Teaching Opinion

How Can We Respond To “Unpredictable” Behavior From Younger Students?

By Larry Ferlazzo — May 02, 2012 1 min read
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Cheryl S. asks:

I am writing with a question regarding your blog (Response: Several Ways To Respond To “Unpredictable” Student Behavior) on responding to unpredictable student behavior.

My question is how do you apply these strategies to kindergarten students? My student is unable to control his behavior for more than a few minutes at a time, and when reminded of the expectations for behavior in a calm, supportive tone he is prone to extreme anger, including throwing chairs and running away. The only time I have ever raised my voice to him is when he had his hands around a child’s neck and I needed him to drop his hands instantly - not exactly the time for a positive, nurturing reminder of making good, safe choices.

I use a calm, nurturing voice with each of my 31 students, including when my one child is making dangerous and/or disruptive choices. Older, more cognitively developed children have the ability to reason and analyze their actions on a more complex level. I want to be supportive and nurturing to this little guy, but I have 30 other 5 year olds to manage at the same time. I’d appreciate your thoughts.

Great question, Cheryl.

Since the earliest grade I’ve ever taught is seventh, I will have to defer to guests and readers to respond to this one.

Please share your thoughts in the comments, or, if you prefer, feel free to email them to me. What are positive classroom management strategies that you’ve used effectively with younger students?

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The opinions expressed in Classroom Q&A With Larry Ferlazzo are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.