How to get the kids with me?

Discussion in 'Kindergarten' started by New K Teacher, May 14, 2008.

  1. New K Teacher

    New K Teacher Rookie

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    May 14, 2008

    I'm currently student teaching in kindergarten, and have been with my class since February. I am starting my takeover within a few days, and I wanted some advice on getting my kids with me.

    I have an attention getter that seems to work..."alligator, alligator, chomp." This is unique to me...my master teacher does not use this.

    However, I feel like I am also consistently saying, "I'm going to wait for all of you", because a minute or two after using my attention getter, many of the kids are again talking or not giving me their attention on the carpet. I feel like the kids really don't care if "I'm waiting for them." What are some other ideas of what I could say or do that would help get the students with me?

    I most often have this problem first thing in the morning and after recess.
     
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  3. MrH

    MrH Rookie

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    May 15, 2008

    If are waiting for them, what is their consequence? For my class, I tell them if they are playing around, etc - that recess gets shorter. I also use the same thing for our "play time".

    Also in the morning - make sure they aren't already playing before they come inside. Meet them outside and tell them that when they cross the door line that there is no more playing - if they keep playing then timeout it is!!
     
  4. Lives4Math

    Lives4Math Comrade

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    May 15, 2008

    I count...if anyone is talking when I get to 3 they have to move their monkey (our behavior system) or get their warning. I also will write "CENTERS" on the board...at the end of the day if we have erased all of the letters they don't get to go to centers. They either read at their desks or put their head on their desks and can't talk.
     
  5. cdowdell

    cdowdell Companion

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    May 15, 2008

    I count down from 5 and if they are not sitting all 5 or in line basics by 1 then they flip their card (our behavior system). I would suggest really following through...it may seem like lots of kids are missing recess or whatever the first week but it will get better!
     
  6. sevenplus

    sevenplus Connoisseur

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    May 15, 2008

    Praise the students who ARE doing what you need them to. And then have a consequence for students who don't. If there is a behavior program in place then use that. (I have bees in a hive and I will move a bee.) If someone is being particularly disruptive, move them away from the group.

    We have a listening rubric - "Give me 5" (ears listening, eyes looking, mouths closed, hands still, feet quiet). I do remind them of that. "I love the way ________ is giving me five!" Immediately most of the other students do what they need to do.

    Also, it is possible that your alligator phrase is too short to get/hold their attention. I haven't done it in years, but I used to do what my cooperating teacher when I was STing did which was one or two fingerplays each time they came back together.

    Also, be sure to start with enthusiasm or some sort of hook. Students who aren't on board will catch on quickly.
     
  7. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    May 15, 2008

    I'm having the same issue and the problem seems to revolve around how we structure our transition times. For example, the kids are supposed to drop off their homework and sit down (first grade) and be ready for the morning message. Many of them lolly gag around the room, touch things, chit chat. Yes, there are consequences but this affected the whole group and nothing was working. Instead, we recently started playing around with the morning message and doing it on the smart board. This allowed us to put an interactive bell ringer type activity combined with some attention grabbing animated graphics so that their focus is right where we want it instead of just going around waiting for us to shut them down.

    After recess I have implemented a zero talking rule. I enforce the very first person that disobeys it. I have to enforce it everyday but this has cut down on the aggression and the disruptions for math time. That's just something specific to our class, not necessarily something to recommend for others to do.

    The biggest thing is don't give them any free time during that time. Structure things so that you DIVE straight in even if you have to have bell ringer type activities Don't wait on them to start them. Get them going. Keep them busy and focus.

    Another idea is start a timer. Whoever is where they are supposed to be when the timer goes off, gets a sticker or stamp or whatever you already may have in place.
     
  8. kidsalot

    kidsalot Comrade

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    May 15, 2008

    I use a few attention getters. I will clap a simple pattern that the children follow. As more join in I make it more complex. I always end by placing my hands over my mouth. Another method I use is
    123
    eyes on me
    ears listening
    voices off

    I al;so start singing to get their attention. I will sing a simple song and soon they are all joining in. When we finish I always have their attention.
    My morning time is not too difficult and for after recess they are reminded everyday of what to do when we go in.
     
  9. SLteaCh

    SLteaCh Companion

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    May 17, 2008

    Do you really want reading to be a punishment? I feel that reading is naturally discouraged with struggling readers, so it is my job as a teacher to encourage it whenever possible. (I am not intending to offend anyone, just trying to be constructive.) Thoughts? :confused:
     
  10. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    May 17, 2008

    You know what...it's getting harder to focus at this time of the year for all of us. Why not change things up. See if you can get their attention that way.
     
  11. love2teachk

    love2teachk Companion

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    May 18, 2008

    I get their attention by clapping: clap, clap, clapclapclap. They freeze and look at me, waiting for directions. I give a certain time period for them to finish and if they don't there is a consequence for usually the next activity (missing out, etc). I also do "faces" for each child every day in a folder to go home. I have started this for bathrooming issues (we are peeing on the floor and waiting until we are in line to go somewhere to use it) I take a play center away. There are very few left, but they are improving!

    Good luck!
     
  12. kidsalot

    kidsalot Comrade

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    May 18, 2008

    I also don't want to offend but this is an ongoing issue for me. I too really dislike when other teachers use reading as a punishment. I cringe every time I hear a teacher punish a child by telling them to get a book and read quietly.
     
  13. New K Teacher

    New K Teacher Rookie

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    May 19, 2008

    Thank you to everyone who has responded to my post. I really appreciate the support. I see in common that there needs to be structure and consistency in keeping that structure. Many of you have your own attention getters that work for you, and little management systems that are visual for the students to see and follow. Consequences can be used for when the class is not following what the structure should look like. The consequences should not include reading, because this should not be given a negative connotation. Thanks again for the feedback. Are there more ideas? Keep the ideas coming! I am very pleased with this response! What a wonderful community.
     
  14. katrinkakat

    katrinkakat Connoisseur

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    May 19, 2008

    Thats true about things changing this time of year CutNGlue!
    The other day I rang a little dingy bell, and nothing, so I spied a HUGE bell belonging to my coteacher, and rang that CLANG CLANG!
    Boy did that get their attention!
    First thing in the morning my class gets their Journals out and can draw anything and write a word or a sentence. I have the overhead on to write any word they ask me how to spell. :) They can talk quietly, but then once everyone is present - we put journals away and they scramble to the carpet, knowing that the quietest color group will get a "star". By the end of the week whichever team has the most stars, they all get to come to the treasure box.
     
  15. cocacola

    cocacola Rookie

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    May 19, 2008

    To their their attention I vary using the following below:
    Tootsie roll (roll your hands in a circle)
    Lolilop (pretent to lick a lollipop)
    We've been talking (move one hand like a mouth)
    Now let's Stop (motion hand like a cut off)

    I say "Everybody Listen"
    and they respond "right now" and freeze with eyes and ears on me.

    I say in a softer voice if you can hear me clap x amount of times. I repeat and after two or three times the students clapping cue the other students to clap. I usually end with a *zero* clap (hands come close together but don't actually clap) because by the zero clap their attention is on you and they are listening.
     
  16. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    May 19, 2008

    katrikakat,

    My teacher today was trying to come up with activities and lessons I already knew how to do and required little prep while she is doing one-on-one assessments. I startled us both when I said, "HELL NO." Ouch. What I meant was, I know these are easy to implement activities but they are hell on behavior this time of the year because they are too redundant and the students have gotten too used to them. So they will end up being more of a hinderance than a help. Now I'm looking for an online interactive reading site (besides starfall) to replace what she intended for that center.
     
  17. sevenplus

    sevenplus Connoisseur

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    May 19, 2008

    www.literactive.com

    You have to register, but it's free and they send the password to your email right away. Love it!
     
  18. New K Teacher

    New K Teacher Rookie

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    May 19, 2008

    What about getting kindergartners to line up in a nice straight line for lunch or specialists? This seems to be a challenging time to get the kids to be one cohesive, quiet, walking (not running or messing around) group.
     
  19. katrinkakat

    katrinkakat Connoisseur

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    May 22, 2008

    We make it a game. If our line is quiet, we will "beat" the other Kindergarten class to lunch, or back from lunch. We walk by them and smile, and say "we are first!!" They love to win, so they get quiet in a hurry.!
     
  20. kidsalot

    kidsalot Comrade

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    May 22, 2008

    I have 2 strategies I use. When we line - up I have the children say tghis little poem:
    Igive myself a great big hug,
    I'm standing straight and tall.
    My eyes are looking straight ahead,
    I'm ready for the hall.
    They do the motions while reciting poem. Then I make a game of going in the hall. I challenge them. For example - We are walking on eggshells and we neeed to sneak by a sleeping bear so we don't wake him up. Or we make believe we are feathers slowly blowing down the hall. It works. They ask me what there challenge will be and like to make a game of being so quiet that other teachers don't even know there in the hall.
     
  21. New K Teacher

    New K Teacher Rookie

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    May 23, 2008

    Thank you for your ideas! I like your "Give me five" system. That sounds like fun! What do you mean by fingerplays? Thanks, I didn't know. :)
     
  22. MandaNicole01

    MandaNicole01 Habitué

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    May 27, 2008

    I say & (model the motions), "Put your hands in the air! Put your hands on your hair! Put your hands on your hips! Put your finger on your lips! Now listen to me!" This usually works! I also do the toostie roll, lollipop! I also say, "Thank you Iris for sitting quietly, thank you Eric," etc. - all the kids want to hear me thank them. Another one I use rarely if about 1/4 of the children aren't doing what I want, I say, "I'm going to close my eyes and when I open them I want to see (chosen behavior)...ie all children sitting on their bottoms with their mouths closed and ready to learn and I'm opening them in 3-2-1!" lol...this in my opinion is hilarious but really works! Of course I never completely close my eyes! :)
     
  23. Kindtchr

    Kindtchr Comrade

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    May 31, 2008

    Fingerplays are short poems or songs that children use their hands to add motions. My students love "5 little monkeys jumping on the bed". You can find them online- try a search for "preschool fingerplays".

    I get my student's attention using a variety of methods. It helps to switch them so they don't get tired of the same ones. Sometimes I announce "criss-cross, applesauce" & they all sit cross-legged on the floor & look up. If I whisper "hocus pocus", they whisper back: "everybody focus". If I say "one fish, two fish", they respond with: "redfish, blue fish". If I count backwards "3-2-1" we all whisper: "quiet" or sometimes I will whisper "say (ex.: ice cream)"& the ones that didn't get quiet wonder why they don't know what is going on. They don't want to feel left out that they didn't get to say the word so are more apt to tune in faster the next time.

    Good luck and have fun.:)
     

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