Without a good management plan, your preschool classroom could devolve into chaos. This lesson will provide some strategies that will help you keep your preschool classroom organized and calm.
If you are a first-time teacher about to start your job in a preschool classroom, you may have some anxiety about classroom management. Though you have had plenty of education and feel that you have the teaching skills to do your job well, classroom management may still be a challenge.The strategies outlined in this lesson will help you in your preschool classroom. Classroom management is a very important aspect of preschool teaching, and these strategies will help you implement an effective plan in your own classroom.
Routine and Structure
Many of your preschool students will be entering school for the first time at the preschool level.
For some students, it may be their second year of preschool, but for most, your classroom will be their first. Routine and structure are going to be an important aspect of their lives for the duration of their education. Therefore, it is important for you to create a foundation for them by including routine and structure in your classroom management plan.To help your students get used to the routine and structure of your preschool classroom, introduce these concepts to your students as soon as they enter the room. By letting your students know where they should put their things, where they should wait for the day to start, and what behavior is expected of them when they enter the room, you’ll help reduce any anxiety students may have and be able to start your day in a more organized manner. Clear and consistent communication about the day’s schedule and your expectations for behavior will make a huge difference in establishing a calm classroom environment.Routine and structure should be established for the whole of the school day, as well.
By doing the same things at the same time every day (such as having a morning meeting to start the day), your students will become adjusted to a daily routine. Having a set routine will help you keep students organized and on task because the students will know what to expect of their day as well as what behavior is expected of them.
The key to managing a classroom full of preschool-age students is to keep them busy with engaging activities. A student who isn’t engaged is a bored student. A bored student can then become a distraction for other students.
Such instances of boredom have the very powerful potential of sending your whole class into disarray.When creating activities for preschool students, make sure that they are going to be adequately engaged in the activity. Your activities should have students drawing, coloring, cutting, gluing, or moving around as much as possible. It is unlikely that your students will sit still for an extended period of time, so planning activities that keep them moving can also keep them on task.An example of an engaging activity would be a crafting project that requires students to move to different stations around the room for various tasks. For instance, students could color at one table, cut at another, glue at yet another, and hang up their work somewhere else in the room. This activity will keep your students engaged and moving around the room for a period of time as you supervise from a central point, making the room more manageable.
Clear Rules and Consequences
Preschool students thrive in an environment in which there are clear rules and consequences for breaking those rules. Your classroom rules should be simple and concise enough that three- and four-year old students can easily understand and remember them. Take some time in the beginning of the year to talk about the classroom rules with your students. Also, during this time, explain the consequences of breaking the rules to students. Rules should be posted in the classroom as a visual reminder of the behaviors considered acceptable and unacceptable at school.When enforcing your classroom rules, it is important to remember that positive reinforcement is a useful tool. By praising students who are following the rules, you are less likely to have to punish students who break them.
Having a reward system in place for students who follow the rules is a useful form of positive reinforcement. An example of this would be a ‘caught doing good’ chart onto which a student places a sticker whenever you praise them for following the rules.
Preschool classroom management is similar to any other classroom management, except you are working with students who may have never been exposed to a classroom environment before.
Effective strategies for preschool classroom management include supplying routine and structure, providing engaging activities, and establishing clear rules and consequences. These strategies allow you to not only acclimate your preschool students to your classroom, but also ready them for future classrooms. If you are about to teach in a preschool classroom for the first time, these tips will help ensure that your classroom is well organized and managed.