If you’re feeling like you need to cultivate more positive classroom behavior, try the following tips.
Keeping in mind that your students have had only four or five years to practise self-control will help you be consistent and calm with children, even when you feel annoyed. Some kids have a harder time verbalizing their feelings and their pent-up frustrations eventually burst out.
1. Establish classroom routines early in the year and practice them over and over.
- It takes preschool and kindergarten kids quite some time to remember routines.
- Once the majority of the children get in the rhythm of classroom routines, they model them for the other students, resulting in a more positive classroom.
- Keep routines and rules simple and teach one or two at a time.
2. Children’s poor behavior may be the result of feeling ignored.
- Some children lack the skills to make friends.
- Regularly assign different children to small groups to avoid cliques from forming.
- Play plenty of games that not only involve learning social skills but also result in the children learning each others’ names.
- Try this simple classroom management tip…
3. Comment on a student’s choices and efforts rather than on praising him or her.
- An uncomfortable atmosphere of competition can arise when children hear other children being praised and they’re not.
- Rather than making comments such as, Billy, you are so smart, try commenting on the action. Billy, you worked hard to solve this problem. Rather than Sarah you are wonderful say, Thank you Sarah for helping Adam find his backpack.
4. Offer more choices.
- Being a kid can be tough, especially if you are one with older brothers or sisters who make most of the decisions in your life.
- Create positive classroom behavior by giving children plenty of opportunities to make choices. Getting to make choices will provide a sense of being empowered.
- Children can choose between crayons or felt markers, brown paper or blue paper, glue or tape, the puzzle center or the math center.
5. Check in with your students.
- When a child refuses to do something, take a moment to check if there is something bothering him or her. The student could be hungry, tired, sick or worried.
- Children often do not have the vocabulary to explain why they feel uncomfortable or to express their feelings. Asking them to draw a picture of how they are feeling may help them find words to articulate their emotions.
6. Learn to be an expert communicator.
- As children’s actions are often unpredictable, illogical and based on their emotions, it is vital that you learn communication skills.
- Rather than get locked into power trips and arguments, learn effective communication techniques to establish positive classroom behavior.