Managing Behavior in Kindergarten Groups

Running Kindergarten counseling groups is an experience in itself. Many of the students are new to a school setting, and behavior norms and expectations are still unfamiliar. But it doesn’t have to be a chaotic, negative experience! Kids will rise to the expectations and boundaries we have in place. If you’re looking for tips for Kindergarten behavior management in group counseling, keep reading to find 6 tried and true strategies!

Looking for Kindergarten behavior management tips for your group counseling sessions? Check out these 6 tried and true strategies for Kindergarten group counseling lessons and Kindergarten group counseling sessions. Boost counseling classroom management strategies with these easy to implement strategies to help your Kindergarten students learn new skills in small group counseling!

Kindergarten Behavior Management in Group Counseling

1 – Emphasis on SMALL group

Keep those Kindergarten groups small! Ideally, I have 3-4 students in my Kindergarten groups. Sometimes even the 4-student groups feel too big! Observations before group starts and individual “interviews” with students before group will give you a good idea of how many students can successfully participate in the group together.

2 – Use a visual schedule

Use a schedule to let students know what to expect! This is something I like to make with the students in the first session and let them help me determine symbols to represent each part of the schedule. For example, we might agree that a heart will represent our feelings check-in. A game die might represent the fun activity we’re doing during the session. Getting students involved in making the schedule will help you get some buy-in and encourage them to reference and understand the schedule when they see in each session.

Looking for Kindergarten behavior management tips for your group counseling sessions? Check out these 6 tried and true strategies like this school counseling visual schedule for group counseling routines.

3 – Use incentives

Good old fashioned incentives work! Your incentives don’t have to be tangible, but they could be. Set up a “first/then” contingency with your incentive. For example:

  • First I will teach you something new. Then, we will play a game to practice!
  • First, we will practice our new skill. Then we will have a 3-minute dance party!
  • First, we will practice our new skills. Then, you can earn a sticker.
Looking for Kindergarten behavior management tips for your group counseling sessions? Check out these 6 tried and true strategies!

4 – Assign responsibilities

Keep behaviors in check by assigning each group member a role during the session. One person might be in charge of reminding others to use materials appropriately. One person might be in charge of giving a visual cue to remind others to wait for the talking stick. Or one person might be in charge of passing out or retrieving materials. Rotate roles in each session!

5 – Move, move, move!

Kindergarteners need to move! Incorporate some type of movement into each of your sessions. Do a fun movement-based transition when you move from the table to the carpet. Practice your session skill in a movement-based game. For example, in my self control group, we practice lots of body control with freeze dance or musical chairs style activities. In worry groups, we get our heart rates high with some movement and then practice bringing them back down with controlled breathing.

6 – Anticipate roadblocks

Know that your students struggle with impulse control? Don’t leave markers out on the table. Know another class is going to be practicing their concert song in the room next door during group time? Relocate. We can’t prevent all roadblocks, but a little extra prep and prevention can go a long way!

What are your best tips for Kindergarten behavior management in group counseling? Let us know below! Looking for more tips on Kindergarten behavior management in classroom guidance? Check out these strategies I use when I’m with the whole class!

Looking for Kindergarten behavior management tips for your group counseling sessions? Check out these 6 tried and true strategies for Kindergarten group counseling lessons and Kindergarten group counseling sessions. Boost counseling classroom management strategies with these easy to implement strategies to help your Kindergarten students learn new skills in small group counseling!
Looking for Kindergarten behavior management tips for your group counseling sessions? Check out these 6 tried and true strategies for Kindergarten group counseling lessons and Kindergarten group counseling sessions. Boost counseling classroom management strategies with these easy to implement strategies to help your Kindergarten students learn new skills in small group counseling!

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