Back to School: Rule Reminders

Since I’m back to school tomorrow, I’ve been thinking again about my ESL lessons, and remembered an interesting moment from last term. I was getting frustrated with one of my kindergarten classes so right at the start of the lesson I told the children that if they crawl under the tables they will lose all their points.

I usually give my kindy kids four points at the start of the lesson next to their names on the board. Each point represents a stamp that they get on their ‘stamp card’ at the end of class. When they finish their stamp cards they get a nice present. With the older kids, I start them on two points which encourages them to earn more points as well as be in a position to lose the ones they already have if they misbehave, but the kindy kids seem to respond better to losing points and then earning them back.

Anyway, I was in quite a friendly mood when I gave this ‘lose all your points’ warning and since it was the start of class, some of the kids hadn’t arrived yet. So, I was amazed to see the children pass on my warning to those late comers as they came into the classroom. Needless to say, not one kid went under the tables.

The next week however, while singing the ‘Hello Song’, H-kun snuck away from the group and started for the tables. I quickly stopped the song, and asked him if he remembered last week’s warning. Suddenly, one of the girls said “Eh? You mean we can’t go under the tables this week either?”

The moral of this little story is that young children need to be reminded constantly of the rules. This doesn’t mean disciplining them after they do something wrong, but rather reviewing the class rules before they have a chance to.

If you aren’t already doing this, give it a try! You’ll probably have a trouble free and enjoyable lesson!

If you like, you can find me on Twitter at @nick_ramsay. I'd love to hear from you!