Behavioral Expectations in the Preschool Classroom

Anyone who has spent time with three, four, and five-year-olds understands that they can have limited attention spans. Three-year-old children can follow simple, one-step directions. Fourand five-year-olds can follow simple two-step commands with success. But, when children are given too many directions to follow, they will not be able to process all the information.

In contrast, four-and five-year-olds can sit and listen to a story or watch a science demonstration that has a hands-on activity for about 10 to 15 minutes. Anything longer and they are fidgeting, and looking around the room.

Learning to get along with other children is one of the most important milestones for three, four, and five-year-olds. Children need to learn how to work and cooperate with one another. Aggressive behavior can be seen in the way in which some three, four, and five-year-olds express their anger or frustration over a situation, it is not acceptable classroom behavior. At this age, children need to understand that using words instead of actions is the more effective way of communicating their feelings.

Preschoolers find comfort and security in the repetition of routines. Having a routine that the children follow helps them feel that they have control over their environment and helps them anticipate events.



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