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Chatty Girls In A Chinese Kindergarten

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by george_mc, Mar 29, 2016.

  1. george_mc

    george_mc New commenter

    I've been teaching kindergarten in China for 4 years and have had lots of different class sizes and ability.

    Now I have a class of 11 kids aged 4 and 5. 10 girls and 1 boy. I've been teaching them for about a month.

    The boy is no problem but whatever I do the girls continually chat through English class. I've done the good teacher/ bad teacher skit, rewarding quiet behaviour and moving them. But nothing seems to work. Any suggestions?
  2. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    ClassDojo! It's great and it does not cost anything.

    IAMBOG New commenter

    That's the third time I've heard ClassDojo mentioned this week.
  4. gulfgolf

    gulfgolf Established commenter

    It's a digital version of a behavior chart. In my view, it's not likely to be helpful, since it doesn't teach behavior, it just tracks it and builds up stronger desires for extrinsic rewards. These sorts of things assume that students know how to do better, when in fact students are already doing the best they can. If they could do better, they would. After all, no one likes to be a failure. Teacher pleasers may see an uptick in "sit still and listen", but the students who don't have that skill yet will just be humiliated and demotivated.
    These are pretty young kids we're talking about. Can't we a) make the class highly interactive and active, as their developmental stage demands, and b) gradually teach them to lengthen their ability to focus quietly?
  5. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Well, gulgolf, it might be the case that ClassDojo really is a waste of time, but then again that does not explain why so many teachers all over the world are using it. I do not want my students to just "sit still and listen" and it is easy to give Dojo points for asking good questions, giving good answers and taking part in oral work. If you only want to reinforce positive behaviour and you do not want to take away Dojo points for anything negative, then ClassDojo will allow you to do this.
  6. gulfgolf

    gulfgolf Established commenter

    I'm still not a fan. Giving happy points still doesn't teach students how to earn them, and KG kids are not likely to have mastered asking good questions. The kids who can't earn happy points will still compare themselves badly with the kids who can. And KG kids should still be active and talkative, not quiet, so I advocate changing the lessons to meet their needs.
  7. gulfgolf

    gulfgolf Established commenter

    Try googling "rip those behavior charts off the wall ". I can't get the link to copy.
    rouxx likes this.
  8. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Well, gulfers, ClassDojo is very flexible, so really you can award points for whatever you want. Or are you suggesting that no child, of any age, should ever receive any praise or recognition for anything, as this might mean that other children might feel hurt or upset or inferior?
  9. gulfgolf

    gulfgolf Established commenter

    Far from it, my hipster friend.
    I'm a big fan of Carol Dweck style growth mindset praise, the sincere, specific description of a worthy behaviour such as persisting at a task, nailing the conclusion in a tough essay, or even sitting quietly to listen when the situation calls for it.
    I'm just not a fan of points and behaviour charts. They're not specific enough, to me they don't feel sincere, and they do have the impact of creating winners and losers. Losers tend to keep losing.
    Imagine if your school used class dojo for its teachers. "Gulfers is down a point for being 3 minutes late to class, while Hipster is up 2 for getting his lesson plans filed on time." I know my mood would not improve, making me more likely to lose more points during the day, and I'd certainly conclude, however unfairly, that Hipster is a snotty suck up. Which I know he isn't. :)
    rouxx likes this.

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