Out of Control Preschoolers during "Movement" time

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by Teacher87, Dec 8, 2009.

  1. Teacher87

    Teacher87 Rookie

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    Dec 8, 2009

    I just started teaching a group of 3 year olds... there are 10 of them. I'm the lead teacher, with an aide. Their other teacher just resigned. This is only my 2nd day with them, but one thing I've already learned is that they have such a difficult time behaving and participating during any sort of movement/dancing activity. Any time I put on a CD with a movement song, they go nuts. They won't stay in their squares, and they're running around the carpet or jumping on each other. For example, I played "Bear Hunt" song where they do all the different moves (running, rowing boat, climbing tree, etc.). This song has been a "never fail" for me so far in my career, even my tiny toddlers LOVED it. Yesterday though when we did it, all they did was run in circles around the rug and then they ended up jumping on and pushing each other, etc. (obviously we had to stop). I tried again today and I explained that we need to stay in our square, etc. But that was unsuccessful and when I attempted to get them to stop the running around and craziness one of the girls was like "But we always get to do it like this!"

    I'm just sort of baffled because I've never had this problem before. Usually, movement songs were the way to engage the kids I've worked with (preschoolers, and even my toddlers at my last job understood to stay in their space and not run wild). I think it may be partially due to what the previous teacher let them do. I know they're capable of following directions and participating... they are much better engaged and participating when they're sitting and we're reading a story or singing a song. It's kind of opposite of what you'd expect, hah.

    I'd really like to do movement/dancing activities with them, because these kids NEED to be active (especially being cooped up in the winter). But I feel like I need to establish new "ground rules" for these types of activities... how would you approach it with the kids, especially since their previous teacher may have had different expectations for them and they are still in the mindset?

    At this point, I'm going to avoid any sorts of movement things like this and attempt some activities without playing CDs (streches, simon says, finger plays, etc.). But eventually it would be nice if I could put a CD on and not have them go completely nuts.
     
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  3. sarzacsmom

    sarzacsmom Groupie

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    Dec 8, 2009

    "we always got to do it like this before" is your first clue! the children need to be told very firmly that you are not the old teacher and now they have to do it your way. If movement time is something they enjoy and you don't want to have to cancel it for awhile, try doing only slow movement songs for a while or ones that they can do some movement to, but can sit and do them and as they show self control then you can try adding the faster ones.
     
  4. Beverly

    Beverly Comrade

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    Dec 8, 2009

    I agree with Sarzacsmom. Maybe you can start by defining "sit down" vs. "stand up" songs and just teach them some "sit down" songs for the first few weeks. I think you're on the right track also with avoiding the cd player for a bit. What does your aide say?
     
  5. word girl

    word girl Rookie

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    Dec 9, 2009

    Tell them they have an invisible 'bubble' all the way around their body. Mime putting the bubble around you. Then tell them if they bump any furniture or other body their bubble will 'pop' and they may have to sit out until the next song.

    This works well with my first graders.
     
  6. Teacher87

    Teacher87 Rookie

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    Dec 9, 2009

    Thanks for the ideas!
     
  7. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    Dec 9, 2009

    I've also been know to have kids find a "dancing spot." I spread them all around the room for some songs rather than have them on the carpet because they do move and that gives them a little more room to move without crashing into people. Then kids who refuse to follow directions have to sit out for a song or two... that usually teaches EVERYONE.
     
  8. TeacherGrl7

    TeacherGrl7 Devotee

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    Dec 12, 2009

    When my kids are a little crazy I have them do a "quiet jitter shake." We stand up, "plant our feet firmly" (I imitate Ed Norton from the Honeymooners when I say this part- they have NO clue of what I am doing, but it's a silly voice that makes them giggle and actually do it), and put our arms slightly out to the side. We check to make sure we are not close enough to touch anybody, and then I tell them to shake out their jitters. I remind them that our mouths are quiet, and our feet are planted. If anyone gets crazy loud or starts moving around, we stop automatically. We do it a few times, and I always make a big deal about seeing how long we can go without anyone making noise or moving their feet. They LOVE it, and I absolutely will not stop if they are being quiet and standing on their squares. Of course, they can never last more than 30 seconds or so without a giggle escaping, so there is never any danger of us standing there shaking for hours LoL.

    Might be a good way for you to introduce them to the "controlled chaos" of movement activities!
     
  9. TeacherSandra

    TeacherSandra Enthusiast

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    Dec 12, 2009

    I totally agree. Give it a few weeks and then try it again explaining your expectations.
     
  10. sarzacsmom

    sarzacsmom Groupie

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    Dec 12, 2009

    my kids use their nap spots for their dancing spots
     

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