She probably did deal with them at the time, as they happened.
However, if they are persistant behaviour patterns then she may feel she needs to do something about it now, early on in the term, to prevent it continuing.
"Coming down hard on him" couls mean all manner of things, and I doubt it would be anything particularly harsh at this age anyway.
In the Y1 class I work in one of the things we'd do was to move his peg to the cloudy stage.
We have all children's pegs on a big sunshine. They can move down to a sun hiding behind a cloud, and down again to a darker cloud. If they are on this they miss xx minutes of golden time on a Friday afternoon. They can work they way of it, but can obviously go back onto it throughout the week. The teacher monitors it.