Tag Archives: classroom management

vibe

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A co-worker and I got into a mini-debate awhile ago.  It started when she asked if I wanted a shelf for my room.  I told her that although I appreciated the offer, it didn’t really match the colors in my room.  She then said, “Yeah, I know, but I just thought it would make your room less….I don’t know….boring.”  So then I said, “What do you mean by ‘boring’?”  So she explained that she felt my room didn’t have a vibrant, carefree vibe…it felt boring to her.  And I thought, “Huh, okay…to each his own I guess…”  I then explained to her the reason my room is the way it is and in the end we agreed to disagree.  Here’s the scoop:

I have made a conscious decision in my classroom to create a very calming, neutral color scheme.  Looking around my room you see a lot of blue and green (in various shades) with some splashes of purple and grey.  There are also tan and brown shades…mostly though natural wood or basket materials.    My main area rug has a splash of bright color as do the bulletin board boarders and my word wall alphabet.  The only other major splashes of bright color are the children’s work which is hung all over the room. I feel the color scheme is very earthy and natural and it helps me focus on the kids and what needs to get done.   

I know how much energy young children have…how they find it hard to sit still and use inside voices.  I also have read various articles about how color affects mood and behavior.  So when I got my current classroom I wanted to set up a blank canvas of sorts for a couple different reasons:  1) to subliminally encourage the children to behave a bit calmer and 2) to use the room as a backdrop to display all the children’s work.  My room isn’t quiet or still…there is always noise and activity…but it’s not chaos and wildness…they are focused on what they are doing.  And their work does tend to pop against the color scheme.

I have nothing against a room full of primary colors.  I also don’t think that teachers who have very colorful rooms have children who are wild and out of control.  I have seen many pre-k classrooms that are lovely and full of color everywhere you look with shelves, rugs, walls, toy bins, doors, and tables all various colors!  And in these rooms I’ve seen children behaving the same way they do in  mine.  And if that’s what suits you…great.  It’s just not me…too over-stimulating.

As far as neutral vs. color goes…I have seen (both online and in person) rooms that, for me, hit a good balance.  One that comes to mind that I like the best is the Teach Preschool Children’s Studio.  There is a lot of neutral in the space (walls, floors, cupboards, and most shelves) with bright pops of color all about (rugs, chairs, and some furniture).  I really like this space and I could see sending my child here or working here myself without being overwhelmed.

In the end each teacher has to do what feels right for them.  When I walk into my class each day I feel calm and relaxed…and I hope my kids do too.  It’s our home away from home…and I want us all to be comfortable and happy together.  So far, I think we are.

 

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losing control

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I felt like I was loosing control of the kids today.  Or maybe they are just getting tired of me.  Or maybe we are all just tired and a little burned out.  I don’t know.  It’s a long year with no breaks – so who knows?  Journals have been a battle this week.  We help them sound out the words so they can write what their picture is…but over the past couple days they seem to have forgotten all their letter sounds!  All I get is blank stares and “I don’t knows.”  It is sooo frustrating and annoying.  I. am. done.  That’s what goes through my head during journals.  And then I feel like a horrible teacher.  I shouldn’t be thinking that.

Then at circle time no one is paying attention.  They find anything else to pay attention to.  I mean anything.  Some look at the ceiling.  Others were looking at their hands and fingers like they had never seen them before.  A couple girls were shaking their heads and giggling when their hair hit them in the face.  Others were pulling strings out of their clothes.  And that’s just the beginning.  Once again I thought: I. am. done.

(deep breath)

This makes me frustrated.  The whole day went by like this.  I feel like I’m loosing control – like I’m loosing them.  Like I’m a failure because suddenly what has been working up til now is failing me and I can’t keep them engaged.  I wish we got a break – I think we could all use one!  Hopefully tomorrow goes better.

Tall Man

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We’ve been having a problem in class on and off now for about two months.  It’s called:  The Middle Finger.  I’m sure you can see where I am going with this.  This all started one day when a little boy came to school and just started sticking it up at everyone – he thought it was very funny.  Ms. Bennet and I explained to him that “tall man” (for those of you who don’t know – this nickname is from the song “Where is Thumbkin?”) is never a good finger to put up by itself!  We thought the problem was solved – until a couple days later when we saw two more children in our class doing the same thing!

It was frustrating but we took it with stride and had a class discussion about not putting our middle finger up by itself – ever!  Once again, we thought the problem was solved.  But no – we keep catching children doing this!  I am about ready to send a note home to parents.  I am at my wits end – I just don’t know what to do.  I have never had this problem in my class.  Usually one student will do it – and a small talk with that child will solve the problem – but boy are these kids persistent!

I understand that children this young don’t really understand why it’s bad to put up the middle finger.  They don’t see any difference between putting up the middle finger or putting up their pointer finger.  Usually I don’t make such a big deal about it as I have this year.   But this year other teachers brought it to my attention (the first time it ever happened we were on the playground with another class and the other teacher caught the boy who started this trend) and were very concerned and talked to him about how bad this is to do – but now they won’t stop!  I think that the children might think it’s funny.  I think that they think it’s silly for a finger to be called “bad” – and I get that – but they still need to stop.  I don’t know – I’m hoping today’s talk (because it happened again this morning) will put an end to the situation – but who knows?

Any suggestions would be helpful…I’m just stuck for some reason.  Hopefully tomorrow’s fun won’t be spoiled by anyone giving the finger…