fighting, wrestling, "video game" fighting... please help!!!

Discussion in 'Early Childhood Education Archives' started by marie925, Jun 25, 2006.

  1. marie925

    marie925 Rookie

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    Jun 25, 2006

    ***double post, from Behavior thread***

    ok... i still have some searching to do through all these threads to maybe find *help* with my issue... i wanted to post here first with hopes that anyone reading right now can help!!

    background info: i teach pre-kindergarten, 4/5 yr olds, at a learning center which is not in a school system, so we are free and able to choose any kind of classroom management technique as long as it follows state regs of course... my current class management is pin cards... each student has a pin, and it is moved from 1-5 (1-2 is green, 3-4 is yellow, 5 is red... if reaches 4-5, a note is sent home, and 5 child goes to office as well if circumstance calls for it)...

    i have always thought i had good classroom mangement skills... i first taught pre-k starting in 2001, and i learned a lot in the few years teaching, i left for one year with the birth of my daughter, and i went back sept. of 2005... the class was rather small when i returned, then children kept enrolling, and then the summer came, pre-school kids were moved up into pre-k, more enrollments (always happens in summer) and almost one year has passed and right now i am experiencing the worst class i have ever had... i have 30 pre-k children enrolled, some are part time, so it works out that we have no more than 24 on any given day with two teachers... ratio is 12:1...

    my class mainly consists of boys, and the boys are very roudy as of late... many of them are ADDICTED to the superhero *crud*, fighting things, lazers shooting out of their hands, making loud zzzssss noises as weapons shoot from any given area of their bodies... making guns with their pointer fingers and thumbs... wrestling with each other... this play involves contact, so more often than not, play turns into "waaahhhh!!! garrett twisted my arm and kicked me in the face!!!!" it is insane... and i have come to the point where nothing is working... i give them warnings... i have them move their pins if it continues after warnings... i remove them from the group and sit them away in a chair...

    i also have so many kids right now that it is so hard to conduct circle time, read a book aloud... and the one child that is constantly roaming the room, throwing toys across the room while roaming, grabs everyone's attention, that they are all either telling on him while i am trying to read a story, or they flock to him and start in on the same behavior... i have so many other kids that want to hear my story, that want to read the calendar and weather with me, but can't because of all the disruptions... and it doesn't help that i have a horrible aide right now... which is something i am handling with the director right now... and when that changes, many of my issues at hand may change...

    i am just hoping someone out there can help me... maybe any of you have experienced the same situations, please tell me how you have handled them... i do know that i am at fault in most cases because my own management stinks right now... i just don't know what to do... i come across new ideas, i try them, and i fail... i will keep trying-- this is a challenge for me...

    what i plan on implementing: i am in the works of painting a nice little chair that will be placed and *glued* to a particular area of the classroom... this is where i plan to put students that are not following the classroom expectations for 4/5 minutes... i also plan on having a chart by the chair with everyone's name on it... when the child visits the chair, they will place an X by their name, and if they reach a certain number of X's they won't get to participate in the bi-weekly or monthly party, or something fun... does that sound ok? please, i want all kinds of feedback... i also plan on giving out MORE certificates to students, typically having discipline issues, who have better behavior that day...

    please, please, INPUT, PLEASE!!!!!!
     
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  3. Butterfly4

    Butterfly4 Comrade

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    Jun 25, 2006

    I've experienced a lot of the same issues this past year. Dont you just love the parents that take their 4/5 yr olds to see King Kong, X-Men, and other PG-13 movies! Then we get to deal with kids climbing on top of the play cars and climber (where they aren't supposed to be) banging their chests like king kong, or playing like they have blades on their hands and slashing other kids!!

    I have used the color chart with clothespins this year. It sounds similar to yours..we have green, yellow, red and black. If they get to black, an OH-NO report goes home. During the summer we go on a field trip every friday, "we" (the teachers) are trying to get a rule that if they get on black at all during the week they don't get to go on the field trip. It's hard to get the directors to stick to this...they have done it with a couple children, but not all...I wish they would be consistent.

    Anyway..back on subject...
    Our color chart just doesn't seem to be as effective lately as it was at the begining of the year. we have little sticker charts (just a rectangle divided into 10 parts). Each day they are on green they get a sticker at the end of the day (only on green), when they fill up their chart, they get to choose a prize from the "treasure box". You could try something like that as an incentive.

    It seems the children are just getting more and more disrespectiful. We have a HUGE problem with interrupting...ALL THE TIME!! When we are talking about what we will be doing that day, or giving instructions and especially during story time..it's CONSTANT interrupting. If it were interacting with me about the story that would be one thing, but it's TOTALLY off subject stuff. I think next year I might try using a "talking stick" from the begining with the new group of kids. Only the person with the stick can talk...show them how to take turns and be respectful of others while they talk.

    For circle time, we don't give ours a choice really, they have to come to circle time. Fortunately, we don't have any that down right refuse, but we do have the ones that constantly touch others and of course the interrupting.

    I worked at a preschool from 1987 to 1995 and then was our of it until 2005. The kids I worked with before were complete ANGELS compared to the ones today, we had no problems with them. I wonder why that is. From what I see, I tend to blame parents. I've already mentioned the inappropriate movies. I see parents come to p/u their children and the children completly are so rude and bossy to their parent. I am floored with some of the stuff I see. My mom would have grabbed my arm and yanked me out of the chair so fast if I talked to her like these kids do.

    Well, I could go on forever...but I've already vented enough. I don't think I have actually helped...maybe given a couple ideas. I just wanted you to know you are not the only one dealing with this stuff. Unfortunatley I do not know what the answer is!! Sorry this was so long.
     
  4. kinderkids

    kinderkids Virtuoso

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    Jun 25, 2006

    Structure, discipline, and model, model, model, model, model, what you expect from them. I teach K and in the beginning of the year I sometimes have to go over something sooooooooooo much it seems ridiculous.......but don't assume by telling them once or twice or three times or more, what you expect is enough. We physically do something again and again and AGAIN until I think they understand, and then we do it AGAIN!!!!! At this age you, teaching them how to behave is JUST AS IMPORTANT as the academics, IMHO!! Don't think you are wasting time by having them show you how to do something appropriately...........it really is a valuable lesson. Stop your story, focus on how to sit during the story. Start from the basics and work your way up. Until you can get the children to sit and follow rules, nothing else really matters at this point.
    Did I mention how important structure is at this age? Free play is important..........but YOU MUST lay down the ground rules, and anyone breaking those rules sits out..........no questions asked, period, end of story. Be firm and set high expectations for them.....you WILL see results!
     
  5. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Jun 25, 2006

    In my opinion, 24 Preschoolers are too many in one room. However, it is legal and it happens, so you will have to find a way to teach them and not lose your mind.
    Be VERY clear as to what the rules are. Rule number one...NO super hero or gun play at school. Nip it in the bud.
    Rule number two...Every single kids sits their butt down for circle. No roamers allowed. You will need to tell the parents in a newsletter that there are several children who are obsessed with this kind of behavior and that it will not be tolerated. Get mean.
    What else do you need to add to that list? THink of exactly what you need them to do...then enforce the rules. Make them sit while the others are playing outside. YOu have to be drastic for them to get the point. Stop all that silly sticker and chart stuff. That is just more work for you and stuff to keep track of...plus, it really doesn't work. Get serious with your discipline and expectations.
     
  6. marie925

    marie925 Rookie

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    Jun 26, 2006

    thank you all for your input... every little bit helps me and gives me brand new ideas/insight...

    grammy- i agree with you... i think 24 prek'ers is way too many as well... it is very VERY hard to keep them all in check (near impossible lately)... i would very much like to say "no roamers allowed", but it is very hard with so many kids, and only two of us teachers! do you have any suggestions on how to accomplish this? i totally agree with your post... and i am planning on typing out a letter tonight for all the parents to get tomorrow evening... grammy, i love your advice-- you are so straight forward and to the point, i would appreciate any further help you can offer.....

    today was a better day (i also only had 13 kids until almost 10:00a)... i started sitting kids down for 4-5 minutes when they were playing rough, playing guns, etc... i felt like there was less of it, but it continued... and for many of the kids, sitting in the chair meant NOTHING!! they did their time, then they went right back to fighting... we have a movie day on friday... and before the day started today, i talked with everyone about it and how fun it would be!! but---- i also told them that anyone who got past 2 this week on their pin cards would not be joining us... so make good choices... one little girl got past 2 this morning... and she was devestated... a couple others also lost their party privelege already today...

    i just get SO urked at those kids that insist on pushing your buttons... not matter how many times you talk to them, how many times you sit them down, they STILL persist with their behavior!! and i guess the only thing i can do is continue with disciplining and talk to the parents and then hope for a better day tomorrow, when perhaps they will catch on! sometimes i just wonder if i am being too hard on them... they are 4/5 yrs old, practically still babies--- but then i tell myself--- i am preparing them for kindergarten!! they have to learn how to behave!!!
     
  7. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    Jun 26, 2006

    Start from the beginning again. Tell the kids, "You have been in school with me for a long time now, and it seems like some of you have forgotten the rules." Spend time modeling behaviors, modeling play and modeling cleaning up. Have direct lessons about "this is what we do at circle time..." and for any other problem parts of your day, too. Pretend that it is the start of a new school year and you have to explain every expectation and every task to them. Read them books about naughty kids and have them list the negative behaviors, as well as what the character could have done differently (Miss Nelson is Missing, The Very Bad Bunny, etc.) Stop your normal curriculum for 2-3 days and focus on teaching behavior expectations. That's more important right now.

    Assign seats within circle time and stick to it. If a kid gets up or won't come over to circle, go get him. Period. Or send your aide to do so. Tell the kids that this isn't optional, and anyone who cannot sit in circle, and sit nicely, will not be going to the playground that day. And stick to it. Consistency, routine, and yes, getting a little stern are the keys.

    My boys this past year were much more into superheroes than any class I've previously had. It goes to show how much power and influence the media really does have over children and their behavior.
    Kim
     
  8. Myname

    Myname Comrade

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    Jun 26, 2006

    What I have done regarding the super hero junk is tell them Superman, or Spiderman is not allowed in preschool. Some ask why and I just tell them I don't like the way they play. I love how you play so nice when you are at preschool and they stop being the super hero.
    Gun play is always stopped immediately when I see it.
    I then tell those who are doing it now you need to find someplace else to play or that game is not allowed in preschool find another game to play. The next time I see gun play I will have to have you sit out for awhile.

    At circle time I will say i see so an so sitting so nice and then after the 2nd name is called out they are all sitting nicely.
    I have a few who are distractors and my aide will sit with them until they can sit alone. I have turned shelves around also to keep them out of them during circle time as well. Or closed up the shelves.

    With the child who throws toys around I would just get those toys and put those items away for the day or not let that child play with them for the rest of the day.
     
  9. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Jun 26, 2006

    Marie, I haven't had that many kids in my class for a very long time, but I remember it well because I was new and not good at teaching them to behave. That is our job. TEaching them to behave.You are not being too hard on them.You do need to get that aide of yours off her butt and help you. Try different ways of sitting the kids down for circle until you feel comfortable with the arrangement. I have used chairs and I have sat them in a straight line. Go right down the line and teach them how to sit and where their hands should be. TEll them this is practice and that you can see who knows how to sit and listen. If you have to stop your story a hundred times, then do it until they get the point. Be sure to tell them that this is quiet time and learning time and you want to help them grow up and get to go to Kindergarten. TEll them you know the Kindergarten teachers and that you will be talking to them about how well behaved the kids are...or NOT and that you will decide if the are good enough to go to the big school. Naughty kids cannot go to Kindergarten. Do NOT let those kids have any fun until they start to behave. They do not deserve to have any fun...their parents are possibly not doing their job at home and you might not get much cooperation from them, so take it upon yourself to teach them how to act.
    I am totally against the charts and rewards for kids. It is way to time consuming and totally unnecessary ... and it doesn't work in the long run. Those kids need to know that you expect them to behave and you need to be clear in your rules...Everyone will sit in circle and no one will be playing super hero or guns.
    It is very natural for the boys to want to play this way, so I have given mine an outlet. I have given them some little soldiers that they can play war with in the a specified area. I only allow 2 children in there at a time. Since you have so many, you could have a couple of those kinds of areas. The rule is, they have to SIT and play with them and they stay in that area with the toys. AFter all, there is a real war going on and they know it...so let them play with soldiers. TEll them that is the only time they are allowed to play like that at daycare.
    I think that's it for starters. Let me know how it goes.
     
  10. lindalou

    lindalou Rookie

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    Jun 26, 2006

    Is there any possibility of teaching half the class while the aide teaches the other half and then switch? I divide my class into three groups and I teach one, my EA teaches another, and the third group is doing seatwork. We switch every 20 minutes. Some children seem to escalate in pairs and you can keep certain children away from certain other ones - you know who they are - just put them in separate groups.

    It seems we all have this problem with the boys - I'm sorry, but it seems mainly boys - shooting and karatey-ing each other. I always make the mistake of rolling my eyes and thinking "Boys!" Next year, I'm going to nip it in the bud and tell 'em we don't play that way in our classroom!

    I just thought of something I do on the playground when the boys are doing this play-fighting. I punish them just as if they were actually having a fist-fight. They say, "We were playing!" and I respond, "It looked like fighting to me!" They get to where they don't do it when they are where they can see me. I guess it's better than nothing.

    And for Butterfly4 - about the movies! I was visiting with fourth graders this morning about movies and they have all seen "Saw"!! If you haven't seen that one, don't, but I shut down the discussion and told them I don't even let my son see those movies! (they all know he's an all-that middle schooler). I'm tellin' you, these parents are not on the same page as we are!
     
  11. marie925

    marie925 Rookie

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    Jun 26, 2006

    thank you for more replies!

    when the fighting happened outside today, i made all the fighters sit for 5 minutes... for a few, this didn't phase them... and if it is that way again over the next couple days, i will contemplate taking away all the recess time... is that too harsh?

    my aide will hear it from me if she continues on the path she has been at these past couple weeks... i will be considered her supervisor beginning next week, so i will be more open to telling her what needs to be done...

    grammy, i am in the works of getting some fabric circles, or some carpet remnants (i'd rather get the fabric circles, they take up way less space)... so i will be giving out assigned seating at circle soon... i have also tried just putting tape on the carpet, but they rip it up... they are ruthless!! i will definitely be trying the "{enter the behavior} can not go to kindergarten"... i have made references to kindergarten many times and what kindergarten teachers expect... but i need to be harder about it... in some ways i am against the sticker charts, but i enjoy giving rewards to the children that are following directions, keeping their hands to themselves, etc... i just feel they need rewarded... they are also the ones who KNOW that it is expected out of them and so they deliver... i also enjoy seeing the other students get upset when they don't get a reward... and many times, i have had children turn around after starting a reward system like that... right now, in the state my class is in, no... it's not working for many of those "naughty" children... but i like the "good" students to have something to show their parents for their good behavior..... i am even more-so a big fan of small certificates/awards for good behavior...

    lindalou, i have separated my class in the past, but during the summer it is very hard... for one, we don't have a big enough classroom to do that-- i can't even imagine what kind of a mess that would be right now without something actually splitting our room in two, our kids would need some sort of barriers... we have split by half going into the school age room during he school year (kids were at school during the morning), but 'tis summer time and they are in the s/a room all morning...... splitting the group will happen come the new school year............... yayyy!!! i, too, can't believe what kids see/hear/know these days...
     
  12. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Marie, No, you are not too harsh. Be harsher.
    I do believe in rewarding the good kids. I love calling all the kids to circle and there used to be a few who wouldn't come so I would get out my candy stash for the kids who showed up and sat down on the rug. That is so much fun because then the stragglers come running and I tell them they are too late! hahahahahahha!!!!!!!!!!! It's just amazing what a few m/m's can do or sweet tarts!!!!!!
     
  13. Butterfly4

    Butterfly4 Comrade

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    Jun 26, 2006

    Thanks for all of the advice everyone!
    The other teacher and I have decided to take down the sticker and color charts, we will do that tomorrow. I think we may do a certificate daily for the "best listener of the day". Something to reward the good ones a little, and encourage the other ones.

    We are going to go over rules and what is expected LOTS over the rest of the week. We will just act like it is the begining of the year again.

    Grammy - just curious, do you do the candy for coming to circle time every day, or just once in a while?

    Lindalou - I can't believe that about the 4th graders seeing Saw!! I haven't seen it, and won't. What are parent's thinking??
     
  14. Miss Steele

    Miss Steele Companion

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    Jun 26, 2006

    I didn't have time to read all of the other responses, so if someone else has already said this, I apologize.

    For the guns, we have one of those signs outside our school that tells anyone entering the school that you are not allowed to carry a concealed weapon on school grounds. The picture is a gun with one of those circles with a line through it. The first time my students started to play guns I told them "Didn't you see the sign? There are no guns at school." And the next time we went past the sign, I pointed it out to them. After that, I only had to say "No guns at school" a few times before all of my other kids were reminding the ones playing guns that there were "no guns at school."

    As far as the fighting and getting hurt, I allow my students to play what they want, but I remind them that when they play those games, they can only pretend to fight one another. If they touch someone while playing these games, I tell them they're done and they need to find another game to play. I only allow them to play these types of games outside/in the gym.

    I had a child with multiple disabilities who came to school and asked me to tie a table cloth on him to be his cape and he told all of the kids he was Batman. When he was Batman, he responded to teachers' requests and participated in more activities. If I allowed one child to be Batman, I had to allow the rest to be what they wanted...it actually became quite cute when they were thinking of new names so that everyone could have one.

    As far as the circle time, I split my difficult class into groups. Unfortunately, I didn't feel as if I could trust my assistant with the task of teaching the students in a way that I felt was acceptable, so she would take half of the class to the restroom and to brush their teeth, I would do a circle time activity then we would switch students. I divided up my circle time activities that we did as a large group so that they were a few short activities instead of one long activity.

    I did allow some students who were much more immature than the rest of the class to do an activity quietly if that's what they would rather do. But, as soon as they became disruptive, they went to time out.

    Time out doesn't have to be a particular place. Just the nearest chair that you can get the child to. The time out should be the consequence. If they are punished at the end of the week for something they did days before, they will not relate the punishment to the crime. If you and your aide are consistent and everytime you see a behavior that is unacceptable you take away what is fun for that child immediately, then the child will think "Hey, when I do this, I don't get to play."

    I had a very challenging afternoon class last year that I never really felt I had a grip on. But after implementing these things, I felt as if I had better control of the situation.
     
  15. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Butterfly4, I only use the candy treats in the beginning of their "training" and rarely after that. It's kinda like training a puppy. You start with the rewards and eventually they will respond without constant rewards.
    Be careful about giving out the best listener of the day reward. I personally wouldn't do that. If some of the children have been outstandingly "good," I tell them and send home a certificate. On the other hand, I talk about some of the children as not listening very well and that they need to improve so that I can tell their mommies and daddies how good they have been. Remember, that due to "circumstances," some children really have a struggle with being good. They want to, but just don't know how. They're not doing it to be mean to you. Give them constant direction and thank them when they are doing the right thing. That means more than anything...being noticed for being good. A pat on the back will suffice. No need to give out awards and candy all the time. Life is not like that and they need to learn that the rewards of being good are a happier time with others and smiles of appreciation.
     
  16. Myname

    Myname Comrade

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    Jun 27, 2006

    Maybe you could create a preschool super hero. Eg. take a stuffed animal and put him at circle time maybe when you see a children playing nicely or sitting nicely you set the stuffed animal next to that child. You tell the kids that this stuffed animal (whatever name you give it) can only sit with kids who are following the rules.
    All the kids will want to be noticed so they may start to act better.

    Another thing I have done in my class is out of the blue I will go up to the kids and wisper I like how nicely you all are playing. So and so is playing so nice. I try to say each child's name. And soon the ones acting up start to calm down an act nicely.
     
  17. Butterfly4

    Butterfly4 Comrade

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    Jun 27, 2006

    Grammy, good point. I will re-think about that "good listener of the day" thing. I was just grasping at anything...to motivate these kids to listen! I've never worked with such a difficult group of children before. We'll see how it goes the rest of this week just taking down the color & sticker charts and going back to basics....going over all the rules and modeling behavior.

    Thanks!
     
  18. kinderkids

    kinderkids Virtuoso

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    I happen to like the color and sticker charts. For me it has helped the kids see and be more accountable for their behavior. I keep track of it daily and at conferences I can tell parents the % of time their child has stayed on green and behavior issues to work on, etc. 75% stay on green average and above is the goal for kindergarten. It is marked on their report cards as well. I realize people have different reasons for not wanting to do it, but thought I should share with you that it has been successful in my classroom, and I like the structure and I think it helps children become more accountable for their own behavior. Just my 2cents.
     
  19. marie925

    marie925 Rookie

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    Jun 27, 2006

    ok-- an update...

    well, this morning was wonderful... we had our free centers during breakfast, and play was very nice... then during morning talk, i MADE everybody sit with their legs crossed and hands in their laps-- no acceptions... and there were a couple that were looking at me like.... wow... what is going on here?? then music time came... i was very strict about the instruments... no playing instruments when the music was off, and if you did you put your instrument straight back in the blue bin... it went very well... and all throughout, i made sure everyone was sitting with their legs crossed...

    then............. our field trip came... and they started to get out of control... i wanted so bad to keep a few kids back from going on the field trip... i didn't do that, but i did keep a few of the kids "glued to my hip" during the field trip... but, it didn't matter... they were out of control at this place... we went to a firefighter museum, and there was one guy at the museum, he guided us through the building... since there was only one guy, we had to stay in one group (22 4/5 yr olds, gathered together, in a museum!!!!)... luckily there wasn't a lot of breakables around... anyway, i was embarrassed at the end of that trip and i let my director know about it...

    i can not wait 'til the beginning of school year... things are so much calmer, no kids taking vacation days off, no teachers gone on vacation every so often, just back to the normal routine... i love summer at home... but i hate summer at work... i much prefer the school year...

    i wrote a nice letter to my parents lastnight, they got sent home tonight with pick-up... i hope some parents present me with questions...

    that's my update... :) thank you all for your help... i will be back tomorrow-- oh, and tomorrow is show 'n share... we'll see how many of them lose that privelege... here's to **stickin' to your guns**-- heh heh.... no pun intended.... (get it? guns? a big part of my issue right now is gun play? --- nevermind.....................) :rolleyes:
     
  20. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Jun 27, 2006

    Marie, I love what you did today! I can just see them looking at you! That is great because now you have their attention!
    As for the field trip, I have had that happen. Don't take them on field trips. That is too many kids and not enough teachers. It's not worth it. We go on one summer bus trip to a park or something, but we have one teacher for every 4 kids. That is the only way to do it. Otherwise, forget it. Oh, we had parents help. That was funny! Their heads were spinning by the end of the day!!!
    I have to tell you about this boy that moved into my room this summer. He is mildly autistic and when he moved in, his therapist said she would explain the "visual" behavior chart(with the red, yellow, green.) I told her she can use it if she wishes, but I wouldn't be needing it. She was shocked. Well, he is doing fine and I treat him just like the rest of the kids. He knows he better behave if he wants to have fun . When conferences roll around, I know who has been in the red or in the green and I don't need a sticker chart to remind me. It's pretty cut and dried. I keep track of particular behaviors and we discuss them.
    The kids in my class have one choice...behave, and they do. I just won't have it any other way. If they continue to act up, I continue to ruin their day. Doesn't bother me one bit. They are 4 and 5 years old and they do know better.
    I also hate summer at work and love it at home! I love the school year because it is so structured .
    I don't know how you do sharing day, but I quit that years ago. It is too long and too chaotic. Plus I found out that the parents hated it too! It was always a hassle for them while little Johnny chose which truck or action figure to bring to show everyone that day! There are never any toys or items to be brought in and if they do, I put them in the office until the end of the day.
    Yes, I run a tight ship and I am very harsh sounding to some of you, I'm sure. You just haven't seen me dancing ballet with the kids or wearing a basket on my head, and you haven't heard me making chicken noises for absolutely no reason. They love me and I love them and they know it. So, be bold, be downright mean, but don't forget to have a lot of fun in between time.
     
  21. Myname

    Myname Comrade

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    Jun 27, 2006

    Have fun that is very important.
     

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