativity. Enjoy them!
     

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