Anyone with breakfast in the classroom?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by snickydog, Jul 22, 2009.

  1. snickydog

    snickydog Groupie

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    Jul 22, 2009

    Our school is starting to have breakfast in the classroom during our regular school day this year. It should only be about 10 minutes, and I'm glad in some ways because it will ensure each kid has the chance to have a healthy breakfast. However, does anyone have recommendations for routines on how to do things like put away BEE books, check homework, etc while the kids are eating?
     
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  3. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Jul 22, 2009

    I would make those routines separate. Don't rush their eating too much. Their tummies are little and they eat slower than you and I. 10 minutes is enough time to eat if the food is already served but if they have to get their food and situate themselves, that might actually be a rush. I don't know this for sure. I just know it took 15 minutes for me to get 2 girls to go through a breakfast lunch line (lot more choices there though), to get situated and seated, finish eating and clean up.
     
  4. Ilovefirst

    Ilovefirst Comrade

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    Jul 22, 2009

    My kiddos have breakfast in the classroom. Most days it's ok. Some days... welllllll.......... we've had a few milk spills that have been a bit traumatic to a neighbor! My kiddos come in, bring their folder to me, check in for lunch count (we often have a choice) and then ask if they may go get their breakfast. Some of the upper grade kiddos are allowed to get their breakfast before they go to their classroom and they end up wandering around the hallways. I do suggest that you have a roll of real paper towels on hand. My dispenser is one of those no-touch deals and it's really frustrating when there is a carton full of milk streaming across a table and onto the floor to stand there at the dispenser getting small sections...

    One of our second grade teachers only had a few students eat breakfast at school and was able to have a "breakfast table" to avoid those traumatic spills on a neighbor's morning work or books.
     
  5. Teaching Grace

    Teaching Grace Connoisseur

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    Jul 22, 2009

    Yep. We have breakfast. It won't be 10 minutes. It will be about 30 minutes. The students take forever to eat, clean up, and their will be tons and tons of accidents. Orange juice in the floor, same goes for milk, grape juice, apple juice. The floor will be sticky, it will get all over their morning work, books, desks, carpets, etc....

    I'm hoping that our custodians are coming up with new ideas this summer on how NOT to eat in our classrooms. Oh, and your trashcan will be completely filled with trays, milk filled cereal bowls that they forgot to empty at the fountain.....

    I'm sorry that I'm so bitter about this point. Our schedule has been changed for this year and my class will HAVE to start at 8:15. I'm not going to be able to push it to 8:30 like I could this year. I'll be looking forward to anything that anyone else says (that's slightly more positive) again, I am sorry but these are some realities that I face with 3rd graders, not sure how 1st graders would be. These are some possible problems that you might want to think about though.
     
  6. Ilovefirst

    Ilovefirst Comrade

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    Jul 22, 2009

    OOOO - almost forgot. I have a plastic pasta strainer that sits in my sink. The kiddos very easily learn to dump their leftover cereal into that so the milk goes down the sink and then they dump the strainer into the garbage. Keeps the cereal out of the drain and the milk out of the garbage can... and the custodian and I basically happy about the whole deal.
     
  7. Maryhf

    Maryhf Connoisseur

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    Jul 22, 2009

    One of the teachers I subbed for had a breakfast routine that I liked. The school supplied paper placemats (but I think you could get those plastic ones at walmart, wipe clean and reuse). she kept a colander in the sink and the kids strained their milk and cereal there and it was a student's job to empty it. She had a morning routine that the kids wanted to do so they ate fairly quickly. She did everyday math boxes.
     
  8. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    Jul 22, 2009

    I think the idea of a breakfast table is great. You wouldn't even need chairs - that would help them eat faster, and they like standing up to eat for some reason. Later in the day that table could be used for centers.
     
  9. MrsCSoup

    MrsCSoup Rookie

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    Jul 22, 2009

    Well, I teach 4th grade so I don't know how helpful this will be. When students start arriving, I send 2 kiddos to the cafeteria to pick up all the breakfasts (about 7:30 a.m.). (Our cafeteria has everything in 1 basket. They also send a big trashbag.) As soon as they get back, they pass out the breakfast. It doesn't matter if the student is there or not it goes on their desk. Usually the students who eat breakfast are at school early anyway. My students have until 7:55 to eat, fill out agenda, and complete morning work (usually a math prompt). I haven't had too many accidents--maybe a spill or 2. The biggest problem has been cereal in our sink/clogging drain! As long as the kids are doing what they are supposed to be doing the breakfast in the classroom idea can work :) I don't mind it so much and I have even been dubbed a "neat freak" by fellow teachers.
     
  10. Mrs.DLC

    Mrs.DLC Comrade

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    Jul 22, 2009

    It is a bit of a hassle for me. I agree, they need to eat breakfast. However, at my school they give the late bus kids a sack breakfast to bring to class. So, there are 4 or 5 kids eating and the others aren't. Finally, I made them sit at the back table and not talk. Otherwise, it was a 25-30 minute eat/chat time! The year before they gave them a late pass-they stayed int he cafeteria-I much preferred that!!Lots of food on the floor, etc!!
     
  11. Ms.Jasztal

    Ms.Jasztal Maven

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    Jul 22, 2009

    The kids have to go to the cafeteria on their own, but come back with the trays to eat in the classroom. It takes about 10-15 minutes for them to eat, and maybe I had two spills/accidents the entire year last year. I certainly don't like having the trays with the milk-filled cereal in my trash, either, but it's inevitable... despite how many times you may remind your students, it may still happen, unless you have your trash can next to the sink.

    Also, my students are encouraged to work on morning work (silent reading, math) at the same time, and they are fine.
     
  12. Proud2BATeacher

    Proud2BATeacher Phenom

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    Jul 22, 2009

    My kids don't have breakfast in my class but they do eat their lunch in the classroom. If their breakfast is waiting for them in the classroom, there should be no reason why they can't eat it in 10 minutes if they are not visiting with each other. I have a carpet sweeper in my class and my students are expected to clean under their desk after snack or lunch if there are any crumbs. I also have a spray bottle with dish soap in it and cloth at my sink and they must also wipe down their desks after snack time (even if they just have fruit snacks) and lunch time.

    I spent a lot of time in the beginning of the year teaching them my expectations. Facing forward, feet on the floor, eating over their desks, no talking with food in their mouths, how to clean up so they don't make extra crumbs on the floor (I had students wiping their crumbs off of their desk onto the floor:whistle:), what to do if they are full and don't want anymore, not to take big bites, how to hold certain foods so that they will be able to eat it neatly, not to open/take food if they are not planning on eating it, etc...

    My school is looking to start a breakfast program, but I am not looking forward to it, because they want to take 30-45 minutes of instructional time to serve lunch:eek:hmy:. We do not have a cafeteria so they are expecting staff to come early and make breakfast for the students. All of our students are bused and in the winter the buses could be up to an hour late. We do serve a snack in the mornings on their arrival. Right now about 75% of our students eat breakfast at home and a lot of those that don't, choose not to b/c they like the snack at school better.... If a parent phones and tells us their child didn't have breakfast or don't have lunch, we do provide a hot meal for their child.
     
  13. peggy27

    peggy27 Cohort

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    Jul 22, 2009

    I just find this so interesting. Is there a reason why the kids don't eat breakfast in the lunchroom? We serve breakfast but they eat in the lunchroom. If they don't eat they are to wait outside or on the other side of gym if it is cold or wet.
     
  14. I<3kiddos

    I<3kiddos Rookie

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    Jul 22, 2009

    I had my kids take care of all their folders, backpacks, lunch count, and table labs before they ate their breakfast. I did this for a couple of reasons. The main reason was that I had several kids who were consistently late, but did not eat breakfast at home. By starting breakfast at the bell instead of before, it gave those kids time to get into the classroom. The other reason I did it that way was to keep table labs out of the way while my TA cleaned the tables after breakfast when we moved to the carpet.
     
  15. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Jul 22, 2009

    Food in the classroom seems to always create a mess. I do like the ideas about how to make it work. The loss of academic time is also a problem. Maybe the children can have a discussion of a math concept, or verbally relate a story, or have show and tell, or the teacher can read to them during breakfast. Maybe it could be the morning circle time. I agree with a pp that allowing the children to eat at their own pace is important. The social skills and nutrition make the program worthwhile
     
  16. Lainy2121

    Lainy2121 Rookie

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    Jul 23, 2009

    We ate breakfast in the classroom for the first time last year, simply to save instructional time (the cafeteria is really far away from our rooms!). It was ok for the most part just a couple spills every now and again (milk on carpet does not smell good three days later!). I made my students upack and then they went to get their breakfast to bring back to the room. I let them eat basically whenever and however long they wanted. In fourth grade they could eat and get their work done at the same time. It wasn't really a problem. As long as their work was getting done, I didn't see a problem with them taking their time to eat.
     
  17. Ilovefirst

    Ilovefirst Comrade

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    Jul 23, 2009

    We don't have staff to supervise it at that time. And, you'd be talking probably over half the school... probably 200 kiddos.
     
  18. Missy99

    Missy99 Connoisseur

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    Jul 23, 2009

    You are so right (once again!), cNg.

    Studies have shown that there is a definite link between eating quickly and the preponderance toward obesity.

    When we rush kids to "hurry up and finish," we are doing them no favor.

    Kids KNOW how to eat -- slowly. We should follow their example.

    I know there are time constraints and I, too, have had to tell the kids to finish quickly. Please just keep this info in mind.
     
  19. karebear76

    karebear76 Habitué

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    Jul 23, 2009

    Be thankful those of you with sinks available. My school did this with 4-5th for 2 years & added 3rd last year. None of the classrooms have sinks in them. Kids went to the cafeteria to get their trays, then returned to class. The janitors put big trash cans in the hallway for the trash, then emptied them after breakfast. The rooms have carpet & it was always a headache for 4th b/c they switch classes & started switching at 9:00 one year. So kids were juggling trays with open cereal bowls, juice, milk, syrup, etc as well as the supplies they needed for the next class: books, art boxes, folders, etc.

    Our school did this to cut down on time. The big kids would linger in the cafeteria until 9:30 if you'd let them.

    Still a mess & a headache for my colleagues. I do like the idea of the strainers for those of you with sinks, as well as teaching the kids to clean their own desks after eating. Those things could make a big difference.
     
  20. Kindergarten31

    Kindergarten31 Cohort

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    Jul 23, 2009

    We tried it at our school and everyone hated it so much we gave it up and use the cafeteria. Our rooms are carpeted and we had so much chocolate milk spilt, it was disgusting. Food was everywhere and some kids did take 30 minutes to eat. Food was also all over our campus because when the children picked up their breakfast, they would eat it on the way to the class and dump stuff everywhere. All breakfast is in the cafeteria now-it is very orderly ( we probably have 200 eaters also), with our cafeteria manager and behavior specialist overseeing this duty. I also hate to be negative, but it was a difficult situation.
     
  21. cheeryteacher

    cheeryteacher Enthusiast

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    Jul 23, 2009

    When I had breakfast in the classroom two students would go and get the breakfast from the cafeteria. I would call up the students that ordered breakfast to get their meal. After everyone was seated I set the timer for 10 minutes and after that two students came around with a plastic trash bag to collect the trash. Another student came by and wiped desks. I tied up the trash bag and we were done.
    Tips:
    -No talking during breakfast or cleanup. They had to concentrate on eating and if they didn't order breakfast they read silently. THis also prevents messes and slow eaters
    -I decided to throw all trash into a bag rather than having the students empty their milk in the sink. In order to prevent leaks I put the trash bag into a plastic rubbermaid container and the kids pushed the container with their feet. If the trash bag springs a leak the rubbermaid container can be easily cleaned. Also we ate a lot of cereal, so it was hard for them to drain their milk without clogging the drain with cereal.
     
  22. peridotylayne

    peridotylayne Companion

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    Jul 23, 2009

    We have breakfast in the classroom. It runs pretty smoothly for the most part. The custodians bring the breakfast box in the morning at about 745. Students are let in the classroom at 755. Once they've sat down and settled themselves, I either call them to line up as a group or by table to get their food, milk, and juice. While they're eating they have morning announcements going on. I have a student who goes around and checks homework - so I choose someone responsible and who eats fast - haha. We have buckets in the hallway where they pour milk, juice, cereal and trashbags on the door to throw trash. Custodians come back around the classroom at 815 to pick everything up.
     
  23. peridotylayne

    peridotylayne Companion

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    Jul 23, 2009

    We have breakfast in the classroom because its a low socioeconomic community. We also have free lunch for all the students in the district. Plus during the summer, there's a free lunch program for the kids who need it.
     
  24. MissMaurie

    MissMaurie Companion

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    Jul 23, 2009

    I LOVE breakfast in the classroom!

    Here's how it works for us:

    Cafeteria staff brings an ice chest/tray with our breakfast to our rooms along with a large trash can that sits in the hall between two classrooms.
    I walk my students from the auditorium back to the classroom and greet each student at the door. They then walk inside and get their breakfast and begin eating. If a student chooses not to eat they must sit at their table and wait for me to finish eating my breakfast.
    When a student is finished and has thrown away their trash, they put up their backpack, bring their folder to me to check (yes sometimes the line is long but we deal with it), then get their materials for the day before sitting on the carpet (I usually have songs playing for them to sing to).
    I have a breakfast helper who puts our ice chest/tray in the hallway and checks the tables and wipes them if necessary.

    Some days take longer than others, but it usually took about 15 minutes. Of course, I had students that would have taken 2 hours to eat, but when our announcements were finished (appr. 12-15 minutes after we came to class) you HAD to begin cleaning up. Students who took too long did not get their folder checked immediately and did not receive their stickers on their chart for completing homework, etc. because I was not able to check it in a timely manner.

    Cereal was our biggest hurdle. My rule is to only pour in as much milk as you can drink. Students were not allowed to get up from their table if there was milk in the bowl. They had to drink it all with their straw. I didn't have many spills and when I did my "custodian" cleaned it up along with the offender.

    Breakfast in the classroom depends on the amount of time you spend teaching the procedures, just like anything else. There were days when I did not get to check everyones (or anyones) folders. I just had to make time for it during conference or centers.

    Good luck!
     
  25. snickydog

    snickydog Groupie

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    Jul 23, 2009

    Thanks for all the input, everyone! Like a previous poster said, we're doing it because we're in a low SES area and, while breakfast previously was offered before school hours, this program (federally funded) is supposed to help increase the number of students eating breakfast, eating healthy, and getting to school on time.

    I like the idea of having songs on the students can sing while everyone is cleaning and getting their work checked. We have so little time at school as it is, I'd love to try to get as much productivity in as possible, although I know it's important to get the kids breakfast, too. As the students come into the building, they'll stop by a table and pick up the food in a bag as they come in. At least it'll be contained in that way!
     

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