HELPLESS

Discussion in 'Early Childhood Education Archives' started by I Love Kids, Sep 26, 2006.

  1. I Love Kids

    I Love Kids Rookie

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    Sep 26, 2006

    hello everyone,
    I've posted last month about me being new with teaching preschool. My class consists of 3-4 year old children. I am frustrated everyday because they refused to listen to me! I know that I am new and that they're testing me but I am running out of ways to get them to listen. Please help!

    To start off, this center children consist of kids who have been in foster homes, parents have been homeless, or parents that just recovered from drugs. I have 9 kids and 4 of them don't listen at all. One child consistantly say no to everything when asked to do something. When he is asked to move somewhere, to sit, or to take a time out he just won't do it and will kick you if you carry him. Another child will run around, not follow the rules, and also refused to take his time out. The other two will sit on a time out but will not listen to what I say at all.

    I am trying my best to be patient with them. I tried given them alternatives that they can chose (either or), go to their eye level when I talk to them, use "I need you to" statement, talking to their parents, sending them to the asst director, and I also give them compliments and stickers when they listen. Whats worse is that the rest of the class will follow these 4 with what they are doing.

    I know they are young and I should not keep them too long during circle time, but I can't even keep them on it for 2 minutes. They are very smart and learn (when they actually participate and not running around) what I am trying to teach them.

    Nap time are the worst because they will run everywhere, throw blankets at each other, and run on other people's mat. I turn off the lights and turn on soft music to try to set the mood. They all eventually nap because they come in really early in the morning; but it will take me at least an hour to get them on their mats.

    Any help would be great! I feel lost but I don't want to give up on these kids. I love each and every single one of them and I know they have so much potential.

    I know this if off the topic but I would like to share. Once I come in, I give them morning snack (which is when they sit the longest) and we all sing ABC song and count with our fingers together. The other day when they were having their after nap snack, I saw them counting their fingers together without me. I was so happy and I feel like I've accomplished something. They are so cute! This is what keeps me going.
     
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  3. sva

    sva Rookie

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    Sep 27, 2006

    It is good that you can see that "something" is getting into their heads!

    You have to keep in mind that children in these situations often have no consistency in their lives. They don't know where they will be, who they will be with. THere is very little that they can control and that is their behavior.

    Keep your schedule as consistent and predictable as possible. Even when it seems like chaos is breaking out, keep things status quo. Eventually (on their timeline, not yours, unfortunately) they will settle in and feel safe.

    I've been a foster parent and I have also had children in similar situations in my classroom. It is a tough population but one that needs caring people like you in their lives.

    Keep posting!
     
  4. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Sep 27, 2006

    During singing time, try clapping your hands(whatever body movement you are making) more exaggerated while doing this toward individual children (while making your voice slightly louder during this movement).

    Try physically touching your nose, your ears, your mouth etc in fairly rapid succession while inviting them to copy. When you have them all doing it and smiling. Stop and immediately begin a short lesson. Don't make wild movements, but very small and calming movements.

    Try raising your hand with a sign language "I love you" and tell them when they notice it, they are to copy it and be quiet and look. Then really praise the ones that are doing sooooo goood. Kids want someone to notice them and to be proud of them.

    For the mats, try to have them orderly and ask one person at a time to get their mat and lay down. Praise them for sitting and waiting their turn.

    These kids could benefit from daily hugs (if permitted).

    I agree..consistency, giving it time, and alternating firm approaches with positive gushing reinforcements when appropriate.

    Ask your behavior consultant/counselor for some tips.

    Set up a VISUAL behavior system. Kids can't deal with what happened before. They have to SEE it. They live in the now.
     
  5. PB&J

    PB&J Rookie

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    Sep 28, 2006

    Maybe try using a special puppet to give directions. You can name the puppet and use it to get the kids to (hopefully) focus on what you are saying. For some reason a lot of kids will focus on a puppet easier than an adult.
     
  6. toddteach1

    toddteach1 Rookie

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    Oct 6, 2006

    Hey I Love Kids, I just wanted to get on and say thank you for posting your request. I just started in my room two weeks ago and have twelve three year olds. It is pretty much the same as your room it sounds like and to top it off the child proof cap on the door going out to the playground is so lose that the kids can open the door themselves. So I have to keep on eye on that until my assitant director can replace it. I would love to get any and all advice that anyone may have. there is no circle time currently being used so I am in the process of starting one up right after breakfest so that I can send them to play from circle time. Again if you can help I would greatly appreciate it .
     
  7. Mrs E.

    Mrs E. Rookie

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    Oct 6, 2006

    I was a Head Start assistant last year and I went through the same thing. Remember that when you teach at this level you are not only teaching the content, but the skill of being in school. It is not natural for people of any age to sit down and listen to other people, but how much more so for 3 year olds!

    I understand where you are at though, I had only 2 last year that led all the others down the wrong path, but those particular two were very talented at finding that wrong path!

    We bought a very cheap stamp pad and star shaped stamp. Every time the kids did what we asked them to we were whipping that stamp out and the kids LOVED it.

    After about a month we were able to be a little more picky about who got stamps and for what, but right at first every single little thing got a stamp.

    Be careful with your circle time! 3 year olds just are not able to sit still that long. You may have to break up your circle time into very small chunks, just put in one chunk, then centers, another chunk then outside, another chunk then music and movement, another chunk then lunch. Whatever you can get done. One of the problems I ran into last year was that the teacher really wanted to get the circle time stuff out of the way so she had the kids sitting down for 45 minutes at a time. I never did and never will agree with that.
     
  8. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Oct 6, 2006

    You do have a tough job. I really don't know what types of issues your children will transfere from their personal lives to school. But, when you can figure out any consistency/similarities of home life and school life, you will have some clues as to what will work with these children. I would suspect that these children are used to making their own decisions and doing what they want. I would allow them plenty of freedom--lots of choices of activities. Then, when they needed more directions, instructions, help, I would begin with tighter rules. I don't know if this will work, but you might experiement with it.
     
  9. toddteach1

    toddteach1 Rookie

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    Oct 6, 2006

    Thanks for the advice Mrs E. I will definitly try breaking up the circle time into small chunks that is a great idea! I also like the idea of having a special stamp for safe choices, which is what we call it when they are doing the right thing. Do you have an example of a calender that I can make myself since we currently do not have a circle time calender?
     
  10. Mrs E.

    Mrs E. Rookie

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    Oct 10, 2006

    One that I saw and liked was an apron that the teacher had taken and attached velcro to. She hung it up on a hook on the wall and velcroed the month and date cards to the apron! She was a very crafty type teacher and had a different apron for every month. I went looking and can't really find aprons for sale anymore.

    All you really need for a calender is a wall, sticky putty, some paper and access to a laminator. just print off your numbers and picture patterns, laminate them, cut them out stick the putty on and stick them on the wall. I prefer velcro over the sticky putty, but it costs so much more it's not always feasible.

    At Head Start our calenders were prepackaged from High Reach.

    Have you tried bribing the children with a sticker or stamps or something along those lines for staying on their cots? Are they all getting up at nap time or is it the whole group following 2-3 ringleaders? Have you tried giving them all a small stuffed animal to sleep with and telling them that "mr. bunny is very tired and needs you to show him how to sleep?" and then taking mr. bunny away and letting him rest in a quieter place when they get up?
     
  11. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    Oct 10, 2006

    We have been known to take away blanket, stuffed animal, etc. for kids who aren't laying quietly on their cots. "The rule says only ___ at naptime. You're not showing me that you're ready for a nap. When I see that you're ready, you will get it back." Works for MOST of my kids... for several, all I have to say is "Do I get froggie, or are you going to lay still?"
     
  12. toddteach1

    toddteach1 Rookie

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    Oct 11, 2006

    The problem is I don't really have a wall available. We have two windows and a door on one wall, cubbies straight across another wall, two bathrooms/a sink/a closet/and a door across the third wall, and the only space that is really available at all on a wall is on the fourth wall, but it is right next to a door, which would not work well at all for circle time. If anyone has ever done circle time with out having stuff on a wall let me know how you did it.
     
  13. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    Oct 11, 2006

    How about getting a portable felt board or dry erase board or magnet board or something similar? You'd be able to bring it out when you need it, but could put it away when you needed to use that space for something else
     
  14. jlj

    jlj Devotee

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    Oct 13, 2006

    At one time I worked in a school that did not have bulletin boards and did not allow things on the walls. The rooms were shared with others throughout the week so visuals had to be portable. I would take a large box, cut off the flaps, then with an exacto cut down the two opposite corners. This gave me two boards that could each be easily folded & stored behind a cabinet when not in use. When cut this way, they will stand which is also good to use as a small divider. You can cover the boxes with contact paper, bulletin board backing paper, wall paper, material, etc. You can also use project boards. Also, if you have ceilings you can hang things from....you can use peg board, small bulletin boards (that are light weight), even some ceiling tiles, hang with fishing line and s hooks.
    It was work at first but once I got used to the idea of not having "real" wall bulletin boards, I started getting a bit more creative and found new ways of using a variety of things. Hopes this helps you! :)
     
  15. Ga Peach

    Ga Peach Rookie

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    Oct 14, 2006

    I have three year olds. This year I made a job board. Some said it wouldn't work with threes. Well it has been great. They ask every morning what their job is for the day. They go to the chart all through the day. It gives them responsibility. They love it. I also encourage "give yourself a pat on the back" when I catch them doing something good. Now they ask me"Can I give myself a pat Ms.Ann?" or they tell each other give yourself a pat!! Have you tried a small surprise on the cots of those who sleep for when they wake up?
    I do alot of movement in between activities. This changes it up between each activity. They now have their favorite cds & know when we will do music & movement. Routine, Routine, Routine.
    Take the cd player outside as a reward. They LVOE that. Make a stage out of large blocks to perform on. Or use carpet squares, cardboard boxes etc anything that they can use the imagination. We have a class bear. Named Beary Bear. He helps out alot when talking in my ear about those who misbehave. He only wants to sit with those who are listening and those who are making good choices. Encourage them to talk to Beary Bear, he listens no matter what. I also have put "paw prints" on the floor for when we line up. They are about the same size as their feet, I put the # in between each paw. This works great.
    I could go on & on . I hope some of this helps.
    Mrs Ann aka Ga Peach
     
  16. Mrs E.

    Mrs E. Rookie

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    Oct 16, 2006

    I had forgotten about the lining up procedures. We used red duct tape to mark off squares and then placed name tags in the squares. When we lined up the children went to their square and lined up. This helped with name recognition, proper procedures, identifying squares and the color red, though I wish we had used blue because the kids never seem to have a problem with the goal of "id red."
     
  17. AngelEyes

    AngelEyes Rookie

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    Oct 16, 2006

    What are the kids doing right before nap time? I know that if my little girl has been playing outside it takes a little while to get her calmed down enough to take a nap. I have to turn the lights down, read a quiet bedtime storybook to her, etc. and let her know ahead of time nap time is coming. Maybe you could come up with a quiet time song or chant you could do together every day when it's time for naptime. This would give the kids the signal that it's time to calm down.
     
  18. Ga Peach

    Ga Peach Rookie

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    Oct 17, 2006

    Frustrated

    Hi I love kids
    I thought I would check in on you & see if this week has been any better. How are you? I hope you have a good week.
    Ga Peach
     

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