Child Screams and Runs Around the Classroom When Asked to Put Montessori Activities Away
I have a child in the class who just turned three. Very smart. His parents are bilingual. Repeats words, phrases or sentences you say in third person. He can sit down and do work but when he is done he would start screaming or running around the room wall to wall. Then would have a hard time going back to work. He has a fascination on fans and makes fan out of most if the materials. Recently he has been pulling hair in random no apparent reason and no show of emotions toward the child. Are these sign of something about the child or just simply a child lacking communication skills which will come soon. Thanks.
So what to do at school? When we encountered this problem, we gave group lessons on how to put your work away. We'd ring the bowl, have everyone stop and look, while one of the teachers took out a material, did the activity, and then put it away (Montessori Social Grace and Courtesy). Then, the teacher picks a child to have a turn. Do this once a day for a few days.
We also did puppet shows after play time, and we did the same thing, only with puppets (and talking), then the puppets would ask the children questions about it... sort of like a Q & A.
Another method we tried was paring up the young child with an older child, they did an activity together and the older child would model the behavior (put the activity away).
Pulling hair: Give lessons on how to touch someone, on how to be gentle (Montessori Social Grace and Courtesy). Do a puppet show. Ask the parents if he does this at home, or if another sibling pulls hair. Also give lessons on how to ask someone to play with you...
Thanks Lisa. For sharing your time and knowledge to us. These are great suggestions. What do you think about his fascination about fans or anything shaped or move like it? Is it just a phase?
It's very common in preschool children! A new practical life skill is almost always repeated, given the chance! To move him forward, you can make fan matching activities, fans from Japan, fans from China, counting fans, color matching fans... Once you know a child's interest, expand on it!
Photo credit: Nisha A / Foter / CC BY