Big Picture

Tips & Tricks

Positive Actions

—Tim and Lisa Deam

The children were cheering as the review game ended. Quickly Lisa held up her hand and said, “Show me you’re being quiet by raising your hand!” One by one, hands went up as the group quieted. Early elementary children learn through varied activities. A fast-paced program helps to maintain their attention. However, we’ve observed many frustrated teachers as they attempted to quiet the children after active periods.

When children have difficulty settling down we emphasize the positive by saying, “Show me you’re being quiet by touching your head.” We touch the top of our head, wait a few seconds as the children follow, and then say, “Show me you’re being quiet by smiling.” After a few more fun commands we proceed to the next activity. The row race idea is another positive approach. We wave a checkered race flag and shout, “Row race!” The kids race to see which row can be the first to sit quietly with their hands raised. After acknowledging the winning row we continue our program. It works best to tell children what you want them to do instead of telling them what not to do!

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