Block clean up

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by Miller59, Oct 19, 2011.

  1. Miller59

    Miller59 Companion

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    Oct 19, 2011

    I have a block area for the first time this year and I'm finding it hard to manage at clean-up time. We teach the kids to clean up one project before going on to the next. But with blocks it gets confusing because as one kid leaves another steps in and wants to continue building on the same project. Soon all the blocks are out and it is a job to get them clean up. I have been starting clock clean up earlier and that helps some, but I wonder how the rest of you handle blocks.
     
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  3. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    Oct 19, 2011

    I have the child who is leaving blocks begin to learn "I am finished. (Bobby) is there any thing you need me to clean up?" This allows "Bobby" the ability to decide to move on with you before all the blocks are left for him, I explain to the children. Then when it is going to be clean up time in a second I invite the block area first (by like 5 min) and tell the groups close them that they have less out so they don't have to start yet. Then I actually chat with block kids while they clean (sorta a reward for stopping early). I don't use a clock.......but we clean super well!
     
  4. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    Oct 19, 2011

    I play a song during clean up and the try to get everything done before the song ends. Also, it is everyone's responsibility to keep our classroom clean and we are a team so we all work at cleaning everything up whether we played there or not. No one can sit down in circle or wash their hands or whatever is the next activity until it is picked up. Also, my chair is right near the block area so it is convenient for me to help and/or encourage them.
     
  5. Miller59

    Miller59 Companion

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    Oct 19, 2011

    Thanks WAProvider -- that's a good idea.

    scmom -- we do the same thing. Lately the clean up song has had to play 2 or 3 times. It complicates things that the block shelf is a small space and the blocks are spread out right in front of it. Makes movement for the children a little more difficult.

    Right now one of us - teacher or aid -- sits near the shelf and offer support, direction, comments on the good work, etc. I have been having a problem with the same few wanting to avoid clean up, and they are pretty creative in their efforts : ), but that's a different issue.

    Thanks for sharing and please excuse the typo in the title of my post.
     
  6. raynepoe

    raynepoe Companion

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    Oct 19, 2011

    One thing to add...

    I also ask my block area to clean up a couple minutes earlier but sometimes I will assign jobs in blocks for the clean up until all my kids are able to sort the blocks. I have a mixed aged group 3 -5 and the abilities are very varied, so I will ask two of my "senior" students to put the blocks on the shelf where my "juniors" will collect the blocks and bring them . I have them bring one type at a time and I have the seniors tell them what kind they want (i.e. the really long flat one) - not only does it make the blocks spiffy (I hate messy blocks) but it gets the kids to talk in math terms.

    :rolleyes:
     
  7. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    Oct 19, 2011

    I have been known to say if you leave all the work for the friends the 'work" will just come back out and YOU have to clean it up all alone. Just sayin'. Has to be a pretty pervasive issue not just a potty trip though.
     
  8. ash_sk8s

    ash_sk8s Companion

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    Oct 19, 2011

    We pretty much never pick them up as we go. I try to kind of remember who was playing so that I can ask them to help pick up during clean up time.
     
  9. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Oct 19, 2011

    Unless you are super tied to the blocks being sorted, try keeping them in a clothes basket.
     
  10. MissMav

    MissMav Rookie

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    Oct 20, 2011

    I agree with Blue. I have some bigger blocks (these cardboard builder blocks) and I have 2 "nooks" (I guess they would be called nooks) for them. No specific order, just put them there when it is clean up time.
     
  11. Miller59

    Miller59 Companion

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    Oct 20, 2011

    Thanks you guys!

    I have to admit that I am pretty tied to the blocks being sorted. Maybe I'll get over that in time ;)

    raynepoe I like your idea. I also have a mixed age group and that might be a nice way to move the process from being so teacher led to more student led.

    I appreciate all the input.
     
  12. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    I am a recovering block sorter. I have made it through all of the recovery steps for most of the types of my blocks....just those darn unit blocks. Still sorting those? I don't know why. That is why I help the block team! I feel bad!
     
  13. raynepoe

    raynepoe Companion

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    That is my weakness too.... I can allow the other blocks in baskets but those really bother me all mixed up (plus we have Creative Curriculum and they stress them being sorted well) They are my enablers....lol

    :help::help::help:
     
  14. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    Yep, we use Creative Curriculum as well........I really do have quite the shape chat though during clean up...just as the program said we would. However, shouting "put the rectangles here!" isn't the same.....

    So, I help, I thank, I chat up the block folks and low and behold cleaning that area up is one of the high points of clean up time.
     
  15. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    Oct 23, 2011

    Raynepoe...

    Is it bad that I just bought a different size and wight of unit blocks? Now I have foam large ones and wood mid ones and wood small ones......oh, no!
     
  16. raynepoe

    raynepoe Companion

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    LOL,:eek: I think you are gonna regress .... but it is okay because you have a whole online community's support to get through this difficult time! :lol:
     
  17. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    Whew! As long as I am not alone out there. As I was sorting them to get ready for Monday....all I could think....was great....now I have to post again!

    Hello, my name is Waprovider and I am.....a "block sorter".
     
  18. forkids

    forkids Cohort

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    Oct 23, 2011

    It helps to give them a tub or bin of some kind to gather blocks in then carry them to the shelf. Sometimes I show them how to make a "chain of kids" and hand the blocks from person to person down the chain to the person at the shelf to put away-they think this is great fun!
    We're in Georgia Pre-K and they require the majority of the unit blocks to be sorted and stacked on labeled shelves.
    For those who won't help clean, I have the cleaners leave some of the mess just for them to finish by themselves while the others move on to something fun-works pretty well with most kids.
     
  19. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    Oct 23, 2011

    For kids you sound like my room! We are the best at a kid chain!!!!!! Maybe we should race you sometime! Love to know I am not alone..........thanks. *wink*
     
  20. ash_sk8s

    ash_sk8s Companion

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    Oct 23, 2011

    Wow I am SO glad we do not have to sort our blocks. I'd want to shoot myself.
     
  21. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    Oct 24, 2011

    I just have to laugh....it is so crazy that I do this. If you knew me you would laugh as well. Yep, I do sort the unit blocks......and right now that is about all I have room for, due to my new acquisition! What a dork! It really does offer a great shape lesson and a great bonding experience....but sometimes I wonder if it is worth all the effort. At least I don't have my shelves labeled. I told the children "they can decide where the matches go!" Like it is a privilege! So crazy of me. Maybe someone who is doing Creative Curriculum or something similar can explain why it is such a great idea. I just have a crazy thing for it? I don't know why!
     
  22. forkids

    forkids Cohort

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    Oct 24, 2011

    Georgia Pre-K's reasoning for the kids sorting the blocks and stacking on labeled shelves is that is it a good math and social skills activity: sorting, grouping, matching, shape, spatial awareness, working together, etc.
     
  23. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    Ha! See, that is what I thought. I just hoped there was more to it! I must say, I do like the conversation. Remembering to calm down and find time for it is the hard part for me.
     

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