Board????

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by Myname, Jan 20, 2008.

  1. Myname

    Myname Comrade

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    Jan 20, 2008

    Ok I work in a daycare/preschool full time.

    My issue is free play. I know it needs to be however, I get board.

    At our school free play is they do what they want they can do table toys, the computer, color, play house area, blocks, cars, etc.

    We open at 6:30 am and they have free play till morning snack at around 9 or 9:15. This amt of free play time really is long and boring.
    What do you all do during this time? Do you have a long free play time?
    Any prep work has to be done at nap time. At times though we will do cleaning in the room this will not need to be done everyday though. (there has been times when me and the other teacher have done prep work but we get talked to if we do it and are reminded to do it only at nap time.)

    Currently I am looking for just working preschool only. There isn't any job openings in our area.

    I am just wondering if any of you have any ideas to what we can do during this long time.
     
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  3. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    Jan 20, 2008

    We also open at 6:30, and kids freeplay until around 9. It helps us somewhat that the kids all start out in one room, and they split as more kids and staff arrive... I come in at 7:45, and typically have about 5 kids (3's) that I bring over to my room. They are a HUGE help in the mornings... they put the chairs down, take the lunch count to the kitchen, help put out our "sign in" names (they find their name and put it in a pocket chart by the door when they come in)... on Mondays they help me start our laundry, they help getting art supplies from the art closet, etc.

    I am able to get prep work done in the morning and afternoon free play time, but it's not typically something that's super involved... making tracing sheets, copying something, or cutting laminate, mostly. My kids often help, though... they like throwing away my garbage, taking down last month's calendar and weather markers, holding things while I staple on the bulletin board, etc. Especially for the kids who arrive super early, this is something they look forward to.

    We don't necessarily have everything open every day during this time... and we'll often "borrow" toy from another class... this keeps things somewhat fresh for them, as there are different things to do open different days.

    I don't know if any of that was helpful for you, but thought i'd share what we do.
     
  4. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jan 20, 2008

    Are the kids BORED? It does seem like a long time to be in 'free play'. Do you have any flexibility in changing the schedule at all?

    I used to start the morning with table toys. It was a quiet way to start the day as kids were arriving. Then circle time, snack and 'work centers' (I would do one teacher directed center, my aide would direct another, one more would be pretty much self-running) the kids would rotate through the centers. Kids would help clean up. Mix in some outdoor time, a read aloud...My free play time was called 'CENTERS'. Kids would choose which one to STAY in for the center time. I would change up the centers:what was in them, adding zoo animals to the block center if we were studying animals, etc...
     
  5. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    Jan 20, 2008

    czacza, that's what ours is essentially... arrival and dismissal are "free centers" which are also known as "table toys"... one day, there's crayons, legos, lacing boards, puzzles, dinosaurs, writing table... another day might be markers, thistle blocks, gears, big blocks on the carpet, snowflake builders, puppet show... every day is different. I try to mix it up each day, and i often let the kids pick what's out. Because it's a LONG time for many of the kids, they get to choose and rotate at will.

    Then later in the morning we do "centers" which are a combo of teacher directed and independent rotation centers.
     
  6. Myname

    Myname Comrade

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    Jan 20, 2008

    The kids are NOT bored which surprises me. There isn't a lot of fighting either. There has been a time where I looked at my coworker and said at least when there was fighting we had something to do. LOL


    what are work centers?

    Teacher directed center would be fun like doing painting or cutting. When we have to call them to come to us to do an activity I like that because then I am doing something. Sometime their projects need to be started early due to dry time.
    I supose I could create something to call them over to do.
    Maybe I will do that tomorrow have them come to me at a table and cut out a snow flake and I will put it up in the class room.
    Some times I have just sat down in the book area and started reading to a few kids and then before you know it most of the class is there listening.
     
  7. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    Jan 20, 2008

    If it's an issue of your OWN boredom... go play with them. Sit down with them at Legos and build your own creation... help them use the lacing cards correctly... draw a picture with them... see if you can add to the block creation they're building... be their "customer" in the restaurant or doctor's office at dramatic play... they LOVE it and I often learn something every time I sit down with them... it's also modeling some higher-level thinking :)
     
  8. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jan 20, 2008


    You kind of answered your own question- work centers could be project oriented: painting, fine motor, cutting, glueing..I always tried to link to my topic or theme for the week. Could also be counting, a game...
    Remember in preK you want to get some 'school readiness' skills in: listening to a story, taking turns, fine motor skills. Keep it developmentally appropriate and FUN- lots of time for heavy duty curriculum later on!!
     
  9. wItalia

    wItalia Rookie

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    Jan 21, 2008

    I think you are missing the point! This is time for observations, teachiable moments and building relationships. This is your opportunity for that one on one time and small group instruction.
     
  10. Myname

    Myname Comrade

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    Jan 21, 2008

    If we right down anything we observe, like we want to, we are told we CANNOT do that. We have to wait until nap time.

    Oh we talk to them and will play a game but this gets so boring everyday. What I need is Preschool only not the daycare. I think I am getting burned out on the daycare part EVERYDAY!

    I have gone and played with them too they do love that.
     
  11. wItalia

    wItalia Rookie

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    Jan 21, 2008

    I don't think you undersatand what it takes to be a preschool teacher. You are missing the opportunities that the children are bringing to you. What is your Curriculum?
     
  12. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Jan 21, 2008

    I guess I have to ask too, who is bored? You or the kids?

    If you offer a wide variety of hands-on, active and passive activities, they should have plenty to do. And there is nothing wrong with a child who choses to lay down with a book, or just sit and be an onlooker.

    If the teacher is bored, that means IMO...you are not involved in your children's work. Work is the play of children. You should not be doing any paper work (according to administration and all early childhood practices) during the presence. This is their time and you should only be focusing on them. Besides taking attendance or lunch counts, we should only be writing if we are taking ancedotal records.

    Being actively engaged with your children is part of the job. An interviewer has ask me several times, "When I come into your classroom, where will I find you?'

    and my answer is..."On the floor, interacting in play with my class."

    Boredom comes from being overstimulated, understimulated, or having too many choices, or the same materials that are never changed. It is up to you to change puzzles, books, even centers.

    Children who are bored will sit and look aimlessly. They will follow you around, (especially if you are doing other things), and some will tell you "I don't have nothing to do!"

    Adults who are bored are not watching the room. IMO. And that is a recipe for disaster. Children get hurt when they are not carefully watched. There are more than enough things for you to do with your kids. Watch the achievers, work with the introverts. Talk to the shy ones, listen to the talkative ones. Find a bug and don't kill it! See a safety hazzard, cover it up and make a note to fix it. Tell the kids why you are doing this! Sing, laugh, dance, color, paint. Everything they do, you can and should do, even climbing the slide and going down.

    If you can't do these things, that is another issue. :unsure:

    How do you feel they are spending too much time playing? Are they too loud, too noisy, breaking things, losing things, not listening to you when it's time to clean up.

    What is too much playing? :confused:

    I don't understand?

    If you are following a schedule, and they are having some circle time, story time, small group, and free play/outdoor play, a snack, that is more than enough for a half day program. If it is full day, they should have lunch and a nap. In most programs, there is an additional free time until the children depart.

    If you feel they need more instructional time, then it's up to you to restructure your schedule. but preschoolers needs to play. the more time you engaged with them, the faster it will be.

    but then, that's another story...

    time should not be an issue...unless it bothers you

    which begs the same question

    why? :huh:
     
  13. yorkyfan

    yorkyfan Rookie

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    Jan 21, 2008

    Hi! I work in a Montessori school and all activity of the children from 9 to 12 in the morning is self-directed. That is, they select materials from the shelves and they do the work without my interference. As a montessori assistant, I am expected to sit and quietly observe the children to gain a deeper understanding of where they are developmentally. We are expected to sit on a low stool or on the floor so that we are on their level. The children are just glad to have me sit next to them and watch what they are doing. I will converse with them or assist them as they need it. So, i guess the point of this post is use the time you have to gain an understanding and appreciation of your children.
     
  14. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Jan 21, 2008

    While your kids are involved in this free play, set out some art lessons on your art table(call it that, the ART TABLE,) and tell them that if anyone wants to join in on the art project, to come on over! You won't have time to be bored! My kids flock to the table to see what's in store. This is a great time to teach small motor skills with use of scissors, etc. Get going girl!
     
  15. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Jan 21, 2008

    WOW... Uh, am the only one who missed this??

    there is nothing funny about kids fighting or considering this as the highlight of your day.

    work centers or areas are places that should be in every preschool classroom. they include science, art/writing, reading, table toys, etc. they are places where the children can get their own materials freely, and work independently. You can and should go over and interact with them, but for the most part, the space should be large enough for 2-4 kids to work alone. If you are working with them directly, that is called small group time.

    the fact that your kids are content and you aren't is a bigger problem
     
  16. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    Jan 22, 2008

    Our free play isn't as long, because we are only half day, but I never, ever find it boring. I change centers once a month, on a rotating basis (blocks first week, house the next, etc.) so I spend a good part of playtime in the "new" areas, playing with the kids to be a role model about use of materials. For example, today I changed the house center into a vet's office, and we added a letter game in the literacy corner. I pretty much showed them the letter game, then let my aide take over in that area, but I stuck really close to the vet center, giving ideas about how to use materials, and making sure they weren't using them in dangerous ways.

    I also have led things at the art table. As play time starts, I just announce something like, "If you sign up for art today, you'll have the chance to make a snowman with me if you'd like. " Then, I'm there, with materials, and I talk the kids through the project. I don't model or show them what to do, but I will give a lot of comments and feedback, and be there to introduce materials...

    I think this is one of the best times of day to observe kids. I don't know why your director doesn't want you writing down your observations during this time. That's just insane. I keep a clipboard with cards attached for each child with me at all times, and I'll just jot down whatever I see, right on thier card. You can see a LOT at playtime. It may be things like, "Alex cut on a straight line for the first time" or "Jane made a pattern with the unifix cubes without guidance." Those are important thigns to document!

    Above all, TALK with your kids. Kids today are in homes where they aren't communicated with appropriately. Be available to read and discuss a story. Comment on the things they are making. USe open-ended comments and questions. Extend their vocabulary. Don't talk at them, don't give them commands...have a real conversation!
    Kim
     
  17. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Jan 22, 2008

    I agree with the talking. That's what brings their ability to do well in Kinder. They begin to understand turn taking, social skills and background knowledge to help them grow into the next grade. More importantly, ask them questions. Get them thinking.
     
  18. imat

    imat Rookie

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    Boy I have to say you all have said it well.:2up: If you are board then you need to rethink what you are doing.
     
  19. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Why does everyone keep typing board, when it's bored???????
     
  20. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Jan 22, 2008

    I was waiting for somebody else Grammy...:unsure:

    said more than enough already...

    you guys know where I am going...

    work is something we do to get paid
    our career..our profession is something we do with a passion

    there is never a dull moment in preschool....
     
  21. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    and I wrote "tying" instead of typing! Have to be able to take it if we dish it out!!!!!!! Anyway, board was bugging me, so I had to fix it and then my typing error was bugging me so I had to fix that...ohhhhhhh well.
     
  22. imat

    imat Rookie

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    Thank you for the correction. I'm a dyslexic and words like that really mess me up:confused:
     
  23. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Jan 22, 2008

    is it a homophone or homonym??


    words that sound the same, spelled differently

    yeah homo-same, phone-sound
     
  24. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    I still think you're great. Spelling doesn't MAKE the person you know! It was just bugging me, ya know, like a little gnat in your eye? :haha:
     
  25. little317

    little317 Groupie

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    There are many days that I wish there was more Free play time to do observations of students. My students love the days I don't have small groups or do formal assessments and actually have time to "Play" with them at stations.
     

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