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OK, I just don't GET it


c green

I have this noisy, hostile class from heck, and in an attempt to get them to quiet down, I'm offering movie points in exchange for quiet during their silent reading. They can't earn any. Seriously. I take one point for every time I have to quiet down the class. In twenty minutes, they lose five points every time.

So after SSR we start over with a new five points. Once again, every time I have to quiet the class down--and we're talking about everyone talking over my attempt to give test directions, for example--they lose a point. If we lose those five, we have to stop what we're doing, and start doing copying from the book, because I can't teach any more.

I start with fifteen minutes copying. If they go on talking I add minutes. This can easily turn into an hour's exercise. They won't stop. Also, they've developed a habit of one kid farting, and everyone else screaming and running around. I mean, three or four times every day.

I honestly can't seem to reach this crew, and I'm getting worrried. I think I've systematically tried every single thing anyone's suggested this year. None of them really seem to make a dent.


Junior Member
These are all negative. Have you tried positive? I say thank you to those doing what they are supposed to and it seems to quiet the rest too. I do have to get on to them sometimes but more often than not they want that positive statement too so they work for it. Hand them out often at first and then slowly lessen them. It makes me feel better too when I am saying something positive as opposed to being upset.


Senior Member
so you have a class like mine too

I'm doing a long-term subbing assignment to serve as my second term of student teaching. It's a 4th grade class. I know these kids were a handful for their teacher so I expected a struggle. By the end of the 2nd week I really felt I had made some headway. The following week I was very sick and had to take Monday and Tuesday off. When I came back on Wednesday it seemed as if it was my first day with them. I've been struggling to get control back ever since. Last week was the week before spring break and it was unreal. I too fall into the negative thing, but I do try to use positive reinforcement as much as possible. When I do, they quiet down for a minute, but then are as disruptive as before. There teacher suggested I try to relax a bit in the classroom and lower my expectations. I have, but I'm not sure I'm doing the right thing.


Senior Member
to teachmo

apparently you haven't been around very long; proteacher old-timers know:

cgreen has the class from ****/no support anywhere
she's tried all sorts of positive consequences and various
styles of management--she is not a negative person; they
have just worn her down.


Senior Member

I don't think the problem is with you. From your other posts, I can tell that you have no admin support and your kids have no respect. I think you just got an unlucky class. I know you've tried everything, and I honestly don't know what to tell you. You really need your principal to back you up before anything can change, and unfortunately it seems like that's not going to happen. Until school is out, try to find SOMETHING that is positive in your classroom or with your students. I know it's hard, but we don't have much time left.


interest them

Why don't you read aloud rather than SSR? Read Walter the Farting Dog and they will listen. Read Captain Underpants. There are many other high interest books. Find funny, sort of cutting edge books. The kids are running the class. Is movie time really a motivator? How about science experiment time where you make a volcano or have balloon rocket races? Sounds like their an active bunch. How about "freeze dance" time where the students dance then freeze when the music stops. They laugh like crazy. Copying from the book is not learning. Does the work that you don't do go home for homework? That's what happens in my class and it seems effective. Also, additive motivation do seem better than "taking away" motivators. Have them earn points or tickets and explain to them when they get ten or however many, they get the reward. Give them out just for sitting quietly and listening to you first. Don't take them away.


Senior Member

I really feel like my year has flown by. I am blessed this year with a great class. I am not bragging to make you feel bad :( . Trust me I have had THAT class. However, everytime I read one of your posts I feel like the year has just crept by sooooooo slowly for you. The end is near my dear. Thank goodness for you. I don't know what to tell you at this point because I know there is really nothing more for you to try. If I were in your shoes I guess I would go in and be a B#$^& from H*&&! There would be no reward. I would just work their fingers to the bone and we would ALL be miserable. I am sure that is probably not the best way to handle it, but ..... I just feel like they've all made your life miserable and as the saying goes If the teacher ain't happy ain't nobody happy. (you know the old mama saying.) Anyhow, good luck and I just pray that you'll make it to the end of the year so you can tell these heatherns goodbye and don't let the door hit you in the butt on the way out. Or at least think it reallllly LOUD! ;)