preschool teacher classroom management tips...
Updated: Apr 10
I have held every position in a preschool, from teacher's aide to Teacher / Director. I've also taught "Music in the Classroom" workshops for preschool teachers. For the past 30 years I've been either creating a thriving classroom environment for young children or supporting teachers so they can, . Though I am educated, a lot of what I've learned came from a few really amazing co-teachers. So, if you will, consider me a co-teacher and allow me to share with you what works for me. Because, let's face it, even the most patient teachers get frustrated and a little spent. I have three tips for classroom management that have been game changers for me. Please send me a message and let me know if you try any.
Singing. I know some folks really can't carry a tune. But even if you can't follow a melody you can still sing! I say, if you can sustain a sound you can sing. Your co-teachers might not like it but if it works for you, have at it. Make up your own melody, if you think of it like a chant its easier. Add a clap to it. Singing directions in class, whether it's time to wash hands, come to circle time or transition out to another classroom, is a sure fire way to get movement in the right direction. If you can carry a tune but don't feel very creative, You can use a tune to a song you already know (this is called a piggy back song) like to the tune of twinkle twinkle little star, you can sing, " time for us to wash our hands, let's go now and wash our hands", you don't need to make up every word for every syllable of the song it doesn't even need to rhyme just a melody with simple directions and they move in response. I also like to use (to the tune of this old man) "sit on down, sit once more, put your bottom on the floor"
The second tip I want to share is pointing out the behavior you're looking for and yes ,you guessed it, through song! "I like the way, Isaac is sitting, I like the way Mateo is sitting, I like the way Linnea is sitting, Audrey's sitting Owen's sitting, Xavi's sitting everyone's sitting now. They will want to hear their names. And if you have time, say all their names if you don't that's ok too. Sometimes we mention everyone sometimes we don't. You can speak these words as well but singing is just always more effective. *My favorite way to get the group's attention is by singing "click on your ears, click on your ears, click on your ears and listen to Renee".
and my final tip of today, when some children are feeling their silliest, when the ants are really in the pants and you don't have it in the schedule to go with their flow and shake some sillies out, use the "mirror". Sit on the chair in front of the class, raise one hand and put it back into your lap. don't say a word. raise the other hand and put it back in our lap. By your third or fourth movement the whole class should be silent and "mirroring" your motions. Careful with this one though. You need to cut it off right when you have control. Make it go too long and it can get too silly. Also, don't use it all the time or it will loose it's novelty and before you know it you'll be following them.
*Remember, Children learn best when they're having fun!"
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