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Year 5 - advice needed!!

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by sa1.sa1, Jan 8, 2013.

  1. Hi all,

    I have been told next year i will teach in year 5. At present we dont have a year 5 as we are an expanding primary school. I want to look at and get different ideas for behaviour reward and sanctions in class. The head has given free reign to come up with something that will obviously be effective and away from the 'infant school' sticker rewards.

    Hope you can help me! Much appreciated
  2. crezz1

    crezz1 New commenter

    Do you work in Suffolk perchance??!!
  3. Unfortunatley no i dont work in Suffolk
  4. Tom_Bennett

    Tom_Bennett Occasional commenter

    As they get older, the sanctions need to simple, clearly linked to poor behaviour, and immediate. Set out class rules and expect all classes to adhere to them. Have regular detentions in which children have to do something they don't enjoy, like copying, lines, or extra work. The point is they should deter, so they need to be unpalatable.
    But they they still love the whole sticker strategy, so don;t bin it. Star charts, verbal praise, nice comments in books, all designed to encourage desired behaviours, are all still very effective. Make sure there's a balance of both.
    Behaviour management needn't be fussy, complicated or outré. In fact it needs to be simple and unsophisticated so that everyone understands it, and everyone can implement and conform to it.
    Good luck
    Read more from Tom
    on his blog, or
    him. His latest book,Teacher,
    is out now, published by Continuum/ Bloomsbury

  5. You could follow Tom's advice and force the class to comply by employing a regimented system of 'let them know who's boss' punishments and rewards for 'appropriate' behaviour. Or you could put together some strategies that will enable you to build good, strong relationships with these children and create a team out of your new class. For example, you could include the children in a discussion, listening to their views about what should happen in their classroom; how people should be treated; what the consequences should be when things aren't going well. In terms of encouraging the children to see themselves as part of a team, you could have an agreed reward that the whole class is working towards (maybe use marbles as rewards, these are placed in a jar, when the jar is full, the whole class receives the reward).I do not believe it is our job as teachers to control and wear down children until they comply with our demands.
  6. This just doesn't work for some children. Some children just don't know what is best for them, and they need that clear structure. If we 'all work as a team' and even go as far as allowing children to make up the rules, where does that leave the teacher?

    Besides, I don't see why you can't do elements of both.
  7. As well as being a full-time primary school teacher, I am also a full-time mum with 3 children, the youngest of whom is in Y5. I do not want my children to be subjected to an oppressive classroom atmosphere, where they are controlled and forced to comply with a teacher's demands (however unreasonable).I reject the idea that the only alternative to strict, dominating control from the teacher is a weak, insipid, 'touchy-feely' approach where the children are allowed to decide the rules. The latter approach is not what I am advocating at all. It is my responsibility as a teacher to create a safe, ordered environment for my classes. When I escaped the illusion of needing to control my pupils at all times, it was as if a massive burden fell from my shoulders. I became a better observer, asking questions like "What is this behaviour for? What is this child after?" and responding accordingly to ensure the child's unacceptable behaviour was not being rewarded or reinforced. How often do we, as teachers, get hooked into children's behaviour games and, without realising it, give those children exactly what they want (not need)? I've found discussions with the classes I've taught worthwhile and informative and I've certainly found an increased willingness to accept boundaries and consequences when children have a sense of ownership of them. As a mum, I want my children to grow up with a voice and the opportunity to express themselves as evolving adults, rather than to spend their days being yelled into "SILENCE!!!"
  8. Ishamel

    Ishamel New commenter

    Making children aware that bad behaviour in Year 5 will be punsihed with boring independent work in their own time hardly seems oppressive to me.
    For some teachers this isn't an illusion at all! You may just have really nice kids...
    I'm not sure how a pure consultation strategy on rules such as you suggest would not be open to abuse like this.
    Here we agree, but I think you could frame a discussion around 'why are these school rules a good idea' or 'what does good behaviour look like?' and get the same effect without relying on the children to come up with the rules themselves.
    Tom did say to continue the positive sticker- and praise-based systems for good behaviour - more carrot than stick, but in year 5 the stick needs to exist even if it isn't used often at all - it won't be long in the school I work at before Y5 are sitting in rows and thinking about the 11+; high standards of 'civilisation' are expected.
  9. Tom_Bennett

    Tom_Bennett Occasional commenter

    Strong relationships are based on trust, and trust in the classroom is based on trusting the teacher to be a role model and a healthy authority figure. And if you involve children in creating the rules of the room, then you're deceiving them by pretending that they have a say when they don't. Because if a child came up with a rule you didn't agree with (eg we get breaks every five minutes) then you'd over rule. So any such discussion is really just a disguised order.
    Structure and good behaviour is for the benefit of everyone: the quiet, the loud, the needy, the able, and you. It isn't oppressive. It's liberating.
    Read more from Tom
    on his blog, or
    him. His latest book,Teacher,
    is out now, published by Continuum/ Bloomsbury

  10. mercer77

    mercer77 New commenter

    Tom's right. Life has rules, if I speed in my car I know what will happen. If I'm late for work, I know what will happen. If I work hard and follow the rules I will get paid. School should not be any different - children should learn that each action has a consequence, either good or bad. It's not oppressive, it's being fair. Teaching teamwork and responsibility is great too, but children will not learn those things if we're inconsistent in the way we deal with them.
  11. mercer77

    mercer77 New commenter

    And it's not about 'wearing down' pupils. The rules do not have to onerous or overly strict. It's never about the severity of the punishment, it's about the certainty. So, if I run in the corridor, a teacher WILL stop me and remind me about it. If I argue or answer the teacher back, I WILL end up staying in for some of my break time. Therefore, I will not run in the corridor as it's too much hassle. If I really think that pupils should be allowed to run in the corridor, I will ask my school council rep to bring it up at the next meeting. Nothing draconian about that, just a fair system.
  12. I invite you to read my posts again and to note that I am NOT arguing against the appropriate authority of an adult in the classroom and the necessary structure that involves. What I am advocating is an authoritative approach, as opposed to an authoritarian view.

    I am challenging the assumptions of power which reduce complex human beings to be subjected to behaviourist theories of stimuli and response (eg 'carrot and stick').

    I actively encourage my children to show respect towards others, but I do not want my children to uncritically follow the command of an adult simply because of their age and status. Look at the horrors of society to see how that precedent has been and can be abused by adults in positions of authority.

    Without doubt there are moments when compliance is the most appropriate requirement in a classroom, but it needn't be presented as an uncontested default position. Should my children be compelled to sit unquestioning through boring, useless and irrelevant 'learning' experiences because they are being presented by an adult? Should my children have no valid voice as they progress to become adults in a democratic society?

    The subtle difference between compliance and cooperation is at the crux of this issue. The former resorts to the magnifying of assigned power positions. The latter places an emphasis on relationships, recognising the inequality in roles, whilst valuing inherent worth of each human being (regardless of age). It is in this capacity adults can excel as role models and build enabling, trusting relationships - for the foundation is the child's goodwill rather than their obligation to conform through fear of consequences.

    Finally, a word of confession - mercer77, when time has not been on my side, I have been known to run in the corridor...
  13. Refuse you are assuming the children have quite a lot of self awareness and restraint along with a high level of social skills and perspective. Some of these may be possible at 9 years old but perspective and experience simply aren't possible as they take time.
    As a trainee teacher I thought I would never hear myself say 'because I said so' and thought that was a stupid way of managing children. Then of course, I had to actually manage children! Sometimes children simply DON'T understand they whys of school rules and right up to adulthood many children struggle with the idea that they are NOT different or special and therefore cannot be subject to special rules. In fact, this is constantly seen in episodes of Airline where grown adults arrive after flight check-in time and plead to be let on because 'its just 5 minutes' and then proceed to scream and swear when they are told no.
    Children should have a voice but equally adults should be able to say 'I understand this situation better than you so I am overuling you.'
    Oh and this:
    "Should my children be compelled to sit unquestioning through boring,
    useless and irrelevant 'learning' experiences because they are being
    presented by an adult?"
    I do this. Its called inset. I wouldn't stand up and walk out through boredom because I know it would be rude, unproffesional, unecessarily dramatic and I understand that sometimes training is boring. Work is like that sometimes.
    Do I expect a 9 year old to understand these social conventions, the need of the greater good etc? No. So I compel them to sit through it because if they don't they will be punished.
  14. I appeal to their maturity as the oldest children they know what is expected so I start all my year 5 lessons with three lessons demonstrating how learning takes place in the classroom, not a list of rules. I think children need to know what the expectations of behaviour are in the classrrom (can you get up if the teacher is talking etc?) so I model what they should be doing at each time. By year 5 most children know what is expected and are keen to impress their new teacher so I start a lesson on what ever topic and as they sit listening quietly (as most children do initially) I compliment them on knowing how to behave in the classroom, as they start work as soon as it is as I want I congratulate them on knowing how to behave. I make sure those first three lessons cover all the main classrrom scenarios, group, individual work etc so in that first day we have established our rules but without mentioning the word rules. Any misbehaviour is discussed with the child and they have to deal with the impact either on their learning by catching up the work or by an apology or by making up wasted time however I never mention what the sanctions are to them until they need one. I make it by way of an apology 'I'm sorry Jon this work isn't finished and I need it finished you'll need to sit with me during break to get it done' etc. Any interruptions to the lesson are dealt with 'Jon can that wait other children can't hear what they need to' 'ask me that later'. Parents are still very improtant to the child at this stage so I will make sure that if I have the chance to speak to them at the end of the school day I mention positive things I ask children to take home their work book to show the positive work comments I've written to parents. I don't have stickers as I believe children should at this age start to learn and work for its own sake not for the reward of a sticker. And rememnber to be really positive with the good children in the classroom more than those who misbehave as my well behaved daughter said 'I know how to be pupil of the week Mum, just be naughty for two weeks then be good and you'll get it' she was six at the time!

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