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Managing large classes of preschool children

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Here are two great tips for managing large classes of preschool children.

Start a wave

Introduce this idea early in the school year and use it when the class become noisy or too excited. Start a wave, or any action, like a bird flying, or just swaying your arms from side to side. Children notice and copy you. As others see what is going on, they join in. Continue the movement until you have everyone finish with the last action, fingers on lips or hands gently over the mouth. Everyone should now be facing forward, quiet and attentive, ready to start a new activity quietly. Use the same actions the first few times but once children are familiar with the process, vary the moves to make it unpredictable and interesting.

Once kids know the routine, a teacher can silently and effortlessly gain everyone’s attention.

Separate troublemakers

To split up naughty children, use this game, so young children will not notice that you are deliberately separating troublemakers. First, all children close their eyes and cover them. Then, tap two children lightly, and those two open their eyes, stand up, and swap places silently. Next, ask the others to open their eyes and say who has moved. Repeat this two or three times, moving well-behaved children as well as naughty ones. If you only move the naughty ones, pupils may realize what you are doing, and it won’t seem like a game anymore.

More tips for managing large classes of preschool children

Preschool kids need to move, so have kids move on the spot if your classroom is small. Watch out for big kids pushing small ones over. Make sure any visuals are big enough and that kids can see you. Play listening games in silence where being quiet is part of the game. Have kids whisper, and remembering to whisper is part of the game. Never try to shout over the noise. Instead, have a signal all kids know, like the wave described above, to get everyone’s attention when the noise level goes up.

You’ll find many more great tips in my games books for preschool and primary children. You have a choice of instant download, click on the pictures just below, or paperbacks from Amazon, or order from your local bookstore.

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