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Hurting friends everyday- How can I get through to these kids?

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Hurting friends everyday- How can I get through to these kids?
Old 07-12-2010, 06:03 PM
 
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Since May, I had 17 5 year olds transition into my room all at the same time. They are all going into Kindergarten next year. It seems some of them still haven't figured out that hitting and hurting friends is not acceptable behavior. Some of these kids are hitting, pushing, and just being mean to their friends on a daily basis. I know, they're 5 year olds and this is a common problem. But I'm just tired of it. Our general consequence for hurting a friend is a time out. I feel like there needs to be some other consequence in place since it seems that the time out is not working. In fact this one boy today, after he hit his friend, looked at me and said, "I'll go to time out now". What else can I give as a consequence for this? Or any unacceptable behavior for that matter. Would it be asking too much to have them write,
"I will not hurt my friends" 5 times....I could write it at the top of a piece of paper and they would have to copy it.
I was reading about the "clip chart" but I'm not sure if preschool/school age childcare centers use these with success? Most of our kids are going into Kindergarten in the fall, and some are going into 1st, one 2nd grader, one 3rd grader, and one 4th grader.

The one issue would be that I'm worried that the kids would be moving the clothespins up or down without us noticing and then we wouldn't know who was really at a certain color. And that the clothespins would get misplaced or broken. (This is a problem with our job chart. We use clothespins and the kids move them all the time, even though we have told them not touch them.)
The pre-k room did a red light, yellow light, green light system....not sure how it works but I should ask them....

I'm just looking for any ideas or things that others have done. As I said, it just seems that time out is not enough.


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Old 07-12-2010, 08:01 PM
 
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Do you communicate with parents when they hit? Do you have parents that will back you up? I treat hitting like a really serious big deal. I talk to the child out in the hall about the behavior and have them tell me how they should have handled the conflict, I let parents know what their child did that day, etc. I really hear about it from parents if their child gets hit so I cannot tolerate any of that kind of behavior.

If you need to handle it at school, maybe a class incentive like a marble jar. Put marbles in a jar (keep it way up high ) for each morning and afternoon that there is no hitting AT ALL. Tell the class what the reward will be for filling the jar (popcorn and a movie, etc.) Use a pretty small jar so it is an attainable goal. Hopefully peer pressure will turn in your favor.

Personally, I wouldn't use writing as a punishment at this age. I am too busy trying to get them to love writing.
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Old 07-13-2010, 12:10 PM
 
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Write a social story. Write it WITH the class. Read it every day, to reaffirm your class rules and consequences with the children.

When someone hurts another child in my classroom, I make them apologize by naming the behavior (a quick "sorry" doesn't cut it) -- for example, "I'm sorry I pinched you. I won't do it again." The other child says either "That's okay" or "Thank you for apologizing" and then they do a handshake or a hug.

WORKS WONDERS in my room. They do it without any guidance at all after a little while (and my kids are 4 years old).
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Old 07-13-2010, 01:57 PM
 
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When the kids are acting like this, I always take time to model, model, model. We practice saying kind phrases. We write them down together and repeat them. I have the kids act out situations and use their kind words.

Then it's time for "Kindness Day". Every time I notice them using kind words or doing kind actions, we cheer or get a smilie, or a sticker. I don't use extrinsic rewards ever, so this is a great treat for them and I use them just to get the message across for the day. I might even use a "I Was Caught Being Kind" certificate this year.

After that, we probably have to practice again a couple of days later. I tone it down a bit and just notice aloud when they are being kind. They are still thrilled when I acknowledge their good deed.

Being nice is a habit they need to practice. Stay away from punishments. They don't teach the child anything.
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"No more hitting" in 5 languages
Old 07-14-2010, 06:35 AM
 
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When I taught preschool I actually learned how to say this phrase in as many languages as I had cultures in my classroom. And kindergarten is no different. I agree with modeling good behavior and talking with parents. It seems some parents tell their kids to stand up to others and hitting is ok. Our whole school uses the clip system but we are trying Peaceable Schools for primary next year and I am hoping it is more like using the think sheet where you draw your "bad choice" then draw what you could've done. One year I had 2 boys who were endlessly at each other. Time out at recess wasn't working. I sent them to classroom library table and said "You two decide what needs to change. Come up with a plan then share it with the class." They did it and it was even more effective then drawing a picture becuase they had to work together. Maybe a "peace bench" where the two have to work it out before you let them go back to play- I have seen that in Pre-k. Good luck. We are in the same boat teaching these kids how to have patience and tolerance for each other.


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Old 07-14-2010, 07:07 PM
 
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Thanks for all the great ideas. I really appreciate it!
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Parents
Old 07-17-2010, 06:12 AM
 
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I too agree that the parents need to be involved if the hurting others is a pattern. Our school even has a written policy about it and we are allowed to write the children up if hurt enough to leave any visible evidence. Four write ups is a suspension even in pre-K.

Also, try using the How Full Is Your Bucket? book and maybe use pom poms as a visual to fill others buckets. We started this last year and I am improving it and definitely using it this fall.
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Talked to a mom...
Old 07-20-2010, 07:23 PM
 
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I talked to one of the moms of the kids that have been hitting and she said we can start writing her notes and leave it in their folders if anything happens during the day, because she wants to know about it and they will get in trouble at home for it too. She is also going to do some kind of sticker chart at home and one of the categories will be behavior at school...glad to know she is working on this at home also.
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Behavior report
Old 07-21-2010, 04:41 PM
 
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In the past, I have made a behavior report with 4's and 5's where the child dictates to me what they did wrong. I wrote it down, read it back to them, they "signed" their name and I signed as well as the parent. That worked for some children because the paper was red and they viewed that as a bad color and it had a frowny face on it and they disliked that also. But, I had one child who did not seem to care about that. He repeatedly hurt his friends and even hit me a few times and was sent home. I talked with the parent, supervisors talked, it did no good. So one day, I discovered he absoutely hated walking around the circle in the middle of the gym floor so during playtime, when the others were playing he was walking the circle for a certain amount of times. He hated missing out and could see the others playing while he was walking. I also made him carry a glass of water so he would not run (he had to walk not to spill it - it was nearly full). That seemed to work more with him than anything. Goodluck and just look for that one thing that will reach that child.
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Old 07-27-2010, 07:07 PM
 
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Talk to your kids about being kind, model it for them. They are not too young to learn to compliment eachother.

As a transition, pull out two names from a bag and have them both say something nice to eachother. It seems they are lacking a sense of classroom community. It sounds pretty rough in the classroom.

I wouldn't even use a behavior chart, I would do something they have to work together to earn. For example, get a small jar or plastic babyfood container. Then tell the class that they are going to work together and fill the jar up with marbles and when they do, they will get to make icecream OR eat popsicles OR do something fun. Announce to the class everytime you add a marble..for example, You all worked together so well during centers, lets add a marble. Or I heard Sue tell Jane thank you, I think that deserves a marble!!

The trick is catch them being good and make a big deal about it. Make sure the first container is very small so they can fill it up sucessfully and quickly. Reward them the same day or next day after filling up the container. The next jar can be a little bigger..you can introduce it during their treat..tell them you know the next container is a little bigger, but they did such a great job, they have learned so much about complimenting others (blah, blah, you know)

Good luck!!


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Old 07-28-2010, 04:11 PM
 
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That is a wonderful suggestion. I think they will be more conscious about how they treat each other if they know it needs to be a group effort...and the catching them being good to add a marble also is a great idea.
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