Listening and behavior in kindergarten

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Newkindermom, Nov 21, 2015.

  1. Newkindermom

    Newkindermom Rookie

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    Nov 21, 2015

    Hi everyone,

    I am in my second year of teaching kindergarten and am getting concerned about my classroom management/behavior once again.

    I have had several aides (who come to help a student with disabilities) comment on the behaviors in my classroom. I honestly did not think the students' behavior was that bad this year compared to last year.

    I wondered what was typical, if some other early childhood teachers could comment?
    I have a problem this year with several students that are hitting and some not completing work. I also have a problem with students not always listening while I'm teaching. I get pencil tapping, talking to a neighbor, fidgeting, laying down on rug/wiggling, touching neighbors.. If I can redirect quietly I do, otherwise I give student a consequence.
    As a K teacher, would you honestly expect 20+ students to be perfectly still/silent for a 10-20 minute period (depending on subject?)
    Also, when completing class work would you expect 5 and 6 year olds to be silent/whispering? I personally don't see anything wrong with a little talking so long as they are completing work and using an appropriate voice level.
    I just wondered are my expectations too low?? If these aides are going in and out of other rooms, perhaps they see the behavior in my room as much worse? I wouldn't know as I have only been in one kindergarten room, mine!
    Please give me examples of how your students listen and do their work, it would be so helpful and appreciated!!
     
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  3. Preschool0929

    Preschool0929 Cohort

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    Nov 21, 2015

    I don't expect mine to be perfect still on the carpet, however hitting or touching others, or laying down, isn't ok and I stop that fairly quickly at the beginning of the year. As far as work time, I do let my students chatter while working, as long as they complete their work appropriately and are engaged in the activity.

    I've also bee in lots of other K rooms where there is no talking or wiggling on the carpet, no talking during work, etc, so it might just be that other k classes in your building have different expectations. Do you feel like your students are still making progress and learning, or are those behaviors getting in the way? Has your P done any observations or had concerns this year?
     
  4. Newkindermom

    Newkindermom Rookie

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    Nov 21, 2015

    Thanks so much for your comments, a few of the other K rooms in my school are the no talking/wiggling type and then a few are more relaxed like mine. The principal did say last year that I needed to have higher expectations for behavior earlier on in the year and honestly I thought I had this year. My class is more quiet this year. But, I do see some behaviors that interrupt teaching like the talking/touching on the rug during lessons. What would you do to stop this? I usually give verbal reminder of rug rules and then students move down on color chart if it happens again, they leave the rug. It's harder at math time because we do math at our seats and there are more temptations (pencil boxes, papers, etc) as well as being physically further away from the myself and the instruction. This time of day is probably my biggest problem area.
    As for the hitting, I am so at a loss with this! I have spoken to parents many times, students are moved to red on behavior chart for ANY hitting/pushing and they continue to hit!! I have one student who sits by himself, and must wait for me to get into line, he is not allowed to leave his seat (not that he listens all the time), because his behavior is such a concern. Nothing has seemed to stop hitting, I am going to try more incentives next week. Thanks again.
     
  5. Bibliophile

    Bibliophile Companion

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    Nov 21, 2015

    Hitting is no go for me-handeled swiftly and (within reason) strictly. Hitting makes some children feel unsafe (especially since you never know what kind of experiences they have had) and everyone deserves to feel safe at school. Also the fastest way to get a parent to go from normal to psycho in 60 seconds is to have them think that their child is being picked on by a bully (in general this is very rarely the case in kinder since hitting is usually a response to immediate emotions and a lack of impulse control and problem solving skills but parents bring their own childhood bullying trauma to the table which can make them assume much and react irrationally). If I were you I'd handle it and stop it pronto.

    Laying down/rolling around on the carpet can be problematic and should be handled but you are gonna occasionally get the one kid that isn't capable of sitting still for ANY length of time and you get to decide based on the dynamic of your class if you are going to use planned ignoring or not. If this one student isn't bothering others and is able to attend to your teaching despite there behavior/wouldn't be able to attend otherwise because it would take all their consentration to focus on holding still then what the harm. If it's several children and they are disrupting others (or getting others to think that this is ok) then I'd probably practice sitting procedures and give alternate seating to a child/children as needed so they don't distract/bother/influence others. I'd also give praise to the students who are following procedures and even have them move their clips up (our management plan). Personally I get a couple of these wiggle worms every year and I personally purched z-rocker chairs for them to sit in when we are at tables and they have the option of sitting in them when we are on the carpet or a bean bag chair instead of in the floor. My carpet for circle time is huge and it can accomidate several more students than I have so I save room in the back for those students. Also have a space bubble helps with the touching. Put them in back away from others so they can't touch people or bother people and give them a line of demarcation (i.e. This is your carpet space and you need to stay inside your space) maybe with colored masking tape. Make their space bigger than the usual space. This isn't always needed but it can be a choice if it's needed.

    Let's get real here though. It is developmentally appropriate for these students to have low impulse control and short attention spans. How could it be appropriate to expect behavior from students that is beyond their typical developmental level.

    Talking I allow a lot of the day-so that during the small amount of the day when talking isn't ok they aren't over burdened by it. Developmentally not all 5 year old have internalized their self talk though. They think it, they say it. For some it's how they think and limiting their chances to encode their learning with language via their language acquisition device (occurring to to theory anyway) would hinder their learning and memory retrieval for their prior knowledge. Also according to gardener linguistic intelligence it a learning style. I was a child development major with a focus in cognitive and language development birth to 8 so I know know this from my studies, and many teachers who may not have narrowed their studies to this area still know this intuitively (inquiry based learning in action),however your aide may well not know this and as such they may not know that what they are seeing is a dynamic developmental approach to early leaning and pedagogy and I would give them the facts and data to educate them in passing so that they could be more appropriate and knowledge in their approach and so that they don't go spreading the word that your class is and classroom management are lacking.
     
  6. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    Nov 21, 2015

    Have you tried saying Susie is sitting nicely. Look how Johnny is sitting with hands in his lap. I know when I subbed & student taught in K they loved the high praise & you would see the others adjusting to look like them. Do that throughout day & lessons. In the hallways I would tell them to put on their marshmallow slippers & one their mouth. I would pretend to throw them to them. It was cute they would puff out their cheeks this was to walk quietly with feet & no talking. Oh we did hair stair...they had to stair at the hair in front of them. Lol! I also made a rule if a child got a "flat tire" shoe untied they were to step out of line. So many would stop causing tripping & unnessary "pushing". Once we did pull over kids would tap & say pull over.
    Don't be afraid if you are them getting wiggly to stop & shake those wiggles out as a class. My 1st graders loved to shake wiggles out. I would also do tree stretch... We'd stretch really high, then I would say wind is blowing left, right, back & down to toes then we would sit.
     
  7. Preschool0929

    Preschool0929 Cohort

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    Nov 22, 2015

    I think there are a few thinks you could try to stop the talking/touching on the rug. First, do you have assigned spots? Sometimes it just takes separating a few. I have a ring with pictures of expectations (hands in laps, quiet mouth, listening ears, etc.) and before large group every day we review those expectations and if someone isn't following one of the expectations during a lesson, I don't say anything, I just hold that picture up towards the child. I don't use a clip down chart or any type of classroom behavior system. If I have the same child who is talking/touching/wiggling every day, I usually try to give them some kind of fidget that will keep their hands occupied and I do a little social story about how to listen on the carpet with a fidget. I have also done individual behavior/sticker charts for students who continue to have a problem during large group. This usually works and helps a lot. My only concern with having a student leave the rug if they're not listening is that A) it could teach them that if they make a bad choice, they don't have to stay there anymore and B) is it an effective way to teach that child how to sit on the carpet?

    For the hitting, is moving them to red helping the behavior? I know you want to have a consequence for this, and it absolutely should not be ok, but I often find that for those students who hit or have other behaviors that are difficult to manage, clipping down means absolutely nothing to them. Can you try an individual behavior system, maybe something like a sticker chart where they get a sticker for each good choice they make that day (focusing on the positive behaviors) and lose a sticker for hitting (consequence). Find a reinforcer that the student would really work for (extra time on the computer one day, line leader, etc.)
     

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