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londovir- by iamsab

So. Dead. Tired.

There is a lot of work to do with my class. A lot. The director warned me that this was the most difficult class (hence their desperation for a teacher who had experience with elementary school-aged kids), and she was so. not. kidding. There was no discipline in that room when I walked in yesterday. Right now, most of my time is taken up with laying down The Law.

I'm not going to let it get me down, though, because I do have a vision for the class and a lot of community connections to help me implement it. Still: Stars (or any other teacher on my flist), if you have any further suggestions on how I might grab the attention of a class of mostly boys, grades K-5, I would greatly appreciate the input.

Comments

I'm not the teacher though my work is indirectly connected to kids and ther are rather difficult children. I can not give useful advice, but I can give you hug.
I hope, you can find contact to your class.
{{{{{hug}}}}}}
My advice: Kill the first two or three, and the rest will fall into line.

The advice from my aunt, a K-3 teacher of many many seasons (not that she's old enough to have taught very long, mind you...) is to enlist their cooperation in a game, something that is internsicly rewarding. The first time they step out of line, that's it, no game. Use both the carrot and the stick.
18 years of teaching experience here...just random thoughts.

#1 Consequences. Lay them out, and stick to them. It's sometimes difficult, especially at the beginning, but in the end it is so very worth it, because they'll learn to trust that you mean what you say. At that age, they're pushing boundaries, but unlike teenagers, they aren't trying to establish themselves as independent adults so much as they are trying to reassure themselves that there *are* boundaries, and that someone will be there to stop them if they go too far (it might not make much sense, but then, all children are crazy ;).

#2 Reward the behavior you want, too, but do not let anything you don't want go unremarked.

#1&2a--Don't ever make school-type work, like math or reading, into a punishment, and if the rewards can be fun things like math games or extra readaloud times, all the better.

#3 Dinosaurs. Name their groups after dinosaurs, or bring them into casual conversations, or play dinosaur games. Boys that age are dying to tell you how much they know about things, and dinosaurs are something they mostly seem to know a lot about.

#4 The best teaching advice I ever got was, "Don't be afraid to be weird." Within the structure that you're establishing, every once in a while do something they're not used to--try to respond to what they say with a sentence that rhymes, or sing the directions, or whisper. I used to get my fourth graders' attention by speaking in French.
Consistency---don't let them pull the same sweet-talky stuff they try with their moms. Be fair but firm. Let 'em know the rules, and stick by them. One warning and then boom, lower the hammer. But give them a chance to redeem themselves, too. Escalating consequences if necessary; at first they'll test you just to see how far they can push.

Keep them active. As much hands-on stuff as you can manage; remember, they'll have been at school already and will be antsy and tired and their brains will be mush too. Creativity-wise, lots of art and building stuff and science-type activities, how things work and why. Simple games, dice and cards and board games; as much outside activity, competitive and cooperative and athletic as you can get.

Consider their interests in your planning. If they aren't the type for plays, what about a talent or variety show? Musical interests---what about song writing (which is poetry in disguise, heh)? You might find they have an interest in anime or stick-figure type animation... dunno if you have access to computers, but storytelling with powerpoint or slideshow programs, anything with technology is usually a big draw.

Even cooking---you'd be amazed at how willing they are to cook if they get to make what they like and eat it when it's ready. And they learn from their mistakes... quickly. :)
No teaching tips, as I am far too chicken to even think of dealing of a horde of little monsters on a regular basis, but I thought you might want to know that a certain New Year's Eve encounter is in full swing.*g*
*hugs*
-Inform them that there'll be rules, and consequences if they break them.
-Stick to it! Make SURE that you administer the pre-announced punishments.
-Be "semi-understanding", make them realize that you can, indeed, be on their side, even though you are the boss.

why isn't it ever "giant amphibians, 1-5 feet long?"

Wow! See, my mind froze at "boys, grades K-5." But I'm sure they'll come to appreciate the coolness of their new teacher!
No advice, but lots of good wishes...