Wild Kids - HELP!

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by SamIAm, May 4, 2011.

  1. SamIAm

    SamIAm Companion

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    May 4, 2011

    I really need some strategies for dealing with some of my students who have a tendency to get really wild: playing and making loud noises at circle, trowing and mistreating toys, roughhousing, climbing furniture, running and yelling inside. It's really one kids who gets them all going, but they seem to feed off each other and it's getting worse. Circle is a nightmare. I can't get them to sit for 2 minutes to participate in any sort of discussion. I have finally resorted to giving them TO for running inside because it's gotten so bad (I have a hallway connecting my two rooms which makes it difficult to fix with furniture positioning). I could really use some strategies to help them calm down and get their attention. I've thought about trying a bell, but that's just more noise. I taught older children before, but those strategies (like sitting and waiting or pointing out who's following directions etc.) don't seem to work because these kids don't care. I have 3 and 4 year old by the way.
    Please HELP!!!
     
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  3. dogs&teaching

    dogs&teaching Comrade

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    May 4, 2011

    I went to a seminar about a month ago called the Joys of Learning. It was a really excellent seminar. I have a class of four students but sounds like there is 20. They get so loud. I ask the lady who did the seminar what she recommended. She told me that she tells her students, "You are hurting my ears ______. Can you lower your voice?" She said that she would keep repeating it until the child lowers his/her voice. I tried it and it works for my group. I've discovered though it doesn't work with 3rd grade and up. I know you don't teach that high but anyway. I have a couple girls the like to climb and stand on the furniture. I finally began telling them "Please sit down on ______. You are going to fall and crack your head open on my floor if you keep standing on that, and I don't want blood on my floor." It may sound a little extreme, but it works for my students.
     
  4. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    May 4, 2011

    SamIAm, Blue will be here soon, let's get an idea of how your day runs....and how much admin tells you how it has to run. How much free time, how much sitting time, how much worksheet time, how much this, how much that, and is this hallway making a "running alley" in your room?
     
  5. LovetoteachPREK

    LovetoteachPREK Companion

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    May 4, 2011

    I've been thinking about this lately and trying to decide how to do things differently next year. I don't have a lot of students who abuse toys or run, but next year I will have 15 boys and 5 girls in both my sessions - so I need to be on top of things!

    My plan is to start with very few choices of activities (but plenty of materials) and model, model, model.
    These are the blocks.
    This is how we play with blocks.
    Here are the people, animals or cars you can use with them.
    When we are done, they go back on the shelf by their label.
    We cannot throw blocks.
    Then I will have the children demonstrate how to use them the right way. Lots of praise and acknowledgement that they know the right way to use the tools.
    Repeat for all centers.

    Now, for the running around. I am using Creative Curriculum and they have to "sign in" to the center they want to play at. If a child is running around I say "Where are you signed in at?" They tell me and I remind them to return to that center or pick a new one, but running is not a choice.

    Lastly, as part of meeting some quality standards, we needed to have large motor activities available in the classroom. I have some balance boards and hoppity balls. When they feel the need to be active, that is a center they can choose. I would like to add to it with a small trampoline and maybe a balance beam...but we'll see.
     
  6. SamIAm

    SamIAm Companion

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    May 4, 2011

    Thanks for the replies everyone!

    WA Provider - There is no admin.. just me, myself and I with 6 children. I run this preschool myself out of my home. Actually, I have 2 classes, but I don't have these issues with my other class. I have a couple more difficult ones in this group that seem to feed off of each other. One of them has sensory issues so it's not entirely his fault, however, knowing this does not make his behavior any less frustrating. My day is fairly simple. Arrival at 9:00, circle at 9:20 (circle is usually about 10 minutes and consists of a few song choosing the helper and maybe a short game or discussion) snack is around 10:00 and we go outside right after. We stay outside until approx 11:15 then come in and do a project until around 11:45, then we clean up and the kids leave at around 12:00. Is that what you're looking for? We don't do worksheets. My classes are play / center based, and my projects are usually hands on art or something similar.

    As for the running, I use two rooms and there is a short hallway (really the foyer) connecting the two. This creates a long space for them to run in. I've tried to place things in the hallway to slow them down, but they just crash right through it. That's why I've just started giving TO. I can't think of another natural consequence.

    I just feel like things have gotten really negative lately and I feel like I'm reprimanding them all the time and I really only like to use TO as a last resort so I'm hoping you all might have some more positive strategies or ideas to share with me.

    Love to teach - I did exactly that at the beginning of the year and it was a really positive way to start, and I did stuff to reinforce it before, but I haven't in a while. I guess since school's almost over, and my more difficult one will be leaving, I've just kind of been on survival mode - waiting for the end of the year. I think going back over this formally with the whole class is a great idea! I will do that next class.

    I've always been partial to free centers, but have been thinking lately of creating more of a loose system for them. I'll have to think about that.

    I don't have the room for an active play center. I wish I did. I was thinking about maybe moving outside time to the morning or taking them out and making them do laps first thing or something... to get their energy out. I started taking them outside after snack because that was when they seemed to have the most energy, but maybe running a few laps first thing would be helpful. :)
     
  7. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    May 4, 2011

    Well, not having an admin will speed things up. I forgot you were your own program. Me too.

    I have done many things. I have run the whole day outside. Not recess all day.....same day as inside, but with recess first and same "ideas" as inside just outdoors. Project on easels, or papers clothes pinned to the fence. Blankets out with those little porta tents for reading center and a basket or two of themed books. The caterpillars or whatever brought outside for the science. Blocks outside (we have a set of mega blocks that stay out for this reason to this day). Calendar on a flannel board.

    Or, run the day backwards?

    Something to shake up the day.

    Also, by now I have TO reworked into work time or work jobs. So, I need the table cleaned off, please do that. Or wash that table please. The kids sweep and so on. Nothing yucky, but working not vacay on a carpet square.

    Does any of that help?
     
  8. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    May 5, 2011

    Here I am. I love to discuss issues just like this.

    1. When children behave in such a manner, you need to ask yourself "why." Are they bored? Do they know what they need to be doing? Is the day filled with sit-down-and-be-quiet stuff, or carefully designed to have a balance of large and small motor activities.
    2. This one is a toughie. Is your program respectful of the abilities of the children?

    Let's look at your daily schedule. It looks fine. DAP suggests that free play be at least 45 minutes. So, your schedule looks good.

    So, I would look at your activities next. I think it would be hard to have a discussion with 3's. You might want to re-examine that. During your circle time, you might need to find some exceptionaly engaging activities. I always tell my teachers that they must put on a dog and pony show to keep the kids focused. So, here are my techniques for circle time.
    1. Establish a routine, so that children know exactly what to do and what is expected.
    2. Anchor the circle time. At the beginning of circle, always do the same thing. I used the song, Row, Row, Row Your Boat, and a Chinese Jump Rope. (the kids hang onto the rope, and row as we sing.) At the end of circle always do the same thing. My kids wanted to sing and row, so that is what we did. If they asked to do it again, I would say no, we will do it again tomorrow.
    3. Keep it short. Read a story. Sing a song. At the first indication that you have lost a child, stop, close with the anchor, and move on to the next item in your day.
     
  9. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    May 5, 2011

    Now, the respectful part. It seems your children want to be running and active. You need to set up the environment to allow active behavior. Can you supervise outdoor and indoor at the same time? If so, it is great to have both open. Add some large motor activities to the room. A small climber, wheeled toys, trampoline, a bowling game. If you can't add a permanent large motor item, think about having a large motor activity each day. Like bowling, obstical course, tunnel, etc.

    I hope these help. What I have tried to do is give you ideas to spur you to solve your issues. BTW, I had a private PS in my house for 10 years. I loved it. I was master of all, and only had to answer to the parents.
     
  10. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    May 5, 2011

    Yep, I knew that was what Blue would say. She says that so much more clearly than I think I do.

    This is why I flip my scheduled events some days. So I can get time for more motor events when the children are needing them. The outdoor classroom really helps that out. It is hard to set up though. And if it rains......yikes.

    Even a "Circle time song" for dancing can help with the wiggles. We have a few that aren't for free dance day. They are Greg and Steve Animal Action and Freeze and Listen and Move. We walk in a big oval and dance when it says in a sorta structured way. Then on different days we have free dance.

    We have had yoga days where we turn on the DVD and get out towels.

    Look at your teaching, look at what they are telling you. Stretch your teaching to go around where they are telling you to go ===without compromising your goals. So if they want activity, give it to them. Have them sort by running a item across the yard to a hula hoop and then return.

    I once had a group that I swore could only hear me if they were running at the same time. We did a lot of letter sorting activities that way. Have two piles of items in a laundry basket, a big letter marking each hula hoop and then sort by sound. Same as smaller work jobs in the room.....but these guys needed to RUN! They loved it and they were totally ready for kinder....except they still don't like to sit.
     
  11. diggerdeb

    diggerdeb Comrade

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    May 8, 2011

    When spring fever hits in my room and kids want to run and control everything I remind them of the rules we wrote at the beginning of the year. Bring back the designated carpet squares. Remind them of "good school manners". It is NOT that my kids need a day of recess-they are just tired of rainy and cold just like I am. I try some new things like put dirt and live worms in my sesory table. Change the dramatic play center into a flower shop. Add new cars and trucks to the block center. Add something different (that I have been saving) to the art center.
    New things add excitement for them AND me :)
     
  12. SamIAm

    SamIAm Companion

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    May 8, 2011

    Thanks for the replies everyone!

    I do have a consistent schedule and circle routine, and lots of free play, but I don't have any gross motor items inside the house. I just don't have anywhere to put anything like that. I might be able to fit a small climber in one of the rooms, but I worry that it will create more problems with the kids jumping off of it and stuff, since it's such a small space. I don't know. I'll have to think it over. I can't watch them inside and out at the same time unfortunately. I wish I could. I do, at times, do gross motor activities at circle, but it doesn't seem like enough.
    As for our discussions... they are short interactive things. Like the other day, I asked them to tell me what mother's day was and what kinds of nice things their mothers' did for them. It lasted a total of about 3 minutes, and I was not lecturing. I really do try to keep things DAP though I do have to check my expectations at times since I used to teach older children

    I think, truthfully, that I've been more on survival mode, trying to just finish out the school year (3 weeks longer), instead of working to solve the problem like I usually would. Anyway, I took them out before circle Friday morning, and had them race, jump, skip etc. up and down the yard. They seemed to enjoy it, and our day went a lot better. I'm going to try it again tomorrow and go around the room again to talk about the rules. We'll see how it goes.
     
  13. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    May 8, 2011

    Have those kids who want to get up & run sit next to you at circle time. That way if they start to move you can put a gentle hand on them to keep them in place.

    Review the rules. I do this with my kinders after every break.

    Other then that, I agree with what everyone else has said. BTW I did preschool for 11 years before moving up to K.
     

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