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Advice Please - Attention Seeking Child In Reception


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Hi all,

 

I hope someone can give me some advice as I feel like I am coming to the end of my tether with a particular boy in my class. I am an NQT in a small reception class and from the off there were problems with various children in the class, be it screaming, attention seeking and behaviour, all of which are gradually improving with these particular children. Then this term, I've really noticed another boy in the class (no problems really before, except some calling out) starting to be so silly on the carpet - pulling faces, making noises, constant shouting - distracting the other children who in turn think he is being hilarious and the giggles are almost uncontrollable! I've tried positive reinforcement to all others that are doing the right thing, praising him when he does the right thing, 1 warning and then moving out of the classroom when it happens again, missing some playtime - he always tells me about our golden rules and the right thing to do when I talk to him afterwards, so he knows how he should be behaving, but nothing really seems to be getting through and all he seems to want to do is make the others in the classroom look at him and laugh.

Please can someone offer some advice? I feel like I must be doing something wrong and doing a rubbish job.

 

Many thanks x

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I would try to work out why he feels the need to do this. What is it about making the other children laugh that feels so good that it's worth your disapproval?

 

I ask this because my younger daughter struggles socially and as a result has low self esteem. She has discovered that she can make the other children laugh sometimes and whenever it happens she keeps trying the same thing again because it's the only time she gets positive feedback from her peers.

 

Alternatively could it be a distraction technique? Is he having trouble understanding or hearing you? Could it be that he's bored because he can't access the activity in some way? Could he be worried about being asked something and diverting attention to his behaviour to prevent this?

 

Do you have a TA who could perform some focussed obs to see if a pattern emerges?

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Always a challenge in this job!

Has this child's behaviour changed suddenly? If so I would wonder if anything else has changed for him.

I have successfully used visual prompt cards for good carpet behaviour with a personal reward chart -often enlist the support of parents with this strategy.

Together with this I use a whole class reward system - balls in a jar - for good carpet behaviour.. we have been taught to be good role models to our friends and to use our ignoring muscle if anyone is trying to distract them.

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Guest lou73

Could there be an underlying condition which makes it hard for him to concentrate? I believe that all behavior, no matter how annoying serves a purpose, try and discover what he gains from it and then you may have a fighting chance of stopping it by tackling it and taking away its primary purpose. Do you reinforce the rules of carpet time at the start of each session to key him in? (not to be patronising to you). What about stickers or some type of visual reward scheme that could give him something at the end of the day or week. Could you reward the other children for ignoring this behaviour, maybe a extra golden time session? Has he got something he loves can you use that to motivate him? I think, that as one of the previous posts said, it might be a diversion tactic to get out of what you are asking him because he can't access it. One method I use is when a child is particularly misbehaving and I have warned them and they ignores me I tell them to just 'stand up' I then completely ignore them for a few minutes. This is a really effective way of getting them to stop as they don't like to be different. After a few minutes I then ask them 'if they would like to sit down and be sensible? which they usually do. Not sure if this would work but might be worth a shot.

 

hope this helps. :o

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I've got a strategy that I picked up from a fantastic teacher whose class I was placed in when I was at uni and with a few small tweeks it helped me survive 18 months of supply teaching in between leaving uni and getting a permanent job.

 

Get some cheap stickers (I tried all sorts and the most popular proved to be those really cheap little shiny stars- they were about 70p for 200 from asda but that was a few years ago) cut them into strips with about 5 stickers on each strip. Have them all near your chair at carpet time. Announce to the children that you need someone to do a really important job for you. Stretch it out a bit, stressing how sensible the person you choose will have to be etc. I've found that usually by the end of this speech they're all sitting up as straight as they can and you have everyone's undivided attention! Tell them that you need a sticker person and they are going to help you by looking out for people that are working really hard and go and give them a sticker. Then tell them that you'll be watching for the next 2 minutes to see who is sensible enough to do the job. After 2 minutes choose someone and get them to come and stand next to you and 'keep an eye' on everyone else. Tell them that if they see someone who they think deserves a sticker they can go and give it, they don't have to ask you. When they've given out all their stickers, tell the class that you'll be needing another sticker person soon so you're watching for someone sensible. You can keep this going for the whole session.

I've used this with classes from nursery to yr 4 and it's worked just as well with all of them. The children are constantly either trying to be chosen as sticker person or trying to be chosen for a sticker. I've found that giving the responsibility (or or chance of it) to the child who's causing you problems can be enough to change their behaviour instantly. Make sure on an odd occasion, you choose the same child twice in the same session so they know that just because they've had a turn it doesn't mean they can start to be silly because they might get another go. Also make sure everyone gets a turn so as not to annoy your children who are always good and make them want to start acting out.

I expected to go through 100s of stickers because the sticker person would get carried away but most of them wanted to make their turn last longer so took their time. Also they were much fairer than I expected, not just giving stickers to their friends. If this does start to happen though, you could ask a TA to be the sticker person as a model and ask them to explain why they are giving their stickers (sitting nicely, listening, putting hand up, giving a good answer etc- make it explicit, not just for being good) you could also occasionally ask the children why they have given a particular child a sticker so they realise that they might be put on the spot at any time and have to explain their choice.

 

I remember a time when I returned to a class where I'd used this strategy a few weeks earlier. I was taking over from the teacher mid morning because she had a meeting and as I walked into the class it was a bit noisy and the usual suspects were acting up (this was for their own teacher who had years of experience and had had the class for a full term). When I walked in the children started nudging each other and nodding in my direction. Within seconds the whole class were sitting up straight in silence and looking at me expectantly! The teacher was shocked! She said she'd never seen them so quiet and attentive! I shared my secret with her and the next time I went back to that class they were angelic and the teacher had a box of chocolates waiting for me as a thank you! As a supply teacher straight out of uni you can imagine how chuffed I was with myself!!

 

Anyway, that was a really long-winded explanation of a really simple but REALLY effective strategy!

Good luck :)

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Me too! What a simple but effective strategy! Thanks for sharing MissBlinx x

 

Me three! Wish I had come across this before!

 

I have just started using the 'secret student' strategy - was on Channel 4 or Teachers TV (sorry can't remember) but it has been fantastic. I am using with Year 1 but the calling out/ not doing best work has stopped in a matter of days. I don't tell them who the secret student is until the end of the day and only then if the secret student has earnt all 5 marbles - the reward is Toy Story 3, popcorn, juice and a sweet (extrinsic but something they all want). We go over what the secret student has to show me at the start of every session and they all seem to think it is them. A colleague has also used it but it did have an expiry time - since I have used it, the behaviour has improved and I am much happier too!

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I saw the programme with the secret student thing (I can't remember what it was on either) and thought it looked brilliant. It wouldn't work in my class of ASD kids but I reckon most mainstream classes would respond to it.

 

Blue sheep, you can be my sticker person because you have worked really hard! :o

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