Sunday, August 26, 2007

ICMM (I Can Manage Myself)

Am I being too ambitious? I don't think so. :) Can 4 year olds learn how to manage themselves? Meaning, keep their hands to themselves, not shout out over and over again during lesson time, push in their chairs when they get up so other kids wont trip, etc. I really think they can and after using this 1 day I can see the beginnings of it working. This is something that I made for my little preschool classroom. Some teachers at my preschool do this and I've adapted to be more "me" and fit my classroom theme. I drew and painted this big castle (3 feet tall) and attached velcro to it and little princesses and knights with photos of my students attached. I drew the little figures, scanned them in my computer and colored them in photoshop in my students favorite colors. Everyday they will take their little figure out of their cubby and attach it to the castle meaning they are ready to start the day and make good choices. I can't believe how excited they are to see their little person on this castle. It they are hitting the kids around them or trying to bug them or not listening during lesson time (which is only about 10 minutes) then I give a warning that they need to manage themselves and they know just what I mean. Quickly they straighten up, but if they don't then I have them walk over to the poster, take off their figure, put it in their cubby and sit in the "thinking chair" and think about how to fix their behavior. It's heartbreaking to see them so sad about taking their little person off, but quickly they change their attitude and modify their behavior. After they've decided to fix their behavior than they can put their little figure back up. (This makes them so happy they will jump up and down- it's pretty cute.)

This is what it looks like with all their figures on. The red knight is missing Payton's picture because he wasn't at open house when I took the photos, but don't worry... I took his picture on Friday and he will have it ready for Monday.

Here's a close up of their little faces. I'm so lucky to have such sweet little stinkers in my class.

The first day I used this I had to have two boys take their figures off and it was so shocking that no one tried to push the boundries. The two boys did so much better for the rest of the class. It's hard to be strict at the beginning, but so important so you can relax and have fun with them later without them pushing you and trying to get away with stuff because believe me, they will. I've nipped a few things in the bud and I think the kids will be surprised at how silly and fun I can be once I've "puppy-trained" them.
(P.S. Just so you know, I mostly give positive reinforcement like praising the kids who push in their chairs or sit well or are being kind and then those not doing so will quickly follow suit to receive praise as well. I just needed to make this for the special few who push and push and are too wild during un-wild times. :))


S.T. Lewis said...

I LOVE the castle... the pictures on it are great. You've got to be the best teacher on the planet. I wish you were my teacher when I was a kid. Good stuff.

lrlewis said...

You are amazing! I tell myself not to get too anxious about raising one little girl if you can raise 2, AND be so creative and busy all the time! I hope you still teach pre-school when our little one gets to that age - I'll even drive up north so far just so she can have a little princess on your castle.

megan said...

Darling castl! What a brilliant idea, and way to share your talents! Those little stinkers are the luckiest little hooligans in the world to have you for their teacher!

Shell said...

Wow! I adore your castle and I know what you mean about setting boundaries at the start (I'm a teacher too). Your kids will have an amazing time learning from you :)

Tracey Nolte said...

I love your post, but will this ever be something we can do with ADULTS?