Breakfast in the Classroom

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by jpablot, Aug 15, 2013.

  1. jpablot

    jpablot Rookie

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    Aug 15, 2013

    So each day, my students are provided a breakfast in the classroom. I'm worried about getting these students to focus after they are finished eating. Especially since they won't all be finishing at the same time. What do you suggest I do to keep them under control during this time? Find a worksheet for when they finish? I can't just have them read since it is the 1st day and they don't have a book yet.
     
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  3. Myrisophilist

    Myrisophilist Habitué

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    Aug 15, 2013

    You could enlist the kids who finish early to help with specific classroom chores. Have a list of things like picking up a certain area or replenishing the paper stack that kids know to do when they're done.
     
  4. bek3

    bek3 Rookie

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    I think you are right in that it may be difficult to get them to focus after breakfast if it is unstructured like lunchtime. I would have them eat silently while working on your regular morning work assignment.

    If you have an open house/back to school night prior to the first day you could have them select a book that they would like to read and leave it at their desk. I do this, it is always interesting to see which book the students select. It tells me their preferred type of book as well as if they are able to select a good fit book.
     
  5. bison

    bison Habitué

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  6. schoolteacher

    schoolteacher Habitué

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    I use that time to read aloud to them. If they finish eating, they wait until I am done reading, and then I call them by tables to clean up.
     
  7. teacherman1

    teacherman1 Devotee

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    Aug 16, 2013

    Breakfast in the classroom is one of the most ridiculous ideas to come down from the educrats in the last 4 or 5 years. It's a money driven idea that turns teachers into waiters/waitresses and custodians and actually takes away valuable teaching time.

    The school saves money by not having to provide extra kitchen help and supervision in the morning and the food service provider makes a killing because they provide even lower quality foods (a muffin rather than a meal) and get credit for serving 100% of the students. My experience was that kids took only what they wanted and wasted the rest.

    For example, almost all took the juice pak, but less than 10% drank the milk. This milk (probably the healthiest part of the meal) was sent back to the kitchen and THROWN OUT at the end of the day. But the food service got full credit. Big business wins again - at the expense of the kids and the lowly teachers.

    SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS!!!!!
     
  8. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    When my children finish eating breakfast, they are allowed to work quietly on puzzles or color. It works well.
     
  9. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    Aug 16, 2013

    schoolteacher - I love the read aloud idea!

    My school is going to start implementing this too. I'm curious to see how it goes.

    Teacherman, really?? My own school is doing it this way because our cafeteria does not accommodate all of the students at the same time. I'm not exactly crazy about the idea, but I do understand that MANY of our students do not eat breakfast at home. I would rather lose a few minutes of instruction and have them get some food than lose the entire morning of instruction due to them not being focused because they're hungry. I know there's money involved, etc etc - but I am not going to totally dismiss an idea that gets hungry kids fed.
     
  10. teacherman1

    teacherman1 Devotee

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    Aug 16, 2013

    Hello Yellowdaisies,
    Maybe the situation in your school is different...
    I've always worked in a 95% federal free lunch school and gone out of my way to make sure all my kids ate if they were hungry - in many cases sending them to the cafeteria with my assistant or taking them myself. None of my students went hungry.

    Feeding the kids before school in the cafeteria did two things: It got them there earlier because they wanted to play and socialize with their friends and they got to have a decent sit down meal. Now they don't get either. In our school this had nothing to do with getting more kids to eat. Our cafeteria was plenty big enough to accommodate all that wanted breakfast, too.

    The ironic thing here is that they took away recess to "re-capture teaching time" yet moved breakfast into the room which pretty much shot to hell the first 20 minutes of the day. Now no before school socialization and no recess.

    Let me know how you like it....

    Teacherman

    PS Did I mention the increase in rodents and cockroaches because of the plethora of spilled food or the sticky reading books and textbooks due to spilled juice?

    PPS And the quality of the food went down even further to make it more portable.

    PPPS And more kids got to school late after implementation because they were more motivated (before) to get there early and socialize than to sit in the classroom and eat quietly.

    PPPPS At my school and my wife's school (different district) not one teacher that we know of said s/he liked this situation better than the old way.
     
  11. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Aug 16, 2013

    In the classroom, I figure there's one adult who actually knows the kids, knows how to manage their behaviors and who can encourage healthy eating habits and manners...that doesn't happen in a cafeteria full of kids and limited supervision.:2cents:
    My school doesn't do breakfast, but most classrooms allow snack during the mornings...we don't sve a vermin problem or sticky, destroyed materials because of good teacher supervision, establishment of expectations and procedures and development of respectful classroom cultures.
    In early elementary, I'd have puzzles, patterning blocks,books out for those who have finished eating and have cleaned up afterwards. In grades 2-4, they could certainly get started on a do now or read.
     
  12. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    Aug 16, 2013

    Since we start our day with a calendar routine, I would either have them draw quietly at their desk or read books at the carpet. You could also show youtube counting songs as a 'signal' that it's time to wrap up and move to the carpet (or the next activity).
     
  13. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    We have two recesses - morning and lunch. Last year, most of my kids didn't come early enough to take advantage of the breakfast. Maybe it's because our day starts so early - we start at 7:50 and they stopped serving breakfast at 7:40.

    My school is over 90% free and reduced lunch as well. I couldn't send kids up to the cafeteria to get food, and I only have an aide for an hour a day, not always first thing in the morning. I would sometimes give them crackers, but usually my kids that had missed breakfast wouldn't even say anything. They would just space out.

    Maybe it didn't work at your school, but I think it has the potential to work at mine.

    I like the song idea! I think I will try that. We don't have access to Youtube, but I'm sure I can find something.
     
  14. teacherman1

    teacherman1 Devotee

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    Ahhh, a school with two recesses....:) That's the way it should be. Brain research has proven over and over that kids need the down time to process what they've learned. And with inner city kids, recess and before school are often the only times they have to socialize with other children.
     
  15. MzMooreTeaches

    MzMooreTeaches Cohort

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    Aug 16, 2013

    Last year my students had breakfast in the room as well. Breakfast was prior to the announcements. Following breakfast my students cleaned up and sat with a book on the carpet.

    Just noticed you have 5th graders. They could still read and maybe complete a reading response and do some math facts for the day.
     
  16. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Aug 16, 2013

    I teach 5th grade and my students have breakfast first thing too. I have them do a math worksheet or grammar worksheet that is placed on their desks before school starts. They start right away while they eat breakfast while I take attendance online. On the first day of school, I use a worksheet a kind teacher gave me a long time ago that is great on getting to know the students. The students are good about keeping quiet and doing their morning work while eating breakfast. It works about as well as before we had breakfast. Sometimes it takes a day or two with new classes...just be persistent...it will work.:)
     
  17. paperheart

    paperheart Groupie

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    I have done breakfast in the classroom off and on over the least ten years. It is not to bad if you set the expectations. Give s time limit so breakfast is n not prolonged by dilly dallyers. Make it clear that being tardy past a certain time means you miss breakfast. Just have a quiet activity for them to do after. Perhaps you can have some pentaminos or other small puzzles just for after breakfast.
     
  18. teacherman1

    teacherman1 Devotee

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    Aug 17, 2013

    I may not have been clear what the expectations are of the teacher in Providence.The children are supposed to come in, grab their "breakfast", (which was expected to be laid out on a table by the teacher before entry of students), and get to work without skipping a beat. Whatever the scheduled activity was at the time, the expectation was that it would begin immediately.

    Literally, the textbook in one hand and a muffin in the other.
    The script goes on....
     
  19. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Aug 17, 2013

    It's clear how you feel about what you think goes on in schools, teacherman. Your experience is not everyone's experience, however. The OP is from Florida and everyone else has given great suggestions for how they make it work in their classrooms.:thumb:
     
  20. teacherman1

    teacherman1 Devotee

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    When I post to this forum, czacza, I post to share my experiences in my classroom, in my school(s) and with my students. Some are positive (PI, word wall) and many, unfortunately, are negative because of the area in which I've taught. I post both positive and negative to give an accurate picture of teaching in 2013.

    I love teaching, and will continue to expand my private tutoring for dyslexic kids (4 new students in the last month), but I will not back off from exposing the problems in many of our public schools, both in Rhode Island and across the country. And if you don't believe there are problems, read the comments on my YouTube resignation video.

    I don't recall one post of mine - either positive or negative - that you've commented positively on - and that's fine.

    We can agree that we disagree on just about everything.:)
     
  21. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    The OP was looking for suggestions.

    Feel free to vent, point out what's wrong in Ed, post your videos. We get it.
     
  22. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    Aug 18, 2013

    :yeahthat:

    The free breakfast stinks...it'll usually be a pastry, hard fruit and milk. A lot of it gets thrown away, or spilled on the floor and then I have to spend time sweeping, mopping. The P says "call the custodian" but c'mon, am I really going to wait 10 - 15 minutes for that, the kids stepping and spreading the milk further across the floor.
     

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