I feel like my room is complete chaos all the time.

Discussion in 'Kindergarten' started by DrivingPigeon, Sep 5, 2008.

  1. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    It's my first year teaching. I've tried to establish routines, and I know it's only the fourth day of school, but I feel like I'm getting nowhere. The children in my class are SOOOOOO talkative! We practiced a fire drill today (just our class), and we talked ahead of time about the importance of being quiet, why we have to be quiet, etc. However, when it was time to actually walk outside they were SO loud, stopping for drinks, etc.

    I feel like everything I say is through one ear and out the other. I can barely have them sit for 5 minutes. I'll do some type of attention-getter and 10 seconds later they're all talking again.

    I know this is probably typical for the beginning of the year in kindergarten, but I'm going crazy! :eek: I feel like nothing I do is productive. All we do is practice, practice, practice, and I'm not seeing any results.

    Any advice?
     
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  3. ecsmom

    ecsmom Habitué

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    It will get better! I just sent home 3 week reports. I still have some who won't/can't control their talking, put hands on others and don't follow directions the first time. We still work in these areas daily. Now there are consequences for misbehavior. We can sit them out during recess so I do.
    Mine have been talking, acting nuts for the past 3 days.
    I'm not sure long weekends so close to the beginning of the year are worth the pain of trying to get them back in order!
     
  4. lovetoshop

    lovetoshop Rookie

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    The first week for me was rough too. It's our third week and they're still very talkative I just try to keep them talking about the lesson. I do take away recess time as well. Also, I have shapes over each table with a paperclip attached, when the whole table is quiet and on task I give them a link (plastic learning links). At the end of the week which ever table has the most gets a special treat (cookie, sucker, popcorn, etc.)

    As far as the fire drill: we practiced everyday the first week. We go out the same door for recess and fire drills, so I rang a bell and we pretended it was a fire drill. When we actually had the school-wide fire drill they did fine and they realized how important it was to listen and follow directions.

    Hang in there it gets better!
     
  5. TeacherSandra

    TeacherSandra Enthusiast

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    I use a little bell in my classroom to get their attention. But first, they must know the rule when they hear the bell. They are to stop whatever they are doing and LOOK at me.

    Sometimes, I tell the students that we need to rest our heads (for about a min. or 2) since they're not listening. It really gets them quiet. And then we can proceed.
     
  6. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    I just finished my first four days and I want my kids back from last year. I have a bunch of young acting one this year. WOW is all I can say. I'm exhausted. I think a lot of mine didn't go to preschool and don't understand why they can't do something if they feel like it. We have been working only on routines this week. And I am going to try and start some academics next week.

    I guess I didn't give you any advice.
     
  7. cosmoteach

    cosmoteach Rookie

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    I hear you! I am SO tired after this week! No advice- just wanted to let you know that I understand!
     
  8. map

    map Companion

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    This is my 4th year and I am in the same boat as you. I have a 17boys and only 6 girls which doesn't help things. We just finished our first week and I feel like a complete failure. It is embarrising to walk anywhere in the hallway and trying to accomplish anything in the classroom has been a joke. The full day schedule is new for me so this weekend I am going to revamp my schedule and search the internet for cute little songs to get them listening and following directions better. I am at a loss for words. Just know that you are not the only one.
     
  9. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    This is my third year teaching kindergarten (although I took a year off to teach fifth :D). I'm fidning this year to be the easiest for me in regards to behavior (and I have 14 boys and 6 girls). I think it's because I am not afraid to be strict and firm. If I say so, then you better listen to me. I use a lot of praise and use my students as models. I also do not hesitate to make students go back and redo something, such as walking to our carpet, if they didn't do it correctly the first time. It's just a lot of practicing and going over the rules and procedures. They will get it, it just takes time. But, if you continue to model the behavior you want, praise, and use students as models, then they will get it. I also read a book about a monkey, No No Bono, and we have a talk about why we need to behave and listen in class. Then, throughout the year, I will remind them if they want to be a good Bono or a naughty Bono. Good Bono's who follow the rules and do their work get a fun smelly handstamp at the end of the day.
     
  10. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    I'm pretty much doing everything that everyone has mentioned so far. I have a chime/wand thing and we've practiced "freezing" when they hear it.

    I'm VERY firm with discipline (sometimes I feel mean, but I know I'm not). I don't let things slide and I try to be consistent. I also have them do things over if they're not doing it correctly. And I'm constantly praising those who are doing well.

    I'm sure all I need is time, but it's just so difficult to be patient! I've only seen kindergarten in the spring, and my kids just seem so far away from that!
     
  11. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    Are they able to have any free play time? I remember you had some crazy schedule to follow.
     
  12. WannaTeach

    WannaTeach Companion

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    Don't let them see you sweat

    Hi. That would be my one piece of advice. Don't let the kids see you get upset. Kindergartners have to learn how to be in a group setting. You should take a deep breath and do it again. If they see you get frustrated with the third time you gave the signal to do something, they will think it is funny and will continue to disregard your signal. You have to be tough, firm and consistent. NO matter how upset they are making you. Also, remember they are 5 years old. They are children. You are in charge of your class. I know this because my first year teaching kindergarten with 23 five year olds and half of them seemed to have behavior issues. ;) But, I just repeated the procedures until they were exhausted just in time for afternon nap. I praised to high heaven those you were getting it. The others would look pitiful and decided to follow along. We did this for about 2 months with reminders throughout the year. You will have to repeat and review after holidays. It is usually the day after the day after a holiday that they are "busy" when they return to school. The first day back they are still in shock from having to get up early again. Stay focused, smile, or give them the "look" and be consistent with your training and expectations and any consequences if needed. Best of luck to you. Remember don't let them see you get upset.
     
  13. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Wow, you have a good memory!

    They are allowed free play time, and this week I gave them a full 30 minutes. I'm not following my regular schedule until week 3, because I want to give them extra free play and rest time in the beginning.
     
  14. MandaNicole01

    MandaNicole01 Habitué

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    I'm with you too! I'm exhausted and I'm really learning patience throughout this endeavor! ;) I know it gets better! My favorite fellow kinder teacher told me if a kinder teacher can survive until Halloween, they can survive ANYTHING! :lol:

    Mine play in the mornings until school officially starts then I feel like a pencil pusher! :( We have music/pe/art (one a day, depending on the day) from 11:00-11:30 and lunch from 11:30-12:00 and then my kids are stuck in my room until 2:30 for a 30 minute recess! My schedule stinks! THEY ARE 5! HELLO! We are going to ask our principal if we can have a 15 minute recess after lunch and then a 15 minute one at the end of the day! WE gotta do something SOON!:eek:
     
  15. minnie

    minnie Habitué

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    Sep 6, 2008

    I know how you feel! I have a very immature young class also. A lot of my kids have had everything done for them for 5 years. Just remember that it takes more than a week to train them. I am on week 4 and I still am constantly going over routines and rules. These kids go from playing all day to actually having to do what someone tells them to do.

    Hang in there. We can do it!:hugs:
     
  16. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    I gave mine 20 minutes of recess in the morning, they had 30 minutes of recess at lunch (that is built into the schedule by the P), and 45 minutes of free play in the afternoon. They are actually really good when they are playing. No fighting or anything. It's the actually sit, listen and follow directions they aren't getting!

    BLAH
     
  17. sevenplus

    sevenplus Connoisseur

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    I ALWAYS forget what the beginning of the year is like. This is my 9th year in K. And, again, this year I was stunned and exhausted at the end of the first day.

    Model, model, model. Be firm and consistent. They WILL get it (most of them anyway). The whole year won't be this way.

    I have to remind myself to stop talking so much. They tune out so quickly. It's so hard, because you have so much to tell them as you teach routines and expectations.

    Here's a funny story that happened on Thursday (our 4th day together). We have a bathroom in our classroom, so we had not gone down to the "big" bathroom at the end of the hall. But we were going to have art class that afternoon, so I wanted all of them to have a chance to go. They were all gathered on the carpet and I went into great detail on expectations for using the big bathroom. I talked for several minutes about what to do if all the stalls were full, where to get soap, how to operate the sink, where to get water, where to line up, etc. I started having students line up at the classroom door. In the middle of lining up, one student came up to me and asked to use the bathroom (the one in our classroom). :rolleyes: Since we were headed to the big bathroom I said, "No, go line up." He got very upset and started yelling, "But I have to PEEEEEEEEE!" I said, "Class, can someone tell ________ where we are going right now?" I got no response, until one boy ventured, "A field trip?" :banghead::dizzy:

    They just don't get it yet. They really don't!
     
  18. Mrs.ABC123

    Mrs.ABC123 Rookie

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    :lol: LOL!!!!! This is so funny! I think I find your story so funny because that represents exactly what we experience in kindergarten!!! Thanks for reminding me to find the humor in their 5 year old cluelessness! :lol:
     
  19. kinderkate

    kinderkate Rookie

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    I'm so glad I am not the only one who feels like this! On days I think they are finally getting it, something happens that just makes me wonder, how did they come up with that? :dunno:
     
  20. starbucks

    starbucks Comrade

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    That is a really cute story that I think all kindergarten teachers can relate to. I am now a little spoiled at the beginning of the year. My district started PreK 4 years ago and the start up for me is SO MUCH easier!!!. Not all of my students attended our PreK program, but most of them did. Therefore, most of my kdis understand what to do in the bathroom, the cafeteria, how to line up etc... It is still tough, but nothing like what it was before we had PreK. I was asked to teach PreK when it started and I said "NO WAY." I wanted to finally experience the benefits of getting already trained kids.
     
  21. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    :thumb:As the "early childhood educator" that might be the one sending students to your Kinder classrooms I have one question. I spend a lot of time (and voice) explaining to the district/state adm that the social/emotional skills are necessary in "getting ready for Kinder", however I consistantly meet w/ a brick wall.

    I am getting the children ready as far as letters, numbers and so on as well-but I would imagine that a child knowing how to work the bathroom by themselves and understanding that lunch time is lunch time not the time you choose it to be would be important.

    Would you rather a child that can all the worksheets that you assign and hold the pencil right and read-or-the one who can listen and do as you ask, wait in line and negotiate a day w/peers w/o misbehaving.

    Of course I won't stop teaching the other stuff-I just wondered what your take was.

    Then even kinder teachers w/o district preschools could one day receive "trained kids".
     
  22. starbucks

    starbucks Comrade

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    I would much rather have kids enter with good social skills, behavior, listening skills, self help skills etc... Of course they need the academics too, but if they don't have the ability to sit still and listen it is very hard for them to have a positive kindergarten experience and want to learn. I have had many kids in the past that new all their letters and could count to 100, but couldn't get their coats on, couldn't sit on the rug, wouldn't listen to directions etc... Before we started our PreK program most of my kids did still attend other preK programs (headstart, church preschools, daycare preschools etc...) but having them actually attend preK in our building has really helped because the kids are familiar with the building. They know where everything is. Our PreK kids ride buses and eat in the cafeteria. They come to my room knowing how to carry lunch trays and open milk containers. I didn't have any criers this year. Nobody even was close to crying. I also don't have as many overprotective parents. They already went through the fears and worries of sending thier babies off to school last year. The only negative that I have seen since starting public PreK is that the kids come in to K very bold. They are not scared. They feel very comfortable in school. Don't get me wrong, I don't want them to feel scared, but at the same time I don't see as much of the innocence that I used to.
     
  23. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    I agree I would rather have them them ready to learn. My problem this year is many of my students didn't attend pre-school.
     
  24. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    Happy to help

    I am so happy to hear that you as teachers can see the difference between the children who have been somewhere else and those that have been only at home. It is my hope that when my programs children enter the doors of school they are viewed as those children that don't know where the bathroom is per say, but at least know how to use it when they get there.

    We of course still do the regular stuff, but it is getting harder and harder to defend our social skills time-it helps me to know that it does help.

    I am sure the best of both worlds is when the children enter having already had pre k in the same building.
     
  25. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    I really wish my children had pre-school for the social skills this year. I am dreading the next two months! They just don't understand the rules.
     
  26. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Yeah, I agree with having the skills to listen attentively, follow directions, be independent, etc. The academics are so much easier if you can hold their attention.
     
  27. TeacherC

    TeacherC Connoisseur

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    This is my second year in K, but it is much better than last year- the kids are a lot lower, but I myself am more organized...and it helps that I have had no more than 12 kids in my room yet!
    But there is light at the end of the tunnel...I remember well from last year, for most of the kids, it is like a switch is flipped over Christmas break...they come back knowing things they didn't know before they left, they can sit longer, etc. But I agree, the difference between now and the end of the year is drastic! Seeing all my kids from last year in first grade now was so bittersweet...I'm glad they are doing well, but I want them back!:blush:
     
  28. starbucks

    starbucks Comrade

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    You are so right about the flipping a switch after Christmas. Every year it seems to be when the kids really change. I have been teaching for 13 years, but every year I still come back in September shocked at what little the kids can do. During the school year you sometimes don't realize how much the kids are learning and progressing, but when you get a new group you realize real fast how far you took your old group.
     
  29. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    I also agree about kids changing after Christmas/winter break. And it is a shock when you get a new group of kinder kids. Boy, is it a shocker. :dizzy::D But it's also fun to know where they will be at the end of the year and to work towards that goal. I already have a handful of kids who are writing!!! Okay, they may only be able to write one sentence, but my partner teacher and I are able to read them!!! I'm so excited. I can't wait to see how they progress in the next few weeks and months. :woot:
     
  30. MissB

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    Gosh, what kind of world are we in when an early edu teacher is having a hard time defending her social skills time?? Ahhh! I thought it was bad enough for K.
     
  31. TeacherC

    TeacherC Connoisseur

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    Your kids are writing sentences already????!!!!! Man, that makes me look bad.:blush: I have some who are still having a hard time recognizing their name, not to mention practically begging them to hold a pencil the right way so they can write it. I'm telling you, this class is A LOT lower than last year!
     
  32. katrinkakat

    katrinkakat Connoisseur

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    "I gave mine 20 minutes of recess in the morning, they had 30 minutes of recess at lunch (that is built into the schedule by the P), and 45 minutes of free play in the afternoon. They are actually really good when they are playing. "
    WOW you are lucky! My 1/2 day schedule (for my 30 Kinders)
    allows for EITHER 15 minutes of centers (free play) OR 15 minutes outside each day. Everything else is Language / English Language learning or Math. Really pathetic isn't it? Many of mine didn't attend preschool and many speak limited English (about 17 of them). Whoo! I'm wiped out today. Hopefully tomorrow will be better.
     
  33. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    When I taught full day kinder, we had three recesses, one in the morning, lunch, and at the end of school, plus, they had a whole hour for centers and if they finished early, they could have free time. Now, I'm teaching half day, and we have NO recess. We have center time for an hour, so some of my kids are able to get free time and play a bit when they finish their work, and that's it.
     
  34. katrinkakat

    katrinkakat Connoisseur

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    Yes, I think I would like to teach full day Kinder if it was available at my school. Then at least we'd have time to breath!
    and play! :)
     
  35. mom2sands

    mom2sands Comrade

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    Sep 12, 2008

    Here is my schedule:
    8:30-10:30 Reading
    10:30-11:15 Math
    11:15-11:45 Lunch
    11:45-12:15 Math
    12:15-12:30 Recess
    12:30-1:20 Enrichment/Remediation
    1:20-2:00 Centers
    2:00-2:15 Snack
    2:15-2:30 Recess
    2:30-3:20 Social Studies/Science, alternating weekly
     
  36. mcjklj

    mcjklj Rookie

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    This year started out rough for me too - I wanted to quit everyday the first couple of weeks. I was so discouraged...I felt like it was me and that I had absolutely no control of my classroom. Now we're a little over a month into it and it has gotten SO much better. Like everyone says...give it time. They are five (some of them four) and this is all new to them! They'll get the routines and procedures down -- I promise!

    I completely agree with Peachyness and DrivingPigeon -- don't be afraid to be strict. This is really important (and they won't think you're mean. :) ) For example, lining up was a huge disaster. So one day I told the kids what I expected and I told them we would sit down and start over everytime someone didn't follow my directions. The first day we sat down ten times when we were lining up for recess before they did it perfectly. They ended up having only 5 minutes of recess. But when we lined up for lunch, they only had to sit down once. Now that we've been doing this for a couple of weeks, we only have to sit down every few days. Consistency is the key. Tell them what you expect and then settle for anything less.

    And when they do it right...make a HUGE deal of it. When the kids line up great, I do a "happy dance" and the kids LOVE it!

    I always use the kids that are doing a good job as an example, and then most of the others follow. Positive reinforcement is really important! As you know, most kindergarteners are very eager to please.

    Have you ever hear of power teaching? I did some research a few weeks ago and was very intrigued. I don't use everything, but a few of the techniques are really effective.

    Good luck! Hang in there--it really WILL get better!
     
  37. Miss Nelson

    Miss Nelson Rookie

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    Sep 14, 2008

    I have a very talkative class with a few very "emotional" students who can become very disruptive. I have tried everything this first week. It has been getting a little better each day, but I must say that I am EXHAUSTED! I have fallen asleep way before 9pm from all the thinking I have done! Friday I used a very even tone and caomplimented the good, redirected the misbehavior with " Your trying so hard, I know you can do it". We got through the day pretty well. Dismissal is a nightmare so I have to work on that. We have one more week before we start curriculum. Once that starts I am hoping they are engaged and the chattiness is down to a minimum.
     
  38. cycourt

    cycourt Rookie

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    Sep 14, 2008

    Miss Nelson,
    You say that you have one more week before you start curriculum. So, how many weeks do you go before starting curriculum, and also, what are you doing with your class in the mean time? (what do you do if not the curriculum)
     
  39. katrinkakat

    katrinkakat Connoisseur

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    Sep 15, 2008

    We have the first week without curriculum so that we can practice, teach and model classroom rules and routines. All students, especially Kindergartners, need one or two weeks for rules and routines. This is also a good time to learn about the centers and all the rules that go with them, do some cutting with scissors, learn to write their name, and do coloring practice. We learn outside equipment rules and cafeteria rules. They are learning how to follow directions, move around the school as a group, go to the office without getting lost, and get along with their classmates so they can work and play together. :)
     

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