Help! Rest time is chaos!!!!

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by tiffharmon2001, Sep 25, 2009.

  1. tiffharmon2001

    tiffharmon2001 Comrade

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    Sep 25, 2009

    Oh my goodness! I am desperate for some ideas for rest time. I have never had a group of kids with so many problems at rest time. I usually have one or two who I really have to focus on and teach them how to rest, but this year I have about 14. They WILL NOT stay on their mats nor will they be even remotely quiet. I have kids yelling at me across the room, "teacher, pat my back!!!", "teacher, she's not on her mat!!!", "teacher, ____________". I'm pulling my hair out (as is my assistant).
    It's definitely not that they don't need to sleep. I can tell my their behavior before rest time that they are tired. It feels to me like they are just fighting sleep, that they don't know how to relax. I've talked to a couple of the parents about bedtime and have found out that at least those two kids don't really have a regular bedtime or routine at home.
    I've tried several different layouts for where I put the kids' mats. We've sat next to them and patted backs. We've tried to start with those who have the most trouble settling and we've tried leaving them to the end. I have music playing in the background. It's darkish in here, but not too dark... I'm at a loss.

    Any great ideas for rest time? I've always thought of myself as being good at getting kids to take naps. Usually even the kids who haven't taken naps in a year or two at home will nap for me at school. What am I doing wrong this year?
     
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  3. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    Sep 25, 2009

    Sorry I can't be any help. I only have a half day program and my own children never took naps after 2. Do they really have to sleep? If mine slept at 4 or 5 years old it would mean they were aware until 10 or 11 so I hated it when they fell asleep.
     
  4. Rebel1

    Rebel1 Connoisseur

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    Sep 25, 2009

    I have a Pre-K class and I have done the following...
    -Let them start off with a book, and I let them know that they will be taken away in about 10 minutes
    -I have the STAR CHART, so I announce that those who sleep will have their STARS moved forward, 2x.
    -You can tell them a quiet story or read them a book with a tape
    -I also have stooped to where I had to bribe them with a bag of lollipops. I announced who has fallen asleep. (As they fall asleep, I place a lollipop under their mats.:D)
    -Currently, I just play soft music and we haven't had any problem.
    You have to change it up a lot, with different ways of POSITIVE REINFORCEMENTS or in the world's eyes; BRIBERY:D
    Rebel1
     
  5. Kase

    Kase Companion

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    Sep 25, 2009

    My schedule has my kids going outside right before lunch so I run them ragged pretty much. We go in, wash hands, eat and I also put on some nap time music. I have a cd called Fairy Lullabies and I also have a Hawaiian lullaby. There is a cd by Fisher Price called World Baby. It's very soft instrumental music. I do not what so ever pat my kids backs but I will sit by them if they are not able to stay on their mat. It's definitely hard when they don't have a regular routine at home. Is their anyway you could talk with the parents about getting a routine set up?
     
  6. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Sep 25, 2009

    It sounds like you are doing everything right. Keep it up. I do like the idea of tiring them out on the playground before nap.

    Some groups just take a little longer to get in the routine.
     
  7. sarzacsmom

    sarzacsmom Groupie

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    Sep 25, 2009

    I have my kids on thier mats laying down about 15 minutes before lights out. They all get a turn to use the bathroom during this time ifneededaswell. I turn thelights out and leave the music off for about 5 minutes--somekids (like me) need it to be very quiet in order to let thier senses relax so they can go to sleep. Then i put on a story tape--they all love story tapes and learn very quickly taht if they aren't quiet they can't hear it and I turn it off. they don't like losing story tape. Ilet thestory tape paly thorugh two times then I turn the music on--most are asleep before the end of the first time around. I have found with this group ofkis that back rubbing etc does more tokeep them awake and I will tell them "as soon as you fall asleep it will be your turn"--all my kiddos were asleep before 1pm today and none got up until Iturned thelightson again at 3-- I have also found that keeping their learning very active before hand helps too!
     
  8. tiffharmon2001

    tiffharmon2001 Comrade

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    Sep 26, 2009

    Thanks for the advice everyone! I don't have a bathroom in my room, so it makes it a little harder to get them all settled. I've tried doing a big group bathroom break, but they can't handle the waiting time (even if I'm singing with them or reading a story). I've tried bringing them into the room and reading a story while my assistant takes a few at a time to the restroom, but this takes FOREVER and they tend to play in the restroom and get in trouble. The last couple of days, I have skipped the story and had them go straight to their mats after lunch. Then, I've called one boy and one girl at a time to go to the bathroom. They tend to be much quicker if they don't have someone to play with in the bathroom.
    Next week, I'm going to start giving a stamp to the ones who are resting well-I really don't care if they sleep or not, as long as they are quiet and on their mats-so maybe that will help. I'm also starting a daily behavior chart for ALL of my students on Monday (this is not the only issue we are having this year, just the most frustrating for me). I'm hoping that once the parents can see in black and white how their child is doing, I will get some support from home.
     
  9. Kase

    Kase Companion

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    Sep 26, 2009

    The best way to go about it is to talk to the parent. Are you going to have this chart up where everyone can see it? It's probably best to keep it out of everyone's sight. I wouldn't want other people to see how my child is doing or what they are not doing.
     
  10. KLSSwimmer

    KLSSwimmer Habitué

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    Sep 26, 2009

    My first year teaching kindergarten, I had a similar problem. I know you are in preschool, but I did find something to hep so I thought I would share. :) For the first nine weeks of school during rest time, I made the kiddos get out their resting mat and actually lay down. After I discovered the kiddos couldn't rest (and I had a class similar to yours - disruptive in many other areas), I started doing chapter book read alouds to them. I read them Junie B. Jones, Magic Tree House, etc. The kids loved it! Then, after the first nine weeks, I would turn on a show called Between the Lions. This show is an educational show about reading. I was lucky that it came on during my nap time, so I showed the kids this show. The kiddos were still on their mats, but they were able to see the TV, so this helped.

    Just my :2cents:
     
  11. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    Sep 26, 2009

    Rest time was my only planning time, so reading a story was not really an option. I would always put a small piece of candy on their backs, and if it was still there when they woke up, they could keep it. If they talked, got up, or wiggled too much, they would lose it, no second chances. Eventually, they all trained themselves to lay still.
     
  12. Oboemom

    Oboemom Rookie

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    Sep 26, 2009

    We try to keep a very active schedule in our room, which is 19 4 year olds. We play outside for a good 45 minutes before lunch. We come in and do bathroom/wash hands, set up lunches. During lunch, I read two stories and that really helps to start to relax the children. It's onto cots with a book each. They may read their books for about 15 minutes. I put on a classical music CD and 9 times out of 10, they all sleep for a good 90 minutes.

    We also use a sticker chart for each child, if they rest quietly or slept they get a sticker. When their chart is filled, they get a trip to the "treasure box".

    Good luck and hope some the suggestions help!
     
  13. tiffharmon2001

    tiffharmon2001 Comrade

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    Sep 26, 2009

    Oh no, I wouldn't do that. I am going to put it into their take home folder. It will only been seen by the child, the parents, and me.
     
  14. Kase

    Kase Companion

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    Sep 26, 2009

    That's cool
     
  15. A_Pre-K_Teacher

    A_Pre-K_Teacher Rookie

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    Sep 26, 2009

    My rest time comes after recess. The students come in, stop at the bathroom/get a drink. My assistant monitors the bathroom(which is outside the classroom) after I have taken a handful of students that are finished back to the class. I have the music playing immediately so they know it is quiet time as soon as they come in. I start off the year with reading no stories. About half way through the year I use the story as an incentive for if they are quiet in the bathroom, come in and lay down without making noises.
    I do not require my students to sleep either, but to atleast lay there. I don't stress the quiet, if they are laying on their mat quietly singing or talking to themselves/stuffed animal I don't say anything unless it becomes too loud. I also don't say anything to a couple of my students who might sneak a toy out of a tub near them, especially if I know they are not a sleeper (I pretend like I don't know anything). My students have a pretty busy day so most of them sleep. About half way through the year I start to give the non-sleepers something half way through rest time if they have been quiet (silly putty, magna-doodle, books). If not, then they don't get one, if they get one and they are loud I take it away. They learn this pretty quickly! I don't do this in the beginning because there are students who will try to keep themselves awake so they can play with something.

    As the year goes on you might have more students start to sleep. There little bodies start to get more tired and adjust to having that mandatory quiet time. A lot of students don't have that at home anymore, so their body never knows its tired.

    Good luck!
     
  16. BlueEyes529

    BlueEyes529 New Member

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    Sep 26, 2009

    I let the children listen to 2 or 3 books on tape/cd while they are lying on thier cots. I do not turn the volume up loud and remind them that they won't be able to hear the story if they are talking. Something else that we have done in the past, and I actually just saw this idea in an issue of The Mailbox, is to tell them that the "sticker fairy" will visit those who go to sleep. Once the children are asleep, we would put a sticker on their shirt. Many of my children looked forward to getting a sticker from the "sticker fairy" and were super excited when they woke up to see what kind of sticker they had gotten. I have also used behavior charts for the children to put a sticker on IF they go to sleep. After they had filled in a row of 5 they were allowed to pick a prize from our prize box.

    Good luck!
     

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