Saturday, September 1, 2012

6 weeks in!

I can't believe that we have been back in school for 6 weeks already! This week we had parent-teacher conferences and they were a breeze. Every single parent showed up as did most of the kids. I strongly believe that students should participate in conferences because it is their education and they need to take responsibility for their learning. I also work with some great families, and it was nice to chat with everyone, and meet the few that I hadn't already met.

Despite conferences going smoothly, the past two weeks have been rough...
* I have now been sick for the third time this school year. I have no idea why I keep getting sick, I've been teaching for ages and I never get sick like this, typically maybe once or twice a year. I guess I need to stuff myself full of vitamins and start juicing regularly again.
* Last Thursday the AC in my classroom broke, again, for the third time this year (are things happening in threes for me?). My class relocated to the library for that afternoon and then spent the next day in an empty classroom on the primary side of campus. For the most part my students did a phenomenal job being flexible and were generally well behaved, but Friday afternoon they were struggling to stay focused.
* This past week has been totally off. Maybe it was the move to another classroom the previous week, maybe it was the two full moons in a month, maybe the honeymoon period is over, or a combination of all of that. My students have been chatty and unfocused. Several received hefty fines as part of our classroom economy system, but they didn't seem to mind. This year I started to include team points and class multipliers as part of the economy system for students to earn additional money, and although this worked a few weeks ago, it was not happening this week. We missed recess to practice the quiet signal and line procedures, and they still struggled.

During conferences many parents told me that they like the economy system and that they give additional consequences at home when they see that their child received fines on their weekly note home. So, it was surprising that I saw them struggle so much. I'm going to try two things next week in hopes that behavior improves. 1. I spent quite some time today setting up a new seating chart. Usually I keep the same seating chart for the quarter, but I know that mixing the kids up at this point is going to alleviate some of the issues. 2. I created a Behavior Reflection form that ties directly into the classroom rules that my students created on the first day of school. I reference the rules often when I talk to the students, but I think actually having to fill out a form will make them understand more deeply how their actions are affecting others.

If students fill out the form and still struggle then I will be having them call home. I'm not one to send students to the principal, but that is an option if I am not seeing improvement. Any other suggestions for chatty and unfocused kids?

3 comments:

  1. I just found your blog and I'm SO HAPPY I DID!
    I'm a first year 5th grade math and science teacher in rural eastern North Carolina. Many of my students are unfocused, chatty, and just not understanding the importance of education. I'm working on being as consistent and love this behavior reflection form...serves as great documentation too! Thank you!

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  2. Hi Johanna! I'm sure you'll get those 5th graders focused and ready to learn!

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  3. Is this behavior form available to download anywhere?

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