Are your preschoolers all headed in their own direction? Do you find yourself spending most of the day putting out fires? Do some days feel a little like Lord of the Flies? Use this strategy to teach your children to work as a team!
The secret revealed!
Create a group contingency to develop a cooperative atmosphere in your classroom. Not sure what I mean by that? Let me explain.
A group contingency consists of 4 main parts:
1. Rules you want your preschoolers to follow.
I'm sure you already have a great list of rules in your classroom. If your rules follow the guidelines for effective rules, then move right along to part 2! Check that your rules:
2. Something all (or most) of your preschoolers are willing to work for.
Have a meeting with your preschoolers to reveal your new rules (or to develop the rules with the children). Let them know they will be working as team toward something really fun, but they need to help you decide what that will be. Generally, they will work for some sort of party or special activity for them all to do together.
Ask them for some ideas, but don't be discouraged if they have no idea what you're talking about. Offer your own suggestions. Narrow the list you develop to the most powerful (and practical) 3 ideas. Take a vote on which idea they want to work for first. Make this a lesson in graphing for this process to serve 2 purposes.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
3. The Small payoffs.
Once you know what your preschoolers want to work for, let them know how they will earn what they chose:
Make sure when you give out the pieces you choose (unifix cube, pom pom, marble, stone, etc.) that you also tell the child what he or she did to earn it. "Wow, you were really safe when you walked across the classroom!" or "I saw how kind you were to your friend when you gave her a turn with that big truck!"
4. The Big payoff!
When the jar is full, it's time to celebrate your preschoolers' successes! Point out all of the great things they did to earn their big reward. Talk about how they all worked together to earn this great party or super special activity. Following rules is hard work. You want them to know it's worth the effort!
Make this reward as fun for all of the children as you can. If some of them are less than excited, find a way to grab their attention and pull them in. Build enthusiasm and tie this to their great behavior.
The children should vote on their next reward before the end of earning the first reward. Keep the momentum going. Always have them working for something as a team!
try it today!
No special training or materials are needed to teach your preschoolers to work as a team. Make a difference in your classroom today! Expand minds and build cooperation! Talk soon!
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Welcome! Through my career I have worn many hats. I taught preschool in a public, commercial preschool and I taught at a Head Start program. Currently, I am a BCBA, supervising 2 clinics for children with autism. At the clinics, I have created a program to prepare our children for success in public school. Children participate in a preschool classroom style program. I developed a comprehensive parent training program and frequently consult with schools. Here, I want to share my experiences and offer some practical advice. Please let me know if there is ever a topic you would like me to cover!