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 learn self-control, and that a lot of adults find it difficult to keep their emotions under restraint, 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 and practice them over and over.
- It takes preschool and kindergarten kids quite a while to remember routines.
- Once the majority of the children get in the rhythm of classroom routines, they remind 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.
- Assign different children to small groups regularly 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 praising a child’s intelligence or making comments such as, Billy is so smart at solving this problem, say, Billy, you must have worked hard on this problem. Or thank you Sarah for helping Adam find his backpack rather than Sarah you are wonderful.
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 choices all day long. This technique can sound overused to an adult but choices give the child 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.