Figuring out your classroom management strategy in kindergarten can take time. I am offering you my best advice for developing your strategy to use with your students.
Classroom management is one of the things that I struggled with the most. I truly believe that better classroom management just comes with experience. You add tools to your toolbox every year, and you have more to fall back on.
Thinking about your classroom, you have to decide what works best for you and your students. What works for a student or a class one year, might not be the case for the next school year. Part of having great classroom management is constantly reflecting on it and making sure it is working for your students.
I think this is the best classroom management technique- get to know your students! Know what their triggers are, what they enjoy, and build trust. This is the key to any classroom management- if you can build this trusting relationship, it will be so much easier.
Start with your classroom environment– is it set up for your students’ success? Do they see themselves reflected in the classroom? When your students feel like they belong, and like they have a place in the classroom, they will be more responsive and gain a sense of responsibility.
No to Clip Charts
I have never used a clip chart- and I never would. I really think this is a form of public shaming. It does not build relationships with students, instead, clip charts rely on negative reinforcement. There are better ways to motivate students without ‘clipping them down’.
Use positive words of encouragement, and help your students build intrinsic motivation. Make them want to do well because of how they will feel when they do it. Not because of fear of repercussions.
Ask yourself- do your students clearly know what the expectations are for your classroom and are these expectations realistic? Are you asking 4 or 5-year-olds to sit silently for an hour to do work? That’s not developmentally appropriate.
Instead, build your classroom rules and expectations with your students. Involving them in the process will give them a sense of ownership. You will also have to revisit these expectations often.
Build up your students’ confidence in themselves, teach them how to make the right choices, praise their accomplishments. You will find that your students will take pride in what they are doing, instead of being fearful of consequences.
Major Bahavioural Concerns
Major behavioural concerns can be very difficult- there is no one solution because every student is different. This is when students are running out of the room, kicking/biting/hitting, screaming, etc.
The key is figuring out what your student is trying to communicate with their behaviours. Working with parents, other experts and patience is the way to go. Document what you are observing before, during and after an episode so that you can see any trends.
Behaviours can be rooted in a variety or combination of different issues- physical, emotional, environmental, etc. There is no one solution that I can offer- just work with the student to try and figure out what they are trying to communicate to you.
Visual schedules, sensory tools, calm down areas are just a few of the supports that can be put in place. There are so many more depending on the needs of the student.
When there are major behavioural concerns with a student, know that it is going to take some time to build a relationship and get to know their needs. Look to experts to help you determine how to best do this.
Chances are, it will take some time and there may be underlying issues that need to be addressed. As an educator, you can have a positive influence on this process, and support the child with what they need.
More About Classroom Management in Kindegarten
If you want to learn more about how I run my classroom, check out My Ultimate Guide to Kindergarten Centers. I take a deep dive into everything kindergarten!
I also use self-regulated centers in my classroom, you can see how free choice centers work, and just how well they work!
Want to hear more about my classroom management? Listen to this episode of my podcast! I take a deep dive into it.
What classroom management techniques do you use? Leave a comment on this blog post to let me know!