Implementing new routine mid-year for 3's

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by mistical, Mar 4, 2011.

  1. mistical

    mistical Rookie

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    Mar 4, 2011

    I have just accepted a job mid-year teaching a group of seventeen 3 year olds. The previous teacher did not seem to do anything with the children. I need to start over completely in teaching basic skills and managing behavior. This has been my first week in the classroom and I've observed and have tried to implement a routine. The class is loud, runs around a lot, and have a very hard time sitting in their chairs during snack or lunch time. I have spent the week focusing on a few minutes of circle time teaching alphabet, numbers, colors, and shapes, followed by a story. For the most part they love listening to stories. I have tried playing music with verbal directions such as "head, shoulders, knees and toes" and the "animal action" songs and these children just run around in circles screaming and not listening to the words at all.

    Trying to do simple activities with these children and art is a struggle, most of them hide under the table or run away from it completely. My assistant helps as much as she can but the children don't seem to listen to either of us.

    What can I do to implement an entire new routine and behavior management in February when these children have been in an unorganized classroom where they could do whatever they wanted since September? :confused:
     
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  3. Miller59

    Miller59 Companion

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    Mar 5, 2011

    I haven't finished my first cup of coffee yet -- but one idea for the dancing time. Let just a few kids go at a time. Or use your whisper voice to introduce the record and challenge them to be the best animals they can be. Lastly - when the screaming a running around starts I'd turn the record off and remind them that's not the activity right now. Yelling and running are great for outside, but not for inside. Then try again. Try to stand near the ones most likely to run and be ready to hold on to them, get them engaged, remove them or just hold on to them if needed.
    I'd do sort of the same when transitioning to art. Be sure you or your aide is near the ones that are most likely to run under the table. Give those kids a helper job or be ready to help them make the transitions more easily.
    Don't put yourself in a power struggle you can't win! Weight out each bit of the day and figure out ways you can make your ideas so appealing they can't refuse, give helper jobs to entice, and be consistent!
     
  4. scarlet_begonia

    scarlet_begonia Comrade

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    Mar 14, 2011

    I have a couple suggestions for you:


    • Treat the classroom like it's the beginning of September.
    • Introduce how to sit at the table, how to push a chair in, and how to stack a chair.
    • Do everything S-L-O-W-L-Y.
    • Show the students how to sit on the carpet. Tell them they will practice until they get it right.
    • PRAISE positive behavior so all students can hear.
    • Praise it some more!
    • Do not have a full center time/free choice. Have table top activities. The students must stay at the table. Use this time to practice how to sit at the table.
    • Move onto having table top activities and one carpet activity.
    • Then, move onto allowing the students to choose an activity. Allow them to set it out.
    • Review where all the toys belong after no one cleans up.

    From experience, I know you want to jump right in and do fun things with the students. But if you don't set up the expectations, you'll end up getting nothing done. The first month of the school year, we are setting up:
    how to line up,
    sit down,
    stack a chair,
    move a cot,
    push a chair in,
    go to the bathroom,
    wash hands,
    wash a paintbrush,
    paint while mixing colors on the paper,
    not in the paintpot,
    push your chair into the table while eating and lean over your plate,
    pick up after yourself,
    put the toys on the shelf,
    etc. etc.

    I could go on! It takes a LONG time to set the foundation in PreK, and if you try to skip over that part, you're wasting your time. I would plan to get to the meat and potatoes in April.
    Good luck to you!
     
  5. mistical

    mistical Rookie

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    Mar 18, 2011

    Thanks for the response! I am definitely going to have to try that, it seems these children do not know how to line up or anything at all. After yet another hectic day there is no way we can get anything done if they don't know any of the things you've listed. I have a feeling it's going to be a stressful next few weeks but possibly worth it...
     
  6. scarlet_begonia

    scarlet_begonia Comrade

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    Mar 19, 2011

    It is stressful at first, but once your program has a good foundation, the days run smoothly. I tell people that if you walk into my classroom this time of year, I look like the laziest person in the world!

    My kids set out their own cots, clean up after themselves (including sweeping and stacking chairs) and set up and put away materials. In addition to the "normal" jobs such as line leader or lights, I have a sweeper, a chair stacker, and a librarian who has to straighten the book shelves. Then, to top it all off, I have an inspector who has to check all the areas and make sure everything was put away right.

    So anyway, I spend all of September, most of October, and part of November setting all this up. Then I revisit in January after Winter Break. This is the time of year that it all really comes together, and I can interact with the students without having to worry about sand all over the floor. I mean, the sand still gets all over the floor, but the kids sweep up after themselves. Years ago, before I spent so much time setting up the program, I definitely did less instruction/faciliation and more "policing." I can tell you, from experience, take a month to set up all your routines and procedures; it makes all the difference!
     

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