Misbehaving children, I need some advice...
Hello, I am new to the forums, and am glad I found a site for teachers. I am in need of some advice. I am a kindergarten teacher, and have been for about 6 years now; my reward system for the kids who behave has always worked, until this bunch of kids. I allow them to pick a special item from my box of treats at the end of the week. If the kids are bad they don't get anything at all, but I allow all of them the opportunity to redeem themselves throughout the week and earn something from the box.
Well this year nobody cares, they all talk out of turn to each other when they shouldn't be, run in the halls, plat around, and just won't listen. They don't care what I say, and even when I send notes home, the kids and the parents don't care, it's the same each week.
I need something new to try, any ideas, or advice, I am very frustrated right now, and this is the first time I ever actually didn't enjoy my job as a teacher, what can I do?
I was thinking about a weekly reward program, where everyone still earns something, even the trouble ones, is that a bad idea? Should I get parents involved more, have more parent-teacher conferences, make them become involved? If they have to become more involved and are forced to come in because of their child misbehaving, maybe they will be more inclined to correct the situation.
Last edited by ABCs123s; 01-30-2009 at 06:09 PM.
Some children cannot percieve large chunks of time. A week might be too long. For my students, a day can even be too much to ask. It has to be a good fifteen or twenty minutes. "Oh, you had such a good Circle!" or "Look how nicely you shared during Worktime!" When I do reward, it is almost always with words or hugs. I want the children to be intrinsicly moviated - motivation that comes from the inside. So, a treat might be a verbal statement like "Good job!" or a treat like helping me choose what book to read for Circle. We might have a special time together playing with cars or stringing beads. I attempt to make speical moments with me part of the reward for good behavior. My kids need the attention, and I want it to be postive attention. Some children misbehave just to be noticed.
When all the children in my room are acting up, I look elsewhere besides the children themselves. Is there something wrong with the room set-up? What about the routine? For example, the majority of my students have been running in the classroom. Is it that these students are just challenging little ones? No, it is because they have been cooped up inside all winter. I need to look beyond the children themselves to see that and find a solution.
Of course, there are times when children just think that thier behavior is accepted in the room, and you can't do a thing to change it. This is when you get tough. If my children talk during Circle, I don't tolerate it. We'll sit there and practice being quiet if we have to. If I have to show them that they aren't indicating thier ability to sit by friends, I'll take the little chairs and assign everyone a seat on an island by themself. I let them know I'm reading into thier behavior and interpreting it as a request for more practice sitting quietly or a need to be seperated. The children learn to take responsiblity for thier actions and demonstrate the correct behavior.
Subtly, I'll also plan some lessons that require listening. We'll go on quiet walks to hear the sounds of the building or play listening matching games. I want the children to have the tools to demonstrate the correct behaviors.
You may want to have a time just for talking. We have lots of oppertunities to talk in our room, so the children know that when it is time to be quiet we mean it. They can see that it is fair.
I know that there are times when reward is prefer over punishment. However, children do need to know the consequences of thier actions. Direct and logical consequences are best. In your case, I believe this is what is called for.
You need to outline very definite rules for your children and have immediate consequences for breaking the rules. Choose the worst behavious and set up rules and consequences around those. I put the children's names on the board and if they misbehave again I add croses. Depending on the number of crosses, the children have to write out their times tables for me at lunchtime. However, i do accentuate the positive at the same time. When I walk into the room at the end of a break the first children I mention are those that are sitting ready. I make a big fuss of them. Quite often it is the good kids who miss out on the teacher's attention because the not so good kids take up the teacher's time. I'm always telling these kids very publicly how much I appreciate their effort. This at least at the end of the day makes me feel that I haven't spend the whole day being negative. I classify these good kids as independent workers and let them do things such as walking themselves to things such as library and assembly. Good luck.
We have sticker charts (behaviour modification charts with 25 spaces) when they are caught being good or they add something great to the discussion, they get a sticker. When they break a class rule I take a sticker back. When they have filled up their chart, they get a prize from the treasure box (make sure to stock items your class is really interested in). When they redeem their charts for a prize, their chart goes into the raffle jar. At the end of the six weeks I raffle off a really good prize (something in the $10 range). I found that the more I reward the "good" kids and encourage the rule breakers, the better my classroom.
This seems to work in my class. When I "spot" a student doing a good job (walking nicely in the hallway, working quietly following directions, etc.) I give them a piece of paper cut out to look like a cow spot, the student then write their name on the paper and puts it into the "spot" box. Once a week I draw a name and they person can pick a prize from the prize box. The kids who didn't get a "spot" will quickly change their behavior in order to try and earn a "spot". I also use the stop light system and any child who stays on green all month will be able to attend the "green gathering" which could be anything from popcorn and a movie to a party with green food.
As a mom, get the parents involved! Kids do not always get the notes to the parents....from experience here, one of my kids always "lost: it on the way home. We need to know how they are acting in school beyond what their grades are. It may be an issue that is happening at home too. In our case, we started a program called touch love (a chart the teacher and we sign daily along with a note back and forth). Really closed the communication gap between us and is not time consuming. When the chart is signed, no disappointing notes are passed and his color is good, he gets a sticker...after 15 he gets a special reward.
The color chart may help out if you do not have one in place...a magnetic board done with a color scale (our kids have them at school, they go purple, green, yellow, red)
Make magnet clips and write each kids name on construction paper to put in each clip. They all start on the best color and as they act up the move their clip down a color level. If you have a weekly sheet that the kids take home with their homework, add a spot in there for each day of the week and a fill in circle that they fill in the color they got for the day on. Do a spot check on a few each day to be sure they are giving the right color.
Anyway, hope you don't mind my replying as a parent and not a teacher. I was looking for prize box and otehr ideas to do with my kids at home to work on their behavior. As a mom of a kid that would be one of your "problem" children in class, I wanted to pass on what we are trying with the teacher and let you know that we want to solve the issue as much if not more than you do.
Teachers and parents need to work together to achieve our goal of doing what is best for the child/children. If a parent chooses to not get involved, or says "tommy" is your problem when he is at school, then all you can do is your best to teach him without slowing the learning for the other kids. And if you have tried to get the parent involved, you have done more than some teachers will do.
thank goodness there are parents out there who sincerely support teachers and work with them to find solutions!!!!! Good for you!!!!
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