Mischievous little girl

Discussion in 'Kindergarten' started by puff5655, Jun 27, 2012.

  1. puff5655

    puff5655 Cohort

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    Jun 27, 2012

    I had a little girl this year who tested me ALL year. I followed my behavior plan to the T (1: time out, 2: longer time out, 3: principal)

    She was a bright, sweet kid, never mean, but thought she was cute and goofy when she broke little rules and went off task. Was in time out 3 or 4 times a day at least. She hated the punishment and sometimes would cry and cry. Baby of the family and spoiled at home (no discipline at all).

    Next year I'm getting her cousin, also baby of the family, who the preschool teacher tells me is twice as bad in the same way.

    Ideas on how to handle this one?
     
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  3. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Groupie

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    Jun 27, 2012

    Read Fred Jones the Tools for Teaching. She is getting exactly what she wants. YOUR ATTENTION. She's also winning because she's getting more of it than her classmates. This girl is described in the book.
     
  4. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    Jun 27, 2012

    This assumes she's trying to get attention, which you'd only know by doing a more thorough assessment. This is the problem with packaged curricula - it's too cookbook and attempts to treat all kids the same.
     
  5. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    Jun 27, 2012

    The first step is to a thorough assessment of the incoming child, then to build a dynamic behavior plan around that assessment. When I say dynamic, I mean that it will change as you try strategies and see what works and what doesn't. With your plan this year, once you gave it time to work and it didn't, it probably would have been a good idea to change things up try something different.

    I would wait until the child starts in your room, then see very specifically what issues arise. From there, start to understand more about the context of those behaviors (what sets them off, how peers/adults respond to them, what she's trying to get or avoid with those behaviors, etc.). Once you have a sense of what's happening, identify strategies to address each of the issues, then see how the plan works. If the behaviors continue after a reasonable amount of time, reassess and re-identify strategies.
     
  6. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Groupie

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    Jun 27, 2012

    I was working under the theory stated by the OP that this child and her cousin were "babies".
     
  7. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Jun 28, 2012

    I find that many times in this situation, praising and rewarding the students following directions really helps. Can you build this up? Maybe start the year by trying to catch and praise all the good things that she is doing and ignoring the cute/goofying off behaviors.
     
  8. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    I'm not sure that being the youngest of siblings means all behavior is attention-seeking.
     
  9. puff5655

    puff5655 Cohort

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    Jun 29, 2012

    Appreciate all the advice and mopar, thanks I think yours has been the most helpful. I need to develop some sort of reminder system to myself so that I don't forget to keep doing that. The one I had this year LOVED the positive attention. "Wow, you are being such a good listener today!" made her really smile.

    I shouldn't say my system didn't work at all- she was a little better by the end of the year. I'm hesitant to buy any more behavior mgmt books..I already have so many.

    EdEd.. I know it's attention seeking (spoiled and lacking discipline at home) behavior.. I already know the new kid a little bit. What I need is ideas on solutions.
     
  10. AlwaysAttend

    AlwaysAttend Groupie

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    Jun 29, 2012

    And when you hear hoofs think horses not zebras.
     
  11. Rebel1

    Rebel1 Connoisseur

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    Jun 29, 2012

    I had one this year and she has turned into "MY FAV" child!
    She tested me in every way possible. I ignored the negative stuff and started putting the ball back in her court. I made her do the odd jobs around the classroom; sweep the floor, give out napkins, cups for snacks or lunch, and carry the emergency backpack outside, or any little job that I needed done. I kept her so busy that she barely had time to act UP!
    She did not want to write her name or do her paperwork, yet I still gave her the work and had her Mom take it as homework. She is about to go to K and she now writes her name beautifully and writes her numbers and letters like she had never done before! She keeps telling her Mom that she needs me to move to the Kindergarten class and be her teacher. I did the time out thingy with her at first and it was a joke. I had her color when she refused to do what I asked her to do, plus the parents kept sending coloring books, and that was her cop out. (She won our Coloring Contest we had!) Anyway, she has turned out to be my angel. When the other kids acted up, and I raised my voice, she would come over, place her arms around me and say, "It's okay. You're going to be alright. You're going to be fine." What a turn around! Her parents keep thanking me and giving me gifts, etc. She made it possible for me to see that all it takes is time to make a child feel better about his/her self; make them feel important, and that their being there, to help out counts. I usually sing while I do my work, or while the children are doing stuff, and now she sings too, and she is the life of the party. All the boys want to hang out with her now. She cracks me up with what she says. One day I asked her to tell the children to be quiet. Her response, "Why? You're the teacher. You tell them. That's your job!"
    Redirecting can do wonders AND I am going to use it a lot because my next Pre-K group is going to have 3 like her.
    Good luck,:angel:
    Rebel1
     
  12. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    Jun 29, 2012

    One thing that has worked for me is to completely ignore unwanted behavior unless it is a major disruption. This really helped with students that were seeking my attention or liked going out of the room for discipline. I would get the child out of the room to talk to the class and tell them that Jane is really strggling to learn the rules so when she is not doing what she should be it is extra important to be on our best behavior so she can learn from our excellent examples and we won't watch her or what she is doing at all. I talk it up a bit more and for a few days the kids are hilarious in thier overly good behavior. Then, I am really consistent in complimenting the other kids and looking right over Jane's behavior as if I can't even see it. When you do have to address it, keep it simple and quick and for every time you do have to talk to the student negatively, try to compliment many more things that are good. If she is really an attention seeking child, remember all of the easy incentives that you can use, a hug, pat on the back, even a smile are really important to thise kids. Good luck :D
     
  13. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    Jun 30, 2012

    That would be assuming that horses were more common than zebras, metaphorically speaking. In other words, your assumption is that there is only one likely cause of misbehavior that could occur with a child having older siblings - attention. In reality, the most commonly overused and over-interpreted function of behavior is attention. Ask any teacher why a child is doing something, and invariably one of the first responses is "attention." It seems we're trained to think that, when in fact there are usually more common explanations for behavior, or at least alternatives to be explored.

    Better than assuming horses, when you hear hooves, look outside the window and see for yourself.
     
  14. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    Jun 30, 2012

    It may be helpful for us to hear more about the child. For example, if a child is "spoiled" and "lacks discipline," that could mean a lot of different things. The child might just want to avoid unpleasant tasks, which has really nothing to do with being attention-seeking. If you implemented an attention-seeking strategy with a child trying to avoid stimuli, you'd be directly reinforcing the behavior.

    In my experience, figuring out exactly what's going on is pretty important. It sounds like you may know the child pretty well from past experiences, so it may be helpful to describe the behavior patterns in more depth so we can be more helpful with solutions.
     
  15. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Fanatic

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    Jun 30, 2012

    I would say rather than take a reactive approach (i.e. timeout, punishment) be PROactive. KEEP HER BUSY! Know where she is and what she is doing at all times. I had a couple of students like this this year, and it is exhausting. Have lots for her to do, keep her challenged academically and praise her when she is on task.
     
  16. puff5655

    puff5655 Cohort

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    Jul 15, 2012

    Rebel, isn't it funny how those tough kids are the ones you get most attached to? I miss the little monsters the most!

    Keeping her real busy sounds like the best solution. She doesn't seem to be trying to avoid any work.. she's a bright kid. But she does want to do everything her own way.

    For example, signing-in in the morning- We allow them a good 15 minutes to write their name. When they finish, they can move onto puzzles or books until we call the group together. The times this little girl has visited, she's spent the whole time writing her name "fancy"-with swirls etc.. despite me asking her several times to write it the regular way (and reminding her she could spend play time writing her name different ways if she wished). She's answers me with an innocent "okayy" each time and then continues what she wants to do. When we call the group together, she says in a very dramatic voice, "Ohhhh, I didn't have time to do puzzles!" and will sometimes add in the fake cry act.

    I struggle with this because I feel like in a way she's just trying to be herself, and I don't want to discourage that or try to make every kid the same. But it often takes time away from the other kids or causes us all to wait on her. I'll have to really observe her and reflect a lot more on it.

    I've done a lot of planning over the summer and this year will be a lot more fun, hands-on and project-based than last, and the days will flow better I think, so that should help too.
     

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