Tips for a Teacher Dealing With Difficult Kindergarten Students
Kindergartners are lively, inquisitive and affectionate kids who reward their teachers with their abilities and creativity. Despite the children's strong desire to learn, they will sometimes present difficult behaviors. Teachers of kindergarten-aged children must learn to handle issues like mischievousness, anger, fearfulness and distraction. Master classroom techniques that will keep your students engaged and in a learning mode.
1 Determine Specific Causes
According to a teaching handout from the University of New South Wales, determining the root cause of difficult behaviors is the first step toward resolving them. Once you know why the child is misbehaving, you can often easily find a remedy. For example, a child who acts out only in the mornings might not be eating enough for breakfast. Ask the student what, if anything, he ate before coming to school. After talking with your student, encourage his parents to feed the child a nutritious, full breakfast.
2 Positive Reward System
Incentives often motivate children to behave well, so establish a points system in your classroom to reward positive actions. For instance, you could assign point values to certain accomplishments: You might give five points for listening well in group time and three points for being quiet while waiting in line. When a child reaches a certain level, say 25 points, let her choose a prize from an assortment of small toys. Earning points helps keep kids on track and can reduce the number of difficult behavioral issues.
3 Structured Environment
Structure your classroom so that it is conducive to learning in a calm atmosphere. Resist the temptation to put up too many pictures on the walls, as decorations can be distracting to young children. Implement and enforce a daily schedule — this routine is especially reassuring to children who have trouble staying on task. Remember, though, that an organized, structured class should still have a variety of lessons and activities.
4 Engaging Activities
Tactile activities engage kindergarten-aged children, as they are enjoy physically interacting with their materials. Conduct lessons using art materials, perform simple science experiments with plants and teach math concepts using dominoes. Allow the children to move between learning centers at different times during the day so they can learn from a variety of projects while using up extra energy. You can also set aside some time every day for a story circle; exciting tales will surely capture the attention and imagination of your young class, and you can build other activities from these stories.