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#31 of 59 Old 08-31-2008, 05:33 PM
 
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For those who don't like the card (or similar system), how do you recommend a teacher with 20-30 students effectively handle discipline (with multiple students at a time) while still teaching the appropriate academics and not using all day to discipline?

Michelle -mom to Katlyn 4/00 , Jake 3/02, and Seth 5/04
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#32 of 59 Old 08-31-2008, 05:59 PM
 
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I disagree with this kind of behavior mod in theory.

However, we've pulled our kid from a school where they didn't do this and put him into a school that does this, and I'm happy. He is distracted by kids who talk, jump up and down, and push him while he's trying to work. So if those kids are being given yellow cards, and it keeps them from distracting my kiddo from learning, that's great. I would absolutely not be fine with suspending or paddling, but the card system is a relatively benign type of discipline, if you're going to have any discipline. Perhaps there are teachers that can manage classroom behavior without a system of any kind, I do believe it could happen, but in practice I've seen it fail terribly.

I've asked about their card system (they have green, yellow, orange, and red), and even the yellow seems to be given out rarely, for things like hitting in the classroom. (Why in the world are kids hitting in the classroom?!) And it's the first week, when she's probably being more strict than normal.
I totally disagree it is absolutely not benign. I still suffer from low self-esteem and other issues from this type of discipline when I was a student. I was a very bright kid with ADHD, but it went undiagnosed which is especially common in girls and smart kids. But I was in trouble for talking all the time, as well as for not staying on task, and not finishing my work. If children are behaving in this way it usually means their needs are not being met, and this system does nothing to help there needs get met. It just makes them feel bad for not doing things the "right" way or for not being the right kind of student.

In response to the OP, I think your ds's behavior sounds very normal especially for a child who has never been in school before. This is why, even though I'm a big advocate for homeschooling, I truly believe that preschool is neccessary for children who will be attending public school. The teachers just don't have the time, resources, or inclination to teach children to take turns, raise hands, sit in circle. They expect children to come into kindergarten already having these skills. I would talk to the teacher and explain that you're concerned about how this type of discipline might hurt his self-esteem and how you don't think he is trying to be disruptive or disrespectful, but that since this is his very first time away from home he needs her to be patient with him while he learns these skills.

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#33 of 59 Old 08-31-2008, 06:03 PM
 
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For those who don't like the card (or similar system), how do you recommend a teacher with 20-30 students effectively handle discipline (with multiple students at a time) while still teaching the appropriate academics and not using all day to discipline?
Engage the students.
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#34 of 59 Old 08-31-2008, 06:09 PM
 
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It will only work for that segment of the population that doesn't let their children watch Terminator videos, for one.
No it doesn't, those children are not inherently bad, because they are allowed to watch Terminator. They do not know how to reach that "basic goodness" within and to be in a state of balance. This isn't their fault, they have, for whatever reason, been programmed that way.

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I do know what the effect was on DS's psyche from children who continually, and physically, interrupted his learning. Is this less important than the psyches of the kids who are interrupting?
I don't know where this has come from? Who is saying anyone is more or less worthy than anyone else? It is obvious the children that are having a hard time settling need help and I am merely questioning the use of operant conditioning to achieve this.

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A group situation away from home adds other dynamics, though, and I have had it up to here => with other kids hurting my kiddo.
No one wants their kids hurt by other kids. I am sorry you are experiencing this.

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Tuesday morning when DS goes into the classroom, when a kid pushes him down in line, I'm happy that the child will be told that is not okay, with a visual reminder of his/her little indicator turning yellow. My son, on Tuesday morning, in that moment, for that day in his short little life, doesn't have time for loving guidance from the teacher to kick in. He needs to stop being pushed, and he needs to know the adults think it's not the right thing for him to be pushed.
Again, I wouldn't want my kid shoved either, and no one is saying it a child shouldn't be told not to shove. But I can't see why this issue can't be approached from a position of love. I guess what I am saying is that this is a matter of consciousness. But, if you like the green/yellow/red system in use in your son's school. That's great. I just wouldn't want it for my children.

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#35 of 59 Old 08-31-2008, 06:14 PM
 
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We have a similar system in dd's private school. I think it is a good system and works well. Kids need to learn that they play a role in creating a good learning environment and that causing distractions for the class is disrespectful to everyone. Yes, totally normal behavior for that age, but so, too, is sitting quietly during instruction and letting it all out on the playground.
Often children who are causing distractions aren't trying to be disrespectful. Young children often lack the impulse control to refrain from interrupting or distracting other children. Other children have innate differences (ADHD is one) that make impulse control very difficult. Labeling behavior that one is not yet able to control as "bad" is very harmful to a child's self esteem, it would be like punishing a toddler for their lack of bladder control. Have you read Unconditional Parenting by Alfie Cohn? I think it really applies to schooling and teachers as well. It talks a lot about how Punishment is pretty ineffective tool for learning. Punishment is not going to help kids "learn that they play a role in creating a good learning environment and that causing distractions for the class is disrespectful to everyone" It is more likely to teach them that there is something inherently wrong with themselves. It may be somewhat effective in the short term, especially for certain children who have mastered impulse control, but may have momentarily forgotten the rules. It's not a good way to discipline children across the board. Maybe we need to focus more on molding schools to the way children develop and learn instead of trying to mold children to the way schools work.

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#36 of 59 Old 08-31-2008, 06:17 PM
 
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I totally disagree it is absolutely not benign. I still suffer from low self-esteem and other issues from this type of discipline when I was a student. I was a very bright kid with ADHD, but it went undiagnosed which is especially common in girls and smart kids. But I was in trouble for talking all the time, as well as for not staying on task, and not finishing my work. If children are behaving in this way it usually means their needs are not being met, and this system does nothing to help there needs get met. It just makes them feel bad for not doing things the "right" way or for not being the right kind of student.
Your experience is coming through very strongly in your post. Thank you for sharing that view. Over time, I can imagine the idea that you are "bad" is not benign. I suppose I meant benign in comparison to other methods, like paddling or expulsion.

If my child was receiving yellows/reds on a regular basis, the first thing I would do is go on a hunt for the reason. For us, any behavioral mishaps are related to sleep or food. I'd also look at possible learning differences, have an eye exam done, take my child to the child psych, take him to the pediatrician, etc. I agree there is usually an underlying reason.

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#37 of 59 Old 08-31-2008, 06:30 PM
 
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To call giving a child a small correction for acting in a way to disrupt learning in a group situation unethical is a bit overreaching.
The system that the OP described is not what I would call a "small correction." A small correction is just kindly and quickly saying "It's my talking turn, Joey, I need everyones mouths quiet and ears listening until I'm finished and then you'll have a chance to talk" That's a correction. It is just stating your needs and giving a child the chance to comply. The card system is inappropriate because it is shaming, and labeling, and punitive. Mistakes are human and normal we correct them and then move on, but in this case the child has to travel through the rest of the day with a red card (and the stigma of that red card). I don't doubt that children who have green cards daily may feel very proud of their accomplishment, but those children usually are in less need of that positive encouragement then the children receiving the yellow and red cards. A card system doesn't help children find solutions, it doesn't help children understand how to fix a mistake, learn from it, and let it go. I could not tolerate a system like this for my child.

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#38 of 59 Old 08-31-2008, 06:34 PM
 
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Have you read Unconditional Parenting by Alfie Cohn? I think it really applies to schooling and teachers as well.
I've read Alfie Cohn, and I agreed with more of what he said before we experienced these types of ideas implemented (perhaps poorly; theory doesn't always work in practice) in a school setting and other group situations. Again, we incorporate many of these ideas at home. Perhaps in a group situation where you do not have control over home influences, you cannot implement them well.

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#39 of 59 Old 08-31-2008, 06:40 PM
 
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The system that the OP described is not what I would call a "small correction." A small correction is just kindly and quickly saying "It's my talking turn, Joey
I have a picture in my head of the child who most tormented my DS last year in school under a system like this, and am laughing at what his response would be. He wouldn't have heard that whole sentence b/c he would have started running around knocking over things before you finished! And you would have tried to start the sentence 100 times a day.

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#40 of 59 Old 08-31-2008, 06:49 PM
 
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Tuesday morning when DS goes into the classroom, when a kid pushes him down in line, I'm happy that the child will be told that is not okay, with a visual reminder of his/her little indicator turning yellow. My son, on Tuesday morning, in that moment, for that day in his short little life, doesn't have time for loving guidance from the teacher to kick in. He needs to stop being pushed, and he needs to know the adults think it's not the right thing for him to be pushed.
First I wanted to say that hitting and violent behavior was not what the OP was talking about. Her son received a red card for talking out of turn. There was absolutely no harming of another student. I think most people agree that a child must not be allowed to harm another child. But does the visual reminder have to be public in front of everyone and does it have to be punitive? And by the way even though I agree that your son needs to learn that he doesn't deserve to be hurt by other people he also needs to learn that other people are still learning and that everyone does the best that they can with the resources they have. Children who hit have lots of things effecting there behavior, but I can guarantee that their behavior won't improve if their self-esteem takes a nose dive (and I have no doubt that this system has a negative impact on children who already have behavioral issues). In the long run your son and the other child are both going to feel a lot better if the child can learn to control his hitting, but in the meantime teach your son to put his hand out and say "stop, I don't like that" or to move away from that child. However we don't need somebody else to be punished so that we can feel better about being hurt. Hurt will happen, we can be assertive and stand up for our needs, but we only have control over our own actions, no one else's.

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#41 of 59 Old 08-31-2008, 07:01 PM
 
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I have a picture in my head of the child who most tormented my DS last year in school under a system like this, and am laughing at what his response would be. He wouldn't have heard that whole sentence b/c he would have started running around knocking over things before you finished! And you would have tried to start the sentence 100 times a day.
I'm really sorry for your situation, and it does sound unfair to your son and the other chidren in class as well. I think we've been talking about different situations. I was originally talking about the typical behavior of young children such as the OP described. I was referring to how to deal with a young child with no experience of being in school who was talking out of turn because he didn't know he wasn't supposed to. Violent and bullying behavior need a firmer hand (only figuratively speaking) than what I described, but I still don't believe that punishment is the answer because it doesn't address the root of the problem. Maybe the other child needed counseling or therapy for emotional issues, maybe he had sensory integration issues and need occupational therapy to help him settle down and stop sensory seeking behavior (hitting can often be a form of sensory seeking). There are many reasons a child may be behaving badly, since I haven't met the child in question I can't say what his issues are, but I know that for behavior to really change the root issues have to be addressed

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#42 of 59 Old 08-31-2008, 07:10 PM
 
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Your experience is coming through very strongly in your post. Thank you for sharing that view. Over time, I can imagine the idea that you are "bad" is not benign. I suppose I meant benign in comparison to other methods, like paddling or expulsion.

If my child was receiving yellows/reds on a regular basis, the first thing I would do is go on a hunt for the reason. For us, any behavioral mishaps are related to sleep or food. I'd also look at possible learning differences, have an eye exam done, take my child to the child psych, take him to the pediatrician, etc. I agree there is usually an underlying reason.
Thank you for this post, i missed it in all the cross-posting. I agree that it is certainly a gentler approach then spanking or expulsion. It's probably better than total chaos in a classroom too. However I would prefer we strive for something even better when it comes to our children. And not just for some children, but for all children. Your son was obviously not getting that when he was being tormented by other children and that is not right at all. Once again I'm really sorry for that situation.

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#43 of 59 Old 08-31-2008, 07:27 PM
 
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First I wanted to say that hitting and violent behavior was not what the OP was talking about.
Thank you for the reminder of the OP. It does seem that teachers are implementing the card system differently. I bet it can be used in a very controlling and unhelpful manner.

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#44 of 59 Old 08-31-2008, 08:47 PM
 
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I didn't agree with this sort of behavior modification until my kid was the one disrupting the class. It took over a year of counseling and behavior modification -type discipline, in the form of notes home with a scoring system. I used bribing (positive consequences) and punishment (negative consequences). Her teacher and I tried to keep the consequences as "natural" as possible, but it wasn't always so. She's very proud now of her ability to get through each day without a meltdown or disrupting the class. Really, really proud of the work she's done.

But what the op describes, behavior-wise, is totally normal and not really cause for alarm unless it happens a lot.

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#45 of 59 Old 09-01-2008, 04:06 AM
 
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My ds attended public school for K & 1st grades, and they had a system similar to this. I think 1st grade involved some bananas, or something. It was weird. My DS had never been in daycare or preschool, and was very young in K, and really wasn't as mature as the rest of the kids. And he needs to move, alot. I remember being upset the first few times, but all the "infractions" the teachers described to me were so simple, that I couldn't really be upset that my ds fidgeted during story time or something.

(Once, he did get into a fight w/another student, whom the teacher told me the other student had egged him on for days. My ds was still wrong for fighting.)

By the beginning of 2nd grade, things were getting downright goofy. Like, I would get a call because he was tapping his pencil on his notebook too much. I mean, really.

Anyway, we decided to homeschool. But I do really dislike this system. It's too bad that they can't have smaller class sizes and/or more teachers and assistants so that our children don't have to be treated like this.

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#46 of 59 Old 09-01-2008, 04:57 AM
 
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Thank you for the reminder of the OP. It does seem that teachers are implementing the card system differently. I bet it can be used in a very controlling and unhelpful manner.
When I worked with student and new teachers, we taught them to use a similar system. But the emphasis was on using it for a while, to get the right positive attitudes in the classroom and the experience as a teacher to be able to do without this sort of controlling method.

The fact is, natural, good teachers didn't really use it. They paid lip-service, but their kids rarely moved beyond one warning, (the system we used gave warnings then consequences). After a few months, if you went in their classroom, there was a great atmosphere and no real evidence of rewards or consequences being used. Any difficulties with a child were dealt with sensitively and appropriately.

Some teachers, however, relied on using these systems for ever. Some of them did so because they were just the personality who likes and needs a 'system'. Honestly, their kids weren't shamed by it, and I don't think it did harm. It served a purpose, and the atmosphere in those classes was good.

A few teachers, however, relied heavily on the system and misused it because they really didn't have good relationships with the kids nor did they have good classroom management skills. If a child is coming home frequently with cards, the system is not working. The teacher is not teaching or disciplining effectively.

I recall the end of one semester where I met with a (struggling) teacher and tried to counsel her out of teaching as a profession. We added the number of cards that she had issued, and her total was in the hundreds. The next highest score by a fellow teacher was in the upper teens. Unfortunately she just didn't get it, insisting that her students were just 'more difficult' than anyone else's. (In fact, we'd moved most of the troublesome students into different classes, but new troublesome students kept springing up to take their place.) No matter how hard I worked with some teachers, they just did not have the skills to teach without a behavioural system. And a few still didn't have the skills to teach, even with one.

So, if my kids went to school, I'd have no problem with the system, but I would have a problem if the teacher relied on it.

As for being 'tough' to begin with, for a kindergarten teacher this is way out of line, imo. A kindergarten teacher needs to be sympathetic and kind and loving from day one. More so on day one, if anything, than at the end of the year. The idea that a K teacher needs to 'assert' herself at the beginning is highly inappropriate, imo.
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#47 of 59 Old 09-01-2008, 12:29 PM
 
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Engage the students.
That's a wonderful way to teach. However, engaging 30 different students with different interests and abilities with not a single student acting out is nearly impossible. Then what do you recommend when a student doesn't want to do what everyone else is doing?

I'm not being snarky- I'm being serious.

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#48 of 59 Old 09-01-2008, 01:36 PM
 
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That's a wonderful way to teach. However, engaging 30 different students with different interests and abilities with not a single student acting out is nearly impossible. Then what do you recommend when a student doesn't want to do what everyone else is doing?

I'm not being snarky- I'm being serious.
Of course your right. It is very difficult to engage that many students at once, especially with the teaching style adopted by most public schools, but the burden of fixing the problem shouldn't be put on the children by asking to behave in a way that they aren't ready to behave or by shaming them. We need smaller class sizes, more teacher's aides, and curriculum that allows children to be more self-directed. Many behavior issues could be solved just by making sure there were no more than 20 kindergartners to a class and that every teacher had an aide. Obviously some children have more serious issues that need more intensive intervention, but even then I think there are ways to address those issues that are healthier and in the long run more effective than rewards and punishments.

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#49 of 59 Old 09-01-2008, 03:47 PM
 
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That's a wonderful way to teach. However, engaging 30 different students with different interests and abilities with not a single student acting out is nearly impossible. Then what do you recommend when a student doesn't want to do what everyone else is doing?

I'm not being snarky- I'm being serious.
It's not easy, but I've done it. First the teacher needs to create a true sense of community in the classroom and do things to help the children understand he/she really cares. Then the teacher needs to find activities that are interesting. So for example, when I taught 5th grade, I started the year teaching base 5 for math (vs. the base 10 system we use, which about half could add and subtract in and the others couldn't). It was new to everyone and by analyzing it, we came up with general rules about addition and subtraction that apply to all bases. It put a new spin on +/- for those that knew it so they were extending their understanding of numbers and for those that were weak, it gave them a chance to learn about it again/in a new way. Then I split the class up (after 3 or 4 days) and those that needed more support with it and those that didn't learned a different base that was less than 10 (medium difficulty) and others developed new numbers to create a base greater than 10.

Besides presenting info in an interesting way, movement needs to be incorporated as much as possible, as well as plenty of opportunities for kids to work together if they want. The social aspect has to be addressed.

Over time, on those occasions when something comes up that wasn't so interesting, the students just did it. I think partly it was just trust between us and the respect I showed them. It takes a lot of time. But it is so much more satisfying having happy children who are learning (a lot).
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#50 of 59 Old 09-01-2008, 05:06 PM
 
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It's not easy, but I've done it. First the teacher needs to create a true sense of community in the classroom and do things to help the children understand he/she really cares. Then the teacher needs to find activities that are interesting. So for example, when I taught 5th grade, I started the year teaching base 5 for math (vs. the base 10 system we use, which about half could add and subtract in and the others couldn't). It was new to everyone and by analyzing it, we came up with general rules about addition and subtraction that apply to all bases. It put a new spin on +/- for those that knew it so they were extending their understanding of numbers and for those that were weak, it gave them a chance to learn about it again/in a new way. Then I split the class up (after 3 or 4 days) and those that needed more support with it and those that didn't learned a different base that was less than 10 (medium difficulty) and others developed new numbers to create a base greater than 10.

Besides presenting info in an interesting way, movement needs to be incorporated as much as possible, as well as plenty of opportunities for kids to work together if they want. The social aspect has to be addressed.

Over time, on those occasions when something comes up that wasn't so interesting, the students just did it. I think partly it was just trust between us and the respect I showed them. It takes a lot of time. But it is so much more satisfying having happy children who are learning (a lot).
I truly do not mean this in a snarky way, but you have basically attributed a great classroom environment to your great skills and have not given the kids any credit whatsoever... or the home environment (and the parents)... oh, and luck.
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#51 of 59 Old 09-01-2008, 07:09 PM
 
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I truly do not mean this in a snarky way, but you have basically attributed a great classroom environment to your great skills and have not given the kids any credit whatsoever... or the home environment (and the parents)... oh, and luck.

I was just explaining what I did as a teacher to meet the needs of my students and minimize behavior problems. The children have everything to do with it. Their needs determine how I would structure a classroom any given day/year. Their effort is what makes them succeed. I AM skillful at providing an environment that facilitates their learning.

My main point was that it is possible with teacher effort -- part of which is building a relationship with students, part of which is developing community, and part of which is planning activities that are interesting. Children misbehave less when they get the wiggles out, when they feel like they belong, and when they are engaged in what they are assigned to do. I do think part of my success is dependent on my skills. If I belittled, or punished, or went page by page through the text book, do you really think my students' reactions would have been the same? I've been next door to many yellers, year after year, when our classes were similar in composition. (I don't know that it matters, but most years I worked in the school with the lowest incomes and the greatest proportion of parents working more than one job.)
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#52 of 59 Old 09-01-2008, 07:39 PM
 
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Of course your right. It is very difficult to engage that many students at once, especially with the teaching style adopted by most public schools, but the burden of fixing the problem shouldn't be put on the children by asking to behave in a way that they aren't ready to behave or by shaming them. We need smaller class sizes, more teacher's aides, and curriculum that allows children to be more self-directed. Many behavior issues could be solved just by making sure there were no more than 20 kindergartners to a class and that every teacher had an aide. Obviously some children have more serious issues that need more intensive intervention, but even then I think there are ways to address those issues that are healthier and in the long run more effective than rewards and punishments.
I absolutely agree with this, but unfortunately, the teacher doesn't have any say in the matter. And most school districts won't pay the money to hire an aide. Our school district doesn't like to have fewer than 25 students in a classroom and will have up to 32 before splitting into smaller sections- frequently w/o aides.

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Originally Posted by sarasprings View Post
It's not easy, but I've done it. First the teacher needs to create a true sense of community in the classroom and do things to help the children understand he/she really cares. Then the teacher needs to find activities that are interesting. So for example, when I taught 5th grade, I started the year teaching base 5 for math (vs. the base 10 system we use, which about half could add and subtract in and the others couldn't). It was new to everyone and by analyzing it, we came up with general rules about addition and subtraction that apply to all bases. It put a new spin on +/- for those that knew it so they were extending their understanding of numbers and for those that were weak, it gave them a chance to learn about it again/in a new way. Then I split the class up (after 3 or 4 days) and those that needed more support with it and those that didn't learned a different base that was less than 10 (medium difficulty) and others developed new numbers to create a base greater than 10.

Besides presenting info in an interesting way, movement needs to be incorporated as much as possible, as well as plenty of opportunities for kids to work together if they want. The social aspect has to be addressed.

Over time, on those occasions when something comes up that wasn't so interesting, the students just did it. I think partly it was just trust between us and the respect I showed them. It takes a lot of time. But it is so much more satisfying having happy children who are learning (a lot).

I agree with this as well. You said how engaging you were/are, which is wonderful, but you don't say what you do with the students who do choose to act out. 5th grade is different from kinder, of course. And what about the students who find movement more confusing/chaotic? I also teach and I'm frequently changing how I do things. There are still kids who just.don't.want.to.do.it. I had a student who wasn't happy unless he was causing trouble in some way. I worked my butt off trying to build relationships with the students and we did make progress. I don't use this discipline in my class, but many of the primary teachers do and it seems to work well most of the time for most of the kids.

Michelle -mom to Katlyn 4/00 , Jake 3/02, and Seth 5/04
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#53 of 59 Old 09-01-2008, 07:59 PM
 
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If a child is a repeat "offender" then the teacher hasn't gotten to the core of the issue, likely because they are not able to reach a state of balance within themselves.
Are you saying that the teacher not having balance within themselves is the cause of the students misbehaving, or the students not having that balance within themselves?

When my middle dd was in K there were a few kids who were these repeat offenders. The 1 ended up in Grade 1 on a Modified Behaviour Plan. He was also on meds for ADD/ADHD & still had issues(though not as many once they started the meds) Out of the 5 kids who were on the MBP last year he was one of the most in control of his own behavour but it would pop out enough. The 1 kid who was the worst definitly has impulse control issues, but from what I've witnesses is also exposed to(or taught) imappropriate behaviour.

I'm not disagreeing that this system can be abused by teachers & if used as a FIRST resort will most likely be ineffective. however from what I've seen when used with speaking to the children about the issues(in private), teaching them methods of correcting the behaviour, coping methods before it escalates and as a LAST resort it is effective.

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Then the teacher needs to find activities that are interesting. So for example, when I taught 5th grade,
Dealing with Grade 5 students is completly different than dealing with Kindergarten students that have never been in a school situation before.
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#54 of 59 Old 09-01-2008, 08:08 PM
 
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Originally Posted by shelbean91 View Post
I agree with this as well. You said how engaging you were/are, which is wonderful, but you don't say what you do with the students who do choose to act out. 5th grade is different from kinder, of course. And what about the students who find movement more confusing/chaotic? I also teach and I'm frequently changing how I do things. There are still kids who just.don't.want.to.do.it. I had a student who wasn't happy unless he was causing trouble in some way. I worked my butt off trying to build relationships with the students and we did make progress. I don't use this discipline in my class, but many of the primary teachers do and it seems to work well most of the time for most of the kids.
Part of what makes it easier than kindy is that they are 5th graders. Part of the problem I saw in my son's kindy class was that there was no differentiation, mostly teaching to the middle. In his class, two of the lowest boys were the "troublemakers," who got yelled at for being in the bathroom too much (there was a huge incident of pants wetting because of this, which is the only reason I know). I can pretty much guess that it never asked of the teachers why those two were in the bathroom, they were just punished for being in there. These two boys were low on certain skills that were needed to get through many of the class lessons (although they were on top of things).

With my classes, there are more issues to deal with at the beginning of the year -- that's part of the challenge. For the movement, I did have one aspie who needed to be close to me for the activities and needed to watch the first time we did a new movement thing. That's what he did. There are children that are harder to help. Really, they came around when they felt like they were successful learning and they were liked by other kids. A lot of behaviors are defensive or playing the role, as a pp mentioned. The one child that I had the hardest time with was my first year teaching elementary. It took over half a year for him to "want.to.do.it." Again -- 5th grade is completely different than kindy, so maybe I shouldn't really be part of this conversation.

I should add that I think partly I had the flexibility to do what I did because of where I taught. I was able to replace curriculum units with what I considered better ones. I literally had a job here (in NYS) where I was expected to do exactly what the other team members did -- down to the page. I was written up for letting a sick child sit out a test and take in the next day.

And I just wanted to add one thing to my response to velochic. One year I had 34 fifth graders (my first year teaching elem). 2/3 of them were girls. I considered that very lucky. The other years were a lot of hard work.
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#55 of 59 Old 09-01-2008, 08:14 PM
 
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Dealing with Grade 5 students is completly different than dealing with Kindergarten students that have never been in a school situation before.
I agree -- and so this will be my last comment on this thread. In my son's school, what we saw (from DH's and my observations in classrooms) is that most of the teachers do their thing and expect kids to get with their program. My husband personally watched a 45 min. circle time in first grade with no movement activities. And he said that clearly they began circle before he went into the classroom.

I'll add to it that DH teaches kindy and he makes a point to incorporate a lot of movement activities and works really hard to make centers that are based on each year's kids' interests. Kids cheer when he does the action alphabet or centers. He gets the tough kids (by choice) because he knows the sensory things he does minimzed behavior.
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#56 of 59 Old 09-01-2008, 10:26 PM
 
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Originally Posted by sarasprings View Post
My husband personally watched a 45 min. circle time in first grade with no movement activities. And he said that clearly they began circle before he went into the classroom.

I'll add to it that DH teaches kindy and he makes a point to incorporate a lot of movement activities and works really hard to make centers that are based on each year's kids' interests. Kids cheer when he does the action alphabet or centers. He gets the tough kids (by choice) because he knows the sensory things he does minimzed behavior.
You DH sounds like a great kindergarten teacher, incorporating movement is so important. In my ds's school, every day and in every class (so far it only goes up to 4th grade), the children begin with what is termed embodiment which helps them feel connected to their bodies. In k through 2nd grade they go for a 30 minute morning walk, in the 3rd and 4th grade they do their embodiment in their homerooms. This usually takes the form of yoga, meditation or movement, martial arts etc. The 3rd and 4th graders join the walk with the other classes on Fridays.

I am bowing out of this discussion too.

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#57 of 59 Old 09-01-2008, 11:49 PM
 
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I teach 4th, so again, in my classroom- this isn't used. The other 3 4th grade teacher on my team also don't use this method. But, many (most, all?) of the primary teacher from k-3 use some variation of this and it does seem to work for them. Of course, there are other things- phone calls home, private discussions, aide support, etc. There are always going to be some good, some bad teachers. I think a good teacher using this method will have the majority, if not all, of the students on 'green' most/all of the time. A lousy teacher will not get this (or anything else for that matter) to work. Any time my dd (who's currently in 3rd) had a color other than green, I'd ask her why. She'd start w/'I dont' know' but when I probed more and asked what her teacher would tell me when I called, she's start to remember. Her teacher was very good about the students knowing what was done incorrectly, how to fix it for next time, and it was the behavior, not the student.

Again, like any other tool- it can be used for good or bad.

Michelle -mom to Katlyn 4/00 , Jake 3/02, and Seth 5/04
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#58 of 59 Old 09-02-2008, 12:22 AM
 
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Our sons teacher uses this system except it's Blue, Purple, Green, Yellow, Pink LMAO. Yes, there are 5 different colors. Blue is great and pink and referral. I seriously didn't know a 5 year old could get a referral? Anyways, I grew up with his teacher and have kind of filled her in with a lot of his quirkiness. He's a sensitive child. She's watching out for him and I think she is being extra lenient on him. I find this good and bad. I don't want him to feel singled out but at the same time, I don't want him in trouble for minor things.
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#59 of 59 Old 09-02-2008, 08:33 AM
 
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Mine will not be the popular opinion.

I am all for this in a public school where the tendency is to teach to the lowest kid in the class thanks to NCLB, and it's very necessary for all the kids to be able to hear and pay attention.

Teachers of Kindy kids are trying to teach appropriate behavior for their later grades, and having a child see where he stands, so he can improve is good. I got really tired of my DS coming home upset last year (K) because he couldn't hear the teacher b/c there were 3 kids CONSTANTLY disrupting. He's a good, quiet, smart child who didn't say 3 words to the teacher for the first 3 weeks of school. I was called in b/c she was worried about him not talking. He didn't get much positive attention because the teacher was too busy working with kids who were out of control.

An involved parent would take this opportunity to talk to the child about disruption and let him know that you aren't angry, but that it's rude to disrupt. The red card is punishment enough. When it happens for the 15th time, then get mad. I wholly expect my children to be respectful in class, not only of the teacher, but of the other children trying to learn.

Public school is a group learning environment where children are learning how to behave in a group setting. It's not like Montessori or other free learning environments where children are encouraged to play to learn and are worked with on individual levels. Everyone in the class has a right to learn and be able to hear what the teacher is saying. I think that at 6, a child is fully capable of sitting for 5-10 minutes and following the rules. I'm sure she didn't just flip the card to red without warning. Like most people, there are several warnings, including the yellow card.
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