- sprayer bottles filled and set to mist
- case of water bottles, each labelled with a student's name
- procedures for bottle refills and accidents planned
- consideration of responses to unconventional bottle use
- checked batteries in sensory fan
- purchased two small box fans
- rescheduled all heavy academic content/serious procedure teaching to the morning
- enforced resting (usually I have a quiet activity running - not this week)
- planned outfits so that I am not grabbing knee-high boots because they are the only shoes I can find on my way out the door
- mandated jacket removal upon entrance
- scheduled afternoon indoor PE with second grade classrooms for the two hottest days
- purchased popsicles
My classroom has a full wall of windows and old school encapsulated asbestos insulation, so it gets very hot. All the Kindergarten bodies add to the heat. The kids are cranky and tired, which heats them up further. So my overall goal is to keep the classroom mellow, emotionally smooth and friendly. Years of experience have taught me that it's better to spend afternoons rolling through the tunnel and painting than pushing through curriculum. Not only is the former academic anyway (this. is. Kindergarten.), but the latter doesn't build goodwill. I will need that later for heavy-duty academics, especially on days I am cranky and tired.
The transition to Kindergarten continues. There was an upswing in roughhousing this week; I did some individual/small group stuff around limits and personal space. Roughhousing is of course not allowed; sadly, that does not cause it to disappear. On Monday we will be reading So Much as part of my anti-roughhousing/situational appropriateness campaign. I talked to the lunch yard monitors and after school leaders. Last year's anti-roughhousing campaign went pretty well, so I am hopeful this year's will too.
I have three students who are really struggling with behavior expectations. Well, perhaps I should say that I am really struggling with their behavior and my expectations. However, the behavior is out of line, so it's just finding the appropriate techniques for teaching/enforcing acceptable behavior. One of the three has been doing better in the morning and apparently is a night owl by nature, so I think the issue is worsened by tiredness - after lunch, the kid's done for the day. There is also a language issue, and since morning recess marks the downward trend in behavior, I suspect a need for structure (I find morning recess very difficult myself, what with the kids and the water and the bathroom and the play structure and the hoops and the balls and the blacktop and and and, myself).
I had a breakthrough with one of the others; I think the issue was limits-testing. I will bargain with students about the amount of work that needs to be done/how it needs to be done/when it needs to be done (I like Collaborative Problem Solving a lot and try to use its philosophy in little situations like these), but there are non-negotiables. Anyway, after losing out on doing a craft project until the work got done as agreed, this child has been doing a lot better across the board. (She did get to do the craft project, by the way; it was just seeing that she would not get to do it while everyone else did that I think did the trick. Yep, I'm a MEAN LADY.)
The third child is experiencing a disconnect between behavior systems at home and those at school. Specifically, I will not be providing chocolate ice cream to end a tantrum. Nor am I able to ignore the child until approached with an apology (the kid has stamina, I'm telling you). I reserve incentives for kindness, personal best work, etc. This child has been having serious difficulties in all environments (there is no adult on staff who has contact with K who has not had a Bad News Bulletin for me), and after some reflection and discussion with our emotional/behavioral support people, I think we are in for a couple of unhappy days before just how mean and non-budging I am comes through. There was a large tantrum on Thursday; it was not rewarded. Friday I did some one on one with this child, so I am pretty sure that certain cause-effect relationships are clear (throw food in cafeteria? Clean food in cafeteria. Rip up work? Get new work). For next week, I am planning to set some very specific targets with this child with short time spans and clear incentives.
I left work on time yesterday so that I could do real life stuff, like shoes and gym, before seeing a fellow K teacher play with her band. While I was enjoying the show, my car failed to enjoy a hit and run. At least DPT was good enough not to give me a street cleaning ticket, since I did not feel up to getting it off the street until today. The fact that it had been pushed onto the curb and into another car may have influenced that decision, although the other car was gone this morning. Anyway, it is time to walk over to school and get ready for the next couple of weeks (and Back to School Night!). The sleep deprivation associated with concerts, early-morning police reports and poking vengefully at the many pieces of not-my-car car left behind will make this a little harder to do; I had better write a list before I spend another hour on non-classroom tasks.