C.M. Corner: Focusing Techniques for Age 3 to 2nd Grade
January 11, 2018 by Tressa Dvorak
Here are some techniques in getting the most productive morning meeting, group time/circle time or between activities when you have energy-filled students. At times this 30 minute or so whole group activity can feel stressful and long. It can be difficult to get all those little bodies calm and focused. Here are some techniques that I have used in my years of teaching and some that past colleagues have used.
• Wiggles Out-Do before the start
o Have them dance to a song
o Do some stretches and in-spot cardio (ex: jumping jacks, touch toes, twist, balancing on one foot, etc.)
• Too much talking
o Ask them to catch a bubble in the air and hold it in their mouth. Only aloud to pop it when called on.
• To get group back on topic
o Say quietly, “if you can hear me touch your nose…pat your head…click your tongue.” (etc.) This will prompt the students to stop and figure out what is going on.
o On the same aspect, you can check for understanding by saying, “If you understand give a thumbs up…touch your nose…touch your ear.” This will give you a quick evaluation without putting anyone on the spot.
• If you feel your class is not listening, you can ask them to put on their listening ears and turn them up (use actions with this. It helps get their attention).
• Have a student helper. Students will want to be your next helper when they see a classmate already being one.
Children thrive off of routine and schedule. If you are able to know what their daily routine or schedule is use it. It is what they know and will help with any possible behaviors. All they really want is to feel safe and that they matter. They want to know that they can trust you with any kind of guidance they may need during your time with them. Enjoy every interaction you have with the students. You are making an impact in their life!