Monday, August 29, 2011

Dealing with Difficult Behavior

I'm linking up with Fun in First Grade, she's having a Linky Party about what to do with a "difficult child"!
 Fun in First
We have all been there.... You say "Ok boys and girls it's time to do some independent reading.." and then it happens... You hear that student... yep THAT student once again. He/She decided they don't want to READ.. nope! Instead they want to sharpen their pencil and dump the sharpenings on the floor because they know you HATE that... What do you do?
Do you... 
A. Cry? 
B. Pretend you didn't see it? 
C. Escort the child out of the room? 
The choices are endless... but the RIGHT choice isn't always what you instinctively go with. It's hard to deal with a difficult child. Especially when you are under a lot of stress trying to pace yourself with the curriculum. There isn't enough time in the day to constantly reprimand students. Here are some tips I've found to be successful in my class:
Be Consistent
If you are using a behavior modification system in your room, you need to be CONSISTENT.. That means stick to your word. It's extremely important to reward students as soon as they show good behavior. The same goes with the consequences. I know it's difficult to remember everything but if a student is expecting a phone call home to parents because of bad behavior...CALL THE SAME DAY. Do not wait until a day or a week later. They need to know you mean BUSINESS! They need to understand that you WILL call their parents when you say it, otherwise they will think you are a joke. Kids pick up on things like that. 

Think Positive
Let the child know you notice when they are doing something right. It's so important to show them you appreciate them trying. So many times students act out at school because of problems they may be having at home. It's possible that hearing a positive remark from you is the only time they hear it. Give compliments, praise them. Show them you care in a positive way. If necessary, use sticker rewards, class money, prizes...etc Get a smile on their face any way you can. Then follow up this compliment with a positive note to their parents. 

Find Behavior Mods That WORK!
This year I plan on implementing a behavior clip chart. I found this on another teacher's website and I am excited to use it. I'm sad to say that my previous chart did NOT work. I had to look for something else because I didn't want to go through what I went through last year. It's important to find what works for you in the classroom. 
This past year, I was also lucky to have a very creative paraprofessional (Mari...You are awesome!) working with me. She helped me create a money system in my class that worked so well. She designed the money and gave it a cute name "Monty Bucks" after my long last name Montalbano! The money was designed to be a reward for students displaying good behavior. They earned money based on filling up a row on their sticker chart. Once a week, the Monty Store was open and students who had Monty Bucks were able to purchase items (pencils, toys, books, candy, No Homework passes). This incentive worked so well for my "difficult child". He really did try to earn money and behave. However, he had organizational issues and often misplaced his money. 
I plan on using the new clip chart with the Monty Bucks this year! I hope this works otherwise it's back to the drawing board once more!! 

Use an Individual Behavior Plan
If necessary, create an individual behavior plan. Work with the parents to see what method would work best for your situation. I used a marble composition notebook. The student would take it home and it needed to be signed every night. My student quickly understood that this book would be my means of communication with his parents. I was able to use this book to anecdote his behavior as well. His parents were hard to contact so this was the best way to keep them informed. When I needed to send positive notes home, I also put it in the communication log. 

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Jodi said...

Great ideas! Thanks for linking up :)


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