Discipline issues vs learning styles

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by WaProvider, May 15, 2011.

  1. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    May 15, 2011

    In a different thread we bumped into a stand alone issue. Have you ever noticed that in your program discipline issues go hand in hand with a difference in learning styles? How have you rectified this situation?
     
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  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    May 15, 2011

    When 'learning styles' affect others ability to learn, it's a problem.
     
  4. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    May 15, 2011

    True, but is this solved by cornering the one with the "different learning style" and forcing them through the motions of the majority...or by opening the styles within the room to include the minority?

    I am not criticizing the answer, merely deepening the thought to see what we can find.
     
  5. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    May 15, 2011

    It kind of depends on the 'learning style '...
     
  6. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    May 15, 2011

    czacza, I agree that when a teacher feels a child's learning style or behavior is affecting the learning of others it can be very frustrating and time consuming for a teacher. I think we can all agree on that but we were interested in moving past that issue into what can we proactively do about it?

    For example, I think the key to many behavior problems is that we have failed to engage the child in the task at hand and they get bored or frustrated and act out.

    One way to avoid some of this in early childhood classrooms is to follow an emergent curriculum that takes into account the interests of the children, therefore they "buy in" to what you are doing.

    Another way is to have a discovery/experiential approach where the children are actively learning rather than sitting in their desks.

    What are some of your ideas?

    Do you have any
     
  7. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    May 15, 2011

    Again, I ask: what learning styles are you experiencing that become problematic? I have lots of ideas about differentiation and classroom mgt, but I guess I'm wondering what specific issues the OP or you are experiencing...The original question was not about lack of engagement, but how learning styles seem to be linked to behavior problems..Most learning styles can be accommodated in any lesson through differentiation...
     
  8. Gimet

    Gimet Rookie

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    May 15, 2011

    I think you can incorporate several different learning styles into your daily schedule in order to accomodate individual students' special learning needs. For example, small group, large group activities, self-selected activities, gross motor/ movement activities before reading a story during circle time, music and art activities (process and product) etc. Sometimes, just providing a daily schedule with clear and consistent expectations takes care of behavior issues. Not sure if this is what the original post is referring to????????
     
  9. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    May 15, 2011

    Gimet, I love your ideas. In the original thread this idea showed up as an item leading us to a larger discussion of what happens when a group of individuals in your program is not engaged fully.

    I love your dedication to creating many opportunities for every child to learn in many ways.

    In the first thread, I shared that my program seems to be a great fit for the VERY kinetic children of our town. These children often go on to other rooms and become the "out of control student".

    I agree that finding these different ways to interact with the material makes the difference.

    Have you ever had a child that was strangely able to function in your room, but not others? What are some of the most original ways to reach a child did you need to invent?
     
  10. teacherR

    teacherR Companion

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    May 17, 2011

    I have noticed that the kinesthetic kids have the hardest time. I have been teaching for 15 years, many ages and I can say I dont feel that school is set up for children like this at all. As a teacher what I have found is that recognizing how a child learns and interacts can be the key to helping them manage their behavior. You cannot tell a mover not to move. That is styfiling. I have one boy who cannot stop moving, his body calls him to action. I pick and choose when i want to redirect this behavior acknowledging that this is who he is. Now that he is moving towards kindergarten I have been slowly working on getting him to sit down and focus. But he is not the problem the problem is his environment. It is not built for who he is as a learner. I think as a early childhood teacher you should be flexible and incorparte all learning styles. What does a child gain if they are dragged along with the group and just go through the motions? I think that the reason these children move on to another room and go from angels to...something else is (dare I say) the teachers.
     
  11. Pre-K Teacher 1

    Pre-K Teacher 1 Comrade

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    May 17, 2011

    IMO School after PreK is not set up to accommodate the various learning styles. I've worked in kindergarten and below and even with kindergarten there is not much room to accommodate the various learning styles. Especially if you are using a scripted curriculum that has to be followed to the letter.

    I have one of those "think outside the box" children in my household and it has been very difficult to get teachers to accommodate him. I finally moved him to an independent study program in high school which is working out for him. Teachers kept trying to change him and it just was not working out.

    But I do see in my own program that much of the behavior issues that occur in the classrooms are due to the teachers not considering the learning styles of the children. In one classroom, the teacher has a very active group. Instead of changing her methods and incorporating more activity during group time, she has been fighting against the tide to get them to bend to her will. It has been a hard year for her. No amount of modeling and conferencing with her and pointing this out has gotten her to change her ways. I always have a great time with her group when I visit the class. ~sigh~
     
  12. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    May 17, 2011

    This has been my observation, as well. If you have a class of active boys you have to change or you will be frustrated and fighting the tide all year. If you have a class full of social girls, the same goes. I think it is mistake to think you can do the same thing in the same way every year or that every child is going to learn the same way.
     
  13. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    May 17, 2011

    MEEEEEE too. Even if you whole day isn't emergent, or even if you hands are tied by a supervisor or district, shifting your ways of group management to work with the force "of you enemy" saves SO much time.

    In general I love my room, in general we have no issues. However, as a first year teacher getting my feet wet...my mentor paraphrased the Karate Kid type movies by using the idea of using the force of the enemy to win. It has stuck in my mind ever since.
     
  14. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    May 17, 2011

    Sometimes the hardest to reach children can be the most rewarding when they are reached. Today, one of my most letter resistant children needed to know how to make a T because "I need to write down 'tadpole' for the tank". I showed him. He didn't want the plain paper we always use.....nooooo he had to have a sticky note. Ok, fine have a sticky note. Several minutes have now passed since asking how to make a T, I thought for sure he couldn't remember, but I said nothing. This child can not make his own letter, sort a snack out for himself apart from other names, address notes to friends using an approximation of their first letters or recognize his letter out of context......or so he would have you think. While mesmerized by the visiting tadpoles that will not be staying due to the fact we already have a pet classroom frog, he wrote out the t, d, p, o, l and then his J to mark each note as his. WOW!
    :celebrate::celebrate::celebrate::celebrate::celebrate::celebrate::celebrate:

    Apparently he just needed the right word to write down! He is my investigator not really my social butterfly.....and he does take care of our composter (worm house) and our other classroom pets the most often. Guess I should have known how to reach him......DIDN'T. GREAT DAY!
     
  15. Blue

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    May 18, 2011

    WA, I feel your glee!!! I love to work with kids who think outside the box. I guess they teach me so much about learning. It sounds like J wanted to be in control of his learning. And how meaningful that learning became as he grounded it in realality and his need to know. Wow.
     
  16. Gimet

    Gimet Rookie

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    May 18, 2011

    Have you ever had a child that was strangely able to function in your room, but not others? What are some of the most original ways to reach a child did you need to invent?[/QUOTE]

    It seems like every year as my students transition from preschool to kindergarten there are "issues". I think some of it is expectations and unfortunately, some is because they have been labelled "special education".

    Recently one of my students had a major melt down when it was time to pick up. SLP helped him, using hand over hand. As soon as she "backed off" he took the , the behavior was repeated. I came across a couple of plastic sand buckets in the closet and gave one to the boy to help him clean up. He was thrilled and now every one wants a yellow bucket! Who knew?

    And that's what makes me smile!
     
  17. Pre-K Teacher 1

    Pre-K Teacher 1 Comrade

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    May 18, 2011

    More Pressure, Frustrated

    Children begin to feel the pressure of school once they enter the kindergarten classroom. There are so many expectations with kindergarten that were not present at the pre-k level. I feel we do pre-k children a disservice because we advocate free play and letting kids lead their learning. Well, I can tell you, that those principles are not taking place at the kindergarten level. I also think that all that is expected for them to learn in the 9 months of kindergarten is overwhelming! Recently, I reviewed my own school districts incoming expectations for rising kindergartens with what they are expected to have obtained by the end of the kindergarten year and it is ridiculous! There is a disconnect between the two levels. We've been having some discussions about how we can get the pre-kindergarten and kindergarten teachers to work in partnership in revising the expectations. The kindergarten teachers are frustrated because they feel we are making it harder for them by "not preparing the kids for kindergarten." But, once I took a look at the rising k expectations and the end of year k expectations, I concluded that we need to revise what we expect kids to know coming in to the k level. Pre-k teachers are doing what the school system has presented. Yes...I am a bit frustrated!:mad:
     
  18. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    May 19, 2011

    I have felt the squeeze to improve our "test" scores. And I do see the soaring heights to which the incoming kinders are to reach before they leave that room as well.

    My best move, as I am in charge of this program, was to go to a full day (meaning 10 contact hrs with the children EACH DAY). That left me plenty of time to have the teacher directed moments that the bigger school seems to want me to have, and to have the play that I just wouldn't be able to live without. I do spend time (a small amount, but time) subbing in a Kinder Class for one co worker. This time has allowed me to continue my refinement and to align.

    The days are long, and the weeks are longer, but I know deep down in my heart that these children are getting the absolute best of both worlds!
     
  19. Pre-K Teacher 1

    Pre-K Teacher 1 Comrade

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    My best move, as I am in charge of this program, was to go to a full day (meaning 10 contact hrs with the children EACH DAY). That left me plenty of time to have the teacher directed moments that the bigger school seems to want me to have, and to have the play that I just wouldn't be able to live without.


    This is something that I have been thinking about as well. A longer school day. With everything we are REQUIRED to do in my program with our "at-risk" population a longer day would definitely be beneficial. I've been looking at a couple of programs in the area that have longer school days and their scores/outcomes for student achievement have greatly improved. They also have higher teacher qualifications than my program so I'm pretty sure that plays a considerable factor. I also know that early childhood classrooms located in the public schools in our area do not have to go through the same licensing hoops that we do and we are in the SAME building. Go figure! Those classrooms have a LOT less paperwork to wade through. I'm a little jealous of THAT fact!
     
  20. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    Oh, I know that burns me too. Really, the kinder rooms are always commenting on the level of readiness of my groups. I know it isn't just due to any one thing i have done. We have long days, this gives us both the emergent exploration and the directed circle time. The small groups and the field trips. The staff and the parent contacts.......it is a full meal deal. But it really works SOOOOOOOOO well!
     
  21. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    May 20, 2011

    Just because kinder would like kids to come in more "prepared" does not mean it is developmentally appropriate for us to do what some of them are suggesting. Preschool is NOT kindergarten, and in my strong opinion, we forget everything we know about child development by even pushing down the curriculum into kindergarten, let alone preschool. Let them play and interact in a rich, engaging environment that promotes their curiousities, and challenges their cognitive, emotional and social growth so that children enter kindergarten with the skills they need to be ready to learn in a more structured environment. It isn't developmentally appropriate to feed babies adult food. It isn't developmentally appropriate to force feed preschoolers structured curriculum when they should be playing and exploring and loving life.
     
  22. Pre-K Teacher 1

    Pre-K Teacher 1 Comrade

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    May 21, 2011

    I am reflecting on my own ideas about appropriate instruction for "at risk" children. I've had the opportunity to work across the socio-economic spectrum in this wonderful field of EC. With the teacher expectations that are now required in HS, we have a debate going on as to how someone can be a great teacher without a degree. This is true. On one hand, I see the tremendous difference that a truly passionate and educated teacher brings to the classroom. I also see what kids miss when they have a teacher that loves kids but just doesn't have the skills. I also see the difference in child expectations between programs. I find that teachers working in schools that serve high socio-economic families have very high expectations for the children. Many of the teachers, I've had the opportunity to work with over the past 5 years, do not have these expectations for their students. Teachers have to have high expectations for all students. I've had the opportunity to see some expectional programs recently that serve at risk children, and they are doing some amazing things! They are using workbooks, play and rigorous academically challenging instruction. We can not do the same thing for all children because children do not come to school having had the same early experiences. Some children need the more intensive, academically focused instruction, while others may not because they have gotten this at home. I think we have to be willing to adjust to the needs of the children and populations that we serve. It's sort of like the debate we have about worksheets. I used to be a part of the 'no worksheets' crowd but have since changed my stance on the topic. In pre-k, some worksheets are appropriate and others are not. Thanks for letting me share!:)
     

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