help with classroom clean-up

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by pabef, Oct 4, 2010.

  1. pabef

    pabef Comrade

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    Oct 4, 2010

    My 4 year-old teacher is having serious problems with the children in her class not wanting to pick up. I have observed and noticed that she is not making them pick up the center they are working in before moving to another. She says they just will not do this and it is easier to let them move on and have the entre class pick up when they are done with centers. She asked for my help today and when I walked in the room was a wreck! Blocks, puzzle pieces, etc. all over the floor. Some of the children were laughing at her when she asked them to pick up. I was stern with them and told them that anyone who did not pick up would not go on the playground. This did not work either. She is a wonderful teacher, but I feel like she lacks skills in this area. Any suggestions to help her? She is new this year, and I do not want to destroy her confidence.
     
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  3. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Oct 4, 2010

    Sounds like this is not so much a classroom cleanup problem, as a disrespect problem! Both to the teacher AND you...

    Of course, this is coming from a middle school teacher, but for what it's worth...

    I know with my own 5-year old, if she can't be respectful of both property and our home, she doesn't get to play with that item. If it were me, and I were dealing with 6-8th graders who couldn't pick up after themselves, we wouldn't do any more activities involving those items until they learned.
     
  4. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    Oct 4, 2010

    I've done it both ways, to be honest. Some groups of kids are more motivated to clean up in the end, but don't have the attention span to keep with the task in the middle of what they're wanting ot do (I didn't explain that very well)... I had a group that had issues with clean-up in general, so the rule became anyhing that wasn't picked up by the time the timer went off (typically I gave them 5 minutes) was closed the next day. They were getting frustrated that they were losing centers (blocks and dramatic play were the hardest for them to clean). We had a class meeting about it, and THEY decided it would be easier to clean up as they were going along. They actually policed each other...
     
  5. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    Oct 4, 2010

    Our room is tiny.....so the "let's all clean up at the end" hasn't happened yet...I don't know what I would do. However, when we are cleaning up in between the teachers look at the small groups of children and when one is cleaning and the others aren't we warn 1x...."those that don't clean now, will clean it all...and the one that did clean will get ready to go outside." Then the children who weren't cleaning usually don't move, since they don't believe. We thank the child that was cleaning after say one more block got put away and say that the other child will be cleaning up the rest of the area..ALONE.

    The second child who wasn't cleaning will say "I need someone to help me!" And with the most empathy we can muster we ask if they were helping.....no? Then that is why the don't have a helper. You have to be a helper to get a helper. They usually only have to have this happen one time...but I have never had a classroom who was staging a coop all at the same time.
     
  6. Maxadoodle

    Maxadoodle Comrade

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    Oct 4, 2010

    I teach 3's and we clean up at the end. However, puzzles are only to be done in a designated area and not brought to other centers. As for blocks, if anyone dumps them all in one area, they are reminded that when they are done playing with ALL those blocks, they are to put them away before moving on. We then keep one eye on them to make sure this is done. And as Clarnet73 said, if the room gets too messy, certain centers are closed the following day with an explanation, and we usually don't have that problem again.
     
  7. K3 teacher

    K3 teacher Companion

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    Oct 5, 2010

    My 3s have to clean up their work before moving to another center. I can't imagine the overwhelming feeling for me or them if we waited until center time was over. Plus, if someone else wanted to do the puzzle or play with the blocks, it would be hard to to if it was left all over the place. If you do not clean up your center the first time - you have to go back and do it. If the not cleaning up is repeated the center is closed altogether or just for the guilty party.
     
  8. yenny

    yenny Rookie

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    Oct 10, 2010

    We have a set amount of activites out at one time, and the children have to clear away an activity before getting another ut. Having said that my new group aren't so keen on 'tidy up time' Sometimes i have to sit them all down and designate certain childen to tidy particular areas, regardless whether they have been playing in the area. Also on our whiteboard i draw a face and if they aren't being cooperative i draw a sad face, the children quickly pick up on this, and generally tidy up in double quick time as they want me to change the face into a happy one.
     
  9. mellowred

    mellowred Rookie

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    Oct 12, 2010

    We also have the rule that who ever knocks down blocks has to pick them up.
    In general I would say that we do both - all clean up together and clean up before moving on. In a preschool classroom there is a certain amount of accumulated clutter as an activity with multiple participants breaks up at differing times - thereby leaving the last participant with the clean up.
    Puzzles and games though must be cleaned up and put away before moving on. It is the blocks, cars, trains, dolls, groceries, art materials, etc. that seem to accumulate and need general clean-up.
    We all clean up. I will ask children who are not helping to do a certain thing such as "Joey, you can pick up all the cars." or "Sam, please put all the babies to bed."
    When I had a class of "sloppy" cleaner uppers we ended clean up with an inspection. We would walk around as a group looking for things that had been missed. The "spyer" would hurry to put the item away. This worked great and even got the block that was under the cabinet, or the car that was in the block bin.
    I think that like most things in a preschool classroom, it helps to have a bag full of tricks and pull out what you need in any given year.

    Hope I have added some things to your bag of tricks.
     
  10. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    Oct 12, 2010

    Ohhhhhh "spyer"..............sounds mysterious! Bet that worked well!
     
  11. brightsky351

    brightsky351 Rookie

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    Oct 12, 2010

    I can understand your frustration and your daughter's. Part of being a Teacher, as you probably know, we have to teach the children how to take care of there materials and why it is important to leave a play area clean for other students. Apparently your child's Teacher has not spent time modeling, peer modeling and helping the students clean up areas. It take a bit of time to get all students on board and set in a routine of taking care of classroom materials, but it can be taught.

    The Teacher should not be cleaning up every thing after the children. Being able to take care of materials is a social learning skill of responsibility and respect.

    You might casually ask the Teacher what her clean-up routine is exactly for the children. You could ask this while asking other questions about the program and what things your daughter is enjoying learning.

    Wow, sorry for the stress you little girl is going through. It is hard for young children when they are doing the right thing and others around them are not; it is difficult for them to understand. :)
     
  12. Liljag

    Liljag Companion

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    Oct 13, 2010

    I would hold group circle times with the students and talk to them about their behaviour and respect (respect for each other, respect for the teacher, respect for the toys) and do this a lot in the beginning (or if it is happening a lot). When it is time for clean-up, we do it at the same time each day. Sometimes we make it into the game (such as sorting all the green blocks, yellow blocks, who can get the most amount in the box in the least amount of time, clean up at least 3 items that are bigger than your nose, etc.). What is more important though is to make sure that they clean up directly after they are done with an activity...if they start a new activity, stop that activity and have them clean up the old activity first..then they can go back to the new activity. Remind them that noone is going to touch the new activity until they are finished cleaning up the old one (some kids really seem to get worried about this) and why it is important to clean up the old one. Even if it is time to go and the room is still messy and the parents have come, have the parents wait and have the kids clean up. I never had a parent complain about this and they were happy to see their kids clean up.

    All in all though, watch the tone of your voice when telling kids to clean up and focus on what you are saying to them (no threats..they don't really work and why would you want to threaten a 3 year old?)
     
  13. annetxa

    annetxa Rookie

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    Oct 13, 2010

    I give my 3 yr. olds a job and be very specific. If you want a child to clean up the blocks, you may give him a block and say: "I have a job for you, please put this block in the bin over there." I don't know if it will work, but it may be worth a try.
     

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