I actually have to say that I begin my year with nothing in place (besides a plan in the back of my mind). I use my role models in the room (by the grace of god, I always have some!) as examples and praise, praise, praise. In a perfect world, I would simply continue to use praise and verbal positive reinforcement to build intrinsic motivation within these children that I am sending out into the big world in 9 short months, so that is how I begin every year. If that is enough for a group of children to maintain appropriate level, that is ALL I want to use. Believe it or not, I have had years where that is how it has shaken out, but, it has been YEARS since that has happened.
In a world with increasing societal challenges and less focus on what is best for children, the anxiety level and behavior of children have increased as well as changed. So, we, as their educators need to amp up our game and increase our level of aniticipation in regards to maintaining a safe, engaging, and less disruptive environment. I will say right now, that I do NOT have the answers to this epidemic that the educational world is facing. I am in the throws of this ever-increasing challenge, just as many of you are. What I can do is let you know what I do in my classroom and what I do as unique challenges arise.
You can never plan for all of the, well let's call them, interesting behaviors that arise during kindergarten. So, once the verbal praise and positive reinforcement method has become an epic fail in my classroom, it is time to implement some sort of plan that involves three VERY integral parts in your classroom:
- A visual component that doesn't shout out "Brandy's been BAD today." I try to place my chart in an inconspicuous spot (like, not on your door where everyone that enters your classroom can see) and make their names small. I work hard to teach the childdren that each of them is responsible for their own behavior and do not need to concern themselves with their classmates negative behavior. It is a fine line though because I want them to encourage positive behavior amongst each other and recognize the great things their classmates do as part of our "team", but then I tell them to take charge of themself when it is something negative (more on that later because I do encourage "quiet encouragement" in the midst of negative behaviors).
- Something that is EASY to integrate throughout your day and follow up on at the end of the day for teacher data and home communication.
- A system that allows for "do overs", where students can regain their positive status in the system if s/he turns the problem around.
|Here is the top part of my clipchart that I really |
like to focus on. This was an EXCEPTIONAL
day where all students landed on pink.
I really do find that this system is effective for the everyday, normal challenging occurrences in the kindergarten classroom. The students ALL want to be on green or above and the students who can naturally maintain themselves, have the ability to think before speaking/doing, and understand the basis and importance of respect and order do VERY well on a daily basis with this system. Am I saying these students are perfect? Absolutely not, but, when they make mistakes requiring a clip down, they can redirect themselves and clip back up if there is any time at all left in the day.
As I continued this post, I realized that it is a series of posts, not just one. So, be looking for Behavior 101 in Kindergarten Series Part II: What Do I Do If My Techniques are Not Working for ALL Children?
Behavior 101 in Kindergarten Series Part III: A Closer Look at the Clip Chart System in a Kindergarten Classroom
In the meantime, I thought I'd provide a Behavior 101 Linky Party for all of the blogging professionals out there to share their knowledge (thoughts, ideas, methods, systems, etc...) on behavior management in a kindergarten classroom. PLEASE link up and make this an honest post so that new teachers realize that this is a work in progress for even veteran (or almost veteran--when exactly do you become a true veteran anyway??) teachers.
Please follow the regular regulations for Linky Parties:
1. Link ONLY to individual post not
your homepage (you can do this by clicking on the title of the particular post you are linking up and then copying and pasting from the url box).
2. Follow the party topic: anything on Behavior Management in a Kindergarten Classroom
3. Add a link back to this blog post: http://kindergartenmonkeybusiness.blogspot.com/2011/11/behavior-101-in-kindergarten-series.html
(You could even grab my button, if you want to!) and please mention that this is Part One of a Behavior 101 series!
I am excited to see who can link up with us! Let's use our expertise to band together and help each other out, particularly to support the new teachers out there and let them know that we are all working hard in this area!