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Behaviour management with 40 Nursery Children

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by coopsj, Sep 14, 2015.

  1. Please help!

    I have been teaching a number of years but have only worked in Nursery a couple of years. I am struggling with a particularly difficult cohort. I have 40 morning Nursery and 40 Afternoon. Some children are EAL with very little English and others pretend not to understand. I then have children who can't speak and others who choose not to do as asked. I really want this class to do well and achieve their potential but at the moment I am spending too much time getting their attention. Once I get their attention, others have waited so long they have switched off. I have used clapping rhythms, songs, quiet voices, puppets, shouting (sorry but I was desperate). I need ideas as today I felt like the worst teacher ever and they do deserve better. Please help!
  2. May2

    May2 Established commenter

    Are you trying to get all 40 to listen to you at once? I would think that would be quite a difficult feat for this number of children at this age as well. I presume there must be several other staff so do you have Key person groups. I am not sure if this is a school nursery class or Day Nursery or whatever as routines would differ also depending on ages too. I would think splitting in two groups for any 'whole class' activity would be beneficial with the other staff supporting each group. However these times should be very short only up to 10 minutes at most. We found playing music worked well. When they heard the music it would signal to stop play and tidy up and when the tidy up music finished it went straight into a song they would join in with while going to and sitting on the carpet. If some children not then sitting ready a simple rhyme with actions such as : 1 2 3 Eyes on me, cross your legs and look at me.

    A big class listening bear with pictures velcroed to it to sit on your lap as a reminder might also help then when sitting you point to bears eyes with sign, read eyes looking, then ears ears listening, lips closed, sit up straight.

    Main thing is consistency with all staff and nothing will work overnight, they are very young and I am quite sure you are not the 'worst teacher' . This age are exhausting especially while they begin to learn all the new behaviour expectations.
  3. Thank you for your reply. I went in with a different mind set - positive, positive, positive. They were a little better and I felt a bit better. I am talking to managers at work for some guidance. It is expected that all 40 listen together for short bursts but this is very difficult with this cohort. I feel a lot better now I have had chance to regroup! Thank you for your comment, I was at melt down and knowing someone had replied helped. Thanks
  4. cthrnobrn1989

    cthrnobrn1989 New commenter

    A method i have used is the 'head, shoulders, knees, fold arms'. Train your children to all copy and stop talking when you put your hands on your head. Some children realize straight away, then all of them copy. Once they all have their hands on their heads, change to hands on shoulders (they have to watch and copy) then knees and fold arms. Only then do i talk in a quiet voice (they have to be quiet to be able to hear me). Also as a way of keeping the class calm and quiet i sometimes do the register in a whispering voice and the children have to whisper back to me. Usually i find visual silent ways to get them all quiet work best in the long run (so you never have to raise your voice over them to get them quiet). I have used this for reception and for SEN classes working below reception level- it is very easy for them to understand and pick up.
    Also it works well for EAL children as they dont have to understand what you are saying- they can see everyone being quiet and copying you so they will most likely do the same. As for children who choose not to do as asked- they should eventually join in if everyone is waiting for them (peer acceptance is very important to most children). I have used it with BESD children and it does work. Hope this helps!
    prepm likes this.

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