They ALWAYS want to tell me stories!

Discussion in 'Kindergarten' started by DrivingPigeon, Oct 16, 2008.

  1. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Oct 16, 2008

    I have a very talkative class of 21 students. They always want to tell me stories at the most inconvenient times. I love hearing about their lives and I love that they feel comfortable sharing so much with me. However, it drives me absolutely crazy!!! We even have "sharing time" where we sit in a circle and everyone has about 30 seconds to share something with the rest of the class, hoping that they will get their stories out then.

    Almost any time we transition or line up I am surrounded by children wanting to tell me stories. For example, when they come in from a special I will have them go sit on the carpet. I usually have about 6 kids around me asking me questions or wanting to tell me a story about something. In the time that it takes for me to listen to them or tell them to "remember and tell me later" I have completely lost the other children, who came in the room prepared and ready for the next activity. This happens constantly all day long.

    They will also raise their hands in the middle of instruction and tell me things like "my pants have zippers on the sides" or "I'm going to Natalie's birthday party later," which sparks even more off-topic conversation. I have talked to them over and over again about when it is appropriate to tell me stories. It's to the point where I ask them, "Is it an emergency?" before calling on them. I feel bad because I want to hear what they have to say about the things we are learning about, but I often have to tell them "no questions" because the off-topic conversation takes us SO off-topic. Today a girl even cried because she wanted to tell me about her pumpkins but I told her to remember and tell me later at free choice time.

    I know this is typical kindergarten behavior, but it's driving me crazy!!! I feel mean constantly cutting them off and telling them to tell me later, and I'm afraid they will eventually think I don't care.

    Does anyone have any suggestions?
     
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  3. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Oct 16, 2008

    I just tell them, write about it in your journal. And then start teaching.
     
  4. minnie

    minnie Cohort

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    Oct 16, 2008

    This might sound kind of harsh, but I just tell them "We are not talking about that right now. If you remember you can tell me at center time before we go home." That usually stops them.
     
  5. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Oct 16, 2008

    HAH! I only subbed in elementary school library, but I definitely noticed the need to say anything on their minds as it appeared there.

    My dad still tells me about how I brought him as my Show and Tell project for kindergarten (I vaguely remember this) and how EVERY ONE of my classmates had to tell him elephant jokes.
     
  6. TeacherGrl7

    TeacherGrl7 Devotee

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    Oct 16, 2008

    I teach prek, even younger, and I get this all the time too. My problem is that I am basically covering kindergarten work, but in 2.5 hours a day. So we REALLY don't have time for all of their stories when we are in the middle of something. When I notice that a lot of children are going off task, I will say, "We are only talking about snakes right now (or whatever it is). Does it have to do with snakes?" before I call on them. If they say no I say, "Hold it in your brain and tell me at snack time." Works more often than not! I don't think it's harsh to tell them they have to wait- I have time in the morning and at snack to talk to them about anything, and they can talk to me during centers or outside time too. When they are on the carpet doing something, I expect their brains to be on task, and they know that. They still love me! Tell them to hold onto it, but say it nicely and they will be fine. =)
     
  7. cocacola

    cocacola Rookie

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    Oct 17, 2008

    I do a similar thing. If they are prone to sharing when it's not time I will ask as I call on them or interrupt and ask does this have to do with what we're talking about? And when they say no, I say ok we'll share it later. Sometimes I allow them 15-30 seconds to turn to a neighbor and share. That way they are getting the sharing out all at once and then we can move on :)
     
  8. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Oct 17, 2008

    Ok, I already do the same things everyone is suggesting. As long as that is the norm and I'm not actually being mean I'll continue what I've been doing. :)
     
  9. kinderokSA

    kinderokSA Rookie

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    Oct 17, 2008

    A funny idea from Sharon MacDonald - She says her students miss her so much when she's not there that she places a picture of herself in a tree in her classroom. The students go to the tree to talk to her about important things. Mind you she said the sub thought the kids were strange, but they didn't bother the sub. So when she came back the students wanted to keep on talking to the tree. You should go to her website and see if that is on her website. Something else she has a brown paper bag - that the children talk into and when they are done talking about their problems they crunch up their bag and THROW IT AWAY. lol

    Cute ideas!!!!!
     
  10. TeacherSandra

    TeacherSandra Enthusiast

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    Oct 17, 2008

    My students have alot to say too. I, often, have to tell them:

    1. You can tell me later during center time.

    2. We're not talking about that right now.

    3. It's time to listen right now.
     
  11. AFWifeNGermany

    AFWifeNGermany Rookie

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    Oct 18, 2008

    We also have a daily share time for them to get their stories out. From then on, whenever they begin something off topic, I just ask...

    "Is this a question or a share?"

    They usually think about it, and know the correct answer. The first few times, I do a lot of explaining. I say what a question is, and we talk about share time. If they decide it is a share, we discuss when we have share time, and why it is important to listen now. After a few times, all I have to do is ask the question, and they know!

    Since I do guided reading during center time, I can't tell mine to talk to me then. You might tell them to tell you their story at recess, that way they are using their time, and will have to decide if it is important enough. (Most of the time they will forget! Ha!)
     
  12. AFWifeNGermany

    AFWifeNGermany Rookie

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    Also, I have started lately to implement a question rule. Because I was explaining directions 9 million times for each activity, I use the rule-

    Ask 3 before me.

    They now ask 3 other children if they have a question while working independently or in groups. If all three children are unsure, then they can ask me, and I will re-explain.

    This allows me to work with children having difficulty while minimizing interruptions.

    I have also seen teachers designate 2 question children. The students can ask the chosen children when they are unsure.
     
  13. Lumi

    Lumi Companion

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    Oct 18, 2008

    This happens to me a lot too. I'm sure every teacher experiences it. At first we work on figuring out the difference between a question and a story (statment about their lives). When we are reading a book it drives me crazy to get interupted with the little stories about their lives that come to their minds as a result of what I'm reading. So I say, is that a question or something you want to tell me. During story time, I only allow interuptions (at the end of the page I'm reading) for kids to ask questions about what I just read or about what they are seeing in the picture. It takes a lot of training and consistency, but it works pretty well.

    If they have something to tell me, I ask them to catch their thought in their hand and put it in their pocket and tell me later, (during centers, lunch or on the playground). Most of the time they do not ever remember to talk to me, but it seems to be a good way to curb the incessant need to talk about themselves, because next time they will usually remember that during circle time isn't a good time for me to listen to individual stories, unless I've asked a certain child a specific question.

    One final suggestion would be to have a few moments where you tell your children to turn to their neighbor and take turns talking and listening to your friend's story. You could even give props to help the children figure out who should be talking and who should be doing the listening. I am thinking of craft sticks for microphones to speak into or toilet paper tubes for the listener to hold up to his/her ear while they listen. The speaker speaks directly (and softly) into the tube while the listener is holding it to their ear. You could call them, "Talking tubes" or "Listening Tubes" or something similar. They learn to take turns talking and listening and they talk quietly and their need to talk about themselves is dealt with. I learned the "share your thoughts with a neighbor" idea from a workshop I went to over the summer and I just now came up with the props idea. Can't wait to try it!
     

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