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    6th Grade discipline
    By Tina

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    I taught a self-contained sixth grade class, two years ago. They, too, were a nightmare. I had 18 students. Out of those 18, I hade 6 boys that were all horrible. They were disrespectful, rude, lazy, you name it! I had students reading at the first grade level and students attending 8th grade for half the day. It was a difficult year, not to mention my first year teaching.

    I used a behavior chart. I had a large pocket chart on the wall with a pocket for each student with his/her name on it. In the pocket I kept four colored index cards. The first card was white. Everyone started on a white card, everyday. That way they knew that today was a new day, regardless of their behavior the day before. Each time there was a behavior incident, I would "flip" their card to the next color. This could be done without disrupting the class. Each color card had a significant consequence, which I posted right on the chart. Consequences ranged from writing a letter home explaining the problem (to be signed and returned by parent), conference with parents, detention, conference with principal (that was the extreme), etc. You would use what would most work with your class.
    I also used loss of any free time we might have that day or computer time, etc.

    I also used a behavior contract with the most defiant students. The student was responsible for filling this out each day and getting my signature and notes I might add. However, this only works with parent support. If the parents don't require this of them, then they won't fill it out.

    Things got better with my class. These kids had a reputation in the school. They acted as everyone expected them too. I told them how I expected them to act, which was the total opposite of how everyone else thought they would act. For some, this worked. I still had the hard core ones who just didn't care.

    Sixt graders can be tough. Hang in there! Tina

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