It takes time, positive reinforcement and lots and lots of patience.
So what do we focus on in the beginning of the school year?
Good MannersGood manners are so important. It cannot be taken for granted. The little ones learn to say 'please' and 'thank you'. As they are given jobs to perform for the day, Heidi thanks them and they are prompted to say 'you're welcome'.
A High Five chart is highly visible in our classroom. Each time they are caught using good manners, they receive a star next to their name. It's too cute to see their smiles when they receive a star. At the same time, Heidi and I use good manners with each other. After all, we want to model what we are teaching.
Walking in a LineGetting from one area of our campus to another can be challenging with a group of three year old children. So they learn to walk in line. By the end of the school year, this runs very smoothly. But in the beginning it can be kind of funny.
We sing a little song to help them remember.
"Keep your hands where they belong; in your pockets or behind your back. Look at the head in front of you. Catch your bubble."
When they catch their bubble, it reminds them not to talk. This can be quite the challenge.
ListenIt can be so hard for children to listen. They want to talk when they want to talk. We teach them to turn on their listening ears. They practice turning them on for us. Frequent reminders are needed at first.
As I look at some of the initial teachings that occur in our classroom, I realize that adults need to learn too.
- How often do you talk when you should be listening?
- Do you model good manners?
- Are you careful as to who you follow?
How thankful I am to apply some of these lessons to my own adult life!
I'm continuing to count my every day blessings with Ann of A Holy Experience for Multitudes on Mondays.
#477 The opportunity to teach good manners to children
#478 The first week of school behind me
#479 The excitement of watching the London Olympics
#480 A weekend of much needed rest
#481 The excitement in my dad's voice as he described his new home
#482 Seeing baby pictures of my great niece Kenzie on Facebook each day
#483 Making progress on my eBook
#484 Enjoying the company of my co-workers
#485 Hugs from the children each day
#486 Hearing three year old Sam come up to me and say "I love you Miss Debbie"
#487 Seeing the sweet faces of the children from last year's class
#488 Helping children in older classes with their homework in the afternoon
#489 Watching 7 year old Roxy choreograph a dance as I played a song on my Kindle Fire
#490 Completing the decorating of our condo
I couldn't resist sharing a photo of little Kenzie. I thought she looked like she was trying to pray.
Blessings and love,