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Discipline Techniques for Preschool Classroom

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  • 1. Christian S. Gle BEEd 3rd – A Prof. Remedios T. Estrera OBJECTIVES: At the end of the discussion the student will be able to: Describe the typical behavior of preschoolers Enumerate some of the best discipline strategies for preschool inside the classroom Illustrate some of the common ways of establishing discipline and classroom control LESSON CONTENT: The year between ages 6 and 7 can be a tumultuous yet exciting time for many children. A lot of gains are made during this year and as far as behavior and discipline are concerned, it can sometimes feel like a wild ride for parents. However, 6 can be a great age where children make huge gains in their emotional, education, motor, and social development and it is a great time to reinforce the new skills they are learning. Typical Behavior of Preschoolers Most preschoolers show an improvement in their attention span which means they should be getting better at completing tasks such as cleaning their room. They also seem to appreciate taking on new responsibilities, but often seek reassurance that they are doing things correctly. They usually relish showing off any new talents and might show some new found confidence in their skills. They tend to enjoy sharing with peers; however, they are prone to conflict with other children as they don’t yet have the social skills to resolve a lot of peer-related issues. They should be gaining an increased ability to recognize their own emotions, as well as other people’s emotions. They often tend to look to adults they trust to learn how to react during challenging situations. They can be exhibit frequent shifts in their mood and be highly emotional at times as they shift from happy and loving to angry and defiant. Although they should be showing improved self-discipline skills, they usually like to test the limits often. When told to do something, they might tend to refuse, simply to see how a caregiver is going to react. They may be prone to whining and complaining at this age as well. Common Ways of Establishing Discipline / Classroom Control Discipline occupies the center stage in all learning activities. A classroom where good discipline prevails is most conducive to purposeful activities. On the other hand improper behavior distracts attention and disrupts procedures being undertaken Because of the important role that students’ behavior play in achieving learning objectives every school sets its own policies regarding maintenance of appropriate discipline. Said policies would depend upon the concept of discipline they believe in and the extent of the responsibilities willingly accepted by all.
  • 2. Schools differ in how they achieve and maintain good discipline. Following are some common practices: a. Discipline is the students’ responsibility. They practice in formulating rules for their own behavior and they are expected to observe them. If they misbehave, the teacher accepts no excuses. They must be ready for the consequences. b. Discipline is the teachers’ way of establishing a desirable student-oriented environment for learning. Teams of learners work and study together for a common goal, thus lessening the occurrence of discipline problems. The feeling of belonging and strength in their union prevails. c. Discipline is coupled with effective teaching strategies and techniques. A well-planned learning activity will go on smoothly with less interruption caused by misbehavior. d. Discipline is achieved through the effects of group dynamics on behavior. Individual behavior affects the group; likewise the group expectations win the individual behavior. Classroom control is maintained. e. Discipline is believed to be the exclusive responsibility of the teachers. They have the right to insist on proper behavior. They announce the rules that students are expected to follow. Good behavior is rewarded and bad behavior is dealt with accordingly. It is termed “assertive discipline”. Modes A and E set extremes of behavioral control, one emanating from the students themselves and the other strictly from the teachers and the rest of the school authorities. Modes B, C, and D set situations wherein students and teachers share responsibilities in maintaining proper control of classroom behavior. Leaving the students solely accountable for their conduct in class develops a deep sense of orderliness in their actions and manners. They learn self-control early in life which will help them deal with others with confidence. The danger is the likelihood that they may feel too free to responds in any way they prefer since they were the ones who set the rules and not the adults. Assertive discipline exercised mainly by the teachers may lead to and “autocratic classroom” with no choice but to obey as “set by the rules”. They feel duty-bound to follow strictly. The teachers’ skill in employing interesting, challenging and relevant teaching methodologies which motivate the students to actively participate and manage their own learning serves as the best guarantee of beneficial and respectful classroom control. Both enjoy a winning situation, the students gaining knowledge and useful information on one hand and the teachers feeling satisfied and rewarded in seeing them learn. Classroom discipline taken as a conglomeration of all kinds of responses and manners that are exhibited by a great diversity of learners is never entirely free from misdeeds, lapses or minor offenses. The kind of discipline achieved will depend on the students’ personalities, level of maturity and interests, at the same time on the pedagogical skill and managerial ability of the teachers. Best Discipline Strategies
  • 3. The best way to deal with behavior problems is to prevent them. Teach your child about feelings and teach problem-solving skills and it will prevent a lot of behavior problems. However, when behavior problems arise, it’s important to use consistent discipline to deter them from being repeated. Provide Routine and Structure – Preschoolers often thrive in well-structured environments. Provide a consistent routine and a lot of structure to your child’s day in regards to homework, chores and morning and bedtime routines. Establish clear household rules to help your child understand your expectations. Ignore Mild Misbehavior – Ignoring is an effective behavior modification technique that can reduce attention-seeking behaviors such as whining, complaining or mild temper tantrums. Giving Praises – Praise the positive behaviors as soon as you see them and they’re likely to be repeated. This can reinforce a preschooler confidence and it ensures them that you are noticing when they are trying to follow the rules. Time Out – Time out can be a great tool to teach your child how to calm himself down. You can also refer to it as “quiet time” or a cooling off period so he’ll be more likely to use time out on his own when he’s feeling upset. Giving Rewards – Preschoolers are often very interested in earning money or rewards. Create a reward system to address specific behavior problems or consider a token economy system to encourage good behavior. Modeling – Most 6 year olds are very interested in learning how to behave in social situations and how to manage their feelings. Role modeling appropriate behavior is one of the best ways to teach them how to manage their emotions. Logical Consequences – Logical consequences are a great way to help your child learn from his mistakes. Most preschoolers are able to see the direct link between their behavior and the consequence which can prevent them from repeating the behavior next time. Natural Consequences – Since a lot of preschoolers want to be able to make some decisions on their own, allowing them to face natural consequences can be a great learning experience, as long as it is safe to do so. Common Ways of Dealing with Discipline Problems Acceptable and effective: Use verbal reinforcers that encourage good behavior and discourage bad tendencies. Use non-verbal gestures, frown or a hard look to dissuade them from mischief. Dialogues could help in discovering problems and agreeing on mutually beneficial solutions. Focus attention on one who is unruly and is about to disturb the neighbors. Lead him/her to a secluded area and nicely convince him/her to be quiet. Award merits for good behavior and demerits for inconsistencies and lapses. A private, one-on-one brief conference could lead to a better understanding of mistakes that need to be remedied or improved.
  • 4. Allow students the freedom to express or explain agitated feelings and misgivings rather than censure them right away. Unacceptable and ineffective: Scolding and harsh words as a reprimand will have a negative effect on the entire class. Nagging and faultfinding, together with long “sermons” are repugnant and nasty. Keeping a student in a “detention area” during or after classes as a penalty for misbehavior is a waste of time and occasion for learning. The shameful experience is not easy to forget. Denying a student some privileges due to unnecessary hyperactivity could all the more encourage repetitions. Assignment of additional homework compared to the rest could make them dislike the subject. Use of ridicule or sarcasm could humiliate and embarrass a formentor. Grades for academic achievement should not be affected due to misdemeanor. SOURCES: - The Teaching Profession by Bilbao, et al., Lorimar Publishing Inc. pp 72-75 - http://discipline.about.com/od/disciplinebyage/a/Effective-Discipline-Techniques-For-6year-old-Children.htm

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