Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Ups and Downs, Continued

Happy birthday, Mom!

Today continued this week's trend of being difficult (boy, what a terribly-constructed sentence. Oh well). My Class B is nearly at the level of Class A in terms of me lacking control. It really frustrates me.

The literacy coach offered some ideas, stressing that behavior management is all about innovation. That made me groan inwardly, because in things like this, I'm really uninnovative and uncreative. However, clearly I need to make a change. The notes home didn't work, names on the board didn't work, the hollering to make myself heard doesn't work, the (negative) chart doesn't really work.

Must begin some positive reinforcement. Someone does a system with index cards and stamps/stickers, and use that for participation points. I like that idea, except I'm pretty sure my kids would lose them. And if they went in the bags with notebooks, they wouldn't have it all the time. So what I'm thinking is to post them all up on a wall chart thing, each class on a different one, and put marks or stickers on that. Publicity may not be good for all of them, but maybe that will be another incentive to do better. Let's see. I'll give them a tally mark for each time I catch them on task or participating, etc. Each five tallies will get a sticker. At five stickers, a reward. Or does that sound too long-term? Hm. See, so much to think about, that I don't actually do anything. But right now I'm writing out index cards. Wish me luck.

Thus, with all the behavior problems in class, I finally made some calls this afternoon and spoke to parents. I've been nervous and worried and intimidated, and have put that off. But, phew, they have gone well. All the parents/relatives are very nice and cooperative and want to know if their kid isn't doing homework or acting up in class. Thank goodness! It's also nice to know some background on the kids--home situations or family life or whatever. Puts things into perspective better.

A pretty significant number have done no work at all, and are not on task in class. Make up homework doesn't really make sense because the homework has built on itself, but I think offering extra credit assignments would be fine. I found a book report form, and that could be worth two homework points or something. And the other kids could do them too, for more extra credit.

In other news, the YMCA people really DO want to kick me out. The teacher found me yesterday after school; they went to a different classroom for some reason. I stayed for awhile, but still got hardly anything done. God, there is SO much I need to do in there, it's ridiculous.

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