Friday, September 23, 2011

Classroom Management

I seriously need some suggestions on how to handle a group of second grade boys. I have a class of four girls and twelve boys and, after four days, I'm no closer to being in control of the class than I was on the first day. I asked my boss to attend one day, and between the two of us, there was still no control. I told my boss it's a waste of time and money to bring me to Turkey to teach this type of class because they are not getting any English, only discipline. (And not really any of that either)..She agreed but said she had the same problems last year and the principal said she just had to deal with it. But, she did ask the classroom teacher to stay in class for two weeks. The classroom teacher hasn't, but did manage to peek in and have a look yesterday. By that time, I had given up on the boys and focused on the four girls who wanted to learn. Here's the picture she saw:
My back was to the class with the four girls in the corner by the board on the floor trying to sing songs, count, etc. Behind me were the twelve boys jumping off of desks, throwing pencils and erasers, wrestling, making dog piles, tipping out of chairs, running, trying to snap the elastic on the girls' pants, etc. There were about three boys who were hovering around the perimeter of my little circle of girls who were obviously interested in what I was doing, but when invited to join, were too reluctant because of the other boys, and returned to their seats.
Here's what I had tried before she peeked in:
*removing distractions
*simple commands with modeling like "stand" "sit" "zip".
*separating offenders
*changing activities
*movement, large motor activities
*quiet activities
The teacher seemed very non-nonplussed about the entire situation. The boys ran towards their chairs when she stopped by, but she never waited to see if they actually settled down. They didn't.

So, I'm asking all of my blog readers for help. Please!


  1. With my guys, the secret is always engagement. Do something really interesting- a volcano with baking soda and soda water, a tornado in a bottle, ooblock (that squishy stuff you make in a bag), origami frogs that actually hop, cooking something really simply, e.g instant pudding. The boys want to do that stuff, so they move in closer and stop screwing around, at least most of them do. And once they have done it once, you establish some kind of point system, where they can do a special something again once they get a certain number of points- it has to be fairly quickly, like once a week. See if that will work.

  2. In Charlie's class, the kids get tickets for good behavior and every friday there is a "store" where they can buy things with their tickets. Each students also has small red, yellow and green cards. The cards are originally at green but can get turned to yellow or red with bad behavior. Good behavior gets it turned back to green. There is some kind of consequence if the card is yellow or red a the end of the day (fewer tickets, maybe). I think some kind of instant reward system might work well. Good Luck!

  3. Thanks for all the ideas! I've started a sticker type plan today..It worked well in 2 of the classes, moderately in one class, and a tiny bit in the last...I'll call that a success...Also, planning some more hands-on activities...The language barrier makes any long-term consequences difficult to explain.