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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>Struggling with 2-3 Year Old Class
Unregistered 06:32 PM 06-03-2016
Mainly it is two boys. It's a small class, 10 kids.

I feel like I am trying developmentally appropriate things and getting no where.

We do circle time. It is short, ten minutes or less, and I try to keep it active not passive but no matter the activity, one boy will go try to get out toys (and be redirected back to the group) or crawl under the table. At snack time, while we are handwashing and singing or reading a book, he runs across the room where he is not supposed to be to interrupt everything. If i ignore him, he climbs on a table. The second boy is the same way. During free play they dump toys. My boss doesn't get how I can't handle such a small class but these boys are a handful! Occasionally at some transition times one has to be moved to another class so we can get things accomplished. We try to give them a job or some extra attention during the day and they respond well to individual attention, but it hasn't impacted their behavior at other times. Its all attention seeking, they seem delighted with it until consequences happen (hold my hand, go to another room, removal of toys being dumped, etc)
The other eight kids get along fine with an average amount of disruptive behavior. I know they are two, I do not expect perfection, I expect to redirect and remind, but not to the extent that the class cannot get through a simple activity because the teacher is stopping to respond to one or another of these kids over and over.
How do you handle this sort of disruptive attention seeking?
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racemom 08:02 AM 06-04-2016
I teach the same age class, but have 6 girls. Some things I do is the one who cannot sit during story time sits right beside me so I can catch them when they try to get up. Without comment I sit them back down, sometimes I have to do this many times. Another thing I do is give a skittle to those who sit nice. And make a huge deal out of it, loudly say oh look,Jane is sitting so nice, she is getting a skittle. Sally is sitting criss cross applesauce with a bubble in her mouth, she gets a skittle. When it is time for transition, I like to sing hickity tickity bumblebee song and changing the wording to what I want them to do. We also have the rules posted on the wall in pictures, and ever morning someone is the rules leader, to remind everyone the rules. After they all learn them someone usually points out who is breaking a rule, and points it out to them. Hope this helps!
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Thriftylady 08:08 AM 06-04-2016
Have you asked your boss to come sit and observe the classroom so she can see exactly what you are dealing with and give you ideas?
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Blackcat31 08:18 AM 06-04-2016
Originally Posted by Unregistered:
Mainly it is two boys. It's a small class, 10 kids.

I feel like I am trying developmentally appropriate things and getting no where.

We do circle time. It is short, ten minutes or less, and I try to keep it active not passive but no matter the activity, one boy will go try to get out toys (and be redirected back to the group) or crawl under the table. At snack time, while we are handwashing and singing or reading a book, he runs across the room where he is not supposed to be to interrupt everything. If i ignore him, he climbs on a table. The second boy is the same way. During free play they dump toys. My boss doesn't get how I can't handle such a small class but these boys are a handful! Occasionally at some transition times one has to be moved to another class so we can get things accomplished. We try to give them a job or some extra attention during the day and they respond well to individual attention, but it hasn't impacted their behavior at other times. Its all attention seeking, they seem delighted with it until consequences happen (hold my hand, go to another room, removal of toys being dumped, etc)
The other eight kids get along fine with an average amount of disruptive behavior. I know they are two, I do not expect perfection, I expect to redirect and remind, but not to the extent that the class cannot get through a simple activity because the teacher is stopping to respond to one or another of these kids over and over.
How do you handle this sort of disruptive attention seeking?
You are putting the cart before the horse.

We "teach" and expect the kids to absorb/sit/learn from our teaching.

Instead observe their behaviors and teach/act accordingly.

They may be chronologically old enough to be in class but they are SHOWING you their developmental age.... which is not aligned with the expectations.

Change your behaviors, not theirs.
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Unregistered 09:32 AM 06-04-2016
I agree...they are still very young (2-3) and he's saying he's not ready to sit. I also agree 7-10 min can be age appropriate and it sounds interactive but could still be too long. Try a 5 min. Circle time.
Let him hold a car or stuffed animal at circle (figit item)

Or just plop down on the floor with a book or puppet and let them come to you for a close cuddly story time. Maybe you can be in one area and your co-teacher in another spot both doing a story. See if they choose to come cuddle up.

I also agree it's super powerful to get the teachers frustrated and jumping to attend to the behaviors. I'd try to give choices during the day to give some power. It's harder in group care than at home with your own. Usually it's sorely needed, as everything is group orientated not individual. Try to work it in here and there.

Which shoe do you want on first? Do you want a hug or high five? Do you want to sit and play trucks with me? Etc.? Just once or twice a day....sure, like anything this can be overdone too!

Dumping is definitely a normal developmental stage!

I'd get rid of some bins of toys for the time being that have lots of pieces-or have a smaller amount of toys like six animals in a bin not 20! I'd go with the self-contained toys....trucks, cars, dolls, just a minimal amount of dishes, other types of self-contained toys.. Ive had to do that in the past!

Also when I had all two's and under they loved buckets..either ice cream pails or Easter pails. They love to tote around a few animals, cars etc. dump them out, put them back in. So then they get approved dumping time! They also love toy shopping carts...they put in a few toys and around and around they go!

I don't think a group of 10 2's is small! That is a big job.
There's the age old question.....do they get outside enough? Do they get enough active time?

Do you have a co-teacher? He could sit on her lap during circle time.

No, it's not a reward for challenging behavior. It's a behavior management technique and he may thrive with the closeness!

I know the line thing is super hard for 2's. When your attention is turned to something else they run! I've seen two's in a group be wild and crazy for sure!

I'd keep things low key, not too many toys, dim the lights, play soft music all morning, have a number of soft cozy areas, soft plush animals if allowed, talk calmly and softly, set the tone and mood to calm!


He's getting a kick from running around and the reaction he gets from you. So much as when you ignore he turns it up a notch and crawls up on a table to make sure he gets attention.

Being in a group of 2's ramps up some kids. You know, the child care day is quite busy, stimulating, and long. Some kids are just super active too.

Assess your transitions. Make sure you have the least amount.

Can one teacher hold their hands in line during line up for hand washing and walk to the table with them.. They just don't have the ability to self regulate during these wait times yet.? Perfectly normal.

Or Can one of you do a simple jumping game during hand washing? Half the group goes to wash hands the other stays and you all jump up and down, wiggle high, wiggle low, etc. then switch. Or sit in a circle and roll a ball back and forth. Then go sit down.

Also, make sure and comment on any appropriate thing they are doing. You get more of what you notice.
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Unregistered 05:55 PM 06-04-2016
OP here. Thank you everyone for the responses! This is my first full time position and I think a lot of times I wonder if my class is typical of this age group or not, but I feel reassured now that this is probably par for the course with twos. I will try the fidget toys on Monday! I think that may help, I hope. And I am going to hold hands (or just hold) during hand washing etc and stop expecting them to "get it". For whatever reason they aren't there yet, and we all know the definition of insanity.
I do have an assistant teacher with me, she holds hands with one's who are struggling when we walk out to the playground, at circle time, etc. I'm going to share these ideas with her, I think her frustration level will go down if we adjust our expectations.
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