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bodes12 bodes12 is offline
 
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Kids still cant sit still
Old 08-21-2018, 06:07 PM
 
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My kids can not sit nicely at carpet for more than 2 minutes and I'm dying because I cant get anything done. We didn't even start writing today, math was terrible, and barely got our reading program finished and even that wasn't done by the book. Most of my kids are good, but I have 4 boys that are awful. One won't listen to anyone and actually threw pattern blocks at my aide today, then spends the rest of his time whining loudly, kicking, throwing books, you name it. The other one needs redirection constantly. One cant sit still, lays backwards, cant keep his hands to himself, and wanders around, and the last one just is always doing something he isn't supposed to despite many reminders

It's kindergarten, and a lot fo them have never been in an academic setting, but I seem to be the only one having trouble managing it. My kids cant even sit for calendar. A lot of it devolves into me yelling at my crazy kids because they don't care about positive reinforcement, and that makes everyone unhappy.


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kinder adjustment
Old 08-22-2018, 04:03 AM
 
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How long have you been in school? (We haven't even started here, so I'm guessing not very long.)

My best advice is "back it up and break it down." If these kids haven't been in school before, sitting still is a skill - on it's own. They can't yet do that and do something else (like writing) at the same time.

If you have a SmartBoard or other way to access YouTube, maybe you can find a one-minute meditation for kids or something, for practice?

Also, you said you have an aide - so maybe the next step is to split the class into "mini-circles" (pull one group at a time, while she supervises the others at center play) and keep it very interactive - the kids are sitting, but also taking turns talking, or passing something around - whatever keeps them engaged. Then move on to an actual paper to do. Then move back to a bigger group...I know it will take a while.

Also, check with the parents of the four that are really having trouble, not in an accusatory way, but in a "___ seems to be having kind of a hard time adjusting to school. Could you tell me a little bit about his routine at home, so I can try to help him ease into things better?" - You'll often find that kids are still napping at home, so they're just exhausted by the end of the school day.
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Old 08-31-2018, 06:39 AM
 
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My first thought is, "Why make them sit?" They are kindergarteners. Their bodies are wired to move most of the time. Physically, kids at that age become antsy when they sit for too long. It's only when they find something really fascinating (or are ready to fall asleep) that kids this age stop moving. Find ways to use movement as a part of your activity and lesson design. Pace the lesson so that there are "up" activities that encourage movement and "down" activities that involve sitting.

Second, there are times when we need kids to sit still, but we need to do at least two things to make that happen. We need to train kids to sit still. We also need to give them a compelling reason to sit still. One way to do this is by making the activities compelling and exciting. Another way to do it is through consistent routines so that the students know what is expected of them at any given moment. It takes time (sometimes months) to firmly set those routines, but they pay off. Using clear classroom markers like shapes on the floor for each student to sit on (for example, at the end of this song that has us dancing, we each sit quickly on our floor shape) can help a lot in establishing a routine.

Many behavior problems with kids this age grow out of boredom. If the kids are hooked into whatever activity the teacher is leading, they will follow because that's the emotional center of the classroom. That activity is what's exciting. If there is no emotional hook making them want to stay focused, they won't stay focused. Instead of trying to get kids to sit down first and then start learning, start doing a learning activity while kids are still standing, and then transition the activity into a sitting down stage when appropriate, after the kids are already engaged.

Last, haranguing students about what they are doing wrong isn't going to get you anywhere. It may even make the problem worse. One thing many kids at this age (and that people in general) want is attention. If acting up and being wild gets attention, then they will act up and be wild. Chasing down kids who aren't sitting or yelling at them to sit may only turn class into a frustrating game where the kids disobey just to get your attention and taunt you. Thank kids by name when they are doing what you want, and be engaged and excited about what you're doing with those kids. Make whatever you're able to do with the kids who are behaving the emotional center of the room, and others will be drawn in.

There are times when an isolated student engages in particularly bad behavior, for which there needs to be clear warnings and consequences. However, in my experience with my own classes and in working with other teachers, it's typically a problem with the teaching when multiple students are consistently misbehaving each lesson. If you work with other teachers who aren't having this problem and have chances to observe them (or have them observe you), this can help you pick up on subtle things you may be doing differently. If observing live is impractical, try to get some videos of lesson times, both of your own lessons and others' lessons, so that you can get a better look at what you're doing (or not doing) that is contributing to this situation.
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I have the same question
Old 09-04-2018, 08:22 PM
 
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I'm following this thread because I have the same problem as the OP. Blert- I think you're right that I shouldn't be making them sit. I've been trying to get them settled down and quiet before I start teaching, but I never can then the teaching doesn't happen. There is an engaging activity for them but how do you get to it without giving instructions first??
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