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Appropriate punishments within a primary classroom?

Discussion in 'Primary' started by LittleMissCurious, Feb 17, 2011.

  1. I work with children across KS2, and am struggling to find appropriate sanctions for poor behaviour.
    For minor incidents, I keep children in at the start of break, etc. But what should I be doing for more serious incidents? I have consulted our behaviour policy and there is no "system" in place with escalating sanctions. The school doesn't use any system like golden time.
    Older members of staff see the setting of lines/copying from the dictionary to be appropriate.
     
  2. I work with children across KS2, and am struggling to find appropriate sanctions for poor behaviour.
    For minor incidents, I keep children in at the start of break, etc. But what should I be doing for more serious incidents? I have consulted our behaviour policy and there is no "system" in place with escalating sanctions. The school doesn't use any system like golden time.
    Older members of staff see the setting of lines/copying from the dictionary to be appropriate.
     
  3. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    I keep them in at break for however long I deem appropriate for most misbehaviours.

    For more serious I have an arrangement with the other year 6 teacher that we send children for time out in each other's class. You could arrange something with any other year group teacher.

    Send them to the HT or DH for very serious misbehaviour and phone home later as well.


    Some of our older staff do the copying out at breaktimes when children are kept in. I don't and just make them sit there bored brainless. Either is fine as far as I'm concerned.
     
  4. Is there no school system in place?
    At my school we have pitstop (a time for children to stop and reflect) for serious incidents e.g kicking, punching, swearing etc. They also go to pitstop if they have three low level disruptions in a lesson e.g. shouting out, refusing to work, snatching equipment etc
    Children are kept in at break and asked to think about how their behaviour has impacted on the feelings of others and other children learning expriences(we have a worksheet format that they fill out with the help of teacher) Then they write a letter of appology to those their behaviour has affected. If the children have three offences for misconduct their parents are called into discuss their behaviour with the child and teacher.
    It is less about punishment and more about reflection and communication between the teacher and pupil. It works really well and helps children to understand how they can impact on other people.
    Hope thid helps
     
  5. No. And when I raised this as an issue, I was told that I was blaming others and making excuses.
    It does. Thanks!
     
  6. mprimaryz

    mprimaryz New commenter

    I'm sorry but I think the whole 'reflection' talk is a load of rubbish. If they are naughty they need to be punished. The punishment needs to fit the crime but it's the punishment they can reflect on. Action/consequences. Nothing a good old rant at them can't solve. Invade their space, take them out of their comfort zone. Ask the class 'who has been annoyed by Joe Blogs today. What did he do that annoyed you?' The truth hurts them and it does work. I hate all this positive positive attitude towards 'reinforcing negative behaviour.' Such a load of rhubarb.

    Reward the good stuff yes, praise the naughties when they have been good blah blah but tell the little tykes off when you feel the need. Oh and see the parents straight away (if they are decent they will support you). I've found that the troublesome kids have responded really well and after a few weeks of them learning where the line is they have conformed to the norm and made a positive contribution to class life.
     
  7. mprimaryz

    mprimaryz New commenter

    I'm sorry but I think the whole 'reflection' talk is a load of rubbish. Time out to think about what they've done = time to not do their work. They're not soft! If they are naughty they need to be punished. The punishment needs to fit the crime but it's the punishment they can reflect on. Action/consequences. Nothing a good old rant at them can't solve. Invade their space, take them out of their comfort zone. Ask the class 'who has been annoyed by Joe Blogs today. What did he do that annoyed you?' The truth hurts them and it does work. I hate all this positive positive attitude towards 'reinforcing negative behaviour.' Such a load of rhubarb.

    Reward the good stuff yes, praise the naughties when they have been good blah blah but tell the little tykes off when you feel the need. Oh and see the parents straight away (if they are decent they will support you). I've found that the troublesome kids have responded really well and after a few weeks of them learning where the line is they have conformed to the norm and made a positive contribution to class life.
     
  8. Mine are UKS2, so not sure whether it would be appropriate for the younger ones. For low level stuff (stupid comments and shouting out, mostly), they have to see me either in their next break or lunchtime - whatever is earlier. We then have a chat about their behaviour and why they have been incredibly annoying, what they could do next time to avoid it, etc. If their comments have affected or upset anybody, they write a letter of apology.
    Anybody throwing stuff around has to tidy the classroom during the next break or lunchtime.
    If they chew on their clothes or their equipment, they get one warning. If I catch them again, they write lines. (Works for most of mine.)
    If they really have been a pain in the backside (constant chatting, shouting out, being silly, etc.), they lose their lunchtime. This means that they either sit in silence in the classroom, stand facing a wall (because they were being cheeky, answering back, etc.) or stand on the sideline (if I'm outside doing a club that lunchtime). They particularly dislike the ones outside, because all their friends are playing...and they have to stand there in silence.
    For serious offenses, they get send to our HoY and I contact parents (by phone).
    We have golden time, but they generally only lose that for lack of effort in lessons. It means they then have to catch up with anything that isn't finished. I prefer to punish poor behaviour very quickly, so we can move on. Some of mine wouldn't even remember what they did wrong, if they misbehaved on Monday and lost their golden time on Friday.
     
  9. Hello there,
    First of all we write an agreed classroom charter together after circle time. We agree on 4 class rules - it doesn't matter how they are worded as long as they are do's rather than don'ts and they cover four areas - learning, property, movement around school, respect. The most valuable one I find is 'help yourself and each other to learn'. Most behaviour can be talked about in these terms. Eg, anyone calling out 'what's our rule about learning?' someone throwing pencils 'what's our rule about keeping our class tidy?' Always try to bring it back to the learning. Ask questions like 'what should you be doing?'
    Hand in hand with this we have a reward system - the children are organised into teams of 5 or 6. Each team has a name and a points chart where there are collective rewards - eg, for 20 points everyone gets a bookmark, 40 points everyone gets a badge etc. Team points are rewarded for good work and behaviour and sticking to the class charter. It's really important that it is a collaborative form of reward system so that it's not just the really good and really disruptive children who are always getting the rewards and it encourages the chidlren to achieve something as a team.
    In addition we have a set of classroom sanctions - an oral reminder, name on the board, sat on own, sent to next door teacher, sent to headteacher etc. I very rarely get further than name on board, have occasionally moved children on their own and only once ever sent someone next door. For general classroom behaviour management I have found this to be a very effective system. It gives the children chances to modify their behaviour before it escalates out of control and becomes something major. Sanctions should be given with certainty not severity. It's really important to start with a clean slate in the afternoon and any sanctions are forgotten. Talk to children about starting again the next morning if they have had a bad afternoon. Always try to rebuild bridges and give the children a way back to appropriate behaviour.
    I realise that all classes are different and what works for one might not for another. However, I have used this system in different schools and with different classes for many years and have always found it to be effective. Hope this is helpful!
     
  10. The problems with this simplistic approach to behaviour management are manifold. If you treat children like lab rats, they are likely to behave like them.
    Firstly, although these strategies might result in 'good' behaviour in your classroom, they can backfire on other teachers/ parents. The kids toe the line because they don't want you to rant at them or humiliate them, but then they feel miffed and act up when you're not around.
    Secondly, there are diverse views on what constitutes good/bad behaviour. Young children are often expected to guess what the new adult in charge of them means by it. They do learn, through trial and error, but then they have to go through the trial and error process again in their next class. So you can get a whole string of teachers tutting over the effect that summer holidays have on kids' behaviour, when what's happening is that the kids are simply misjudging what's expected, or testing the teacher's boundaries to find out what's expected.
    Thirdly, you can get kids going through school holding grudges for what they perceive as unjust punishments. Most 7 year olds would hesitate to retaliate against an adult, but you can safely bet that a 'little tyke' who's been on the receiving end of a 'the truth hurts' approach in the infants or juniors is likely to start dishing out the same treatment to some unsuspecting Yr 8 teacher.
    Fourth, although I completely agree that the punishment should fit the crime, what's important is that the kid should learn that there is a reason why some behaviour is considered good and other behaviour is considered bad. Bad behaviour is 'bad' because it has bad consequences for somebody. It isn't 'bad' just because a specific teacher doesn't like it, and the bad consequences are not just that it makes the teacher rant.
    There are some behaviours that are not 'bad', but a specific teacher doesn't like them and won't tolerate them. That's OK. Most kids can make the distinction.
    Behaviour management isn't easy, but the principles are simple.
    Make it explicit what you mean by good and bad behaviour. Give examples.
    Have a whole school system of rewards/sanctions in place - if rewards and sanctions are needed.
    Look at your classroom management. Are there situations/incidents that trigger problem behaviour?
    Model good behaviour. It isn't just for children.
    Rehearse it until the children do it without thinking. Do some role play/drama about bad behaviour so kids can get a feel for what it's like being on the receiving end, read facial expressions (3% of the UK population can't do this reliably), know when to stop, use conciliatory behaviour etc.



     
  11. The best thing I have ever seen (that 100% works across the whole of our primary school) is the smiley face and sad face on the whiteboard. Above each face is a hierachy of sanctions/rewards.
    So for example, the 'happy' side is 1) Just their name 2) One tally is a sticker 3) Two tallies is a raffle ticket 4) Three tallies is a praise note home 5) Four tallies is a period of golden time 6) Five tallies is a visit to SLT who ring home to say how pleased they are.
    Alternatively, on the 'sad' side is (1) Just their name (2) One tally is time out within the classroom (3) Two tallies is time out in a partner class (4) Referred to the phase leader (5) Referred to SLT (6) After school detention
    I was a total cynic of this method at first as I thought it would never work. I teach in a school that's in the centre of the dodgiest housing estate in the town and I thought that the type of kids we had would just scoff at the chance of getting a sticker (I teach Year 6!). But let me tell you, I have never seen such a reaction when I pick up the whiteboard pen, poised to put their name up! Oppositely, the reaction when they get their name on the 'sad' side is amazing...they genuinely don't want it on there, and as such, I've never had to put more than one tally up on the sad side! Our head pops in most days as well and will always check the board for whose names are where.
    Once their name is up, it cannot come down until the next day, when a fresh start begins.
    I would definitely recommend this method


     
  12. mprimaryz

    mprimaryz New commenter

    I would agree with some of what you said but not all. The part about 'backfiring' was true in the first few weeks in September but regardless of what teacher is in my class (supply/ta/a different teacher within school) the feedback is always very positive. Reason being is that we are all consistent with our expectations of the children. Little things should annoy everyone. It's the little things that add up. My partner taught in a challenging school last year but despite numerous behaviour strategies nothing seemed to work. There was no consistency throughout the school. Even the head would say 'Well they are challenging kids from a poor background'. Whilst I empathise for some of the kids who have to go through things I have not why let the fact that just because it's a deprived area expectations should be lower? I work in a very deprived area. We have never been on a school trip (home or abroad) where the general public haven't thought we were a private school. Our behaviour is brilliant wherever we go. (Because they know what is expected) This is fed back to the children of as praise. It's because we expect the best and so put that across to the children. They need to have high expectations of themselves and behaviour management is just one way to get that across.
     
  13. @mprimaryz
    In short, your school does make behavioural expectations explicit and has a whole-school policy. That wasn't clear in the post I responded to. Thanks for explaining.
     
  14. oldsomeman

    oldsomeman Star commenter

    I have 2 yr 3 who think its ok to go beserk at other individulas in class. One is the main person.the other child i think copies him.Despite my following the behaviour system in the end the other child nearly always gets to be removed from the room.He really dont care, will give low level disruption though talking to others and backchatting your commands,by threatening kids and generally, if told off, then kicks chairs , throws pencils and bits, even books. if sent out to joint class will refuse which means you have to get the learning mentors in or the DH.
    I might say his gardiun sees him as a shining child ,but i see him as a great itrritation despite the fact he is verbally clever and knows how to 'push the reaction buttons' of most of the quick reactionary kids in the class, besides trying to bully them.
    His preseence can then sent the rest of the class into meltdown His comapion in crime if told off tries to copy the behaviourisms or hides under the table!....i tend t ignore him and eventually he cools down and goes back to work.........but thanks for your ideas folks .it has given me some more ideas to think about!
     
  15. Warn them that you will be having word with parents if unacceptable behaviour continues - make sure you do if i does! (This often works, even with those that you may think parents will not support you).
    Make sure to have a word with parents when 'troublesome' pupils have a good day! - just as important, if not more so.
     

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