Friday, June 4, 2010

Going out with a BANG!

Wow, what can I say. We have one more day of preschool and after today, I know we're not headed into summer quietly. The last two days have been really nice. There was no noise level, every thing was so calm and quiet. I'd like to take the credit that we finally taught the children to use their words, talk nicely, don't scream, boss your friends or tattle, but in all honesty the calm of the classroom was because half the children were missing in both sessions.

As we prepared for class today, my prediction was, we were going to have everybody back in full motion. I felt it like an animal senses danger. The little prickles of hair at the nap of my neck were telling me a storm was brewing and sure enough, my instincts were right.

I was counting heads while the children were exiting the bus. One, two, three, four.....I continued counting until every last preschooler stepped off. Yep, they're all a counted for. One of our autistic boys, who was absent the previous two days due to feeling sick, getting his four year shots and sporting a new hair cut, was back and not happy about it.
A few children were out of sorts because our room is in chaos with boxes and packing going on.
(We have to move our class, the whole school is playing musical rooms) The poor little things don't handle change very well.
A couple of the other students were just full of Vin and vigor.

Then the afternoon class rolled around and again, as they were coming off the bus I counted heads and again, they were all there. This group of preschoolers has a different set of dynamics going on. The loud were much louder, the bossy one was at the top of her game bossing everyone like they were her servants, the tattle tails couldn't stop tattling, and the whiners were even whiner.

I know most of it was because our room is turned upside down and things just aren't the same.

Since there was a break in the weather, we decided the best place for their active little bodies would be better spent outside.

With all the whining, crying, screaming, and tattling going on, we pulled out the ol' positive reinforcement plan, in layman's terms it's called bribery. Oh what they won't do for a special treat.

"If you don't cry or scream at your friends, you can have a treat." This is very effective for our little lion because although he is very explosive, he's also very smart. I seriously don't know how a four year old can pack so much dynamite in such a little body, but he can hold it together if he thinks about it. Then we had a little guy who I believe was really not feeling well or was just tired and in need of a nap. He took his seat on the whiners cart.

The little lion blew his chance at gaining a treat. I let his screaming slide when he was yelling at himself, but when he started in screaming at the other children, I informed him he was "Done" and he would not be getting a special treat.

For our second recess I decided to give those who didn't receive a treat the first time a second chance at earning one. This meant the little lion had another opportunity. He really is a very smart boy and this usually works for him but for some reason, he just couldn't hold it together. He kept losing it, mostly at himself. He is by far his own worst enemy, and the whiner started screaming at his friends when things weren't going his way. Sad to say, their last chance came and went and there was no 'positive reinforcement' given for either of them.The little lion handled it well, because he's smart like that, but the whiner had a complete melt down and wanted his treat. He kept crying and crying, "I want my treat, I want my treat."

Sympathetically little lion consoled him and said, "Next time if you don't cry you can have a special treat."

I did mention he was smart didn't I?  My prediction, next week they'll both be well rewarded.