Kim. 22. The oldest of 4. Future kindergarten teacher. Bookworm. Overly hyper a lot of the time. Spends way too much time online. Taylor Swift fan. Country music lover. Not straight. Harry Potter fan. I dunno what else to say, really.
About me. This is me. Study Abroad in Australia?
Ask me anything
My kids had a math test today and then a spelling test right after. In between the two tests, I called the students’ names, two at a time, until I had called them all. Then they had to find who they had been called with, go to that person’s desk, and they had to say something nice to each other.
After the spelling test, one of my little guys says to me as he’s turning it in, “I tried the challenge words for the first time ever today, all because (name) told me that she knows I’m smart and that I can do it.”
I don’t know if the compliments they gave each other made a difference, or really even mattered, to the other kids, but I KNOW it mattered and it meant A LOT to at least one of them. And that makes me really glad. Sometimes it’s the littlest things that mean the most to people.
- *One of my little boys shoves his homework papers into his desk.*
- His accountability buddy: No, no, no. *grabs the papers and his homework folder from his desk* I'll do it, ok? Look, I'm putting them in your folder NICELY for you. Go get your backpack and I'll put it there too.
- Him: Oh, ok. *gets his backpack*
- Buddy, putting his folder in his backpack: You have to do your homework tonight. And also, you need to work on your handwriting because it's a mess and I don't think the teacher can read that.
I think I may have (finally) found a system that works for my second graders!!!
I was looking online last night and came across something called Accountability Buddies. Basically, each student is responsible not only for themselves, but also for their buddy. In the post I read that talked about them, the teacher had her students pick their own buddies, but she was working with eighth graders, and my munchkins are in second. So my mentor teacher and I decided who would be buddies with who.
They’re sitting in groups of 2 (so they sit with their buddy) and they need to make sure, all throughout the day, that they are behaving and doing the correct thing, and also that their buddy is doing the same. If the kids are cleaning their desks, they need to make sure that both their desk AND their buddy’s desk is clean before they can move on to the next thing. If someone is talking out of turn, it’s their buddy’s responsibility to remind them to be quiet. When they’re working on something that needs to be turned in, they need to make sure that their name is on their paper and that their buddy’s name is on his/her paper. And at the end of the day, they need to check with their buddy to make sure their buddy has everything they need in their backpack.
Today was our first day with Accountability Buddies, and it actually went pretty well for being the first day. It’s something I’m going to stay using, at least for a bit, because hopefully it will KEEP working!! :)
I took pictures of some of the buddy pairs (there were some today where not both were in the classroom when I was doing pictures), so I’ll finish taking pictures tomorrow and then make a poster to put up in the classroom about this.
I suck at classroom management and I don’t know what to do. I TRY to use the behavior chart that my mentor teacher has, but the kids still don’t listen. They’re CONSTANTLY talking when they shouldn’t be. I have one student who, just today:
- Said to me, “You’re not the boss of me!” (and then said “No, I was talking to (name), not you” when I was like “Excuse me?”)
- Crawled over the top of his desk (rather than walking to the other side) to get to his seat.
- Was playing with a water bottle on his desk, so I went over to him and quietly asked him to go put it in his cubby. He did this stupid dance across the front of the room, distracting all the other students. He, unnecessarily dumped out his water bottle in the sink (he had a cap for the bottle. He had no need to empty it to put it in his cubby), and when he dumped it out, he held the bottle up as high as he could reach so the water splashed everywhere and made a mess. On his way back to his desk, he continued to distract other students.
- Pushed another student because she was in his way. (He says this was an accident; I didn’t see it happen, so I chose to believe this)
- Did a cartwheel during library time and kicked another student in the face.
- Just sat there, not getting his work started during the craft activity we did during Listening & Learning.
- Talking in the hallway. Although this one wasn’t JUST him. The whole class lost six minutes of recess for hallway behavior today. It started out as 5, and then the behavior continued, so I took another minute. However, this kid talks to the other kids constantly (even if I’m walking near him in line) and a few of them really do TRY to ignore him, but he keeps bugging them and bugging them and bugging them and they turn around and (loudly) tell him to stop, so in the end both he and the other kid get in trouble for talking.
I have LITERALLY NO IDEA what to do with this kid. Two days in a row now, he’s had to bring home a parent contact sheet so his parents know how he was behaving during the day. And he’s my main ring leader. The other “mini-ring leaders” will (usually) stop the behavior as soon as they get down to “teacher’s choice” on the behavior chart (which means they lose 10 minutes of recess). But this kid? I swear this kid just doesn’t care. He gets down to parent contact and then continues the behavior because he’s already at the bottom of the behavior chart, so he can’t go any lower. And I can’t take away more than half of recess..
I’m terrible because I go into the school each morning hoping this kid will be absent. Because if he’s absent, I can handle the class, and if he’s there, it’s just chaos.
Help? What can I/should I do to handle this?
Today begins my two solo weeks for student teaching. Not sure if I’m more nervous or more excited…
On the up side, this has been the most productive weekend I’ve had in FOREVER.
On the down side, tomorrow is Monday again already.