6-12 Social Studies Teachers!

I need some classroom management ideas for middle school kiddos. I've tried everything in my bag of tricks and my students are constantly off task and disruptive.

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I bought a roll of tickets (like Chuck-E-Cheese) to give out as rewards for doing good. Better to reward good behavior than punish bad. They use them to pay for rest room breaks and occasional prizes that I auction off every couple of weeks.

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I do 3 things with my classes of 42! 1-2-3 "Eyes on me", "Clap if you can hear me" and get quieter and quieter after the first clap, and literally stop teaching (until it gets uncomfortable)!

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I bought a resource off TPT and it has worked wonders for my middle school classroom. Created by twoteachersinfifth, that have a ton of resources and ideas on Instagram as well for classroom management.

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I use two of their resources in my middle school classroom and love them!

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Activities that will engage them. Set the standard and do not tolerate it... praise them for towing the line

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I have one specific class period that is routinely off the wall. It helps to keep a copy of my seating chart handy. I typically give one whole class warning that states “We are really struggling to stay focused today. Many of us are easily distracted and distracting others with side conversations and blurting things out. This goes against our school policy of respecting our learning environment and so I will now be putting a tally mark on my seating chart next to each student I have to redirect or wait on to continue the lesson. If you have a tally by your name at the end of class, your parent will be receiving an email to let them know about your disruptive behavior. The third time I have to send an email, you will also receive a behavior referral to see your principal.” I keep a copy of the seating chart and use a specific color to mark the tallies that day. I have a generic email I send out through our attendance software where I can just click the names of each student who had a tally and their parents get the email. The next time they get that wild, I use a different color pen to tally. The third time, any student with three different color rallies gets a behavior referral and their principal calls them down and assigns consequences- they’re not always the same consequences because some of the students are more frequent visitors to the office. But this way I’m telling my students who are wanting to learn that I care about the disruptions and following through in a way that is more fair and consistent. I’m also not creating more work for myself nor am I punishing myself by assigning an after school detention I can’t actually enforce if a parent complains or makes an excuse for why their kid can’t stay after. I also have documented evidence for the frequency of disruptions. On the flip side, I also keep a jar of folly ranchers or Star bursts in my drawer. Some days, I will silently grab the jar out of the drawer and begin quietly setting a candy on the desk of students who are doing what is expected and not off task or distracting others. Usually I do this once every few weeks to remind students that I see those who are doing the right thing and not giving into the temptation to goof around with their friends. I purpose to reward the behaviors I want to see more of and not punish everyone in a class for the poor choices of a few.

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I use smarties in the same manner

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Really clearly routines that you do over and over again. I give effort trackers - kids get up to 3 points a day (via stamps) for things like being prepared, being on task, completing classwork, etc.

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Give the assignment, then while they’re working, I put some calming type scene on the projector (beach waves, aquarium, cozy den with a crackling fire, etc) and a timer on the board. When the timer goes off, they are done with the assignment and on to the next thing.

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