All children will challenge
rules and authority at times often just to test the boundaries,
and althought they break the rules and say they hate them, children
need rules to make them feel secure. To teach young children how
to behave you can try to make it like a game; for example when you
want the children to stop and listen you might hold up your palm
and have the children do the same. You might teach them that when
you hold up one finger it means stand up, two fingers means push
your chair in and stand behind it while three means sit down. Doing
this means you don't have to raise your voice!
Other ideas which avoid
oral confrontation include using a stop watch each time the lesson
is interrupted. The time is taken off some of the children's choice
time, e.g. breaktime, free play etc.
Try drawing a graph on
the board with x and y lines. Make a line across the the x line
which is the acceptable noise level. Each time the noise goes above
this place an x above the line. You could also mark below the line
if noise is specially low. Helps the children understand graphs
as well as improve their behaviour.
- Try to make instructional
language simple, e.g. STOP, LOOK, WAIT
- Be definite when you want them to
do something, e.g. I need you to .... This shows that the child
doesn't have a choice - this is something which has to be done.
- Give limited choices, sit on this
chair or that chair. Are you going to do the writing or the drawing
- Where possible, don't respond orally
to bad behaviour, e.g. take the object they are fiddling with
off him while continuing to talk to others.
anger is temporary and is normal. The child will calm down
- Time out seems to work for young
children. A child who isn't behaving appropriately is made to
stand/sit away from activity for a number of minutes equal to
- Older pupils may work in a yellow/red
card system where the yellow card is placed on their desk as a
- Try to avoid the anger
rising - find opportunities for praising good behaviour. Make
sure you say what you are praising, e.g. Well done for sitting
quietly in your chair.
- If you see a potential
anger situation arising, try to get in first and say something