Behavior Problems!!!

Discussion in 'Early Childhood Education Archives' started by summersun61, Aug 6, 2005.

  1. summersun61

    summersun61 Comrade

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    Aug 6, 2005

    It was the second day of school today and i have many kids (about 6) you cant stay in their seats when they are at their tables. They constantly are up and wandering around. I also ahve some kids that cannot raise their hand to speak. I know these sound insignificant but all the other kinder teachers are not having this problem. I have a behavior chart set up with 4 colors. They get a warning, then a timeout , then parent call/contact. Today was the first time i even gave a warning on the chart. I'm just wondering if you have any tips for keeping them in their seats. Or...if you have any tips to make them sit still at circle time, raise their hands, and walk in a straight line. Right now i'm doing a boy and girl line and it is really unorganized. Has anyone used the rope thing when walking in line? Help! I'm not sure how to get them settled down!
     
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  3. summersun61

    summersun61 Comrade

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    By the way...it's my first year...:)
     
  4. srh

    srh Devotee

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    This will be me in two weeks....

    Did you spend considerable time "showing them" the procedures you mentioned? Like having them "practice" sitting at their tables until you cue them (music, lights, etc.) to come to the carpet? I expect to run through a few procedures two or three times in a row to help them get it. I think I will go through a few routines each day for a while, doing the most important first (asking to go to bathroom, lining up, coming to carpet, when to get quiet). Consider using a chime or a music cue to let them know it's time to change gears.

    For lining up, are you using a strategy such as, "If you have red on your clothes, you may line up...." or "first row on the carpet that is sitting criss cross will get to line up...." (Of course, they would need to know what "criss cross" is.)

    Trust me, I'm just hoping my plan is going to work for me!!! At least I have the benefit of observing the morning teacher first. I'm guessing you don't have a partner teacher...
     
  5. summersun61

    summersun61 Comrade

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    I have gone over the procedures over and over. We did learn to sit criss cross applesauce. However, there are a few kids who just don't listen well. The other kinder teachers said i am going to just have to start becoming more stern with them. Our rules are as follows.
    They are:
    1. We listen carefully and obey those in charge.
    2. We walk inside the building and in line.
    3. We keep our hands and feet to ourselves.
    4. We raise our hands and wait to be called on before we speak.
    5. we follow directions the first time we are asked.

    I think i just need to make sure an follow through on the discipline plan which is to sit in time out/ then parent contact after that. I'll try to use the chime for circle time and transitions next week to see if it works.
     
  6. hometeacher

    hometeacher Companion

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    Aug 6, 2005

    hi there ,its home teacher, it will be my first year teaching too. nervous tooo.
    i like all you ideas to , i start in 2 weeks and i have almost the same thoughts of how to approach those children to line up at the door and also using a little bell to get their attention.
    I have a assistant ( this is weird for me) because im the usually the assistant.
     
  7. Julie

    Julie Rookie

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    Aug 6, 2005

    I taught kdg. for many years. the first few weeks are the hardest. They are babies and some have never even been in school before. Just go over and over and over and over and over some more, your expectations. Be consistent and follow through.
     
  8. Lanie

    Lanie Cohort

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    Aug 6, 2005

    I agree with Julie. The first few weeks have to be spent on routine and procedures. Could you possibly be going a little easy on them? It will make your life much easier if you start from the beginning being pretty strict and loosen up a little as they begin to follow routines and structure. It's hard to not want to 'be their friends' when you are new. Trust me, I went through the same thing and I paid for it. They have to know that their are boundaries and consequences. Make sure to follow through with your consequences when they misbehave. Try not to give more than one warning and if you have warned them, be sure to follow through with your time out or calling parents. They have to know that you are in charge and that you will do what you say you will do.

    With your kids that can't stay in their seats, maybe you could let them stand up when they have to be at their desks/tables. I have had students that cannot sit when working. Before you start an independent lesson, be sure to remind students that they must raise their hands before getting out of their seats. Let them know they can only get up to get a Kleenex or turn their paper in--whatever your rules happen to be.

    You are not alone. I'm sure if you asked anyone about their first year of teaching (especially Kindergarten) you would hear some of the exact same responses. Good luck and keep us posted!
     
  9. TiffanyL

    TiffanyL Cohort

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    Aug 6, 2005

    Hi -

    I feel for you. We've all probably been there (I know I have)! Kindergarten is very hard because the children have not been exposed to classroom routines and procedures before. Even if they have been in preschool, elementary programs step it up a notch so it will still seem new to them. Make sure you do the following:

    1.) Tackle one behavior/routine at a time. They may be overwhelmed with all of the expectations. So, for instance, discuss how you want them to come in first thing in the morning. Model how they need to do this - and I mean literally act like you are in Kindergarten yourself (don't just tell them the routine). When you model the expectation, do it wrong. Do it the way you have seen it done - the kids will laugh and they will all be paying attention when you re-model it the right way. Ask a student volunteer to model it now for the class (someone who is responsible and will do it properly). Now, explain to the class that they will all be going outside of the door and practicing as a group how to enter our classroom. Take the entire class outside and immediately return as if it were first thing in the morning. If they do it fabulously, praise them and tell them how great that was and move onto a planned activity for the day. If they do not do it appropriately (and make sure your expectations are HIGH - do not allow them to do it half-right and be satisfied with that because it will get worse and worse each day), return outside the door and try again. Explain to them that you will all be practicing this all morning until you know they can do it correctly. I have had to practice a routine 4-5 times until my responsible students were becoming so frustrated with the interrupting students that the whole group finally figured they'd be better off doing it correctly so they could stop practicing.

    2.) Once the students have mastered that routine, take a break and move onto one of the day's lessons. Once the lesson is over, move to another routine that needs to be learned. Take turns like this - routines, lesson, routines, lesson so that the kids do not get burned out. If the kids are a bit roudy during the lesson, don't worry too much because you can address that as a behavior routine shortly. Focus on the routines that you have taught and they have mastered and demand that they do those routines correctly.

    3.) Choose and focus on the routines/behaviors that are the most troublesome to you right now (sitting on the carpet, lining up, etc.)

    4.) Definitely make sure you practice early on walking in a line. Begin practicing about 10-15 minutes before recess. If they do not master the expectation, they spend recess with you practicing. They learn early on that it is better to walk nicely in line if they would like to actually make it to recess that day.

    5.) Do the same thing after recess; if they are rowdy, stop them in line and explain that they will practice walking instead of returning to class. Walk a bit further and see how they do. If they do well, continue to class. If they don't, explain that they will need to practice returning to class now. Circle two times around the field, walk the halls, whatever you can do to give them practice time. The thought of one of your fun "getting to know you" activities will soon seem so appealing, they will all walk like little darlings just to get back inside.

    6.) Never begin speaking unless they are all listening. Teach the routine for a silent signal very early on. Have one that you can use inside and outside (or two separate signals). Once the majority of students are silent, quietly thank them and explain that we are still waiting on a few more. The majority of the kids will remain quiet and the ones that are not focused yet will usually settle right down. If, however, you go ahead and begin speaking, you will send a message to those children that they do not really have to listen to what you are saying.

    7.) Remember that the first week/s will be so much about routines and procedures. Even though it seems like a waste of time, it is not. The more responsible these little people behave in their classroom, the more they will learn. You will not be able to teach them much if they are not focused.

    8.) Always explain why these procedures are so important - you are not a drill sergeant, there are very important reasons for why we must follow the rules, behave appropriately, etc.

    9.) You do not have to be mean to have a well-managed classroom but you do have to be very, very firm. Do not crack too many jokes the first weeks. Make sure you are consistent with your expectations and very serious. I speak quietly and nicely to the children so that they know I am kind but I have a pretty serious look on my face those early weeks. :))

    9.) Once more thing, I do something called 3-minutes of fun. When I feel that they need a break from practicing routines, sitting in their seat, etc., we do what is called 3-minutes of fun. It might be a clapping pattern game on the carpet, duck duck goose, simon says, or a guessing game (I think of an object and they have to ask questions to gain clues as to what it is). I stress that we will have more time in the day to do fun things such as this if we are carrying ourselves in a very nice way in the classroom. Good behavior gets things done quicker! Note: students who have just been plain disruptive always sit at their seat while we do one of these fun things on the carpet. Also, it usually lasts a bit more than 3 minutes but no more than 5-10.

    Okay, hang in there. I hope some of this helps. Remember, you've got to teach what the environment/atmosphere will be before you can really begin teaching curriculum.

    TiffanyL
     
  10. iteachm123

    iteachm123 Comrade

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    Aug 6, 2005

    I think this was mentioned before, but a little bit of praise goes a long way. If you notice some children who are listening and following directions, make sure you stop and praise them for it. The other children also want to be praised so that can be an incentive for them to start obeying the rules as well.

    I can remember when I was in fifith grade, I took a lot of pride in my cursive handwriting and always tried really hard to make it look nice, My teacher commented to me once how pretty it was and ever since then, I have remembered that and try to always make it look nice.

    Children want to please their teachers and if they start being praised more often, it sometimes makes them want to try even harder. Please know that I'm not saying you're not doing that already. You sound like a great teacher who really cares a lot about your kids so I'm sure you're already praising them. Best of luck to you and I wish you a wonderful first year!
     
  11. Mable

    Mable Enthusiast

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    Keep up with routines, constant reinforcement. These little guys are so new to the game they need to learn how to "play". They'll catch on with constant, constant reminders. Don't view it as a misbehavior necessarily- they're just learning how to behave in school and you're the one who has to show them. It can get a little nerve racking-I agree, but keep your day lively and active don't expect them to be sitting all the time. Especially these first few weeks (or two months)
     
  12. jaszmyn

    jaszmyn Comrade

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    Also consider the amount of time that you have them sitting. Some students cannot sit even twenty minutes. Some story telling takes just that long. So mid way through the story offer a down time activity. Like have them stand -up and act out a part in the story. Or disscusion whatever.

    I keep an close eye on the clock and my students will move or talk about every ten minutes at the beginning of the year. The the time should increase as year goes by. Make sure they have sufficient amount of wiggle time.

    I remember observing a teacher for a couple of weeks and she sounded like a robot--constently reminding students of the rules and prodcedures. When she would begin to say a sentence the students would just finish it for her and after a while the students knew exactly what was expected. Its all about consistency.
     
  13. summersun61

    summersun61 Comrade

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    Thanks. I appreciate all the tips. I think i have just been to nice. I need to follow through with my expectations. I think i have been keeping them sitting for too long as well. What line procedure works best? Having a boy line and girl line, one ling line, lining up by color, lining up by alphabet, what about using a rope for them to hold onto? Thanks again for all the wonderful advice.
     
  14. Amanda

    Amanda Administrator Staff Member

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    When I first started teaching, I used a boy/girl line, but as an experienced teacher, I had a single line. With the boy/girl line, the kids are closer to you, yet they can get more jumbled together and it's harder to get through the halls if you meet another class.

    For me, a single line works best, but here are some tips:

    Tape some shapes on the floor in your classroom showing the first 3-5 students where they should stand. (I saw one teacher put down shapes for the entire line.) Practice lining up in a straight line, one behind the other. You have to show them exactly where to stand and how much space should be between them.

    I like how someone mentioned above modeling things the wrong way - showing them what you've been seeing and how it causes a problem. For instance, I used to always model kids standing together SO close (and of course they all agreed that standing that close to someone is uncomfortable!) or looking around in line, then bumping into the person in front of them when we stopped. They think it's hilarious, because they know it's true. Then model exactly what you expect. With kindergartners, it's important to not leave out ANY details. You can't take anything for granted - They need to hear step by step and detail by detail what you want. For the most part, they'll try to please you.

    After you model, then you practice. When I see a problem, we stop and do a mini-lesson on a procedure. We line up, sit down, then line up again... Sometimes we walk around the room and I praise the kids who are doing it just right - The other kids watch that student and try to copy their behavior.

    We had a hall poem that we recited before leaving the room...

    My hands are hanging by my sides (or my hands are behind my back)
    I'm standing straight and tall
    My eyes are looking straight ahead
    I'm ready for the hall
    Then I added:
    (where we're very very quiet.. shhh.. and I'd put my finger over my lips)

    We do not step into the hall until everyone is ready. If the class is still out of control and not ready to leave, we sit down and try it again.

    There may be some better hallway poems - I've heard some, but don't know them off the top of my head.

    As for the rope - I've heard of that with preschoolers, but I don't think it would be best for your problems - It would probably end up causing more. They can walk in a straight line if you make your expectations clear; model, model, model; and practice, practice, practice!!

    I was a first year kindergarten teacher, too - It's tough, but just remember that they are new at this too... You have to show them how to do everything again and again. That should be your focus right now - teaching procedures and making your expectations clear. They'll come back on Monday and you'll have another fresh start. They won't remember a lot of things from the first 2 days (It's too exciting and new), so focus on the rules and procedures right off the bat.

    Something else I meant to say about walking in line... I taught the line leader to walk ahead to a "landmark" and stop. This takes a lot of practice, too, but works great once they know where to stop and how fast/slow to walk. The "landmark" might be a water fountain, corner, or other prominent spot - many of our teachers had a banner or cut-out hanging by their door, so I could say, "Go to the turtle and stop." The point shouldn't be too far down the hall, however. This is a great strategy once the kids learn - Then I can stand at the classroom door and see the end and front of the line as they walk out, or walk along near the middle of the line and deal with any problems right away rather than having to stop and walk back to take the hand of a child who is thumping the head of the one in front of him. ;)
     
  15. Brenda S.

    Brenda S. Comrade

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    Aug 6, 2005

    Our school has 12" tiles on the floor. I let the line leader pick the tile and all students have to walk down the hall on that tile.

    As we walk down the hall, if they talk- we go back to the room. If they are too noisy, we use recess time and walk up and down the hall until we do it without any talking.

    If they are a touchy group, we sometimes play a sort of follow the leader game. I am the leader, I put my hands on my head, or some part of my body and everyone does the same all of the way down the hall.

    Brenda
     
  16. kinderkids

    kinderkids Virtuoso

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    One more thing.......don't be afraid to ask other teachers at your school for help or ideas. Many new teachers feel asking for help shows a sign of weakness or failure, when in fact, most teachers will ask for help and it is a sign that you aren't afraid to seek out new ideas and methods to solve problems. I wish my first year of teaching someone would have told me it was ok to ask.....I guess my pride stood in the way, and that stubborness and pride can cause a lot of frustration and deflate your confidence! You will find out that most teachers are more than happy and willing to help you out if you just ask :) !
     
  17. MsWilks13

    MsWilks13 Rookie

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    We say that at our school :D
     
  18. Teacheskidz

    Teacheskidz Rookie

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    Aug 11, 2005

    Hi,
    I'm a brand new Kindergarten teacher and I just made it through my 4th day. I have felt totally out of my comfort zone since I came from 2nd and 3rd grade. It has been frustrating and exhausting to go over and over the rules and they still don't get it. I sound like a broken record all day. But they are showing a little improvement every day which is lifting my spirits. Some kids are very young and babyish and others look more like 1st graders. I've found that bringing them to the carpet and back to the tables constantly is working and keeping them from getting restless. I finally had to put rows of tape down today in the calendar area because certain kids are sitting in areas where they are touching everything. Tomorrow I will assign them a spot on the tape in the morning. I like the idea of putting shapes down on the floor for lining up. Give an m&m or skittle to the kids who are doing a great job. The others will try harder to please you. I've also been using a lot of Dr. Jean songs which are great and Hap Palmer. The kids love to sing and dance. I introduced centers on Tuesday and it was kind of a nightmare trying to get them to switch and stay in their center. Most kids want to play someting else and try to wander to the other side of the room. I tried centers again and it worked like a charm. I ring a bell and they all have to FREEZE. THen i pick a line leader in every group and when I say switch they walk to the next center. Anyone who pushes or runs immediately goes in time out. Nobody ended up in time out. I also rewarded the group who froze first with 1 m&m. I hope this helps. I feel more comfortable with them but still trying to work on kids staying in their seats and remembering to ask permission to get a drink or use the bathroom. I have a lot of kids who call out too. There's a lot to go over and I plan on reviewing the rules on a daily basis for many more weeks. Is it Friday yet?
     
  19. kinderkids

    kinderkids Virtuoso

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    Wow, I'm surprised you have them switching centers already! I take forever to introduce centers, and usually keep them at their tables to work on center type activities, including staying at a task, cleaning up,etc. This takes me a long time........Good for you if you can make it work sooner then I can, I'm jealous! How many centers are they in? I actually use my center time in the beginning of the year to teach how to use centers! Each day, I may give a group of children a chance to work in the new center, while the others work at tables with manipulatives, etc.Maybe I'm just too pokey, but I want to make sure they understand the expectations of the center before I send them to it!
    One thing that has worked for me when sitting at group is to have them sit in a semicircle versus rows. I have smaller class sizes so this is easier, but if you could do it, I'd reccomend it. No one behind or in front to cause distractions, also the kids can see me better and what I may bring to the circle......a lot of times I sit on the floor, and it would be hard for the ones in back to see. Also, I can see THEM better too! :)
    I just thought I'd add what works for me.
     
  20. Mable

    Mable Enthusiast

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    Keep repeating and keep up with repetition. Plan on it for a looong time. I don't think I ever really stop that. Some months I have to be more like the enforcer (holiday seasons...). I think I was able to put my kiddos in learning labs (independent focus groups) without parent help by January. Then, I felt I was being productive.
     

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