Thursday, August 15, 2013

Taming the Wild...

Oh kindergarteners! There is so much wild in some of them at the beginning! My classroom management is pretty simple and easy to keep track of! I know the clothespin charts are popular right now, but I just worry that some of my friends who find trouble easily will end up "in the red" a lot. I worry about what that might do for their self esteem.

So instead, I use a couple of different tools...

1. Setting Limits in the Classroom- This book is AMAZING! It gives you all kinds of scenarios and ways to respond. I just love the language. It's all about putting the responsibility back on the student and getting rid of the power struggle. It gives logical consequences for misbehavior. It also makes use of the warning, which I love especially in K, because a lot of the time they don't know what they are doing is unacceptable. might go something like this....
Laila is poking another student in the back. You would say, "Laila, you can sit with your hands on your lap or you can sit at your seat. What would you like to do? 
"I want to stay here!"
"Ok, show me what you need to do to stay here with your friends."
Minutes later...Laila is poking her friend again. "Laila, you need to sit at your seat for five minutes."

I always set a timer so I don't forget about them!

2. Timeout-
I'm a big fan of time out. If it's for just goofy/not paying attention behavior, I always just send them to their seat. That way they can still pay attention to the lesson. If it's for something more major than that, I have a chair in a more private place that they sit in. Time out is always just 5 minutes. Any more than that, and they just get mad  and more difficult. I want to restore them as quickly as possible. When the timer goes off, either myself or my aides will conference with them quickly and out they come!

3. The Buddy Classroom- If a student is making a lot of noise in time out, I send them to a buddy classroom for timeout for 10 minutes. Sometimes if we take away their typical audience, it calms them down faster!

4. The Practice Pass- I also use the practice pass . I hand these out after a student has already been warned. When you receive one you have to practice the correct behavior on your own time- recess or snack. If the behavior occurred in the morning, they practice for 5 minutes of recess. If it happened in the afternoon, they practice during the beginning of snack. I've had my aides take kids in the hallway to practice correct hallway walking, I've had them just sit quietly at their seat for five minutes. During this time, they also write or draw a note home to their parents to let them know about their behavior for the day. 

5. The Work Pass- These get handed out when a student has not completed their work due to goofing around. If they receive one, the work is completed on their own time- recess or lunch. 

These passes are handed out to the child and they put them on top of their table. That way when lunch or snack comes around, all you have to do is scan their desks to see who has one. I feel like it makes it more that child's business rather than posting it up somewhere the others can see it.

If you are interested in these passes you can find them in my TPT store by clicking on the picture below!

 6. The Peace Table- This is a life saver when it comes to tattling!!! I can take a lot, but I can't take the tattles!!! So I very intentionally teach how to use it. If a student does something to upset another student they say, "We need to go to the peace table!" And if someone asks you to go, you have to go! We don't want anyone to be upset with us, even if it was a mistake or an accident.

Once there, there is a stuffed animal that they hold and he helps to be the moderator. The child has to inform the other why they are upset. "I didn't like it when you..... " Then they pass the animal to the other student who responds with "I'm sorry!" Then they shake hands and say FRIENDS! 

In the beginning, it is a bit of a novelty, and students go a lot! BUT it does wear off and it will be a lifesaver for you when they come up to tattle, you just ask "Did you take them to the peace table??" And off they go! Yay!!!! It's pretty amazing to see them learn to handle conflict at such a young age. They are totally capable!!! This is the sign I attach to the peace table, you can find it in my TPT store!

These things have really worked for me!! That and MODELING, MODELING, MODELING!!!! Thanks for hanging in there with me! This got kind of long! It was helpful for me to start thinking about these things too before going back!! Ahh!! Just a couple more weeks!!!


  1. We use a very similar system! I also have a buddy teacher. It is amazing for ending a power struggle. Sometimes kids just need to get away from their typical setting (and I need a break from them). They usually come back refreshed. We have a similar peace table idea called conflict corner. In second, it is a little more complex, but same idea! Are you sure you aren't trained in responsive classroom??

  2. Haha Meredith! No, I'm really not! I've just picked up some of these tricks from different books I've read! But now I'm super intrigued to read more about it!!! I'm always looking for new management tricks!!