Thursday, August 15, 2013

Tamin' the Wild

I am linking up with Blog Hoppin again for Teacher Week 2013 - Taming the Wild. I know that there is going to be a lot of posts about reward systems and variations of the clip chart, all of which I love, and will use! So, I am going to try to discuss something else I am going to try.  

Have I mentioned that I am new to kindergarten? ;) Just once or twice?  Did I mention that it scares me? a little?  Well, this is a bit of an aside, but I met the DECE (Designated Early Childhood Educator) that I will be working with this year and she is FAB-U-LOUS! Seriously! Talking about the year with her, although no official planning occurred, was a huge weight off my shoulders. I am now feeling excited (and only a teeny, tiny bit scared). 

So, I have been butting heads with my 4-year-old lately, and being as though we are so much alike, we have both left feeling frustrated. In fact, at one point he told me he was moving to the forest. He walked out into our backyard, but since he isn't allowed out the fenced area on his own, he came back home! Phew!  After the latest episode, I felt like the worst mom EVER! So, I have been putting a lot of thought into Classroom Management, that will work at home too!

Here is the plan! Time-In Stations!

Since self-regulation is a focus of kindergarten, I will focus my classroom management around self-regulation. There are various components, such as brain breaks between transitions. When I taught grade 2/3 we often did dances for brain breaks, like this one (a favourite):

However, after doing this one, the kids were pumped. It was great before lunch/recess, but not so great if you wanted them to get to work. So before transitioning to quiet work, such as centers, you may want to consider something like this:

Responsive Classroom has a variety of Energizer Videos, if you are interested! I also like this one:

Valerie at All Students Can Shine has a great pack of brain breaks, that you can see here, or purchase here

However, even with incentives, clip charts, brain breaks and other classroom management strategies, you are still going to have those times when a student's behaviour make you want to run for a time-out yourself. This is where the time-in comes in! 

In an attempt to maintain a positive learning environment, where behaviour management isn't used as a punishment.  I plan to have a quiet spot in the class, where I will ask students to meet me to have a talk, or just to take a break. I plan to have a feeling board, to monitor how they are feeling and to help begin the discussion on what can be done in this situation. Children struggle to understand their emotions, and this will help to teach them about their emotions and how to express them and deal with them (as well as direct social skills teaching in class). There is a great post on Simple Kids on this, which you can read here.

Also, supplies will be available to help them calm down and relax, before returning to the regular routine. These will include paper and crayons, music (with headphones), books to read, stress balls and/or silly putty, and sensory bottles, and bubbles. Check out Ausomely Social for more breathe box ideas. 

Faith-Family-Food-Fun has a great post on sensory bottles and bags, that you can find here

I plan to have comfortable seats and make this area as welcoming as possible to help kids de-stress and deal with their emotions. 

Walmart is having a great sale! Yahoo shopping!

Hopefully this is useful to others.  Keep checking back, I am in the midst of making some freebies for my Time In Station

Don't forget to head on over to Blog Hoppin to see other great ideas. 

See you tomorrow for Tips and Tricks. 

Yours in "Tamin' the Wild,"

Jackie (a.k.a. Ms.M)
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