Friday, January 1, 2010

Off to a Great Start--Tell Kids Your Expectations

I have several students this year who have trouble moving from one activity to another appropriately. When everyone else is seated, they want to stand up and run around the room. What can I do?

Before beginning the Bible lesson or activity, clearly tell kids your expectations. Let the children know what you expect them to do and how you expect them to behave (should they be seated or standing, touch the objects on the table or just look with their eyes, etc.). Give simple, one- or two-step instructions. Whenever possible, show the children how to behave, then praise those who do it. Remind the students of your expectations each week, during each part of the lesson.

When talking to children individually, begin with the child’s name. Be sure you have the child’s attention and he is looking you in the eyes before you continue. Then state briefly what you want the child to do. Finally, add the reason why. If you are leading the lesson, have a co-worker approach each disruptive child individually to clearly state the expectations for that activity.

Also, try capturing your students' attention with an unusual signal (blow into a cola bottle, blow a wooden train whistle, play a xylophone, flick the lights, etc.). Students respond quickly to unique sounds and sights.

When moving from an active to a more quiet activity, try this action rhyme with your young students, leading the children in doing the actions described: My hands upon my head I place, On my shoulders, on my face. At my waist and by my side, And then behind me they will hide. Then I will raise them way up high, And let my fingers touch the sky. Then clap, clap, clap and one - two - three! And see how quiet they can be (fold hands in lap as you sit down).

Transition times can be especially challenging for keeping children on task. Make sure you are well prepared and ready to move quickly from one activity to the next so there are no lag times. Clearly state your expectations before beginning the new activity. This is a good way to hold the attention of your students and keep them focused on the Bible lesson or activity at hand.

How do you handle disruptive behavior? If you have suggestions or tips for classroom management, feel free to comment.

1 comment:

honeycombfamilies said...

Thanks to Google, I found your blog this evening and read a few posts. It is good. I too am attempting to blog for parents and SS teachers on my blog, Honeycomb Families (and Honeycomb Kids). I invite you to check it out.