NQT and Behaviour Management(10 Posts)
I am an NQT in my first term in a Reception class, covering a Maternity Leave and I was hoping for some advice and guidance. I'm really enjoying working here but do struggle with behaviour management. I was told that the class is lovely and when I came in to observe prior to starting they were lovely but there are some lively characters who need controlling during CIL time and carpet time.
I am working on this as a whole, trying to work out why they are being loud/unfocussed eg they need more engaging activities, mre use of talk partners etc but I do find it difficult and I wondered if this was normal and wanted to ask teachers who are more experienced in Early Years if a class could be turned around at the stage and also in your experience how long does it take for an NQT to sort behaviour.
I'm sure you already are, but follow the school's behaviour policy to the letter. In our EYU, children are given timeout during CIL if their behaviour is inappropriate, they know what is inappropriate because of the class rules we wrote together and have displayed on the wall. We take them to this display and discuss how they think their behaviour was inappropriate. They have a visual timer (minutes same as age) so they can see how long timeout will last. If they continue with the same behaviour, they then have timeout in Year 1 classroom and we talk to parents. After that, if the same behaviour continues we have a behaviour chart with the particular behaviour as the target.
With carpet time, do you have a good TA? Could you allocate one particular 'lively child' to sit next to the TA so they can model good sitting, good talking etc? Children love having the opportunity to have the TA as their talk partner so it works as a good bribe!
Continually carry around stickers and praise correct behaviour, others will follow.
We also have a class teddy, that goes everywhere with us. Another fantastic bribe, they all want to carry the bear to assembly/library/ICT or take it home at the weekend and even our trickiest children straighten up and sort themselves out if there is a chance to carry the bear.
Top tip: Catch the children with challenging behaviour being good!
We use movers and blockers.
All the children have a little cow with their name on it and they are on a green smiley face. We are all moooooovers. If they make a bad choice they get a 5-1 count down to try and rectify the misdemeannor otherwise they move to the orange wiggly face. I say..."You were given the choice to do x or y and you chose y, you are blocking our learning, please sit there and think about your choices" If the behaviour continues, they move to a red face and then they are on a time out with an egg timer on a chair in the classroom. Good choices, saying sorry, etc children are moved back to the green.
We also have a sparkly book. Your name goes in the sparkly book for exceptional things like doing good work, being a good friend, being helpful. This then gets read out at assembly, and the kids get certificates/stickers.
We talk about how to be a mover alot, being a kind person, helpful, doing good work, showing good listening.
Praise, praise all the good you see, and be really specific.
Follow your class mgt ethos to the letter. Being consistent is so important.
be very specific about your expectations.
before you start circle time, etc, ask pupils to remind you what those expectations are
if the expectations are not met, remind the culprit what they should be doing and what will happen if they don't rectify their behaviour
stick to it
have few rules rigidly enforced
How about the 'lively' children having their own carpet spot if you haven't done this already?
A square/circle of carpet with their name on.
Monitors for anything & everything
Star of the day
Use a shaker/bells to make them freeze/come to you so you can ask them to tidy up/Line up etc
Lots of stickers!
By this point in the year they should be able to sit still & quietly for short periods of time & you need to tell them how grown up they are nearly in year one etc etc
It definitely can be turned around - go through the class rules together write them on a big piece of paper, give each child a sticky label to write their name on and draw a picture related to the rules.
Each child comes up and sticks their label around the edge of the rules.
Put it up on the wall in a place where you can point to their name if they are breaking the rules & show them they do know the rules look at your name you do know these rules because you stuck your name on.
Is it single form entry? If not is there any chance of observing the other class?
Ask for help from your mentor. There's no shame in it
Thank you everyone, some really great ideas. I do praise a lot and follow all the behaviour strategies - warnings, time outs etc but I probably need to spell things out more. I really like the idea of making them draw/ write rules of class behaviour and then making that into a display, and finding ways to make god behaviour fun, thanks again I really appreciate your help.
I have A4 size photo of a child in the class modelling a behaviour eg good sitting and tend to hold it up and say "is everyone sitting like Timmy?" These days I don't even have to say anything, I just hold up the photo . It's very visual and effective.
Be explicit with your instructions, don't keep them on the carpet for too long, model good partner talk with your TA, praise someone sitting next to them, praise them, stickers, prizes etc all help.
Oh and don't be too hard on yourself, behaviour management is an issue for most NQTs.
I really like the idea of making them draw/ write rules of class behaviour and then making that into a display
I do this with teenagers, it still works when they are 17.
Do you do the hand in the air thing?
If anyone sees someone in the class with their hand in the air they have to stop what they are doing and put their own hand in the air.
We have photos of children adhering to our class rules as a display in every classroom. These are phrased positively like 'respect each others space' rather than 'dont crowd'.
For the worst offenders after other strategies above have been tried, we use reward charts with a sticker after each session, working towards computer time (or sand time, or what the child enjoys) at the end of the day.
Be watchful for the persistent offenders having sen. It may be that the child has autism, ADHD, speech and language difficulties or hearing difficulties and they have not been picked up yet.
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