There are fewer behavioral problems when a program is success oriented
from the beginning. A child who is experiencing success is less likely to become
bored or want to disrupt the class.
There are, however, two important rules you should explain to the children
in the beginning and enforce consistently. The first is that there are to be no
collisions. In fact, there should be no touching unless it happens to be a specific
part of an activity. To phrase this positively, you can say, “We will give each other
enough space to move” or “We will always leave enough space for our friends.” At
the start this may be difficult to enforce, especially with the youngest children—
because they generally enjoy colliding with one another! So it is your challenge to
make it a goal for the children not to interfere with one another.
You can accomplish this by asking the children to space themselves evenly
at the beginning of every movement session (carpet squares or hoops can help
with this). Explain the idea of personal space to them, perhaps by encouraging
the children to imagine they are each surrounded by a giant bubble; whether
standing still or moving, they should avoid causing any of the bubbles to burst.
Another image that works quite successfully is that of dolphins swimming.
Children who have seen these creatures in action, either at an aquarium or on
television, will be able to relate to the fact that dolphins swim side by side but
never get close enough to touch one another. The goal, then, is for the children
to behave similarly. (Providing pictures of dolphins swimming together would
also be helpful.)