Caring Environments (Preschool)
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Setting up the classroom in a way that provides cues to children about their behavior or in a way that helps facilitate classroom routines can reduce the need to correct or reprimand.
1. Give Daily Classroom Jobs
A daily classroom job builds self-control and pride. Create a list of jobs to be completed each day and assign one to every child. Place a photo of the task next to the label and place the job chart at children’s eye level. Switch jobs weekly and allow children to choose their own.
2. Create Positive Classroom Rules
Create a positive classroom community by asking children at circle time to create classroom rules that will keep them safe and happy. Hang these in several places in the room. Restate what they say in a positive way. For example, ‘Walk in the classroom’ instead of ‘no running’ or ‘Gentle hands’ rather than ‘no hitting.’
3. Teach Preschoolers About Kindness
Prevent bullying behaviors in young children by teaching them about kindness and friendship. Create a ‘kindness or friendship tree’ and put up ‘leaves’ that describe kind behavior to showcase children’s acts of kindness in the classroom. Try to notice a kind act from each child every day and share with parents.
4. Practice “Finding the Good”
Choose one child each day to compliment at circle time. Go around the circle, beginning with the teacher(s) and give a compliment to the chosen child. Ask each child at circle to say something nice to that same child.
5. Create a ‘Peace Table’
When children tattle or there is fighting over a toy, they may need help problem solving. Create a ‘peace table’ and encourage children to go there with you and find a solution. Provide visuals with different ideas including sharing, using a timer, taking turns, etc. When children come up with a solution, give praise and encouragement.