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kinderlady7 kinderlady7 is offline
 
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kinderlady7
 
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Class out of control...
Old 02-03-2021, 01:18 PM
 
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Hi all.

Last year was my first year teaching kindergarten and I had 5 (yes 5) students with SEVERE behavioral issues. I swore this year would be different.

This year, I began the year with a great class, only 1 student who was even kind of struggling with behavior and the kindest, nicest, sweetest class in the world.

Over the past nine weeks, we have lost 3 students and gained 6 new students. The dynamic of my classroom has COMPLETELY changed. I am at a loss. I feel so out of control (again). I need some advice.

My biggest issues are two little guys who constantly say no, one of whom just started our class today. When asked to move their clip, sit at their desk, sit quiet, they say no. I have made it very clear that saying no is not an option for these kinds of requests and that there are consequences. I allow them to choose if they want to sit on the carpet with the class or sit at their desk. They still continue to say no. When I ignore the behavior it escalates (due to their seeking attention) until I can no longer ignore it for safety reasons.

In addition, these students are doing things like running around the classroom, touching other students, yelling out while I am speaking, sitting in the teacher chair and taking my things. I feel like I have no consequences for their behavior besides sitting out of recess, which, of course, I do on our bad days. The office considers these behaviors to be "classroom managed behaviors" even if I cannot teach. My other students are seeing these kids have basically no consequences and thinking they can push the limits too. Of course, I overly praise the positive behavior with high fives, skittles, round of applause from the class and other things on the spot. I am documenting all behaviors for future reference as well.

This second year teacher would LOVE some advice. Thank you!!!


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Working the Crowd
Old 02-04-2021, 05:37 PM
 
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It’s a test. The students want to know what you will allow. Nagging them to shape up will not cut it. In fact the more you talk the worse it gets. When they say “No” it’s backtalk. The way to eliminate backtalk is not backtalk. Lecturing and reprimanding merely tells them their tactic, backtalk, is working. Since it works so well expect more of it.

Technique to use when a student backtalks is use your body not your mouth. The closer you are to them the better the odds they will cooperate. Wherever they sit that’s where you want to stand. If they stay at their desk do not sit down at the carpet. Instead, casually walk over to their desks and teach from there - about 12” away. Make it look like it’s part of your routine as you teach - meandering among students at the carpet and at their desks. It follows a basic discipline principle: “distance is safety while proximity is accountability”. BTW - As far as I know there is no federal or state statute which says kindergarten teachers must sit down while teaching a small group. Once you have trained the class, fine. Do it too soon, before students take you seriously, and they will continue to test to find out what the market will bear.
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Old 02-05-2021, 06:30 AM
 
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I agree with the PP that proximity is your friend.
I like that you’re giving choices. What I’ve done is say something like, “You can join us at the carpet or move your clip.” When they say no or just don’t respond I often give them time to decide and walk away (for no more than a minute or two) return and say, “What choice did you make?” and perhaps restate the choices. When they refuse again I say, “You can choose now or I will choose for you.” When they still refuse I say, “I’m sad you didn’t choose. That means I’m choosing for you.” And go move the clip. That usually gets them moving. It does often cause drama/fit/tears too. That triggers another round of choices “You can calm down for 2 minutes then join us or you can move your clip again.” And you go through the whole rigamarole again. Praise when they do join, I usually say “thank you.” Stay calm, kind and even somewhat detached in your tone, as if their behavior doesn’t really bother you. I always tend to speak more slowly, quietly and calmly because I know if I get emotional they’ll join me!
It is exhausting! But I’ve seen consistency pay off.
Also, jump on opportunities to move their clips back up (even really small things!)
You can do it!! Stay strong!
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Clipboard instead of clipchart
Old 02-07-2021, 09:41 AM
 
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I got rid of the clip chart years ago. Instead use a clipboard with a classlist. You can add stars and take marks as you walk around the room, hallways or field trips. No more control battles over moving cllips.
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kinderlady7 kinderlady7 is offline
 
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Intrigued...
Old 02-10-2021, 05:04 PM
 
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I like this idea. I have decided this is the last of my clip chart just because I haven’t ever seen it truly work for negative behaviors. With this clipboard idea, do you tell the student (privately) what you’re doing when you do it? Like “oh no. Due to “x” behavior we had to get a mark?” Or “wow! Due to “y” behavior you get a sticker, awesome job!” And do you have a method of communicating it with parents? A certain amount of marks you get a negative consequence or certain amount of stickers you get a positive consequence? I’d love to hear more!!


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Old 02-17-2021, 07:30 AM
 
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Sounds like quite a situation...
When I taught K, we used 1-2-3 Magic. One of the key components was to say very little when a child wasn't following directions. Similar to a pin system, however, less effort and action for the teacher to manage.
https://www.123magic.com/positive-pa...tions/teachers
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ElizabethJoy ElizabethJoy is offline
 
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Clip charts
Old 03-23-2021, 09:01 PM
 
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Sounds like you're doing some good things but clip charts, IMO, add an extra power struggle because not only does the kid get to refuse to sit down/be quiet/whatever, they can also argue with you about the clip itself. I also don't like the public nature of a clip chart- I find they rely partly on shame which is always counterproductive.

I've never used a behaviour management system that was fiddly like that. I prefer immediate logical consequences. e.g. kiddo won't listen to instructions during art? I take his paintbrush away. Kiddo won't stop poking his friend? Now his friend will come and sit next to someone who won't bother him that way. Kiddo is choosing not to join us on the rug? Well I'm reading this story in a whisper quiet voice. He won't be able to hear it, and you better believe I've chosen a story that will get everyone else giggling.

Some other tips that have helped me with tricky classes are:

*Proximity, as one PP mentioned. You can stop a lot of annoying behaviour simply by moving in close while you continue teaching.
*Getting quieter instead of louder. I don't know why this works, but it does.
*Getting kids where you want them to be by using a "hook". Instead of instructing the class to come to the rug (and giving them an opportunity to be defiant) hook them in with a song, a rhyme, a game, or a cool video clip (space ship taking off, spider spinning a web, virtual roller coaster- anything you can then tie in to your lesson).
*Getting them outside as often as possible. I take my class out for nature walks and I teach outdoors as often as possible. We practice number and letter formation with chalk on the cement, we take clipboards and pencils and write about what we see, we even do worksheets outdoors some times. Occasionally I just take them out to run a lap of the oval and burn off some wiggles.
*Having a "calm tent". I have a small tent equipped with sensory timers, sequin pillows, sand timers and small weighted blankets. I try to catch students before I know they are likely to cause a problem and ask if they want a minute in the calm tent. Most kids LOVE the tent so hardly ever say no. This also gives me a break from that kid
*Lots of positive relationship building. I like using the Love and Logic technique of "noticing". (google it) Actually, Teaching with Love and Logic could be worth a read. I found it super helpful!
*Social stories! Explicitly teaching social and emotional skills makes a huge difference for some kids, especially kids on the spectrum.
*And yes, I do take recess play sometimes. Not often! But sometimes I think it is the only consequence that makes sense, particularly if a student has refused to do work- having to finish their work at recess a few times usually nips that behaviour in the bud. You do have to be careful with this one though because kids really need to move! If I've had to take recess play from someone, I never take away their whole play time and I make sure I build in lots of opportunities for them to move later in the day.

I hope something I've said helps!
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