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Ideas for a rowdy class

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by Tom_Bennett, Jul 16, 2011.

  1. Tom_Bennett

    Tom_Bennett Occasional commenter

    Rowdy, bright, resentful of a new teacher. These are your challenges/ problems. And you are perfectly correct- there are no short cuts that will eradicate them- only time can wither them.
    That said, maintain the following strategies:
    • Consistency. Let them know exactly what to expect from you.
    • Rewards and sanctions. Probably a lot more of the latter. Let them know what to expect if their behaviour goes off the rails, or stays perfectly on them.
    • Challenging lessons: if they're bright, keep them on their toes with tough work, so that none of the more able kids can sneer at the 'simplicity of it all,' making you want to spanner them.
    • Set your stall out. Let them know what your class rules are- don't assume that they know where you stand. And reboot the class whenever you feel like it by stopping them and reminding them of the rules, as many times as you like. Repetition is often the key; wear them down into a shape that fits your mental picture of a learning class, not the rowdy blob they seem to be.
    I bet you're doing just fine with them. Keep it up!
    Good luck
  2. Thanks for the really useful advice - all really straightforward and exactly what I needed reminding of. But it's easy to forget after they've had you rolling their eyes at them.
    I have a lot of them in my tutor group where there are similar behaviour patterns, but I'm already starting to see an improvement there, so hopefully maintaining that consistent approach over a period of time will see a similar change in the lessons.
  3. jmntsp

    jmntsp New commenter

    Absolutely seating plan! I always have one. Generally boys next to girls. Daft boys next to quiet little girls....and gobby girls next to weedy boys. They are hugely indignant if you sit them next to someone they genuinely DON'T want to talk to. And after a while you often find that the nice, sensible girls are helping the daft boys work quietly....and that the gobby girls have lowered themselves to ask the nerd in the specs how to do a particular question. Either way, it does wonders for the class noise level I have found. And like dragonlady I make it very clear that this is MY classroom and MY rules. We are not all equal in my room....I am in charge, because I have the knowledge and the authority and the skills to pass on. It is a privilege to sit near your friend - not your right.
  4. Dragonlady30

    Dragonlady30 Star commenter

    Thank you! This is music to my ears!! [​IMG] And absolutely correct about boys and girls next to someone with whom they have little in common. At least when they are discussing, you can almost guarentee it's about the subject you have set because they'll have nothing else to talk about.
    After 36 years at the chalk face, I have learnt that the kids need to be tamed before they can be trained!!
    Seriously, one must take charge-you're the adult and must be in full control. There are a variety of methods but, speaking from my experience, this works, but you must be strong! It doesn't matter how you feel inside, you must own the room.
    It's not easy at first, but it will pay dividends in the future.
  5. Totally agree with DragonLady and jmntsp with regards to the seating plan.
    Your desire to have them working quietly is very important.
    If things get too chatty, ask them all to stand up. They will do. Keep them standing until there is silence (which there will be - they are more lazy than chatty, I guarantee). Explain that you are not putting up with this noise level, and tell them all to draw a line under their work, write down the time in the margin and then start from there.
    Top set kids aren't stupid... they will know that they are being held accountable for how much work they are doing. Tell them the expectation for how much work they need to complete in the next 15 minutes. Do another work check then. Anyone not getting enough done, speak to them at the end, explain that if it happens again you will be photocopying work and sending it home with a letter of concern. Initimate that you are unsure whether or not they are capable of maintaining their position in this top set...
    good luck. Taking over a top set Y10 into Y11 is not easy as an NQT - I did it... and even though it was 14 years ago... I remember! I think personally I did not realise the impact phoning home would have. I tended to see them as Older Students, forgetting that inside that 15 year old they were 14, 13, 12, 11, 10 etc.
  6. jmntsp

    jmntsp New commenter

    Oh brilliant! You are my heroine, cucumber. I shall be pinching this suggestion in the future, if necessary. I haven't tried this, but immediately can see it working, particularly with new classes. Thanks.
  7. Random175

    Random175 New commenter

    Love it, love it!
    Must also work on the individual child who likes to chat?
  8. Lots of good advice, but I wanted to give a different opinion about seating plans. I aim to avoid seating naughty boys next to nice girls or brash girls next to quiet boys (or whatever the example was). My classroom isn't a social scene but it is somewhere I want people to feel comfortable, secure and 'safe'. I try to keep a space empty, either a desk right at the front or at the back for if my seating plan isn't working. An off-task student can be moved to the front, an attention-seeker to the back. (Don't these things sound so straight forward in August!).
  9. Random175

    Random175 New commenter

    Hi thanks coolasacucumber. I should have been more specific - the silent bit I already practise - it was the drawing a line and putting the time that I really liked as a new idea. Sounds great for those particularly lazy pupils who nevertheless have supportive parents.
  10. Yes it is effective. Especially when you say that you will be using this in parents' meetings and photocopying to send home...!
  11. YesMrBronson

    YesMrBronson New commenter

    Excellent advice from coolas in post 10.
  12. Dragonlady30

    Dragonlady30 Star commenter

    I like the 'silent' treatment! Another one I have used effectively is getting them to close their eyes-The can't talk with their eyes shut!! This is particularly effective with KS3, although I've had it work with KS4 too.

    Yes, there'll always be one Herbert who will look around, but if everyone else has their eyes closed, they can't communicate! [​IMG]
  13. Maybe something as simple as changing the seating plan or giving out more praise, waiting for them to listen before you start talking, making sure you have their attention and they are listening right at the start of the lesson before starting - helps set the scene and expectations!!
  14. Post 10, coolasacucumber:
    brilliant - great advice.
  15. Random175

    Random175 New commenter

    I agree with jmntsp - if there are lots of chatty children write down the names of those who are waiting quietly - say these are the children who are going to go on time. Keep back the rest for a minute or two. That way it is not a whole class detention but you still make your point.
  16. Dragonlady30

    Dragonlady30 Star commenter

    I appreciate that this method might seem unfair but I temper it with making learning groups more acceptable to the quieter students.They don't always in the seating plan, but it does have its place.

  17. If you don't know names, another good thing is a stack of red cards that you give out to those chatting as you walk around the classroom but don't respond to 'what's this'. Then go to the board and write 2 minutes at break = red cards. You won't even have to explain; it's quick and straight to the point and you are in quiet control without breaking the learning of those working. Our electronic reward system means that we can have also have a class page minimised on the whiteboard and to make the point, I always bring it up and give merits to those working...again with no comment.
  18. I love the 'in at break' cards idea. I'm going to make some up now and use them with my kids. I cover PPA time and struggle to find things that work for behaviour management. I will pair them with a system that I have seen used in another school called 'caught you being good', where cards are handed to children for positive behaviours. Each child would then have the chance to bank the cards and win a prize at the end of term. This is my first job after 2 years of supply and I'm learning all the time.

  19. Silly question maybe... But is there anyway to do this in a practical lesson?
    I have an awkward group of year 11 Product Design students, with a huge range of abilities (predicted everything from A-F), made up of 95% boys, and they appear to have got away with a lot in the past (according to other teachers, not the students!). The majority of the group are argumentative, refuse to accept me as their teacher (there's a lot of demands for the old teacher back - it's not possible, he's left!), and pay very little attention to what I ask of them. We have lessons just over 90 minutes long, and yet, somehow, some of them manage to produce hardly anything in that time, and as well as frustrating me, it's holding back the rest of the class on their coursework (CAT) time, as the time that i'm spending arguing with that group takes away from the time I can be doing useful inputs with the group that want to work!

    From tomorrow I'm trying a new approach to the lesson, and structuring what they do a lot more - so if they don't get something finished in the alloted time, they'll have to do it during after school sessions - but is there something I can do to prove that by, I don't know, half way through our lesson, they've done nothing? Most of the work we're doing is on PC which throws up another issue, but again, from tomorrow, I'm making them draft on paper first, before they even log on... I'm willing to try pretty much anything to get them under control, but I'm definitely NOT spending the whole year letting them run the lessons!

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