Saturday, 8 June 2013

Behaviour Guidance

These are my strategies for managing normal behavour in kindergarten:

-          Take the focus off behaviour and spend time planning engaging experiences for the children. A lot of the behaviour should take care of itself. Follow their interests and create new, exciting interests that they don’t expect.

-          Put some of the toys away. Toys are more exciting if they are rotated so that they become new again.
-      Suggest to the children that they separate for a few minutes so that they can calm down and re-focus. They will be less tempted to react to each other’s behaviour.

-          Allow the children to help you with jobs and routines so that they feel grown-up and begin to see themselves as having an important role in the setting. Ask them to help other children.

-          Have zero tolerance for “silly” or disrespectful behaviour that goes too far. Turn your attention to the other children until they choose to self-monitor and stop the behaviour.

-          Spend as much time as possible outside so that they can burn off their excess energy and won’t be tempted to do this inside. Before going outside ask the children what they intend to do there. Help them prepare the materials they will need. This will decrease the likelihood that they will engage in unfocussed or rough play.

-          Make sure experiences are re-set and attractively presented. Insist that the children are involved in this so that they learn to respect the effort that you put in to provide these experiences.

-          Always give children at least one warning before moving onto the next routine during the day. They can then wrap up their play and won’t resent the sudden change. I usually give a 10 minute, 5 minute then 2 minute warning and make sure they have heard me and accepted what I've said.
-      Have realistic expectations. Don't expect children to participate in group time for longer than 30 minutes. Telling children off for failing to live up to unrealistic expectations is unfair.

-          Let some of the little things go. It will save frustration for you and the children.

-          Give lots of positive attention and reinforcement when the children are behaving and engaging well. Build trusting relationships and help them develop more empathy so that they begin to respond to you and their peers with more consideration and care.

-          Have a sense of humour. Children love to share a joke with us. If they feel comfortable and happy they are more likely to be calm and engaged.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this post Penny, these are great suggestions and they don't just relate to kindergarten.

    I am a primary teacher and have always worked in lower primary. This year; however, I got a year 6 class. The same behaviour strategies that worked well with the little ones works just as well with the bigger kids.

    Basically, children need to be engaged, have routines and responsibilities, feel safe, respected and accepted and be proud of their efforts. Come to think of it, we need the same as adults :)