Thursday, May 6, 2010

Asking Students for Help?

I need to tell you a story. I tried something today in class that worked! But, I need to know what you think...Here is the story:

I have about 5 boys in tap class and they are all around 9 years old. All great boys, but I have one boy who is a major disruption to the class. He makes noises, plays with the blinds, and gets really distracted very easily. I have tried to help him as much as I can, I have even had meetings with his mom to see what would be best for him. Somedays it seems that I alone cannot keep him under control. Today, he was making noises while I was listening to another students tap sounds, so I told one of the other boys that if he wanted to he could politely ask him to stop making the noise. He stopped! Another time later in the class, he couldn't stop his body from moving, so I asked the same student to politely (key word) ask him to get his body ready to start practicing our dance.

I am thinking maybe for this class I need a teachers helper? Someone that can help me keep everyone on track? What do you think? Have you ever used this tactic? It seemed to work today, but I don't know if it will continue to work or if it is even a good idea. Thoughts? I would love to hear!


  1. I've always liked having a helper with the little ones. Mainly because it allows me to focus more on teaching and less on tying errant ballet slipper ties or keeping things orderly while I work individually with someone. Sometimes though it really does help for kiddos to hear it from someone else. It may also have helped that it was coming from a peer (in which case, a helper may not be effective forever). I guess either way, I would be quick to point out any moments he is listening or following directions. Chances are, he doesn't often hear his name associated with positive behavior.

  2. Thanks Nichelle, for your comment. I did make sure I praised him for following directions from the other boy, but you are right that it is super important remember to do this!

  3. I absolutely have two children just like this... in the same class. It's so frustrating but I love how you asked his peers to stop. I usually have a stern talking to them in a low and stern voice. I have no other advice other than that. I know, I need to get more creative.

  4. very interesting story. Thank you !