"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world". Nelson Mandela
2-Year Old Preschool Class
Every child needs and thrives with boundaries. With toddlers you will need to remind them of the classroom rules every day, every hour, every minute. We constantly review our rules before we leave the classroom for a special area, before we start every morning meeting or circle time, and frequently throughout our intentional play time each day.
3-Year Old Preschool Class
Set your students up to succeed. Do not expect a 3-year-old to sit quietly for a 20 minute circle time or a trio of five-year-olds to be able to work next to each other without talking. Support your students’ growth and development with activities and materials that engage and challenge them but avoid frustration.
Make routines predictable. Make sure to prep the children when anything out of the ordinary is planned. Anxiety is a major reason for misbehavior in preschool-aged children, it doesn’t always present itself as worry.
Do not overstimulate. Children process information slower than we do, and too much input to process results in meltdowns. If you have too many things our for free play, if there is too much noise or too many people crowded together you can have a harder time managing behaviors. I noticed last year that at the start of each month when we would switch themes that behavior would change, it was just too much for some students to have so many new things out. We adjusted and slowly introduced the changes and all returned to normal.
Transitional Kindergarten Class
5 Keys to Successful Preschool Classroom Management, based on Author Vicki Gibson
Here’s what Gibson says are the keys to classroom management in an early childhood setting:
Divide and conquer.
Students should spend the majority of their day working in small groups, says Gibson. Dividing students makes it easier for them to stay on task and for you to work on skills one-on-one. Gibson finds that four small groups often work best in a preschool classroom.
Rotate, rotate, rotate.
Once you’ve divided students into groups, you can create a rotation chart that shows where each group will be at each time of day and what group members will be working on.
Make it visual.
Use students’ pictures in your rotation chart, along with images of your classroom, so that even pre-readers can understand when and where they are supposed to be. It’s “the predictable order from knowing what’s going to happen when…[that] helps kids settle down and get into the groove of learning,” says Gibson.
Set up a “teaching table.”
This should be one of the areas in your classroom through which students rotate, says Gibson. The “teaching table” is a place for you to work with children one-on-one on the focus skills of the week. By making this table your home base, students will always know where to find you and when they can expect to have your full attention.
Keep learning centers simple.
You don’t need a dozen separate activities to keep students focused and on task. In addition to your teaching table, suggests Gibson, you might have one other table or center where a teaching aide can work with students, and then two more centers for independent activities.