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ruralteacher 08-19-2018 06:26 PM

Challenging pre-k boys
My incoming class, which starts next week, is very boy-heavy. There are three of them who have MAJOR behavior issues. Two are friends, but are always screaming because one has done something to the other, and the third is constantly doing things he KNOWS he is not supposed to do--hitting friends, throwing sand on friends, etc. I have watched them for the past year in the preschool class. The teacher has had a really awful year with them.

Now, I am not a novice teacher. I taught 2nd grade for a while, and have taught pre-k for almost 7 years. But this particular group of boys is like the Perfect Storm. The one who screams all the time also loves to tell you, "I don't want to," whenever he is re-directed. When parents were approached during conferences, and asked "what works for you at home?" the reply was "nothing." So no support in that direction.

I am currently reading a book titled, "Wired to Move," that talks about boys' need to move around in order to keep their brains awake, and that sensory is a major need at this age, so to have lots of tactile things to work with. I already do that in my class, but am wondering if there is more? What do I do about the screamers, or the malicious mischief maker? Please share your experiences and what has worked for you. Thanks!

Prekteach13 08-19-2018 07:59 PM

My classes always run a little boy-heavy. This year, 16 out of 19 are boys. However, I also teach preschool special education, so I'm used to lots of behavior issues.

I think my first thought is about your comment that he is doing things he "knows" he is not supposed to do. If he is still engaging in those activities, then he hasn't been taught yet not to do them. I would do some simple social stories with him about using items appropriately, hands to self, following directions, etc.. and LOTS of positive reinforcement and praise when he is making a good choice. Spend a lot of time with your new class just focusing on routines and procedures so that he, and everyone else, knows the expectations.

For the ones that are constantly screaming at each other, I would focus on teaching some problem solving strategies. The ones you can print out from the CSEFEL website are my favorite. I teach all students the problem solving strategies at the beginning of the year (take turns, share, get a timer, say please, etc..) and then review them throughout the year. I have a copy hanging on my board, a copy in the library center, and a copy hanging on one of the center shelves. For 90% of my students, by December they are able to solve their own problems instead of screaming at each other or getting a teacher. For the ones that still need assistance, whenever they start going back and forth with each other, I direct them to the solution cards and we go through them and pick which one works. It's time consuming, but so worth it when they become independent problem solvers.

*Hopefully* this helps and you have an easier year than the previous teacher that had them!

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