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Classroom Behaviour Management Strategies

19. Vary The Position

Don't leave students in any one position for too long (sitting at the table for 45 minutes in a kagai class or standing for 20 mins of a seika class) moving students into different positions keeps their interest (even if it is only from sitting to standing)

20. Gentle Contact

Gently touch or hold the hand of a child when you are speaking to them to gain a deeper level of attention from them. Different to western countries, physical touch of this nature is culturally accepted in Japan.

21. Have Clear Rules

If students understand the classroom rules then they are able to follow them and when they don't follow them and the teacher gets upset everyone will understand why. (Some common rules include: no fighting, no hitting, no spitting, no kicking, no punching, no kancho, listen to the teacher).

22. Follow Through

As stated in the golden rules if you say something is going to happen then it must happen if it is pushed to that. Even if it means hauling the screaming crying child to the office. If you do this word will travel that you mean business and you are not a teacher to make idle threats. If you don't have the stomach to follow through with a threat then don"t make the threat it only weakens your position of authority if you make a threat and then don't carry it through. If you choose the battle make sure it is one you are willing to fight and that you can win! Please note though that there are many different approaches you can take before taking a child to the KG office and this should be the very last option used in the most extreme cases.

23. Play Up The Positive

Positive reinforcement can be a very powerful tool for a kindergarten teacher. Praise a student for sitting nicely and watch everyone else snap to attention and quickly sit nicely to try to gain the teacher's praise. Focusing on the behaviour you want is often more effective than focusing on what you don't want. For example if the majority of the children in the class are not paying attention, running wild, moving too slowly, etc... find one child in the class (and there is almost always at least one) who is doing exactly what you want everyone in the class to be doing and say in a loud happy voice "wow! Ryo is sitting nicely!" and move over to give the child a high five. Within seconds most of the children will be doing exactly what Ryo was doing. This can work a lot better than standing at the front of the class and yelling "Be quiet! Everyone pay attention! look at me! blah blah blah!" All the children want to be the one the teacher points out as the "best". This technique keeps things positive and the teacher gets exactly what they want! Everyone wins!

24. Be Real

Praising the children for a job well done is a great idea, however make sure you don't give them praise unless they deserve it. If they give only a half hearted attempt at something don't tell them they have done a good job, encourage them to try harder and to really do a good job and then praise them for it or just leave it and move on without praising them. Children know if they have done a good job or not and if you praise them for everything they do even if they do a half-hearted job then the praise becomes meaningless. Don't be afraid to tell them that they have done a rotten job of something by giving them a comical thumbs down with a funny sound effect. The children will laugh and realize they need to try better, in this way they will feel proud when you praise them because they will know it is real.

25. Check Your Voice

Using different voices can be funny for the children but don't overdo it! Too much of it becomes distracting and makes it hard for the students to focus on the vocabulary that you are teaching which may make them lose interest in the class and start to misbehave.

26. Be Funny, Not Stupid

It is great to be funny and make the children laugh but make sure you don't go too far. You want the children to think you are funny but to remember that you are a teacher who deserves respect. Don't become an idiot who is completely undeserving of respect and is only there to entertain them and for them to verbally and physically abuse.

27. Attention Seekers

Everyone has some students who demand more attention than the average child. These children can often prove to be disruptive and just a general pain. Since it is attention they are seeking give them attention in a useful way, bringing them up to help do the hello song, holding the f/c, getting them to come up and be an example or help model something, etc.... Use their desire to have attention to your advantage.

28. Adapting Your Teaching Style To Reduce Classroom Behavior Problems

Every class is different and so teachers must adapt to each class. If you are having problems with a class then think about what role you may be playing in the problem. Are you winding the children up and then getting angry at them for being too excited? If students are out of control and acting silly then the teacher should take on a calmer role in order to avoid aggravating the situation.

29. Know Your Students

Knowing your students personalities will help you find the best way to deal with that particular student. Many of the most difficult students are difficult because they don't respond to common standards of behaviour management. The better you get to know the student the better chance you have of finding the best way to reach her and effectively deal with her misbehaviour. Or, more accurately the problem that is causing her to misbehave.

31. Keep It Snappy

Keep things moving along at a good pace, not rushed, but don't let things drag on too much before moving onto the next activity - the younger the children the more important this becomes! Down time often translates into behaviour problems!

32. Lesson Plan

Have a realistic lesson plan for all your classes. Don't over plan (try to squeeze too much in) or underplan (go to kagai class with only the idea that you are going to start unit 3 today but nothing else) and things will go smoothly. If you have to stop and think about what you are going to do next you are handing the children an invitation to misbehave. A lesson plan with a variety of activities with something as backup will usually suffice.

33. Level Appropriate

Remember you are dealing with young children. If you ask them to do something that is too hard for them they will quickly become frustrated, feel inept and lose interest in what is happening in class. On the other hand if you do something that is too easy for them they will also quickly lose interest and perhaps feel insulted. When students lose interest bad behaviour follows! The nen shos might love the challenge of standing up from a crouching position balancing a card on their head but Nen chos will feel insulted that you think that is even challenging for them! Keep everything appropriate to the age of the students you are working with! Get the Nen Chos to then turn around, balance on one foot, etc- challenge them.

34. The Back Up

Have something you can fall back on whenever things aren't working to regain control of the class - this could be a song, a very quick game (junken, etc...), stand up, sit down, jump, up up up up down, etc.... anything that grabs their attention back so that you can then move on with what you need to do.

75. Have Assigned Seating

This is a great preventative measure! You can decide where each child will sit at the beginning of each class. Each week you can change it a bit and that way you can keep students who shouldn't sit together apart before problems even start! Assigning the seats can be done by verbally telling the children where to sit or probably more effective would be for you to draw a quick diagram on the board and write each child's name in the position where they should sit so students can learn to "read" their name!

76. Stand Up

When children are sitting at the table resist the urge to pull up a chair and join them. If you move around the table you can maintain their interest because you are closer to them and you are also much better able to keep an eye on what they are doing.
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Classroom behaviour management guide for Teachers


Amazon Resources - Teachers

Better Than Carrots or Sticks: Restorative Practices for Positive Classroom Management - book
Making Thinking Visible: How to Promote Engagement, Understanding, and Independence for All Learners
Classroom Management Success in 7 days or less: The Ultra-Effective Classroom Management System for Teachers
Positive Discipline: The Classic Guide to Helping Children Develop Self-Discipline, Responsibility, Cooperation, and Problem-Solving Skills

Amazon Resources - Students

No, David! by David Shannon. A classic. I read this with my students at the beginning of every term
Have You Filled A Bucket Today? A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids. So good my Principal read it to staff. I read it to parent son introductory night too
Luke's Way of Looking by Nadia Wheatley and illustrated by Matt Ottley. Outstanding book to help young readers appreciate the differences between individuals blog post >>>

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107 Free ESL Classroom Management Strategies

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