Monday, August 27, 2012

How do you make behavior managable?

     The beginning of the year comes with many amazing behaviors.  I mean hitting, kicking, crying, and screaming.  And yes, I got to see all of them today.

     When it comes to preschool, children are learning to push buttons, to cross the line, and how far to go.  We need to teach them how to live safely, respectfully, responsibly, carefully, and patiently.  If we base our classroom management on rewards and punishments, they will learn how far they can go and what they will get if they don't. 
2 Simple Steps
Good Classroom Management is achieved through 2 clear aspects in our classrooms.

1. Through proper room arrangement, modeling, and age appropriate activities you will cut down on negative behavior.

 or Teach Preschool always has some good inspirations.  This is her great outdoor classroom.

Teach your children how to wash their hands, line up, open milk, stand in line, and all those other tasks that run your daily routine.  No one has to line up at home to use the bathroom.  The more you model for them, the more they will understand.

2. I read a post which mentioned life skills as a behavior management system.  I chose to use a little of what we learned back in college to combine with this system.  I want to create ownership and community within my classroom.  So we use these words to associate with toys, people, and the school itself.  Can you be helpful by cleaning up the toys?  Can you be respectful of some one's feelings?  Can you be careful by walking down the hallway?

 (I do not post rules for little ones.  If they can not read them, it doesn't do any good to refer to them.)
1. I am helpful.
2. I am careful.
3. I am respectful.
4. I am patient.
5. I am responsible.

     For the first few weeks of school, we review each "rule" by repeating them at the beginning of the day. I try to use the words often throughout the day using positive reinforcement to those children following the rules.

     You can use any technique to record behavior that fits your personality or the classes.  I believe young children need a visual.  That is why the red, yellow, green has worked for some children.

A few techniques I've used

-Stars-  Each student's name is on a star which goes up and down as student behavior changes.

-Hand prints-Each one of these sentences is printed on a hand print cut out from the ellison machine. 

-Painted sticks- Red yellow and green sticks are put into library pocket on their desk.

-no visual reminders-  works better with younger children.  Remind children of rules and reward positive behavior by noting it.

-noodles, gems, rocks in a jar-  As you see class using skills reward them with a piece in a jar.  When the jar is full, do something special.  I'm not talking party here.  How about extra computer time or choice time.  Extra recess or game day.

Communicating to parents 
     When using the hand prints, I would put a sticker or stamp on each finger to represent the 5 behaviors. This is not used as a reward but as a system to communicate to parents about their child's behavior. If the parent sees five stickers they know it was a good day.  If one or more is missing, then there was a problem.  A small note can be written on the hand

     You could color a smiley face in a child's communication folder.  As a parent, I disliked this method.  It didn't tell me what my child did wrong or right.

     You could just make periodic phone calls or notes home to inform parents of behavior.  Remember to send just as many positive notes or calls as negative ones.

Here are some cute free printable notes that don't relate to behavior, but I thought you would like to have them also.

Here is a cute note to send home to parents to send back to school. This will encourage communication back to teacher.

I haven't found a free printable that you can send home to communicate behavior yet.  Do you have one that you would like to share?


  1. I have a behavior sheet that I use for students with BIPs (behavior intervention plans) in their IEPs, you can read more about it here:

    1. Thanks for sharing what you use in your classroom.