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Behaviour advice please


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Please can someone tell me how to handle this as I think I am getting cross and therefore not being as effective as I could be.

 

Let's call the child A. If I describe a scenario, please could you tell me what you would do!

 

We are all in the hall for PE. We are doing some songs. Child A starts doing silly dancing, calling out silly words and generally doing the wrong thing. Others reacting, laughing. I remind him of the rules, he continues. I send him out to a neighbouring class.

 

How do I stop this kind of behaviour? Or handle better? I've not been teaching long and have never had a child quite like him ( not excusing his behaviour but he has a lot of emotional baggage and no boundaries at home).

 

I feel I handled this one better:

 

We are all sat down at carpet time for a story. Child A is laughing and being silly. I tell others to ignore as we are doing our good sitting. I give him a warning. He continues to be silly. I move his peg to the sad face and make him move off the carpet. We continue. I then invite him back to the carpet to finish the day positively and he sits well. His peg clips back on the smiley face.

 

Was this the right thing? If not, what should I have done?

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Have you read through the article on behaviour on the home page? Also have you tried speaking to the child's parent/s to see what maybe at the root cause of his behaviour? Getting his parent/s involved will be crucial to understanding what is going on and a joint consistent approach will support him better.

As for the hall scenario - maybe it was his way of interpreting the songs - maybe he needed to get that out of his system as that's how it made him feel? It could be that the choice of song just wasn't what engaged him - you said he was doing the 'wrong'; thing was the song in the PE session part of a movement session then maybe the goal is to express oneself creatively?

He may also have felt embarrassed by the activity? Some children are very self-conscious when doing this kind of thing and it could have been his way of dealing with it. It is really challenging when a child presents with this behaviour to know what to do for the best. On reflection do you think having sent him out to another classroom he won't repeat the same thing again when in the hall?

The six steps approach (which is from High Scope and incidentally we use this all the time in our setting with 3-4 year olds) can be extremely effective in supporting children in understanding their own behaviour and the effects it has upon others.

On High Scope's website there are some excellent video clips that show the six steps to conflict resolution in action. You may find them useful. Also check out the article on the forum's home page as it really is very good.

Ultimately, it is understanding why child A is presenting with challenging behaviour which will help you better cope with supporting him in the future.

I am sure there are far more experience members that will be able to add more practical and immediate advice along shortly :-)

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CONFLICT RESOLUTION STEPS

  • Approach calmly, stopping any hurtful actions. Place yourself between the children, on their level; use a calm voice and gentle touch; remain neutral rather than take sides.
  • Acknowledge children's feelings. Say something simple such as “You look really upset;” let children know you need to hold any object in question.
  • Gather information. Ask “What's the problem?” Do not ask “why” questions as young children focus on that what the problem is rather than understanding the reasons behind it.
  • Restate the problem: “So the problem is...” Use and extend the children’s vocabulary, substituting neutral words for hurtful or judgmental ones (such as “stupid”) if needed.
  • Ask for solutions and choose one together. Ask “What can we do to solve this problem?” Encourage children to think of a solution but offer options if the children are unable to at first.
  • Be prepared to give follow-up support. Acknowledge children’s accomplishments, e.g., “You solved the problem!” Stay nearby in case anyone is not happy with the solution and the process needs repeating.

Adults respect children’s ideas for solving problems, even if the options they offer don’t seem fair to adults. What’s important is that children agree on the solution and see themselves as competent problem-solvers.

Here's a link to High Scope

http://www.highscope.org/Content.asp?ContentId=294

http://www.highscope.org/Content.asp?ContentId=381

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Thanks for those links Apple, Im sure they will be very helpful.

I visited a High Scope nursery once and was really impressed at how the children managed their behaviour, across a really large space and within areas which were what might have been termed unsupervised.

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From a personal point of view I can remember being ridiculously embarressed at those moments i was painfully shy and being silly was how i coped. Could you make silly dancing a starter of the lesson before you start what you really want to do? Have everyone stand and shake all the silliness out before they mats too, maybe shake it into a coat pocket to take outside later. :)

Edited by Rea
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Can anyone offer any additional advice? We had pe again today and Child A was silly.

 

We did the shake my sillies out song to start and seemed fine. He was bubbly but ignored a lot until others copied. We did a game at the end. All the children then walked back to class. He slithered like a snake and would not stand up. He knew they were meant to walk... What would you have done?

 

There are lots of other examples that I could post but don't want to out myself.

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I always try to think WHY these children are doing this......do you know what he is gaining from it?

when this sort of thing happens at pre-school i might say something like " oh what a good idea...moving like a snake! shall we all do that!" then i would get on the floor and crawl back to the classroom! This has two effects it stops the attention seeking because he is then just one of the gang and it sends out a message that you are fun and interesting! (also it tells your colleagues that you are completely nuts!!!!!)

Try to pick your arguements.....do you need to pay attention to him or could he be ignored? (you could have just walked past him and led the other children back to the class...he would have followed if no one was looking!)

He isn't being 'Naughty' ...he is just testing to see what happens. His parents might make a big fuss and get really cross...but this might be the only attention he gets so they are constantly reinforcing the bad behaviours.

You and he are still getting to know each other.....dont let him push your buttons or he will wind you up for the rest of the year!

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I've been pondering this lots and trying to think back to similar children I've had before. First of all is this a reception class? If so, the whole concept of a PE lesson in a different, big space may be a completely new one and as others have said he may be feeling very self-conscious and it's showing as silliness.

I would also say (and this isn't a get out meaning you should ignore things) that it is still early days. Does he know what your expectations are and understand them? I can vividly remember getting monumentally frustrated in my NQT year as I was trying to get my weeks old class to line up. I kept asking them to make a "sensible line" and one child just kept being daft. Eventually in exasperation I said "Do you know what a sensible line is?!" and got "no" as an answer. Now I always start the year with an explanation of what a line is (never mind a sensible one!)

 

If he's not hurting himself or others I'd keep trying to ignore the silliness but I'd also pounce on a split second of behaviour that you see that is what you are wanting. Praise him straight away and give him the chance to be the good example. Even if the praise is for something a little odd "I really love the way you're stretching your arms so high/wide etc. I wonder if anyone else can stretch their arms as much?"

 

Do the old praising others in the class thing but include a reason, "C I love the way I can see your eyes looking at me, I know you're ready to do the next thing." Child A may just not understand at all why you want him to do these random things.

 

I would definitely do as Finleysmaid says and "Oh great idea, let's all be a snake" If it's really not feasible to slither all the way back to your classroom (!) then give it a couple of seconds and then say "What else could we be? How about a frog/lion/elephant?" That way he gets to do his thing, everyone has fun and he isn't the 'bad boy again.'

 

Can you give him jobs to do? Carrying the register back to the classroom (we have to take ours everywhere with us!), carrying the inhalers, planning etc. and phrase your request with a "A please could you help me with a really important job?" then when he gets whatever it is safely back to the classroom make a point of thanking him for that.

Do you have any other adult support? If so, at times like carpet time could he be quietly helping them to sort something out (the button/money/bead drawer etc. at the back of the classroom? That way, he's not being excluded and can still listen to the story but does have a focus and may gradually come to appreciate the peace and calm of story time. After attending a really interesting physical literacy workshop a couple of years ago I started doing something completely different with my (very difficult!) class when it was story time. I started a rule that they could sit however they liked during story time as long as they weren't hurting anyone else or stopping them seeing the story. Some sat cross legged, some stretched out, some lay on their front/back, some stood up. I asked that they didn't sit on chairs and honestly they were some of the calmest, quietest, loveliest story times I've ever had. I just held the book up and they all moved to where they wanted to be - it was magic.

Finally I would second (third) looking at why he's behaving like this. This is exactly what we do when writing a multi-element plan. It's probably easy to say "he wants attention" but think about why and what kind of attention - is it from his peers/you? Is he feeling unsure of what to do? Is he bored? etc. Then try to think of how you can meet these needs in another way.

Sorry for the long post, I hope some of it might be useful and I'm not teaching my grandmother to suck eggs. :huh:

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I bet at one time or another everyone thinks they're crap! The fact you're asking for help proves you're not, you see a problem and know where to go for possible solutions. That's not crap, that's an open evaluating mind ;):)

In 6 months time you'll be preparing to send a lovely group of children onwards and upwards :)

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Bless you! Been there, done that, still do it on a fairly regular basis. Behaviour issues and concerns are really exhausting to deal with. As Rea says - you are not crap. You are asking for help and want to help him - what more could be wanted? Take care and smile - tomorrow is a new day!

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Don't ever think your crap, just some situations and children are more challenging than others.

The fact you have shared with others to support and resolve this, proves you are a caring and reflective practitioner.

Keep your chin up I'm sure in time he will be a cherished member of your class.:)Fx

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Some great advice here already. I would really focus on praising the behaviour you would like to see. It will have a positive effect on everyone.

Don't save this strategy for when he's being uncooperative. This is a positive behaviour management strategy and it's most effective when used little and very often. Drop small compliments on him and the other children like confetti. Pick up on something good every time you open your mouth.

Another good strategy int he same vein is the thumbs up sign. When a child, particularly the one you're discussing now, does something you like and catches your eye you don't need to interrupt what you're doing to praise them. A quick thumbs up and a smile lets them know that you've noticed an appreciate their efforts and encourages them to repeat the behaviour. Some children also really enjoy the fact that it's communication just between the two of you, like a nice secret you're sharing.

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This brings to mind one particular little boy we had at playgroup - boy, did he know what buttons to press! There was one notable event where he whipped the story book off my assistants lap just as she was about to read it to the children. She made the mistake of trying to take it back from him and he refused to let it go. She ended up in this tussle where they both were holding onto an edge of the book pulling back and forth. She decided that since she had started she couldn't back down and ended up having to prise his fingers off but she realised that she'd dealt with it very badly.

After the session we had tears running down our faces talking about it, as it has turned into such a farce. However, then we sat down and worked out some new strategies (much like some of the very fine advice in this thread so I won't repeat them). By the time this chap left us to go to school he was delightful and as far as I know a very popular boy at school. He could very well have turned out to be the 'naughty boy' that everyone avoided and pointed at.

Hang in there, I'm sure you'll start to see some improvements if you keep working at it and please don't beat yourself up about it!

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i once had a terrible arguement with a 3 year old about whether you could call a 'Buggy' a pushchair! (i said you could she said you couldn't) ......it was a stupid thing to argue about....didn't even matter but at the time i was unsure of myself and felt i couldn't let it go....

Ho Hum have realised you should NEVER argue with a 3 year old....they will always find a way to be right! :rolleyes:

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I remember working at a pre-school where on little lad was adept at winding up the manager. What would her up even more was that he responded really well to the strategies I described above for me but the manager didn't see why she should use them and just told him off constantly. Therefore his behaviour was great for me and awful for her.

I couldn't help but laugh inwardly when, at the Christmas nativity, he sat with a small set of bells picking them up and dropping them on the floor just loudly enough to make a really irritating noise and looking straight at her over the heads of the parents. Everyone in that room knew that he was doing it purely to wind her up and she was powerless to deal with it because she couldn't shout in front of the parents. He well and truly had the upper hand in that relationship.

I was being a parent too that day and it wouldn't have been appropriate for me to intervene.

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Today was better. I am praising everything positive that I can! :D

The other thing about using this strategy is that it shifts the focus in your mind from the negative to the positive. I hope that in doing so you'll see all the really good things that you do too!

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A little update: I have been using this strategy all week and I think I am seeing some small improvements. He is still struggling massively during CIL as he cannot share or self manage... He is still being very silly unless engaged by an adult at all times!

He does seem to be conforming more at carpet time though and doing the right thing. No more silly noises during register. He is coming to the carpet like all the others and he knows I am pleased! He got a marble in the jar today and he was so pleased!

 

I have an SEN child who keeps jumping on him and engaging him in chasing games. How do I stop this? Child A who is now starting to conform and respond is being hampered by child X who is developmentally behind the others and cannot be reasoned with! Help!

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