Packing-up time is going to KILL Me!!!!

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by McKennaL, Oct 30, 2009.

  1. McKennaL

    McKennaL Groupie

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    Oct 30, 2009

    OMG!!!!!

    (just repeat that for about an hour and you will BEGIN to understand my frustration!!)

    The class next door can go from sitting on the rug to lined up with backpacks and coats on (zippered as well) in 5 minutes. Our class takes 15 minutes. And even then there is still panic and running down the hall to the waiting parents and shaking of the heads of other staff.

    When they say ..."what is the problem?" I can not put my finger on it.

    We have taught the coat flip...but (1) some feel they need to bring it to us to SHOW them doing it rather than doing it for themselves where they are (2) some can't get the hang of - pull your sleeves out WHEN you take your coat off, so that it's ready to go. OR they walk around, are distracted, are STILL playing/talking/looking at the toys (sometimes hiding them in their pockets).

    IF they get their coats on they they can't zipper or get their back pack on right. Except for the littlest 3 year old "Cindy Lou-Who" of the bunch (the daughter/granddaughter of teachers...pray you have one like her in your class). She walks past even 5 year olds (it's a mixed 3-5 class) with her jacket on, hoody on, zipped to the top, back pack in place...and I say, "*O*!!!! Did you do that yourself?????" And she squeeks, "Yes, I did!" All this while a four and a half year old attention-getting chatterbox dances past talking to the fairies in the room and swishing her coat overhead like it's a scarf dancing on the wind (that this one has hold of her coat is a miracle)!!!

    My aide is frustrated as well...but my aide IS part of the problem and won't accept suggestions well.

    HELP! This is going to sink me!

    We have tried calling the slow ones first and/or the youngest ones first (thinking that 20 rushing the coats is overwhelming to some). We have had the more accomplished ones demonstrate it for the others. We have tried praising "Cindy-Lou Who" to the hilt (hoping to motivate). And NOTHING.

    We have tried moving the finished ones to a line at the door...but then the line irrupts into chaos of "he touched me", "teacher-she stuck her tongue out", "did not!", "you cutted!", "uuuuuummmmm" etc. Meanwhile the sister-class is long gone...and the parents are out the door wondering what in the world is taking so long if THE OTHER kids can get there on time...why can't YOU???.

    (Recently a parent hit the roof when her daughter came to the door without her coat at all. And though we apologized - she DID have one layer of two -a hoody but not the winter coat, and tried to explain that the coat was on the end and the exact color as the way - NOT explaining that their precious little genius - she goes to a gifted school/day care in the afternoon, and "don't you forget it!" -does NOTHING to help herself and can't even SPOT her things let alone ATTEMPT to put them on. THAT seems to be below her!)

    Oh...help! If I die...it'll be on THIS hill/issue. that I can't orgainze the packing up of 20 pre-schoolers. (Inwardly - I'm longing for critical thinking projects with 5th graders.)
     
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  3. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Oct 30, 2009

    Is your coat storage area causing the problem? Maybe you could have all/or part of the children bring their coats to circle, and you could demo putting their coat on. Or maybe have a buddy who helps each other. Practice, practice, practice. Can you ask another person, maybe a parent volunteer, to come in and help?

    I really don't think 15 minutes sounds like a long time. But I am sure there are ways to make this work better. Could the parents come into the room and pick up their children? You could just supervise.
     
  4. shellie1619

    shellie1619 Rookie

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    Oct 31, 2009

    Is there a time in the day that you or your assistant can go to the coat rack and see that it is organized (sleaves pulled out, hoods and gloves where they should be backpacks zipped) before you start the end of the day?
    Or, cuing off of Blue's idea, make it a fine motor lesson on putting on jackets?
    I have found that it is easier if they all put on their jackets and then when they are in line I come by and zip them all up at one time down the line.
    I hope that you find something to help because the end of the day is stressfull enough.
     
  5. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    Oct 31, 2009

    One year I had everyone stand with their coats at their feet ready to flip and we sang a flip song-----and flipped when the song said.

    I could try to find the song---but standing together ready could be hard for your group (that group moved as a team really well---but couldn't do the flip * different issue*).

    Really I have seen Kinder classes that take that long.

    The Kinder class here just releases the ones who are done and keeps the ones who aren't and the parents have to wait. That way the teacher is lookng busy and (can't help you find it) and the ready ones aren't in line.

    I don't know if either of these help, but that is what I had with my first cup of coffee.

    Good luck.
     
  6. LvToyFoxTerrier

    LvToyFoxTerrier Rookie

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    Oct 31, 2009

    Do the parents pick up their students at your classroom door? And are the coats hanging from hooks outside the door? That is how it is at our school, so I just dismiss the children one at a time when their parents show up and then it is the parents job to walk with them to their hook in the hallway and help them put on their coat and backpack.
     
  7. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    Oct 31, 2009

    I don't have pack up as my very last activity. We come back to the rug and we have something else (short, so they don't sweat to death) to do...something they LIKE, too, so that it's a motivation to get done and get back to the rug. I'll do a favorite song or a quick "pet the class hamster" time or re-read their favorite book, or give out a sticker, or something like that.

    And if it really takes too long, you have a cushion at the end of the day that you'd planned to do that fun thing, so you won't be running really late....and if they miss that fun thing, that's a natural consequence.

    If the aide is part of the problem, have her lead the fun thing, and you take over the coat thing.

    Another thing - don't go right from playing to cubbies. Make them all meet on the rug when they've finished cleaning up, so that you can see easily who is finished cleaning and who is still playing. I hand out their binders to them once they are on the rug.

    Kim
     
  8. mego65

    mego65 Comrade

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    Oct 31, 2009

    This is my first year teaching pre k. I can say I'm also dreaming of the older children, and hating my pack up time. My problem is handing out home folders.

    For backpack coat time, I have all the kids sitting on the carpet. My aide and I are sitting next to the carpet. The students are allowed to quietly talk on the carpet. I watch the students and excuse them a few at a time, as soon as a student is walking back to the carpet I excuse the next one. My aide zips and helps then they sit back on the carpet. It takes 5-10 minutes and then we sing a few songs until it is time to line up. I always start the process about 20 minutes before we have to be out the door. That way we have plenty of time to get all packed up and at least a song or two in.

    Let me know if you have any more questions.
     
  9. K3 teacher

    K3 teacher Companion

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    Oct 31, 2009

    My Am session is like this. And on top of that, I teach in a public school pre K and have 1/2 going to the cafeteria for day care lunch, 3 going on the IU van, 1 being picked up by a parent that works in the office and the rest going to the playground door to be picked up. I feel like I am going to lose my mind most mornings! It is getting better, though. I have everyone on the rug and we sing a song or two. Then I play a game to call them to their lockers. I only call one/locker at a time. Sometimes I rhyme their names, sometimes if your name starts with... When they get their coat and backpack they come back to the rug to get their coat on and get their take home folder. Then, we all line up at the door and I start to dismiss from there. I really have no advice for you as I have been struggling with this as well :(
     
  10. dcnuck

    dcnuck Companion

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    Oct 31, 2009

    This isn't helpful with the coat situation but what I have done is when they are done with their art project for the day I will have them put their folder and all of their papers in their backpack---then at the end of the day all they have to do is put on their coat and put their back pack and I usually have them start early on getting coats and backpacks and sit on the carpet for a few minutes doing flashcards or short story
     
  11. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    Nov 1, 2009

    What are they doing right before pack-up time? I call my kids 2-3 at a time from their afternoon centers to get their things - they put their jackets on and leave their backpack on their chair and go back to whatever activity they were at and I only have a few at a time to help if needed. When they all have their backpacks it is time to clean up and we sing our goodbye song.
     
  12. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    Nov 1, 2009

    Is it even developmentally appropriate for three years olds to be able to get their coats on themselves? Sorry I really don't know, my youngest age level is 5 yr olds. Some can do it themselves others can't. We use the buddy system. The ones that can do it themselves, once they are ready, help a buddy that can't put their coats on with out help.
     
  13. diggerdeb

    diggerdeb Comrade

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    Nov 1, 2009

    This works for me EVERY year!!!

    I have found that children work for stickers.

    For one week (third week of Sept. ) I warn the parents that starting next week-all children who can zip their coats will get a sticker.

    Since all parents pick up thier children this really works. No parent wants his/her child to be the only one without a sticker.

    Then the next Monday-I put "I can zip." stickers on all the "zippers". Occasionally, I will have a crier but I remind the child that he/she needs to keep practing and maybe he can get a sticker tomorrow.

    It is amazing the power these kids have. Parents get new jackets that are zipper friendly or parents take the time to show the child one on one what to do. (We also continue to teach and show)

    Now we have "surprise" sticker day. But it doesn't matter because the kids feel so good about their accompishment. And the parents are really into it also. The parents see the stickers coming and will start encouraging each child.

    Dread!! Winter coats and boots come next!
     

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