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Classroom Management in Preschool Series -Day 4

classroom management social emotional social emotional learning

Welcome back! It's Day 4 of the Classroom Management in Preschool Series!

If you missed Day 1 of the Classroom Management in Preschool Series, catch it at the link!  On Day 1 we discussed why behavior charts don't work and why rewards don't work either. We did some mindset work around students behaviors and learned that what to do instead of chart and rewards came down to 4 major categories: 

  1.  Becoming a Behavior Detective
  2.  Setting Up Students For Success
  3.  Teaching Skills
  4. Building Relationships

Missed Day 2?  It was all about Setting Students up for SUCCESS - even before the school year starts!

Day 3 a miss too? Well, it was all about relationships!

Today is all about TEACHING!

Get ready to Teach... 

  • your expectations
  • your procedures
  • social emotional skills

Teach your Expectations

Tell students what you want them to do.

 The first thing to do when getting ready to teach your expectations is to assume that the children in your class know nothing about what you expect.  Even if it seems like common sense  > trust me on this one.

Communicate your expectations clearly and communicate any consequences that will be given if expectations aren't met (remember to keep them age appropriate).

Example: Getting ready to take a nature walk? Tell students what you want them to do. "When we take our nature walk, we will stay together. Do not run ahead, stay with your teacher - this will keep you safe. If you choose to run ahead or go away from the group, you will have to hold the teacher's hand."

Teach Procedures

Teaching common procedures at the beginning of the year can save you LOTS of chaos later.

Use visuals (like procedure cards) to aid in teaching. Hang the visuals low and in a place that makes sense for the procedure itself. Walk through each step with students, while pointing to the pictures. Continue this process each time the class or student does the procedure until they are mastered.

> Acknowledge that procedures may need a refresher after long breaks or weekends.

Teach Social Emotional Skills

Be pro-active by teaching the class social emotional skills as a whole group!

By teaching social emotional skills pro-actively in a whole group setting, it creates a shared experience where all children can learn the same language surrounding social emotional learning.

 By teaching the whole class social emotional skills, children can also become little cheerleaders to their peers!

Remember --- When we look at social emotional skills as skills we need to teach children, just like the ABCs and 123s - that is when we can make a big impact.

Which social emotional skills should I be teaching?

Here is a great chart to help you see all the things that we could be pro-actively teaching children.

What components should go into a social-emotional lesson?

We do one social emotional lesson a week. During the lesson we do different activities. I might pick and choose at the beginning of the year when attention spans are low (or add another day of the week). But, by the middle to end of the year, here is what works for me:

  • Read a book related to the social emotional skill.
  • Discuss the topic using pre-determined questions/discussion starters.
  • Sing a song related to the social emotional skill.
  • Do an extension activity (for example: sorting, scenarios or acting out the skill).

Do you have a done-for-me time saving option?

You bet I do!  Here are the exact Social Emotional Learning Lessons I use in my classroom with my 4/5's.

Also! One last tip before this day is through... Sing It, Don't Yell It!

This is a super simple, but HUGE tip! Make your transitions and directions that you would normally give orally into a song.  It's like a little magic trick.... children listen better when you sing! Try inserting your directions into 'Farmer in the Dell' and see what happens - you'll be pleasantly surprised!

Next up- Day 5, the last day of the Classroom Management in Preschool Series. Day 5 is all about what to do when what we've done so far doesn't work. It's all about becoming a detective.


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