Hands On or Hands Off by leader6



An enthusiastic and valuable contributor to class discussions, Robbie is an avid, natural learner.
However, Robbie also likes to socialize with friends, play around, and get into trouble. When it
comes to hands-on activities, Robbie just can’t seem to control his impulses, and usually ends up
disrupting data collection, distracting other groups from their work, and making plenty of mess.
On the one day Robbie was absent from class, a hands-on activity went smoothly. Upon his
return, hands-on activities were again chaotic to the detriment of all students. Robbie is an
enthusiastic learner.

How should a teacher handle a student who disrupts the rest of the class's ability to do hands-on
learning, while still making sure that child gets a good science education? What are your
experiences with implementing hands-on activities when classroom management might be an
issue? How have you integrated your "Enthusiastic Learner?"

Hands On or Hands Off
Created by:        Eric McDuffie on 09/20/2001 at 07:25:35 PM EDT
Assignment:        Hands On or Hands Off in Lesson 3
For:               EVERYONE

Robbie has a problem that must be addressed in a careful manner, because his enthusiasm to
learn must not be forfeited on the account that he is disruptive to the rest of his classmates.
Maybe a class discussion could be created with the rest of the class to help decide where Robbie
can be a help to the class or to the group without taking away his sense of belonging.

Since he likes to talk a lot and is eager to learn, perhaps he could be given the resposibilty to
report the findings his group came up with in conducted experiments. I think he might jump at
this responsibilty because he could still get the recognition he seems to be looking for, as well as
use his ambitious mind and show leadership abilites when reporting the findings to the rest of the
class. The students will then hopefully see less chaos and disruption, and see more order and

So even though it may be hands off for Robbie during experiments, perhaps his mind and mouth
can compensate for his hands in a more meaningful manner for himself and the rest of the class.

another Robbie

Main Topic:    Hands On or Hands Off
Comment to:    Hands On or Hands Off

Created by:    Gail Powell on 10/20/2001 at 12:16:24 PM EDT

I recently had an experience with a student who is alot like Robby that was very interesting,
although it was not a lab experience. My students were assigned to study the issue of whether or
not to drill for oil in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge. we were linking this to our study of
ecology and biomes. we planned to hold a mock government scientific advisory panel similar to
those that are conducted in Washington when a government agency needs help in developing
new science policy. Each student was supposed to be a scientific expert with a different angle on
the subject. One student was an arctic ecologist, another an expert on oil drilling technology who
worked for an oil company, a third a native Alaskan who relies on caribou for food etc. The
student of interest was assigned to be an EPA scientist who was supposed to develop government
science policy and direction for the refuge. After students researched their topics, we held our
scientific advisory panel. Each student was supposed to represen
t the views of the scientific expert that they had researched when they spoke on the panel. In
other words, some students who worked for the oil companies should express pro drilling
opinions. A student who worked for Greenpeace would express an anti drilling view etc. The
EPA scientist was supposed to be developing policy to protect the refuge since he worked for
EPA - that was his job - to protect the refuge. The interesting twist came about because this
student turned out to be a hard core right wing Republican who bases all his decisions on
economics and could not care less about the environment. He is passionate about politics and his
beliefs. During the panel presentation, instead of playing the role of the EPA scientist
recommending a science policy that would protect the environment, he ignored all science and
expressed his personal views fanatically and excessively. He recommended drill, drill drill. We
need the oil. He could not sit still in his chair and stand to hear the arctic ecologist e
xplain how drilling would disrupt the ecosytem or listen to the Greenpeace activist talk about all
the damage oil companies cause. The interesting part of the experience was that the rest of the
class recognized that he was not doing his job as an EPA scientist and verbally lambasted him
for proposing government policy that did not protect the environment. the ultimate goal of a
scientific advisory panel is for the scientists to agree upon a policy that addresses the scientific
issue in a balanced manner that considers all perspectives on the issue. Obviously, in this class,
we did not come to a consensus of views, but the experience was still useful and informative.
The students got to witness first hand how passion plays a role in the shaping of government
policy which is often the case in the real world too. I did however, tell my EPA scientist that had
he done what he did in the real world, he most definitely would have been reprimanded severly
by his boss.
Science Policy Panel

Main Topic:    Hands On or Hands Off
Comment to:    another Robbie

Created by:    William Veal on 10/26/2001 at 11:27:19 AM EDT

I like what Gail did with her students. This activity was very real and simulated what real
scientists and the public do. I am curious to know what she did to monitor the students content
knoweldge development and research? How did the students research the subject? How were
they held accountable? Did you check on their knowledge as they worked to prepare? This might
help future incidents of the far right or left influencing and discussion. At the same time, it was
great that you allowed it and integrated the commotion into a learning experience.

Alaska science panel grading

Main Topic:    Hands On or Hands Off
Comment to:    Science Policy Panel

Created by:    Gail Powell on 10/27/2001 at 04:46:41 PM EDT

In response to Dr. Veal's questions, here is a summary of how I graded and kept students on task
during my scientific advisory panels. Incidentally, I actually had two projects going
simultaneously, half the class worked on a panel on global warming, the other half worked on the
Alaska oil drilling. I took students to the media center to find resources early in the project. We
spent 3 days of class time locating resources. the media specialists were very helpful. They
bookmarked good websites and had a cart full of good books and magazines. I asked each
student to hand in a project folder with the following information on the project due date: a one
page typed single spaced summary of their topic, a bibliography with properly cited references
(minimum of 6 references), a copy of the six references with important info highlighted so I
could tell they had really read them, a visual aid for their presentation, note cards that they could
use during the presentation and a name tag that identified their role o
n the panel. They wore the name tag during the presentation (ex GreenPeace activist)so the
audience knew what point of view they represented. In addition each student gave an ~ 3 minute
oral presentation. (Some students used powerpoint which we projected on a large TV screen.
Some of these presentations were awesome.) Students were also required to make at least 3
comments during the discussion/debate following the panel presentations. During this discussion
we tried to agree upon a government policy. I made sure that each student was called on 3 times.
All this sounds rigid, but I really graded leniently. Most kids got A's and I allowed up to 10
points extra credit for exceeding requirements. I wanted students to feel successful.

I gave the kids a timeline to complete each individual task. The purpose of the timeline for each
task was simply to prevent the kids from waiting until the last minute and not finishing their
projects. The week before the presentations, one task was assigned for homework each night. Ex.
the bibliography and references were due first, followed by the notecards, visual aid and
summary. Since the EPA scientists played such a critical role on the panel, I asked each of them
to give me their proposed policy documents a week early. I reviewed them and gave them advice
to make sure their proposed policies made sense. Across all my classes I had 8 EPA scientists
who generally did a very good job. The one student who was the off the wall EPA scientist did
not follow my advice entirely. I knew he was going to propose a right wing policy which I
thought would be an interesting twist. (There really are a lot of politics at real scientific advisory
panel meetings. Over the past 8 years (Clinton years), the politic
s were very left wing at these meetings. Now that Republicans are in power, things will shift
back to the right.) What I did not anticipate was the passion that this student demonstrated for his
right wing position.
Now that the panels are over students are writing letters to Senator Edwards expressing their
personal views on these issues and asking him to support appropriate government action. The
other interesting thing that we did while the kids were researching their topics was to discuss
balanced vs. biased journalism and how to recognize balanced journalism. This prepared them
for the panels and helped them understand that just because they read something on the internet,
it is not necessarily true. I used the "biotech corn" story as an example of biased journalism.

Robbie the Wrecker

Main Topic:    Hands On or Hands Off
Comment to:    Hands On or Hands Off

Created by:    Brian Sickelbaugh on 10/16/2001 at 02:41:20 PM EDT

I would give Robbie a leadership role in the classroom. Sometimes a kid such as this can respond
well if he would be put in charge of the materials. Give him a title of materials manager and his
primary responsibility would be to see that all of teh materials are available for each lab group.
He would also be responsible for collection of the materials and lab reports from the rest of the
class. During the lab, his responsibility would be observe tghe other lab groups to see if they are
following proper procedures without actually conducting or interfering with the lab. He could
give lab writeups based on his observations of the lab while he circulated around the classroom.
Hands On or Hands Off

Main Topic:    Hands On or Hands Off
Comment to:    Robbie the Wrecker

Created by:    Eric McDuffie on 10/16/2001 at 08:53:51 PM EDT

I like most of Brian's ideas, especially about the role of Lab Manager. But I am not so sure about
the idea of taking on the responsibility of making sure the other groups are staying on task. I am
afraid he would only end up disrupting the other groups. I also believe this is the teacher's job at
this point. Not only that, but I feel he would also be missing out on his group's results during the
experiment while his attention is being diverted elsewhere.

But I definitely think that Robbie, being such an outspoken young man, would relish in the role
of Lab Manager.


Hands On or Hands off
Main Topic:    Hands On or Hands Off
Comment to:    Hands On or Hands Off

Created by:    Gail Powell on 09/28/2001 at 08:41:19 PM EDT

I have alot of 8th graders that are similar to Robbie. I have talked to a number of teachers at my
school about this. They recommend using a system that will encourage a change in behavior. The
day before the lab, explain the assignment and expectations. Give cleary defined worksheets that
specify what is expected. Advise students that 5 points will be deducted from their lab grade
each time I observe behavior that violates classroom or lab rules. Students who continue to
misbehave in lab will be given book work to do during the next lab activities. Continued
misbehavior will result in excluding that student from the next field trip. I am going to try this
approach and see if it works.

hands off

Main Topic:    Hands On or Hands Off
Comment to:    Hands On or Hands off

Created by:    Brenda Druck on 10/03/2001 at 06:34:51 PM EDT

The Robbies of the world are both a joy and a trial. There is so much untapped potential in the
Robbies! 8th graders are incredible social aniamls who I think would talk if their lips were
permanently sealed together! Add that to a person who loves lab, loves to touch, loves to
socialize and knows lots and you have alot of energy but also the potential for him to take over,
distract and interfere with other students learning.

I have some private contracts with kids. I speak to them privately and we work with it before I
bring mom, dad, and ASD into it all. As a class, I have clear rules in science. Horseplay means
you sit out immediately and take a lab zero. No warnings. You also have to get a form signed by
mom and dad and write a paragraph on what safety rule was violated and why it is important to
follow that rule. The student may not do another lab until this is turned in. Needless to say I had
a couple instances and then none. I don't know if it is the zero, the report to mom and dad or the

Most of the Robbie's of the world do not know how to socialize appropriately and need this to be
modelled. Private contracts work best, in my opinion. Keeping Robbie close by and placing him
with highly focussed students also works. He needs to be placed with strong students who will
insist on keeping to task and insist on sharing duties.
Hands On or Hands Off

Main Topic:    Hands On or Hands Off
Comment to:    hands off

Created by:    Eric McDuffie on 10/11/2001 at 07:30:44 PM EDT

Thanks again for the contract idea, Brenda. I used one on a kid who was misbehaving in my class
yesterday, gave him a form to complete on why he was misbehaving which included a paragraph
he had to write and get his parents to sign. I received it today from the kid along with an email
from the father who assured me his son would not be doing that kind of misbehavior in my
classroom again this year and to inform him if his son ever does. He was a sheer delight in my
class today.

Thanks again for the idea Brenda!


Hands On or Hands Off

Main Topic:    Hands On or Hands Off
Comment to:    hands off

Created by:    Eric McDuffie on 10/09/2001 at 08:06:16 PM EDT

I like your approch to this, Brenda. It is straightforward and to the point. Not only that , but all
parties get to be involved, including the parents. They get to see through this written paragraph
written how their child is behaving, and why they were punished in lab. I may use this approach
in my class as well. I hope it will work as well for me as it seems to have for you. I will let you


potential problem

Main Topic:    Hands On or Hands Off
Comment to:    Hands On or Hands off

Created by:    Tom Higginbotham on 09/29/2001 at 10:49:21 AM EDT
A potential problem with that system is that the student who is disrupting really doesn't care too
much about their grades, so it might not be effective. As with all discipline though, it needs to be
tailored to the student

Hands On or Hands Off

Main Topic:     Hands On or Hands Off
Comment to:     potential problem

Created by:     Eric McDuffie on 10/01/2001 at 04:44:43 PM EDT

I have to agree with Tom. More likely than not Robbie will probably be one of those students
who does not care about his actions, and therfore possibly not even the consequences to those
actions. I believe at this point it is crucial to his learning needs that a specific discipline plan be
developed for Robbie in such a way that he would have to get some kind of learning completed
during the activity the rest of the class is doing.

I also think that at this point Robbie's parents might need to be given a call so they will be
informed about the problem and how it affects the rest of the class. Hopefully, his parents will
respond to the call in a way to take positive action at home to settle Robbie down for the next
activities that he will hopefully be successfully involved in.

Robbie and his disruptions

Main Topic:     Hands On or Hands Off
Comment to:     Hands On or Hands Off

Created by:     Heather Soja on 09/24/2001 at 04:54:19 PM EDT

Sounds like Robbie has a hard time staying engaged in these
types of activities. I think it is time for the teacher to
to assign Robbie a specific roll with every activity. Maybe he
will be assigned to keep all groups on task and report back
to the teacher the progress of each group. Robbie should have
specific goals to accomplish with time limits so that he
stays focused,engaged, and involved. I have a student like
Robbie who is always disrupting activities but this student
has learning disabilities and by acting out he doesn't face
his disabilities.
Have a great week everyone !

-Heather Soja (G'boro gang)

Hands On or Hands Off

Main Topic:    Hands On or Hands Off
Comment to:    Hands On or Hands Off

Created by:    Mary Tessneer on 09/23/2001 at 07:06:55 PM EDT

Robbie's story is one in which I believe we all face in at least one period of our class schedule. It
is so easy to write off hands-on activities when they are frustrating for teacher and the students,
but it should not be allowed to rule the class.

I think that it is important to give Robbie or a student like him special jobs that allow him to
shine. These responsibilities should be well planned out so that he remains engrossed in the

Another option is to maybe remove hands-on activities for him for an amount of time, and talk
with Robbie about why they have been removed. You could provide alternative learning
activities for him for a short time. You could set up a behavior contract for him in your
classroom and offer hands on activities as a reward for good behavior and participation. I really
don't know the best solution. It depends on the child. You can normally tell the child who is
disruptive because he is excited about learning, and the child who just wants to goof off to waste
other his and other classmate's time.

nice idea I've had it work

Main Topic:    Hands On or Hands Off
Comment to:    Hands On or Hands Off

Created by:    Tom Higginbotham on 09/29/2001 at 10:54:15 AM EDT

I've actually done this sort of thing before, sitting a student off to the side (I think his name WAS
Robbie) while other students did hands-on projects. That day, Robbie got to "learn" about mass
by doing a book assignment. At the end of class, I talked with robbie about why he was doing
book assignments, what he'd rather be doing (the hands-on), and what he would need to do in
order to assure that he could do hands-on stuff. It worked for a while, but then Robbie did
something really annoying so I had to kill him.
Truly though, it is a short term (one-day) cost to Robbie's education that paid off long term
dividends for everyone.

Along those lines

Main Topic:    Hands On or Hands Off
Comment to:    nice idea; I've had it work

Created by:    Natalie Johnson on 10/02/2001 at 09:21:30 PM EDT

I have done something similar, It is important to pinpoint the ring-leader if there is a group of
"offenders" so that only that one person is punished. i have founf that actually separating
students fro their class is more damag than good. I like putting the problem child in the corner of
a room to do work , while he/shee can hear what they are missing.

Crazy lab!

Main Topic:    Hands On or Hands Off
Comment to:    Along those lines

Created by:    Mary Tessneer on 10/17/2001 at 09:56:19 PM EDT

For the first time this year I had to use my strategy of separating a student from a lab assignment.
We were finding the volume of a rock by using a grad. cylinder, and one of my students did not
have a rock in his lab basket. So another threw the rock across the room, thankfully not knocking
anyones eyes out. Needless to say, lab was out for him for a while. He definitely learned his
lesson. He could not stand missing out on so much.

Crazy Lab!

Main Topic:    Hands On or Hands Off
Comment to:    Crazy lab!

Created by:    Eric McDuffie on 10/18/2001 at 09:16:01 PM EDT

I am happy to hear that the student did not put someones eye out with the hurling rock during
your lab. Did he get any other kind of punishment for this action other than missing out on the

agree and disagree

Main Topic:     Hands On or Hands Off
Comment to:     Hands On or Hands Off

Created by:     Ian Binns on 09/23/2001 at 06:26:56 PM EDT

I have to agree and disagree with Eric. First, the disagree part. I don't think that the teacher
should involve the class in a discussion on Robbie. That could possibly upset Robbie and cause
him to withdraw from the class. I think that in this situation, the teacher would need to pull
Robbie aside and talk to him privately. The teacher should also consider involving the parents in
a productive parent/teacher conference. The teacher could let Robbie's parents know about his
enthusiasm for learning, but they could also work together to find a good boundary for Robbie.

I agree with what Eric said about having Robbie to report the findings to the class. Since he does
like to socialize, put him in his element. That could be one of his strengths, so the teacher should
take advantage of that strength, but also have some control.

another thought

Main Topic:     Hands On or Hands Off
Comment to:     agree and disagree

Created by:     Chip Thurston on 10/03/2001 at 03:38:31 PM EDT

well I liked what tom did..he tried something..it didn't work so he was forced to eliminate the
you know before i entered the classroom my response may have been..hey the kid is bored
because he is too advanced for the work, so the teacher has to provide additional stimulating
work for Robbie. Now having spent 7 or 8 or 6 or whatever week I am on, I understand the
complxity associated with such an endevour. with over 130 studnets and barely keeping up with
them additional stimulating work is just something else that i don't have time for. i have one
student like this (this is HS) and he is a real pain in the butt..so i talked with him after class rather
than raising my voice an explained that although he understood the material (calling him smart)
there were many students in the class struggling with the information and that every time he
spoke out or messed around they all look to him and then can't remember what they were doing. i
tried to make him part of the solution by asking to help me with the others by remaining quiet.
never did i mention additional work to stimulate him, which kinda freake
d me out, but it appears to be the reality. anyway it has worked somewhat, and I have to remind
him now and then. don't know if middle school students have the maturity level to use this angle.
but that's it..for me it's either this or what Tom has done, and my family can't afford prison!

right on!

Main Topic:    Hands On or Hands Off
Comment to:    another thought

Created by:    Ian Binns on 10/10/2001 at 09:37:28 PM EDT

I love Chip's idea and I am sure I will use it for my classes. I have not had the opportunity to do
many labs, but I hope to start them when I get into my next unit which is rocks/minerals. I am
very excited about that. i will be sure to give my problem children a task and maybe that will
help me out. I have one student i have done that with in my last class and we are doing much
better. I hope it will work with others, but phone calls home are definitely a great thing!

keep the advice coming

Main Topic:    Hands On or Hands Off
Comment to:    another thought

Created by:    Vicky Raymond on 10/05/2001 at 08:08:06 PM EDT

I was glad to hear another HS perspective. My two Robbies are both big, boisterous kids that are
repeating my class (well, actually taking the same class over with me that they already took from
some other, less wonderful teacher)Ok, you get it. Anyway, I am constantly having to call these
two down for their cross-class talk and general level. Although they are both quick to
"yes,ma'am" me and settle for about, oh, 5 minutes.
I have one of the boys (who is failing) coming to tutotials twice a week, so I have some 1-on-1
where I will try to win him over to my side using Chip's approach. I think the guy is acting out
because he IS older than the other students, but I'll work on that. The other kid is a tougher call-
he is LD so his grasp isn't perfect, but the comments he DOES shout out in class are usually
pretty close to demonstrating comprehension. So how do I ge thim to channel all that energy into
socially acceptable forms of response? I'd love some more help on this one, folks.

older students acting out

Main Topic:    Hands On or Hands Off
Comment to:    keep the advice coming
Created by:    Brooke Davis on 10/06/2001 at 10:35:36 PM EDT

Vickie, have you tried working out a deal with him about his behavior? Maybe offer some sort of
ticket for every answer he answers correctly or at least on topic. Maybe for every 10 tickets, he
could receive a homework pass or some other type of reward. I'm not sure if this will work, but it
may be worth a try.

Never discuss students

Main Topic:    Hands On or Hands Off
Comment to:    agree and disagree

Created by:    Natalie Johnson on 10/02/2001 at 09:18:13 PM EDT

Never discuss students with other students. I think we are guilty of this from time to time,
cracking alitle joke, being insensitive to insecurities...Each student must be treated with respect
and as an individual. If a student acts out, maybe calling them out in front of the entire class will
only antagonie him/her.

Clarify Roles in a Group

Main Topic:    Hands On or Hands Off
Comment to:    Hands On or Hands Off

Created by:    William Veal on 09/22/2001 at 04:40:51 PM EDT

I agree with Eric. Control the students by having them participatn and feel part of the greater
class. With loud and obnoxious students you have to integrate them purposefully in oral items
and demos. As for a role in a group, pick one that has resonsibility: discussant, task master, or

I disagree with the idea that the teacher should discuss with the class as a whole that certain
items should or could be done when the student returns. This public discussion should not occur.
As a teacher, you can go to individual group members and ask that they do certain items to help

Great minds think alike
Main Topic:    Hands On or Hands Off
Comment to:    Clarify Roles in a Group

Created by:    Ian Binns on 09/23/2001 at 06:28:31 PM EDT

It seems that Dr. Veal and I are on the same page with this discussion. I have to admit, I didn't
read what Dr. Veal wrote until after I responded to Eric. Right on Dr. Veal.

Hands on or hands off

Main Topic:    Hands On or Hands Off
Comment to:    Hands On or Hands Off

Created by:    Brenda Druck on 09/21/2001 at 09:14:22 PM EDT

Who hasn't had a student like Robbie? Giving him a chance to present his findings is a great
idea. Giving him a position of "responsibility" by having him take care of materials or even give
a demo to the class would be another. Use that energy to the classroom benefit. However, if the
disruptions become too much, take Robbie aside and explain what you expect his behavior to be
like. There are ways to praise positive behavior and encourage those behaviors. but there is also a
time for sitting him out and expect him to learn to control his actions. In my view, disciplining
someone for poor lab behavior has rarely dampened their enthusiasm. In fact, usually they are
dying to get back into the lab and will attempt to moderate their behavior.

I would also consider the grouping and the lab station he was assigned to. I would probably place
him with very focussed students, in a smaller group and in a station very close to me


Main Topic:    Hands On or Hands Off
Comment to:    Hands on or hands off

Created by:    Natalie Johnson on 09/23/2001 at 06:03:45 PM EDT

Robbie wants to do well and is very motivated. I think classroom placement as well as group
placement will be a great help. Sometimes, when i have students like this i give them "Special
tasks" I may enforce a new JOB for this student. If the student is the recorder and reporter, he
will get a lot out of the lab without touching. hopefully he will make connectios that other
students miss.

Minds on, hands off

Main Topic:    Hands On or Hands Off
Comment to:    Hands On or Hands Off

Created by:    Paul Cancellieri on 09/21/2001 at 10:00:25 AM EDT

I agree with Eric on this one. I think that in group situations it is possible to ensure that Robbie
uses his talents and learns from the laboratory experience without having the opportunity to
cause mayhem. This can be accomplished by giving him responsibilities in the group for tasks
that cannot interfere with data collection.

Good idea.

Main Topic:    Hands On or Hands Off
Comment to:    Minds on, hands off

Created by:    William Veal on 09/22/2001 at 04:44:00 PM EDT

I agree with Brenda's insight. Robbie is a child who should be included, but proper instruction
and focus is needed. A contract can be set up between the teacher and Robbie. This contract
would outline certain academic and behavioral items for him to follow. Have you all been
introduced to contracts? I mentioned them briefly in the safety class, but there is more to them.


Main Topic:    Hands On or Hands Off
Comment to:    Good idea.

Created by:    Gail Powell on 10/06/2001 at 11:09:20 AM EDT

There have been lots of comments about contracts in this discussion about Robby. As Dr. Veal
said we got a brief intro to them in class. I for one need more info on this subject. Contracts
sound like a great tool to use with the Robbie's of the world and some of my other students as
well who just dont care and are intentionally disruptive for the fun of it. I am particularly
interested in trying this approach with some of my minority students who repeatedly fail to
complete homework, do poorly on tests and disrupt class. I would like further guidance on
contracts before moving forward with their use.

Great Idea!

Main Topic:    Hands On or Hands Off
Comment to:    Good idea.

Created by:    Eric McDuffie on 09/24/2001 at 06:43:28 PM EDT

I like the idea of setting up a contract with Robbie as well. I think that by having Robbie agree to
a mutal contract between the teacher and himself, he will most likely see himself as an equal
with the teacher. Hopefully this mindful concept will make him appreciate and respect his
teacher even more, and start to settle down.

This reminds me of the best success story so far that has happened to me this year with a student.
Christy was the only student who did not pass the 8th grade last year. She was kept back, refused
to come to school for the 1st week of school, but instead tried to sneak her way into the high
school that is next door. When she was finally caught, which should have been much sooner, she
was brought back and placed into my homeroom and 5th period class.

Her attitude was terrible. She would disrupt my class every chance I got. The morning after the
World Trade Centers were destoyed, there was a moment of silence in our homeroom. Christy
decided to talk instead. This infuriated me. After homeroom was over I kept Christy back and
had it out with her. As I was writing up her Detention Slip, I asked her what her problem was.
She said she was getting no respect from any of her teachers. I explained to her that maybe she
was not getting any respect because she was not respecting us as well.

I stopped in the middle of writing her up and asked her if we could come to terms with each
other (a verbal contrcct here). I asked her if she would start respecting me as a teacher, then I
would repect her the same way in return. She agreed to the terms! I told my other teammates to
try the same approach with her. They both did as well. Now she is a model student in all of our
classes. She even helps me settle the class down, warning them that if they do not change, they
will be back in the same grade like she is now next year. I now have an ally on my side in my
toughest class. She only needed to see someone show her how to gain respect. Now she respects
all of us, and is proving to become a leader in the classroom. This verbal contract has worked out
great. I definitely believe in them (whether they are written or verbal)when they are needed.


All they need is a little love!
Main Topic:    Hands On or Hands Off
Comment to:    Great Idea!

Created by:    Natalie Johnson on 10/02/2001 at 09:02:53 PM EDT

I do not care ehat grade these "Problematic kids" are in. More times than not all they need is a
little TLC. They want to be loved and respected the same way we do as teachers. Way to go Erik
for stepping up to the plate and actually asking the student what was wrong.

Poor Robbie

Main Topic:    Hands On or Hands Off
Comment to:    Good idea.

Created by:    Natalie Johnson on 09/23/2001 at 12:05:05 PM EDT

Robbie is that student we all want and then do not want. He gets mixed feedback from the
teachers so he does not know how to act. Robbie seems to be very enthusiastic and motivated, I
would suggest giving him very specific jobs to do that did not involve touching the experiments.
I would make him feel super important about that job(s). Jobs like Reporter or recorder would
make him very involved and have to understand the experiment, but take him out of the picture
when it comes to touching. Poor Robbie, he means well, just a little overwhelming at times.


Main Topic:    Hands On or Hands Off
Comment to:    Good idea.

Created by:    Natalie Johnson on 09/23/2001 at 12:01:26 PM EDT

I have been introduced to contracts at my school by a ding-a-ling who does not seem to have the
respect from the staff or kids that he needs. So, needless to say, I was put off by with the whole
idea of contracts.

It would probably be a good idea to have the idea of contracts reintroduced to me by someone I
respect, such as Dr. Veal!!!
Contracts and My Italian-American Heritage

Main Topic:    Hands On or Hands Off
Comment to:    Contracts

Created by:    Paul Cancellieri on 09/26/2001 at 09:20:19 AM EDT

I can see how the contract would be a much better long-term strategy than just giving Robbie
roles that can't disrupt others. Would the contract describe consequences for failure to meet the
promised goals?

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