classroom management for young preschool.

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by MuckeyBusiness, Feb 3, 2008.

  1. MuckeyBusiness

    MuckeyBusiness Companion

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    Feb 3, 2008

    I am in my first year of being a full time lead teacher in a classroom. I graduated with my Early Childhood Education degree in April and I started my job in August. In August I was the lead toddler(12mths/walking to 24mths) teacher and I was with a co-teacher. Our classroom was a pretty good classroom and we worked well together. The overall atmosphere of our classroom was great.

    We opened the daycare in August so not all of our classrooms were opened in the beginning. Around the beginning of December my boss comes to me and wanted to know if I wanted to open the other 2's classroom because our two year old enrollment was growing so we had to open another classroom. I told her I would because I think it would be good experience to teach in different ages and I didn't want to tell my boss no.

    Here is where I am seeking advice. I opened the new classroom and I thought it was going to be as simple as the toddler classroom because that classroom was going so well. Right now I have 5 2's (24mths to 36mths/pottytrained). I have a little girl who is hyper beyond belief. She is always everywhere and all over and does not really listen either. I have to be on her constantly and she's always doing stuff she is not supposed to be. She's climbing on chairs to get into art stuff, she's over at the sink playing in the water or washing her hands a million times a day, and just spastically all over the classroom. Then I have a little boy who I don't think is completley all there. He can talk but not a lot and it's not very clear. He doesn't know any of his colors and when we do flashcards he doesn't know what anything is. If he does not want to do something all he does is scream and will not budge or just lays on the ground. At naptime he will not listen to me when I tell him to lay down and sometimes he doesn't even nap at all because of that. I have to have the other teacher from the two's room poke her head through the door and tell him to lie down many times before he stays down.

    Currently I am the only teacher in this classroom. I have to do everything by myself and also make sure that the kids aren't doing things they're not supposed to. I went from having a co-teacher and having a great room to wanting to pull my hair out and scream. I was wondering if anyone had any ideas of gaining control over my classroom and making my daily schedule run more smoothly. PLEASE HELP ME!!! lol
     
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  3. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    Feb 3, 2008

    Some thoughts:

    What kind of consequence do you have for misbehavior for the majority of the kids? I know it might not work for your spazzy girl, but what are you already using?

    Are these troublesome 2's your young 2's or your older ones? There's a HUGE difference in the two ages, it might help.

    I teach 3's... but I have kids who don't nap. They still have to lay down, and I'm HUGE on having to lay quietly. My non-nappers who behave get to get a book after part of naptime has passed. 2 hours and 15 minutes is a LONG time to expect them to be quiet otherwise!!! I'm not sure what your setup is, but can you isolate him from the rest of the kids? I know that when one kid is screaming, it wakes everyone else up... and mine will leave my room if they can't be quiet. Our principal and AP are awesome at taking kids for us who won't behave at nap time... and usually it takes only 1-2 times before they'll cooperate. Or we'll send them to the room next door "ooh, it's too bad you can't take your nap in here, maybe you'll be able to lay quietly here instead." (That especially works when the room next door is younger kids). For kids who are relatively quiet but not still enough to settle down, we've given them bean bags or a bag of beans and placed it on their back once they're comfy... and we've told them they're magic sleeping bags, and they will be able to sleep if they keep it on their backs. (Of course, we also feed them "magic sleeping beans" or their food has "sleeping dust" in it at lunch, which they LOVE). And we have "sleep races" where we tell them we're trying to see which kid goes to sleep first. There isn't a prize involved, and we don't even usually announce a winner... but the kids ask EVERY DAY "Can we have a sleep race?" hey, whatever works. :)

    The biggest thing I can tell you is consistency, consistency, consistency. You have to let the kids know what you expect from them, and then you have to follow through if they don't do what they're supposed to... and, you already know this, but that goes for ALL the kids, not just the ones who typically give you problems.

    That may or may not have been any help for you...
     
  4. MuckeyBusiness

    MuckeyBusiness Companion

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    Feb 3, 2008

    My two year olds I have are between 24 and 28mths. The type of discipline that I use in my classroom is that I ask them, do we do that? and then we'll be like no we don't do that. Then if they do it again I remind them that we don't do that and tell them if they do it again they are done. Then when they do it again I have them sit down for a few minutes and then I tell them that we don't do that. Since this is my first year as a teacher I am still like what the heck do I do. I've been doing this for 6 months but I view that discipline is my weakest link and i feel like I never know what to do. I can't take the kids in another room and we don't send the two year olds up with our director. I just want to have better classroom management in general throughout the day.
     
  5. Joyride

    Joyride Comrade

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    Feb 3, 2008

    When I worked with 2's, I found that the more I made a big deal out of things like climbing, the more often the kids did it. It's very important to be patient about that. Just do your best to keep the kids safe. Unless you can get some soft equipment to climb, they're going to keep trying to climb on other things in the classroom.

    I like what you said about giving them a chance and then telling them they're all done. It sounds like you are being consistent and firm. That spazzy girl you mentioned will probably continue to be a challenge. I had a few who just were not ready to do what the other kids were doing. Is the sink in a separate bathroom, or right out along the classroom wall? If it's separate, maybe you could put something on the door so that it can't be opened without an adult.

    What is your schedule for the kids now?
     
  6. MuckeyBusiness

    MuckeyBusiness Companion

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    Feb 3, 2008

    There is a teacher sink and then there are two sinks in one counter that is child height and we have that in every classroom (child height sinks). I try to keep them away from that but the two kids i mentioned are just always over there. Any tricks or tips from keeping them away from the sink area without physically moving them?

    This is the schedule I use currently. The gross motor time is in a different area of the building. It's this fun room with a ball pit and slide and some other stuff. I can't move the outside time either. Since it's been cold we haven't been going outside so i've been trying to fill that spot but can't think of any ideas right now.

    7:00- AM Snack
    7:30- Free Play
    8:40- Circle Time
    9:00- Breakfast
    9:30- Art
    10:15- Gross Motor Time
    10:30- Outside
    11:00- Lunch
    12:00- Book Time
    12:30- Quiet Time
    2:30- PM Snack
    3:00- Science and Math
    3:30- Outside
    4:00- Gross Motor Time
    4:30- Free Play
    6:00- Close Room

    Right now I get there at 9:00 and I start the kids who are trying to potty train at 930 and I have to do potty training every hour. The kids who are still in diapers I have to change every two hours.

    The afternoon doesn't always have the most structure of a schedule because we are getting moved into different classrooms but that normally doesn't start till about 330 or 4.
     
  7. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    Feb 3, 2008

    In lieu of going outside, do you have some fun songs on CD? My kids have enjoyed those in the past, and I know our 2's classes like them too... Greg and Steve, Jim Gill, and Carole Peterson are 3 artists off the top of my head, although there are TONS more :)

    Often we'll do that, or just open up "fun centers" for a while since it's been WAY too cold to go out!

    What about using a "closed" sign on certain things... like the sink, or dramatic play, or whatever it is they're not supposed to be going in... something visual for them so they can see where they're not allowed (think "Stop" and "go" signs or something)... young kids tend to be VERY visual, so that might help?
     
  8. MuckeyBusiness

    MuckeyBusiness Companion

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    Do you think the closed/open sign will work? I don't think that will work but maybe i'm just diminishing a two year olds expectations.
     
  9. Pre-K Teacher 1

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    Feb 5, 2008

    I think you have too many transitions for a 2-3 year old class. Why not just have two large blocks of free play, circle time, snack, lunch, outdoor play, and nap time.

    You can invite the children over to participate in other activities such as math, science, music, book, etc. throughout your free play period. This is how we did it when I taught this age group.
     
  10. MuckeyBusiness

    MuckeyBusiness Companion

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    well we have to have science and math in our schedule... what would your schedule be if you were me?
     
  11. imat

    imat Rookie

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    Feb 6, 2008

    When writing your daily schedule have large amounts of time were children can work and play with out interruption. In those blocks of time create centers that the children can go to freely with open ended activities.

    Example:
    9:00 - 10:30 Work Time/Children Center Time
    * Gross Motor (Movement Activities)
    * Process Art Activities
    * Process Science Activities
    * Math Activities

    Remember to include some water play time at a table for those children you talked about above. Get a supply of dish pans to place on a table with different water activities in each. This might help you get them out of playing in the sink.

    Have Fun
    Tami
     
  12. Joyride

    Joyride Comrade

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    Feb 6, 2008

    I don't know whether the closed signs would work or not, since I never did anything like that, but you can try. They did understand that they could only do certain activities once I got them out. (Although I had a boy who, like your girl, was just into everything regardless). What I'll tell you is that 2 year olds can definitely be responsible. They all knew to clean up their own lunch and snack, where to put their finished art, that some things belonged to specific children (i.e. a sippy cup- most of the kids would bring it back to that child whenever they found it), where to return glue bottles, etc. They can be very responsible if you trust them.

    The hardest part about not having an assistant, I think, is potty-training. (But then I always had more than 5 kids). How does that time work for you? The other hard part is that lots of engrossing activities really cannot be unsupervised... although with 5 kids, you shouldn't have to worry about any certain area being too crowded.

    I think you should take notes and see if there are particular times when the kids always get into something, and see if you can change the way you structure that at all. Your schedule sounds ok to me, although I'm sure the afternoons are difficult if you're being bounced around rooms, as you said. Do you combine with the 3 year olds? Do most of your kids leave at the same time?

    Do your activities usually fit into that time frame, or is lunch, only, say 15 minutes? lol I ask because they generally don't eat a lot at this age. If so, you might need a few more ideas of things to do during the transitions.
     
  13. Joyride

    Joyride Comrade

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    Feb 6, 2008

    I re-read your first post and realized that naptime is probably the worst part for you. Do you get a break during nap? Has anyone offered to help you with that child who refuses to go to sleep? (Other than to poke their heads in?)
     
  14. MuckeyBusiness

    MuckeyBusiness Companion

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    Feb 6, 2008

    well naptime is getting better. They are all falling asleep for me now so it's all good.

    Right now I only have 2 kids potty training and that's not the thing

    The main thing is my kids hardely ever listening to me and them being spastic crazy and them hardely not cleaning up the toys. My boss told me I need more structure in my classroom and i need to have the same schedule every day... i thought i did.
     
  15. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Feb 6, 2008

    I took a close look at your daily schedule. I, too, think you have too many transitions. Here is how I would change it, based upon your needs:

    7:00 snack
    let those done with snack flow into free play.
    8:40 Circle Time which will include science and math, and gross motor skills.

    9:00 breakfast
    which will flow into teacher directed choice time. During this choice time, put out art projects, science and math projects (games, etc.)

    11:00 Lunch
    Book time--I am not sure what you are doing--30 minutes of books is too long for most children--just put them down for nap
    nap time

    2:30 Snack
    3:00 Science and Math--I would present another circle time which included science and math as well as other exciting things.

    3:30 is outside time, then you come inside and do gross mother time--why two separate times for the same thing?

    I think your schedule is pretty good, but needs some thought about what to include in each block of time, and how to present it. When I first started, I watched Romper Room on TV to see what it was all about. You might watch Mr. Rogers or Sesame Street and find some ideas on flow of the activities.
     
  16. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Feb 6, 2008

    ...and I think your meals and snacks are too close together.
     
  17. Joyride

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    Guys, she probably can't change snack. Some states require a snack every 2 hours.
     
  18. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Feb 6, 2008


    Is the girl physically impared? or are you using the pejorative context (which might not be the best choice...)? The boy who you refer to as not 'completely there'...have you spoken to the parents? I know you are looking for help with classroom management and you have been given some great advice here-I can empathize with how frustrating it must be to have trouble with class control issues... may I offer some advice that you find ways to LOVE these children and speak of them in more productive terms? Clhagning your viewpoint on these babies might change the way you deal with them and ultimately help change their behaviors...:wub:
     
  19. Pre-K Teacher 1

    Pre-K Teacher 1 Comrade

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    Feb 7, 2008

    Your current schedule:
    7:00- AM Snack
    7:30- Free Play
    8:40- Circle Time
    9:00- Breakfast
    9:30- Art
    10:15- Gross Motor Time
    10:30- Outside
    11:00- Lunch
    12:00- Book Time
    12:30- Quiet Time
    2:30- PM Snack
    3:00- Science and Math
    3:30- Outside
    4:00- Gross Motor Time
    4:30- Free Play
    6:00- Close Room

    Suggestions:

    Snack
    Free Play
    Breakfast
    Circle (5-10 min)
    Free Play/Outdoor
    Lunch
    Nap
    Snack
    Free Play/Outdoor

    I hope that helps!

    I know with this age it's important to not have so many transitions.

    How much waiting is going on?
    As they finish eating are they allowed to go play?
    Do you constantly do things as a whole group?

    Put away the flash cards and play with them! It sounds like your expectations are too high for this age group and abilities noted. Get back to having fun with the group! You can reinforce and teach during your PLAY time with them.

    Get a water table and a soft climbing structure if you are able to for your room. Do more physical activities such as dancing, marching, bending and stooping, etc. It should be interactive and fun for the children and YOU! Find some great children's music cds from your library.

    Establish a consistent routine and stick with it. Each day should be a treasure for you as you are in control. Just decide to have a GOOD day and go for it!
     
  20. MuckeyBusiness

    MuckeyBusiness Companion

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    Feb 7, 2008

    Ok well I should rephrase that then. The girl I have is just hyper. There is nothing wrong with her and she's fine she's just hyper. With the whole sink thing, I taped a piece of red construction paper and green construction paper and I hung it on the mirror. I asked her what red meant and she said stop. I asked her what green meant and she said go. So then I told her when it's on red we don't play by the sink or wash our hands and when it's green you can wash your hands. I really think this is working. When we do pottytraining i'm like go wash your hands and she said it's on red. So I went and changed it and she didn't go to the sink until I changed it. After she was done washing her hands I changed it back to red and she stepped backwards a few steps. Then later when we were just playing she kept on saying it's on red, it's on red! I talked to her mom about this too and she said they do some stuff with the whole red and green thing at home as well.

    The little boy is just behind with some things. I don't know if I would label him special needs or not. His vocabulary is not where a two year olds vocab should be. He doesn't know the difference between quiet and loud. He's just loud all the time. We have a ball pit in our gross motor room and he can't get himself out of it. He doesn't know any colors and we've been working on colors ever since he was in the toddler room in august. He doesn't know animal sounds and stuff like that. We've been working on this with him ever since he started in august.

    I can't change meal and snack times. That is state law in Indiana. And my director and assistant director don't want the kids to start laying down until 12 and my kids don't go to sleep till about 1220 1230 anyways.
     
  21. Joyride

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    Feb 7, 2008

    Just out of curiosity, has he had his hearing checked? Has he ever had ear infections?
     
  22. MuckeyBusiness

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    I don't know if he's ever had his hearing check or if he's had ear infections... Since working with him i don't think he's had an ear infection
     
  23. MuckeyBusiness

    MuckeyBusiness Companion

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    Feb 9, 2008

    i talked to his teacher for when he was in the toddler room and she said he has had ear infections but it hasn't been that noticable
     
  24. MuckeyBusiness

    MuckeyBusiness Companion

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    Feb 9, 2008

    so all of the young preschool teachers and my director had a meeting the other day. At one point we were talking about centers and I guess I just wasn't understanding centers and what they really are about... Does someone want to help me out?
     

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