HELP!! No discipline allowed!

Discussion in 'Behavior Management' started by leannwade, Aug 16, 2007.

  1. leannwade

    leannwade Rookie

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    Aug 16, 2007

    I am a first year teacher, and I am teaching pre-k. The first few days were great, but this week the children have not been cooperative. On the carpet, they rarely want to listen and usually talk through anything I am saying. They do not want to clean up during playtime, etc..Unfortunately, discipline is a touchy situation. We are not allowed to put them in time-out, remove them from the classroom, use a color system, no kind of 'discipline procedure' whatsoever! There are no rewards either...no stickers, candy, parties...nothing! Can you help? I came home and cried today, and I don't want the rest of my year to be like this. I even had to fill out 2 accident reports!!
     
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  3. apple25

    apple25 Comrade

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    Aug 16, 2007

    Why are you not allowed a time-out spot? That seems strange to me . . . that's the first thing that Supernanny would say!!

    I would suggest talking to the administration and explaining the behaviours. Maybe you could do a sneaky timeout, and have the misbehaving child shadow you?? Good luck - I can't imagine teaching in that kind out situation!
     
  4. TulipsGirl

    TulipsGirl Cohort

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    Aug 16, 2007

    Goodness!!! How long does a school with no discipline last? :eek: This makes for a very difficult situation!!

    The first thing you need to ask yourself is: Do I have other procedures in place? Have I modeled modeled , modeled? have we practiced, practiced practiced them? Every day?

    Ex:
    *signals for when you need their attention.
    *A cleanup song: Make it a race to see how early into the song they can finish. Maybe the class can choose from a few songs on a cd?
    *What we look like and sound like when others are speaking etc.

    Basically what I'm saying is, are you positive that the children know and have really PRACTICED your expectations?

    NOW... we really do need to come up with some kind of reasonable consequence for when the kids don't follow your expectations.

    The good news is, that you can have a discipline procedure without color codes etc. You could use very logical consequences. Make it more "cause and effect" rather than punishment. be extremely consistant. For example:
    Explain to them them that you will be thrilled to pass out the snack.... as soon as the room is cleaned.
    Explain that children who are talking while the teacher is talking will not get to be called on later. (I don't know pre-k, so I have no idea if this is developmentally appropriate. But you get the idea.) All of these "cause and effect" explanatoins need to be given with utmost love care and concern. They need to know that you love them... and there are consquences for actions.

    Personally, I think that sometimes a child needs to see that if they are truly acting inappropriately, then they just can not participate in the activity. Do you have to call this time out? Or can they just not participate? Can they go to a "cool down" spot?
    What a shame that at such a young age you can't at least hand out an occassional sticker! Try verbal acknowledgement....

    I have no idea if this helps you or not, but I hope so!
     
  5. cmw

    cmw Groupie

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    Aug 16, 2007

    What a tough position you're in! I just finished teaching preK and can't imagine not being able to give positive and negative consequences. I would have your director or supervisor give you examples of what they want done. Some children do not have boundaries at home and only learn them at school. I had children who were physical toward classmates and defiant toward me. Sometimes children need to sit out and take a break. Good luck as these children get older. :lol:
     
  6. synapse

    synapse Comrade

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    Aug 16, 2007

    I would not agree that a school policy stating that no behavioral interventions, such as time out, or reinforcement plans means that the school has "no discipline." The behavioral approach, of which your suggested interventions are derived, is only one of several theoretical approaches to classroom and behavior management. In fact, from my own personal perspective, behaviorism is NOT high on my list of places to begin when thinking about classroom behavior.

    To the OP: What happens during carpet time? Do you begin by making your expectations clear? Do your students have the skills to meet your expectations? Do you need to teach them specific behaviors for carpet time? Is this an interesting and engaging time for your studnets? Are they actively engaged or are you simply asking them to sit and listen?

    My 4 year old does not want to clean up after play time. But I don't need time out to teach her that it is necessary in order to move on to another activity. Of course this takes conversation, support and, as TulipsGirl mentions, logical consequences. For example, if the crayons are not picked up, the blocks can not be taken off the shelf.

    I don't think it is time to go to the administration until you've really examined your situation closely. What can you do to place your students in a situation where they can be more successful?
     
  7. leannwade

    leannwade Rookie

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    Aug 16, 2007

    I really appreciate the helpful hints and feedback from all of you. Synapse, behaviors are reviewed every morning on the carpet. The children are required to listen to a story, tell a story, flannel board,etc....just some type of literacy. I always have music prepared and movement. Mornings are not so difficult, but after lunch and afternoons are!! You do make very good points in your reply:)

    Tomorrow is going to be different. I will go over the rules until January if I have to. I plan to show them our entire routine again if necessary. I am going to model more tomorrow. I am trying to have a positive atitude. Tomorrow is a new day filled with new experiences. I want to have a good year. Thanks for all your help and comments.
     
  8. chicagoturtle

    chicagoturtle Fanatic

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    Aug 16, 2007

    Keep in mind for some of these little guys it is their first time in school, so for some of them they need a lot of practice and teaching. So make sure you state your expectations clearly and give an example. Start your large group time very short and then add minutes as time goes on. Sing songs with motions. Then also use songs to signify transtions. The mailbox magazine has a lot of creative songs for cleanup and stuff. I use these and then make my own and sometimes the kids make their own too. Kids who you notice have trouble transitioning, give them more warnings. I always err on the side of prevention rather than dealing with something after the fact, but we use "time out" sometimes. Sometimes both parties need a brief (3 or so min) break before discussing the situation.
     
  9. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Aug 16, 2007

    I don't teach Pre-k. I just have one of my own. I'm in 1st.

    First, I think it is early in the year. We all have struggles in the beggining to get the students accustomed to rules.

    Second, Sing Song voices and requests for help get more out of my toddler than being told to please go do something.

    They have short attention spans so a hook is good. I'm sure you've got that covered.

    Have you tried a positive reward for those who ARE doing the right thing? Soon the others will want to follow.

    Cue words (repetitive phrases for the same situation) help teach them over time what to do. They can't remember. Repeat, repeat, repeat! I'm sorry, were you listening or screaming? That's what I said to my son when he wanted some water. He has a bad habit of screaming and screeching the request. Over time when he hears these words, he calms down and repeats them in the appropriate way.

    Pay attention to what IS working. Take your cue from there. Pay attention to what starts the terrors. Is there anything you can do to change the environment to add to preventive maintence? Sometimes it is a little thing.

    Take heart. You aren't alone. We all, at all grade levels, struggle with back to school routines and getting into the groove. Last year we struggled most of the year because we did have a group that had issues. Even then, even when it's harder, there are lessons to be learned for all of us.
     
  10. scarlet_begonia

    scarlet_begonia Comrade

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    Aug 17, 2007

    I am not allowed to put children in time-out (I teach 3's and 4's) but I can redirect. If I need to redirect, it's usually at a table with a book and/or a puzzle. It's a subtle difference, but it doesn't count as a time-out because I tell the child that he/she can get up when he/she is ready (and because they have something to do.) When they are ready, they have to talk to me first. I make the final decision (if they are ready to rejoin the group.)

    If they're not listening when you are talking, I would have them apologize to you. If it is a child's turn to speak during group time, and others keep talking, I would have them apologize to that child.

    I have also used consequences like the other posters. If one time of the day is really hard for the class (like afternoon center time), have something really fun to do right afterwards. This is not a punishment or a reward, it's just the next step in your day. And you can't move on to the next activity (snack, outside time, whatever) until the first activity is completed (toys away, sit ready for circle.) If you have an assistant, I would move on with the kids who have completed the first activity. The kids who don't want to clean up will move much faster.

    Also, I think there is a difference between a formal reward, such as a prize or sticker, and a natural consequence. "HHmm, let's see who listened well at circle time. Jenny, you sat so nicely, you pick first center." "I brought in my favorite toy truck from home! I'm going to share it with the class today. Oh, I'm sorry, Cindy. You didn't clean up the block area today so I'm going to let Johnny use the truck. You can use it tomorrow when you clean up."

    It's a bit more subtle, but it works for me.

    p.s. If you don't have an assistant, and clean up time is rough, you can send the kids that are done to the table where something fun awaits. Snack, wipe off boards and markers, chalk, counting bears and cups. There's a difference between overt and covert rewarding. I wouldn't look at it as being sneaky, just a natural consequence in the flow of your day.
     
  11. Texteach

    Texteach Rookie

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    Aug 17, 2007

    After 17 years of teaching, I've found that
    using phrases like, "I enjoy it when "student's name" puts up her crayons so quickly!" or "I'm going to be so proud of all you wonderful kids when all of you find a spot really fast." Then when they get there, tell them that you are so proud of them because all of the other teachers have noticed how great a job they do and are always asking questions about them.

    It sounds like a little thing to do, but it really does help. When the students think that the other teachers think they are "special" they all want to be special or remain special. I do this with my classes and they are usally the quietest walking down the hall because they are all wanting the teachers to ask questions about them.

    There will always be one or two real "corkers" in your class. But using this system should help keep the rest under control so you can focus on the "corkers."

    Good luck!

    Good luck!
     
  12. Katekat

    Katekat Rookie

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    Aug 23, 2007

    I don't teach Pre-K but I ran KinderCamp, a YMCA summer camp program consisting of 4 and 5 year old children this summer. I can't imagine not being able to use discipline, that must be tough! One thing that worked well for me was positive reinforcement. To get the kids quiet I'd ask for bubbles in the cheeks (puffed up cheeks, I'd check for who had the biggest bubbles) or magic fingers (finger over the lip that keeps noise from escaping). If it was taking a while for the room to follow directions when I asked for bubbles or magic fingers I would look for the one child listening and make a huge deal out of it "Kimberly has her bubbles and a magic finger! Great job following directions!" Or I'd give hi-fives to those following directions. Kids that age love hi-fives more than stickers. Soon the whole room would have bubbles because they wanted that hi-five. We also had talks about respect and being respectful not only to the teacher but to those who were trying to listen. In the halls if we had to be quiet we would play games such as:
    The magic food game. Get them to think of their favorite food then have them grab a huge imaginary handful and put it in their mouth to chew all the way through the halls. If they keep chewing the whole way without talking they get a chance to share what it was they were "eating".
    Secret Spy. I'd pull out an imaginary spy suit and we'd get our spy suits on followed by super quiet spy shoes which we'd lace up, spy gloves, spy glasses, an ear piece and last but not least we'd zip our lips because if you talk the enemy will see you! I also had them duck under windows and tiptoe past other people which added fun to the game but I'm not sure how practical that would be in school hallways.
     
  13. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Aug 23, 2007

    Preventive Maintence is also a wonderful tool. You have to know your kids and what they react/don't react to.

    One student with ADHD would come in and immediately I knew what kind of day we would have from his vocalizations (extra motor movement). I would use that information to decide how to situate his day. If he was really off, I might ask him to sit in a desk close to the table (so he could still talk but not be as distracted or touch). That's a simple environmental change that wasn't that hard to do. I just had to be aware. That was just one of the many things, but even the students without ADHD all had something I might watch for. Certain boys couldn't line up together to go to the restroom. Girls needed extra attention when asked to do anything inpendently or separated because they like to talk. Thinking about the details of your students will help tremendously.
     
  14. TulipsGirl

    TulipsGirl Cohort

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    Aug 25, 2007

    Katekat,
    Adorable ideas! I can see kids loving that!! :2up:
     
  15. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    Aug 25, 2007

    My kids who have difficulty participating appropriately are redirected to a different activity... you can't keep your hands to yourself playing with blocks? Then you can go do a puzzle by yourself until you're ready to be gentle. You can't sit quietly on the carpet while we're reading a book? You can participate in circle from somewhere else in the room... where you aren't as tempted to talk because there's no one near you, but you can still see and hear what's going on.

    My kids LOVE to be the one whose name is called for doing a good job "I like the way Celeste is sitting. I like the way Tommy and Susan are sitting." They all shape up so I can call their name, too.
     
  16. storyh

    storyh Companion

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    Aug 26, 2007

    Clarnet73, I used that with my preK kids and it helps! Good thinking!
     

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