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Yet Another Update in my War Against the Class Room Phone

September 10th, 2013 at 08:41 pm

What might may been a fairly minor, but destructive, skirmish today turned into a victory.

My class was rolling right along, plenty of participation, some jokes, lots of student involvement--except for the gentleman in the top right-hand corner of the room who was obviously (to me) texting with his phone on his lap.

Last year, I called a student out about the phone issue, and we immediately squared off. It created a tension that lasted far too long. Today, I had a better idea. I ask them to read my "Classroom Policies and Procedures" document with the syllabus, but I suspect many do not. As the student's texting continued, at a suitable pause, I decided this might be the optimum time to review those policies.

I projected the policies, read them aloud, and emphasized that a phone infraction counted as an absence, and detailed the absence penalties. Facing the screen rather than the students as I read, I could hear a rustle of a backpack unzipping and the phone being jammed into the bag. I assured them if this infraction happened today, I was giving them a free pass, but next time, the rules apply.

Every single question I asked for the rest of the class, the guilty party has his hand up, ready to respond.

An ally, not an enemy. Everyone's happy.

7 Responses to “Yet Another Update in my War Against the Class Room Phone”

  1. PNW Mom Says:

    Great idea to count it as an absence. Hope this will continue to work for you.

  2. PauletteGoddard Says:

    Very sensible and effective!

  3. creditcardfree Says:

    Yes, quite likely the party had not read the policies. Well done on your part!!

  4. CB in the City Says:

    Very nice conflict management!

  5. Bob B. Says:

    That was a creative and effective solution!

  6. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    What a great way to handle it! I wish I could have you come to my Wed. p.m. 5th grade section and help me figure out how to handle a particularly tough group of boys ... one in particular who seems to be leading the pack (he's already on a behavior contract with the principal.)

  7. M E 2 Says:



    More proof that you catch more flies with honey than vinegar.

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