Discipline Issues

Discussion in 'Early Childhood Education Archives' started by forbiddenpluto, Aug 10, 2006.

  1. forbiddenpluto

    forbiddenpluto Companion

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    Aug 10, 2006

    Let me start this off with saying that I'm an absolutely brand spankin new teacher. I've never been in a classroom before. (I've taught dance and drama in private studios, but never been an academic teacher)

    I've made a discipline plan. This is what it is...

    Green: If you stay in green you get a sticker (at the end of the day). Green is good.
    Yellow: You lose 5 minutes of recess.
    Orange: You lose 10 minutes of recess and I send a note home to your parents.
    Red: You lose ALL recess, I call your parents, and you go see the dean, who dependent upon the parents wishes may or may not paddle them.

    I think I did a pretty good plan, but since I'm new I don't have a clue!

    Now is where I get into problems... How strict is too strict and how leniant is too leniant? I've got a classroom full of brand new kindergarteners. I know that if I'm not successful in maintaining order now I'll never get it. However, I feel like SUCH a meanie!!! Plus I'm still giving them a bit of leeway... I'll tell them once, and if they correct the behavior I don't do anything, but if they continue to do it I will mark their name on the board in the appropriate column. While they're in whatever time out I give them I sit down with them and ask if they know why they were in trouble and then we brainstorm on how to fix it.

    What do I do about kids who just aren't there? Mentally I mean. I've got about 4-5 complete space cadets who don't listen at all. I feel really harsh punishing them because I honestly don't think they understand why I'm doing it at all. I have one kid who's made it to orange 2 days in a row (I've only had him 2 days due to a stagger start). This kid is pretty smart. He tested into my medium high group. He understands the rules and can talk to me about them. He knows he's misbehaved. Yet he keeps doing it!? What can I do to get through to him?

    Gah! This is SUCH a hard profession to jump into!!! I have SUCH respect for you seasoned teachers!!!
     
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  3. missred4190

    missred4190 Comrade

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    Aug 10, 2006

    Hi! I'm not a seasoned teacher, but I have 5 years of classroom experience. There are many teachers here who can give you great advice, but I'll go ahead and put in my 2 cents.

    I've seen the "stoplight" plan numerous times, and it works. However, a sticker alone might not do the trick in the long run. Here's what I have seen: give a sticker on a chart for each student who stayed on green (at the end of the day). Make sure to stay positive with those who did not get a sticker, giving them hope for the next day. Once a student has 5 in a row, they can visit the "treasure chest" and pick out a prize. Of course, applaud and cheers from their peers makes it even more special.

    The treasure chest can be filled with any cheap party favor types of items, like balloons, rings, those stretchy gummy creatures, big and "fancy" stickers, ect. Dollar Tree and other dollar stores are great places to get these things cheap.

    Once they get five, it starts over. And it doesn't have to be five days in a row, just five stickers in a row. Otherwise, some children would never get a trip to the treasure chest.

    For those "space cadets," sometimes you really have to get down on their level and speak in that nice "low but serious" voice when there are little distractions around--like other students. I'm also a firm believer that teachers and parents need to teach children routines and how to behave and act. It isn't enough to just tell them to walk quietly into a room and put away their backpacks, for example. This is a skill that has to be demonstrated and practiced. Showing them and practicing how to act in the classroom can reduce discipline problems also. Just a thought! I'm sure you'll do great! :love:
     
  4. Julie

    Julie Rookie

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    Aug 10, 2006

    Do you have recess very last thing? THe reason asking is if you have recess mid day/morning etc. then what happens if they move to yellow or orange after recess? When I taught K I used time out for yellow and when on red it was a note or phone call home. that was really all i needed. give the "space cadets" a little time to get use to kinder and then you can always devise a seperate behavior plan that is individualized for those special cases.
     
  5. forbiddenpluto

    forbiddenpluto Companion

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    Aug 10, 2006

    Recess is the second to last thing. The fun centers are after recess. So if they misbehave after recess I have them sit out of the centers.

    I'm giving the space cadets a bit of leeway, but I'm afraid if I give them too much then the non space cadets will catch on and walk all over me.

    The student that knows what he's doing hasn't gotten MUCH leeway. He seems to think that if he fake cries then he'll get out of trouble. He's learning slowly that that doesn't fly with me.
     
  6. sevenplus

    sevenplus Connoisseur

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    Aug 13, 2006

    The problem with discipline plans such as this is that they only really work if the student cares about missing recess and if the student is really able to control behavior. Five year olds don't think logically yet, either. They cannot always predict the consequences of their actions (even if they've been told). There is no discipline plan like the one you have that is going to get all of the children to "behave." I've spent the past 7 years using a similar plan (although I do think that the students who lose recess are probably the ones who need it most, so I'd try to stay away from taking all of their recess time). I am ready for a new plan. I am reading Teaching With Love and Logic. I just started it, and I'm not sure how it will work in K, but it is not about extrinsic punishment and reward. It is about building relationships with students.

    Giving rewards (as from a treasure box) is something I've done before out of "desperation," but not something I agree with.

    With whatever plan you have, it is so important to be fair, firm, and consistent. When your classroom plan isn't working for a particular student, you need to adapt it. That doesn't mean change your rules for that student, but change what you do in response. Sometimes I've used individual behavior plans where the student can earn a sticker every 1/2 hour. Sometimes we focus on just one problem area (calling out, not following directions, etc.).

    Hang in there!

    Yes, it is hard, but it is so worth it!
     
  7. forbiddenpluto

    forbiddenpluto Companion

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    Aug 14, 2006

    I SOOO AGREE on the treasure box!!!

    At home I try not to constantly reward my daughter... just to encourage her and let the finished product be the reward.

    These kids are just CRAVING rewards. All of the inservices so far this year tell me to give them as many as I possibly can. Poor little buggers.
     

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