Misbehaving kids during nap. A vent & I need advice!

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by CrayolaCrayon, Oct 6, 2010.

  1. CrayolaCrayon

    CrayolaCrayon Companion

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    Oct 6, 2010

    Misbehaving kids during nap. Help, please!

    Note: There are 15 kids in the room total and I am without an assistant. The kids are 3 and the preschool has pretty strict rules on the 1 hr. and 15 min. naptime. The kids are expected to all take a nap or at least, lie down quietly. I am not allowed to give them a book to read or anything of the sort.

    Naptime takes place in my room and I'm having a problem that presents itself on and off. I have experienced two extremes: 1) The kids all fall asleep or the majority do and the rest are quiet, and 2) The kids feed off each others energy and misbehave. Today was the latter. It brought me so much frustration that I had a hard time remembering the good things that happened earlier in the day and got so stressed out.

    There are two or three kids that seem to cause the chaos. They're followers so once one of their fellow misbehaved friends does something, they think it's funny and chime in. This will include things like making noises, repeating after each other, getting off their mats, and standing up.

    Once these kids get going, it seems like there's no way to stop it. They are very defiant and nothing said to them phases them. They are extremely disruptive to the kids who want to sleep. Today, two girls commented that they couldn't sleep because of the disruptive ones. I felt bad and like I must be doing something wrong if they aren't listening. The ones that are disruptive have slept before during nap but it's as if they don't feel like it, the alternative is to be loud. Their regular teacher said "it happens" when I asked her what I should do when there's unstoppable talking.

    I'm not sure what to do when these behaviors happen during nap because this is my first time working with preschoolers. I am trying to figure out who is good sleeping next to who so that they can have set spots, but I haven't worked out that puzzle just yet. Even then though, these kids I'm speaking of will do this across the room.

    HELP, please!!! :dizzy:
     
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  3. maggie123

    maggie123 Rookie

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    Oct 6, 2010

    I have a similar issue.
    What I do is give the good resters at treat. The treat is either two plain m&m or two skittles. This is a pretty good incentive for most of them. If they don't rest well, they don't get anything, and I make sure to give out the treats in front of them. If they are very disruptive I remove a sticker from their incentive charts. I also mention it to their parents.
    If they are being noisy, I mention the names of the ones on target for a treat and that usually straightens up most of the rest.
    Of course that introduces the problems of every child asking if they are being a good rester.
     
  4. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Oct 6, 2010

    I find that it takes some creative measures to get these kids to sleep. Here are some things I do:

    1. Put them where they can not see anyone. This might mean that you move some shelves or furniture. I once had to tip a table on it's side to keep a child from seeing anyone.
    2. Put them all in one spot and you sit where you can put your hands on their backs to help them rest.
    3. Ask for some help. If this is a day care, the regulations might help you out. In my state, ratio must be met until the kids are asleep.


    Good luck.
     
  5. brightsky351

    brightsky351 Rookie

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    Oct 6, 2010

    Hi. I've been in very similar situations to yours through the years. If you are the Lead Teacher at your school and you have 15 three year old children in the room without an aide, I agree that is not okay. The school you work for must operate under the assumption that the children are all or most asleep therefore an appropriate number of students would be awake and needing supervision.

    Since most or all of the children were awake and feeding off each other that is definitely a lot of needless stress for you. And by rights you should have been able to have your assistant.

    I would try talking with your Director and explained the situation. It is a simple fact that not all children need naps at age three. For any school to be operating under Developmentally Appropriate Guidelines, it should be fine to give the children books or quiet toys if they are still awake 30 minutes into nap time. It would be DAP to also set up a quiet area for the students that usually do not fall asleep during the first half of nap time.
    Young children that do not want to sleep for any number of reasons do not understand why they have to be quiet and be still.

    I'm sorry you had a rough day. Just know that tomorrow will be better.
     
  6. skerns

    skerns Companion

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    Oct 6, 2010

    Nap time

    Our school also has the 1 hr nap time. We occasionally have disruptive students, but usually can get them under control by the second month of school. We have one student now that has good and bad days, noise making, talking, tapping feet, etc.

    We have a punch card discipline system that is also used during nap time. They receive a hole punch in their card (which hangs on their clothes with a clip) for breaking the rules. Each punch is 3,4 or 5 minutes out of recess that is after nap time. We also occasionally reward the resters with treats (candy or stickers) after nap. This is sporadic. Once every month we have a special reward theme party on a Friday. Those who had too many punches, miss the reward.

    Hope these ideas help. I believe it is good for them to rest and that all children can learn to be quiet and still. I think we have not required this enough of children and that is why they struggle in classrooms, churches, movie theaters, etc. It is a learned and trained behavior.

    Stick with it and don't give up. :)
     
  7. Ms.Titwillow

    Ms.Titwillow Rookie

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    Oct 6, 2010

    Nap time

    Our nap time used to be pretty bad so here's what I implemented. 3 rules posted for nap time. Silence, Staying on the Mat, Quiet Hands/Feet, and a sticker chart. After 3 stickers they get to pick a small prize from box. We read over and talked about the rules for probably 3 weeks every single day before nap time. The mats are layed out with a pillow alternating from upper lower so that no students can see each other directly. The wiggly ones are separated way out from the other students.

    I finally won the battle on wiggly ones after telling them they can wiggle around as long as there is absolutely no talking, noise making. The first 10 min of nap time I play a story on CD then turn on a white noise machine in the background. I rub one students back that really needs it and act 'very' stern when I see students sitting up or talking. This plan has really worked for the most part. Funny enough the real wiggly ones couldn't care less about a prize it's like they just can't help being wiggly/noisy. If they get really wiggly/noisy I promptly move them to the director's office for the rest of the time. Good luck!!!
     
  8. skerns

    skerns Companion

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    Oct 7, 2010

    Nap Rules

    Maybe should ask others for their nap time rules. They may help.


    Ours are:

    No talking, singing or noises while the lights are out.

    (We count down to blastoff 10-0, dimming lights as we go, read a short story and pray)

    Stay on your cot, not sitting, kneeling or raising up on elbows.

    No playing with sheets, cots, clothes, shoes or punch tags.

    Raise hand for emergencies only (we determine if it is an emergency, they can get a punch if it is not).
     
  9. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    Oct 8, 2010

    I have had some of those... and am thankful I'm no longer in a full-day program so I don't have to deal with it! :) Ours was a 2-hr nap so they could get staff breaks in.

    I always had some kids who rarely needed a nap. What we worked out was they could bring a backpack or bag of "quiet, by-myself" activities they could do... coloring books, books, dolls, etc. Our deal was they had to be on their cot and quiet for the first 30 min. of naptime... after that, if they were still awake, they could quietly go get their bag. If they were distruptive, they lost the privilege.

    This worked really well for some of my wiggly ones.

    We were also known to have the child and their cot go sleep next door in a different room if they couldn't behave with their friends during nap time... usually that was enough of a deterrent that it didn't happen very often. (It was a reciprocal agreement between the two rooms, we were connected by a bathroom)
     
  10. CrayolaCrayon

    CrayolaCrayon Companion

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    Oct 8, 2010

    Thank you very much to everyone who took the time to reply. I really do appreciate it. However, I have more venting to do for anyone who cares to read this. There are some personal things going on with my family at the moment and having this disaster of a naptime on my mind is magnifying all my stress.

    Yesterday was worse. Running, telling me "no," laughing, not making eye contact, making noises, folding up mats, standing, singing. I spoke to the director that afternoon and asked if there's someone I can have with me for the first half hour of nap to help get them situated. She didn't seem too happy that I asked, though she did tell me I can try things like music. She said she would speak to one of the two teachers I collaborate with, and maybe have her sit in the room with me for a bit. What confuses me though is what the director said about trying things (like music or stuffed animals) doesn't match with what one of the two teachers said. On the contrary, she told me the kids aren't supposed to have stuffed animals and the one kid that did, had theirs taken away Thursday. Anyway, my friends and family told me I did the right thing by asking for help but now I'm wishing I hadn't because...

    I was out of work today because I had a teacher's workshop to attend and I just spoke to the sub. She didn't have a problem during nap and told me I just have to be firm with them. Now more than before, I feel like I'm doing something wrong. I feel like a failure. I'm embarrassed that I asked the director if there's anyone I could have with me for the first half hour of nap. She probably asked the sub today how it went and since it went well, I look like a stupid soft-spoken fool with no classroom management.

    I want to cry because I know that I'm soft-spoken and this is something I have been working on. I hate when people tell me, "You have to be firm with them" because I TRY. I have a "teacher voice" when I teach and feel like I have established some pretty good classroom management in my classes, especially considering I am a first-year teacher with an age I have very limited training in.

    Anytime I think about it, I remember the feeling of the other kids looking at me, almost out of amusement that those three kids wouldn't listen. I feel sick thinking that those three probably enjoyed watching me run around. I'm worried they don't respect me. They seem to enjoy my class but nap is something else entirely.

    I just don't know what to think right now. I'm dreading Tuesday.
     
  11. Peanutburns

    Peanutburns New Member

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    Oct 9, 2010



    I am sorry you are having such a hard time. As a director, I would repect you more for telling me you were having problems rather than keeping it bottled in. I have been in the same situation on both sides, the teacher who felt they have no control and the sub. in which the children listened to you not their regular teacher, both make you feel bad. It happens . . .some children respond more to a stern voice while others react negatively. I hope you keep trying. I will have to admit I have never been in a program in which music was not used during nap time. I am very curious why your director does not allow it. Strange!!!
    I know it sounds cliche' but it will get better. All the previous post have excellent ideas. The reward program and the books on tape are the ones I have tried myself and loved. Keep the faith and keep trying..:p
     
  12. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Oct 9, 2010

    We are not perfect. I hate supervising nap, and am not good at it either. But, I am dynamite at circle time. But, I don't let it worry me that I can not handle nap time. I make sure my superiors know that I am too soft to handle naptime, and need someone with me the first few minutes. I can handle 15 kids at circle with no problem.
     
  13. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    Oct 10, 2010

    I have no good advise. I HATE HATE HATE nap. I would rather have 24 kids by myself when they are awake than try to put them to sleep. My second job makes them all lie down for 2 hours because that is the only way teachers can get lunch. Some kids never sleep and it is torture. Have I mentioned I HATE nap?
     
  14. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    Oct 10, 2010

    I teach 4th, but I remember kindergarten naptime. It was horrible for me. According to my mom I quit taking naps about the time I was 2. I hated naptime at school. I would get in trouble most days because I tried to talk to those around me. For a while I napped under the teacher's desk/table. When that didn't help, she sent me to a first grade room during that time. I read quietly in the back of the room. Even today I don't require a lot of sleep. Maybe those who are causing trouble are the same. Could you do an "exchange" program with another class? Maybe they could go into a room that isn't napping to do a quiet activity. Again, I don't teach preK so that may be something that would work, but just wanted to offer. :) Good luck!
     
  15. kteachone

    kteachone Companion

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    Oct 10, 2010

    I'm sorry you're so stressed out. I am a soft spoken person too and I get that a lot--you have to be firm, etc. It annoys me because I know I'm a good teacher but I'm always 2nd guessing myself.

    I'm pretty sure you're a good teacher too (otherwise you wouldn't care). Try the incentives, give the difficult ones their own chart. When they get a sticker, give them a tiny treat, then when they get 3-5 give them something bigger (dollar store crap works well!).

    Move the misbehaving ones in a corner with stuff around them so they can't annoy. Put the worst near you.

    It'll be okay!
     
  16. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    Oct 12, 2010

    You're not supposed to play music durni nap? Tha'ts unheard of for me... every center I've been in or worked in puts on lullaby-type music. Some kids are just quiet and listening to it, it helps other kids fall asleep.

    Most places I've been allow the kids to have a stuffed friend (ALL SOFT, though.... not a doll with hard pieces)... but if you're misbehaving with it, it gets taken away until you are ready to behave. We had to do the same thing with blankets and pillows, although I HATED taking them away, if you're just gonig to cause trouble, it's mine until you can settle down.

    The only other thing I can suggest is trying to give as little attention as possible to the kids who are misbehaving. Have you watced Supernanny? You know how Jo does her time-outs... when they get up, she jsut places them back where they belong without talking to or interacting with them. If they're just looking for attention, then NOT getting any from you will take the fun of that away. It's much easier said than done, though :)
     
  17. brightsky351

    brightsky351 Rookie

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    Oct 12, 2010

    One good thing to remember about substitute teachers is that your students don't know them as well. Any time students do not know the adult as well, they behave a bit better because they are assessing this individual. If you were gone for one day at the workshop, then the students only had one day with the sub, not enough time to start acting up again.
    Hang in there. :)
     
  18. Renee35

    Renee35 New Member

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    Oct 13, 2010

    I have been thinking about your situation all day and part of last night. I even joined this forum to just give you some advice.
    First, take a look at what you are expecting 3 year olds to do. What are they doing before naptime. My children in the room are 3/4 and I have some turning 5. If they are going to the mat after meal time, which where I work at is 30 min long, then maybe you need to give them 15 min of exercise before you hit the mat. I take mine outside, depending on the weather, or we do an exercise CD. Even if they are expected to lay 1 hour 15 min you may need to change things up a little. If I sat for 30 min at lunch and expected to lay for 1hr 15 min, I would be all over that mat restless too.
    Second, I make it a game. When we come back in let's see who can get on their mat the fastest. Everyone's a winner if they get on their mat. Then I call out my winner's. Then we race to see who can make me think they are asleep first. Usually they fall asleep trying to make me think their asleep.
    Lastly, I have a few that want to linger and I spread them all around the room. I have 3/4 different one's who wont sleep and I keep them away from each other. I also have one or two that I have to sit by and I have the majority around me. You have to be able to see all the children in your room at all times. So if you seperate them then how can you keep them into control. I lay my sleeper's usually by one who wont and so forth. Then I give out a sucker to the three who can make me think they have went to sleep first.

    It is about control but it is also about classroom management. There are two of us in the room with 17-20 kids everyday, but I'm the only one who gets the children to sleep my aid gets the classroom cleaned up. We have to work together in order to get lunch cleaned up and ready for snack after they wake up. If this don't help let me know for some reason this is something everyone struggle's with from time to time.
     
  19. CrayolaCrayon

    CrayolaCrayon Companion

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    Oct 15, 2010

    Thank you to everyone who replied. Hearing from some of you that also hate naptime is comforting because misery loves company... heh. Jokes aside, the other day, I came home and cried, feeling like nobody at the school understands what I am going through. I get that some may be able to handle naptime alone but I am having a hard time and don't think it's fair that I have to do it by myself.

    The situation is strange because I am not their regular teacher. I teach them music and movement and was asked to do naptime as well. Let's just say, I had no idea what I was getting into. I should have thought it through. But anyway, this makes things difficult because I cannot take away a privilege or something like that. I can't follow through and they also know I go home after naptime.

    This also adds to some difficulties with experimenting with different strategies and using music or books, for example. Their assistant teacher - who honestly seems more like a second regular teacher - doesn't want me using things like that. I did try an individual sticker chart for the kids that cause problems and it worked on Tuesday for the two of the three that were there. After that, they had no interest.

    Today was a struggle but I tried my best to be persistent. I get so exhausted and feel like I lose my cool which is unlike me. Yesterday, one of their regular teachers (assistant) observed me and it wasn't as bad a day. However, she did see one of them act up somewhat. She gave me some advice that was helpful (rather than just saying, "it's because you're softspoken" or "you'll just get used to it") but unfortunately, it wasn't easy to put in place today. I did what she said but there wasn't much difference.

    It's incredible to me how the entire dynamic of naptime changed from Tuesday to Wednesday. I'm thinking Tuesday wasn't as bad because of the children that are there. They are kids that are better adjusted and the trio is minus one. Then Wednesday, there's a whole lot of neediness, craziness, and chaos.

    My boyfriend thinks it's ridiculous that I'm letting this get to me so much because my goal is to work in an elementary school where nap is not even existent. He says "You're a great teacher. So what if you can't make some three year olds nap?" Simple and true. The reason this is causing me so much anxiety though is that it makes me so stressed and makes me forget the good things that happen at work. Teaching may go great but then nap is a disaster...

    I know my replies to this are lengthy. My family and close friends are a bit tired of hearing me vent and actually get upset to see me so bummed out. I will try to respond to some of you individually over the weekend too, because you all really made me feel a little better in some way... and I definitely feel less alone.

    Question: What's the student/teacher ratio in a NYC private school? I found some information online but I have also heard that private schools can have different guidelines and policies. I don't know.
     
  20. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    Oct 10, 2013

    I hope it's okay to revive this old thread. It honestly sounds like I could have written it, and I am glad to know there are others in this position! Does anyone have any nap time advice to add almost exactly three years later? Our nap time is 2.5 hours. THEY DON'T SLEEP. I can't let them get up because of ratio issues, but with 15 non-sleeping kids, nap time shouldn't be exempt from the staff to child ratio regulations.
     
  21. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    Oct 10, 2013

    I agree with all the regular advice you are getting. That is all part of it. In addition....make sure they PLAY when outside. Running games, drop the bean bag in the basket games...throwing games....anything. Make sure their bodies know they are tired. Step up the activity and fill the tummies. Then, after lunch do some stretching to find that slower body. Yoga type but not necessarily yoga stretches. When good and stretched plan.....again....PLAN a transition into story. A quiet but participatory story. Step up the conversations before and after story...and shoot for imagery in the heads. Then add a long novel with a great reader for the cd that is playing during nap. Ask them to draw what they saw when they wake up. Include the long story in your theme/lesson/unit. Make sure it fits and really sell it during the activity. I had classes of 3's and 2.5s listening the Magic Tree House and Laura Ingalls Wilder. They ate it up. One must really follow along with those stories and if you did a great job as a teacher running them out, filling them up and slowing them down....as soon as the motions stops and the bodies are separated and all the classroom management tips above are enacted....they will sleep.
     
  22. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    Oct 10, 2013

    Just read that it is old. But the story tape is still a great plan....down isn't a choice. Make the down something they can learn from and rest at the same time.
     
  23. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Oct 10, 2013

    Many of these posts say that you keep them on their mats when they wake up, to maintain the nap ratio. In Oregon, the nap ratio is for "sleeping" children. If they wake up, you have to maintain the awake ratio. I would discuss nap time with your certifier. S/he has seen many centers, and may have ideas to help you.
     

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