Overwhelmed...

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by RedFox, May 21, 2008.

  1. RedFox

    RedFox Rookie

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    May 21, 2008

    I just found out that my cozy little class of 13 will become a group of 18 in about a month, for a variety of reasons. I should explain that we are open year-round, so I will have these 18 until the end of August.

    This is my first year teaching - and it's been a great one. We started off with some behavior issues, but I'm really happy with where we're ending up! I feel comfortable management-wise...but that's with 13 kids!

    Logically, I know I can do this...but I am feeling a little overwhelmed. Does anyone have any management tips for 18 four and five year olds? Some of my concerns are:
    - Swimming several times a week (bus ride there & back)
    - Nap time (Of course many 4/5's do not nap - quiet ideas for non-nappers?)
    - Snack, Lunch, etc.

    I think I'm just having trouble imagining where I'm going to put five more kids.

    Again, I can do this...just hearing some management tips might help me feel less overwhelmed...

    Thanks in advance!
     
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  3. ksmomy

    ksmomy Companion

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    May 22, 2008

    I would love to have just 18 4 and 5 year olds. I have 24. I think the most important thing is to know what your expectations are and communicate them clearly and frequently to the children. Make sure your expectations are age and developmentally appropriate. Don't expect too much or too little. Always be consistent so they know what to expect from you. If you follow a routine and talk with them a lot things usually go pretty smoothly.
     
  4. RedFox

    RedFox Rookie

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    May 22, 2008

    Thank you, ksmomy...I will keep that advice in mind.
     
  5. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    May 27, 2008

    Plan, plan and plan some more.

    I would say that you are going to need helpers. Not grown ups, 4 and 5's. Table setters, table washers and so on. There will be work to go around, share the wealth. Watch your transition times. Lots of rhyming games, call and response and so on so that you can stay a team. Lots of words, words of praise, words to use words and words and words. As far as nap, um, what do you do with non nappers now without the extra 5? Start there......and ramp up? Keep thinking outloud it will help.
     
  6. Butterfly4

    Butterfly4 Comrade

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    May 28, 2008

    If my kids are too loud on the bus when on a field trip, I pull out the book we are reading (magic tree house chapter book) whcih I throw in my bag. They really love those books and sit very quietly for them. Occasionally we will have the driver put on radio disney and they sit quietly for that too....but I can only handle so much of that!
     
  7. time2teach

    time2teach Companion

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    May 28, 2008

    You can do it. Start/review the rules and practice the routines like you would at the beginning of the year. Before the new kids come in, talk to the 13 you have now and tell them "new kids are coming in, you need them to show them how things are done. You expect them to behave like they know how to do and show the new kids how to behave."

    I had 24 pre-k's when I taught. (with and aide). Non-nappers had to lay on their mats and be quiet. Usually they went to sleep eventually, but if not we would let them sit up on their mat (as long as they didn't bother anyone) and look at a book or something quiet like that.

    The bus and swimming...I can't even imagine how that will be. Be very strict about their bus behavior for everyone's safety. I'm assuming you have lots of helpers for the swimming sessions.

    You can do it!!
     
  8. RedFox

    RedFox Rookie

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    May 28, 2008

    Thank you so much for your replies! Just gathering a few ideas here and there is making me feel more confident about this.

    WaProvider - I really like your idea of using jobs. We had assigned jobs in the beginning of the year, but phased that out once everyone had a turn with each job. Now I just ask students to volunteer for a job when I need it OR use a job to redirect (the kids don't even notice that they're being redirected because they love helping out). Good idea!

    Butterfly4 - I love the idea of bringing the chapter book on the bus! I have been wanting to start a series of books like Magic Tree House because as my kids' attention spans increases I think they'd really get a lot out of following a series like that. I wouldn't have thought to throw the book in my swim bag, but that is a great idea. Thank you! I think there is a thread about chapter books/series that are good for Pre-K/K kids, so I will check that out.

    time2teach - Talking to my 13 kids now about being leaders and helping the others learn the rules is perfect. They will love this!

    Also, I have started compiling a basket of quiet activities that we only take out at nap time. Right now this includes a bag with a felt rectangle and felt numbers, a bag with several markers, small stencils and paper, 2 clipboards w/ crayons/paper, 2 dry erase boards and several dry erase books, a matching game, and a puzzle. I am hoping that this will work well because it should keep the non-sleepers occupied on their bed for the 2nd half of nap time, and I can use it as an incentive for good behavior during the first part of nap time. Additionally, if parents complain about their 4/5 napping I can simply point to our "nap basket" and explain that we have plenty of activities for non-nappers.

    Thanks again for your great ideas. I am really beginning to look forward to the summer...

    RedFox
     

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