My post today is about managing behaviours in the classroom. Sometimes all the little transition tricks, games, songs you've tried just don't seem to resonate with certain children.
I ran across an interesting idea called "2x10 strategy". Basically if there's a child you aren't reaching, try giving him/her undivided attention for two minutes for at least 10 days in a row. Allow them to talk to you about whatever they want. I think it works because you are modeling respect and showing the child you really do care. Apparently teachers have found that not only does this child improve, but the dynamics of the whole class improve. You can read the whole article HERE.
Also this article is very good. Ask Doctor Sears is specifically speaking about children with ADD or ADHD, but some of the methods he discusses can be related to any child who is having some difficulty with attention in a classroom.
A teacher I work with showed me an apple tree chart she used for a child who had some issues with outbursts in her classroom. I liked her idea so much I recreated it using my PrintMasterGold program. What I like about this chart is you can easily see over time what part of the day the child struggles with the most. You may discover, for example, that invariably it is circle time when the child acts out. Then, you can take a closer look at that time in your day to see what the issue is. It may be the circle time is too long, or not interactive enough. It may be the child craves constant 1:1 attention. It may be that sitting down on the carpet is too hard on his/her body. But at the very least, the child may start improving just to get that smiley face on the apple tree.
It's important to speak with the child about the apple tree chart. It helps for the child to take ownership for actions. You can take a moment during each transition to discuss how the last scheduled time went and place the appropriate expression on the apple.
I've included two apple tree pictures below. Feel free to use both of them if you like. One has daily schedule names on it and the other does not. The faces at the bottom can be used to provide an overall assessment of the day to the child and his/her parent.
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