Still Having Trouble with Clean-up Time

Discussion in 'Early Childhood Education Archives' started by Grammy Teacher, Sep 29, 2004.

  1. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    I just love my group of kids this year. However, they are th e worst bunch of cleaner-uppers I have ever had. The teacher before me had the same problem and was upset with them daily...unable to "cure" them. Now it is my problem. They were doing o.k. for awhile, but today, they refused to put anything away. The incentive was to go outside. They wouldn't budge. So, as i have done before, I told them that they would not be allowed in the play areas tomorrow. They will only be allowed to use art materials, puzzles, and books...no 'toys" because that is what they won't put away. I need opinions. Please don't tell me about stickers and awards because that doesn't work. We have tried everything. Now it is time to do the drastic...things that will leave a lasting impression on them...something just short of magic! Thanks a lot! Frustrated teacher...
     
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  3. bijansmom

    bijansmom Companion

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    Sep 29, 2004

    How old are your kids?

    I have 3s, mostly, this year (a few 4s). We have been in session almost three weeks and we are still practicing the clean up routine. They clean up before changing centers and then after Center Choice, we have a final clean up where we all work together to make the room look nice.

    Modeling, modeling, and modeling -- from showing them how to put caps back on markers to pushing in chairs -- EVERYTHING has to be modeled to my group. In fact, just today during circle we talked about keeping our room nice. I really try to instill a sense of pride and ownership of the classroom. We talk about scenarios -- 'what would happen if. . . ' -- i

    I find that giving each child -- or group of children, a task before I hit the lights (signamling clean up), helps. So, I'll go from center to center and say "in a few minutes, I will hit the lights and your job is . . . " I'll do that for each small group -- Last year, this worked like a well-oiled machine because I had 4s and 5s -- this year, however, it is going to take some more time.
     
  4. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    I do all of those things and the teacher who had them before me did that as well. I am serious...nothing has worked. They will just sit there and do nothing... not one thing...If I start helping as you mentioned, they won't help me. If I tell them specifially what to pick up, they will pick up one thing and stand there and hold it. It's like some sort of mental block with them! They are all so stubborn. I love your ideas but they are not "drastic" enough. ..They kids are 4 and 5...and they do understand and they do know where things belong.
    Thanks so much!
     
  5. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    Have you tried making it a race? I know you're not into "prizes" of the sort, but perhaps the group that picks their area up the fastest get to... i don't know, pick a special book or have first choice of something or get served a meal first or, i don't know? Maybe that would help?
     
  6. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    We have done that...(previous teachers and myself)...they don't care who is the fastest or if they get a reward. I talked to several of the parents today and they all said they are like that at home, too. I will know tomorrow if taking away toys for today worked. They were not allowed to play with any of the "toys." They could use the books and puzzles...and art supplies. Thanks so much for your ideas.
     
  7. Amanda

    Amanda Administrator Staff Member

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    Oct 1, 2004

    If none of those things work... what about consequences?? It sounds like this is something they have gotten away with for so long that they know they can just keep doing it... there is no clear consequence. I think I would have them put their heads down on their tables and miss outside playtime for the same amount of time they wasted not cleaning up. Or have them sit outside for X minutes watching the other kids play who DID clean up. I think consequences work better when they happen close to the offense, especially for young ones. If you did not have outside playtime right away, you could have them sit out of inside playtime for X minutes the next day. However, I think allowing them to play with books, puzzles, and art supplies doesn't really get the message across, because they are still playing. Another option... when they take forever to clean up, go outside and let them play for a minute, then turn around and come back in... making sure you let the kids know that they time they spent cleaning up is the time you were going to stay outside. They wasted it, and now it's class time again. Consequences should be as natural as possible and quick.
     
  8. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    I teach 4 and 5 year olds and we are only allowed to give them 5 minutes of sitting out from playtime. I have had them sit out indoors for it and outdoors while the others play. The problem with not allowing them to play with toys and any art supplies or puzzles is this....what would they do all day? We have specific areas set up with area appropriate toys and that is what they don't put away. There is a "kitchen area: and a truck/block area. I t is all very separate from the art and library area. I have to give them "something to do." I feel like my hands are tied with the short time outs we are allowed to give. Putting their heads down on the table is considered a time out and can only be for 5 minutes as well. I really appreciate you ideas and will consider using them somehow.
     
  9. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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    Oct 4, 2004

    Grammy, how's the cleaning up going? Getting any better?
    I hope this is not a repeat idea here... what about work helpers... assign certain ones certain areas to clean up. I'll see if I can find some books to read to them about cleaning up. I think the Berenstain Bears have one... not sure.

    Lori
     
  10. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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    Oct 4, 2004

    BOOKS -

    Max Cleans Up - Rosemary Wells

    Clifford's Spring Clean-Up - Norman Bridwell

    Zak & Wheezie: Clean Up (Dragon Tales) - Irene Trimble

    Christopher, Please clean up your room - Itah Sadu

    Maisy Cleans Up - Lucy Cousins

    Count Down to Clean Up - Nancy Elizabeth Wallace

    Clean Up That Mess! - Chuck Harmon

    The Day Teddy Didn't Clean Up - Ann Jungman

    Henry & Horace Clean Up - Wolfgang Mennel

    Paddington Cleans Up - Michael Bond

    Sizzle Cleans Up (the puzzle place) - Elizabeth Anders

    Grandma Baba's Big Clean Up - Wakiko Sato

    How's that for a start...

    Lori
     
  11. Savesthedaymom

    Savesthedaymom New Member

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    Oct 4, 2004

    Clean up

    :p Hello everyone. I teach 2,3, and 4 year olds. I honestly don't have a clean up problem. There is a bell ringer for clean up time. I tell the chilren to do their jobs and clean up so we can do (insert activity here) On days when it is taking longer than usual I will put on a song and tell them they need to be finished by the time the song is. Trust me this works . Good luck.
     
  12. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Well, the clean up is going so-so. Today one of the late afternoon staff told me that they were awful about it Friday after I left. She said one of the boys threw a huge fit and cried hysterically because he didn't want to pick up. Thanks , Lori for all the book titles...I'll be looking for them.
    Yes, I have used bells and music and told them to be done before the bell rings or the song ends. They do not care, one bit. I have assigned helpers as well. The do not care. What has been working somewhat is taking their toys away for the whole next day. My room is rather large and each area is separate from the other. THe shelves are labeled as I change toys (usually once a week)... everything has it's place. Blocks are placed on shelves on specific shapes. In the kitchen area, the dishes go in a specific cupboard and play food goes in the refrierator.Dolls are layed nicely in their beds. I have a child size bed that they have a blanket for and a pillow. Dress up clothes and purses are hung up. Shoes are set neatly in a row. IN the library, all books are put neatly on the book shelf with the front facing out the correct way, showing the titles. The puzzles and games are put on the shelves. Are most of your rooms set up like this? We are all very particular about the appearance of our rooms where I work. Are most of your rooms set up like that? I am just curious . Sometimes I wonder if we are all too fussy!
     
  13. Savesthedaymom

    Savesthedaymom New Member

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    I have a very nice set up as well, and I happen to be a perfectionist! I have the area set ups also. I find it odd that you are having so much trouble. I feel sorry for you :( I don't think we are too fussy just like our rooms to be neat so that others will see we are in control. Hmm, the only thing I could think of is maybe a please help letter to parents, or have you done the incentive chart? I understand children are children but need to be taught the importance of cleaning up. I hope things get better for you. Good luck.
     
  14. shiela

    shiela New Member

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    Oct 4, 2004

    have you tried limiting the number of toys that are out? I remove a majority of the toys over the weekend and then during circle time i tell them that when they show me that they can be responsible for putting away the toys that are out, i'll add more. make them earn the toys they love. sometimes too many toys can be overwhelming. also, don't allow them to play in all the centers everyday. for example, when we have something going on in blocks, i close the kitchen center..b/c they are both super messy centers. also, when i hand out jobs for the day, i assign 3 or 4 to clean up patrol (my class has badges like the police) their job is to go around at the end of center them and make sure that each center is perfectly clean. my class is not perfect, i have my share of behavior problems (i'm telling you this so you'll know that i work in the real world :) ) and these suggestions work for me and my 12 children.
     
  15. jenniatek

    jenniatek Companion

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    Oct 5, 2004

    Wow! I just read through the posts quickly. Thay're ALL refusing to clean up? I can't imagine that. There must be a couple who look like they want to help...can you make a big deal out of the ones who cleaned up, say have a special awards ceremony the next day and give the ones who cleaned up a fancy award?? I can't picture a room full of 4-5 year olds refusing to help clean up...strange. Good luck to you. Maybe the toys that don't get picked up the day before don't show up in the room again....??
     
  16. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Yes, it is true! They ALL have refused to clean up toys and have been this way for teachers before me, so at least I know it's not something I'm doing wrong! I know it is very strange and I have no idea why the whole class is like this. I guess these things do happen though. I have tried to figure it out and one thing they all have in common is that they are a very young class, no birthdays until spring when they turn 5. However, I don't think that is why they are like this.I wonder if it's the parents fault.
    There are a few from single parent homes and several from "divorced" parents who have two families to contend with. However, let me clarify that statement so that no none is offended. I am in no way saying that single parents or divorced parents are not doing a good job...some are doing more than the 2 parent households. What I am saying is that maybe the rules are different from one family to the other and they get away with not picking up at one house or another. I don't know. They have been a bit better now. I have been limiting the use of the centers in the afternoons so that we don't have two major clean ups to contend with in one day.
     
  17. Miss Landers

    Miss Landers Rookie

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    No Excuse For This!

    Granny, you must have the patience of a saint! I've never heard of such a problem, but don't doubt for a moment it exists. I'm guessing you have some lazy little ones in the bunch and some apathetic followers.

    Here's what I would try, and it really just expands on previous ideas here. I would tell them that for every day they refuse to pick up, they lose a day of outdoor time and toy privileges. However, if you see some making an effort to pick up, THEY and only THEY will be allowed to play with the toys the next day. Let them know you'll be making a list. If you must be with them outside, are you able to send some outside with another teacher or two, and stay inside with the defiant ones? If so, the reward will be toys AND outdoor time. If not, I guess the only thing you can promise is the cooperative souls will have toy privileges the next day, but let the whole class know the nonproductive ones are still ruining outdoor time for the others.

    It might take some time before this sinks in, but we all know the importance of consistency and following through, so I'd dig my heels in and go for it!

    Deb
     
  18. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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    Oct 5, 2004

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  19. bijansmom

    bijansmom Companion

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    Oct 5, 2004

    Maybe it's just me nut I could never deny a child NO TOYS or no outdoor time --that, in my opinion, does not fit the crime. And, these are not our kids -- they are other people's kids --That almost borders on cruel. They are 3,4, and 5 -- they are still learning -- it is still somewhat early in the year.

    How about praise -- CONSTANT praise to those who do clean up? I bet others who want praise will follow suit. How about breaking the clean up task down? I will say to my young threes --"Please put away 5 blocks -- let's count together" --if a young three is surrounded by a huge mess and someone telling them "clean up" -- they will tune out --they have no idea where to begin -- they are overwhelmed. Slowly, build up to more clean up responsibility --i.e. putting away 10 blocks.

    How about sending a note home to all the parents saying that you are working on establishing a clean up routine -- here are a few things you (the parents) can do at home to help -- talk about consistancy -- cleaning up across the board -- at home and at school.

    I really think that punishment, in this age group, will be counterproductive. Plus, young kids need to get out and play -- for many, this may be the only part of the day they get to run around -- they NEED to do this otherwise, you will notice 'problems' in other areas of the class (as a result of a need to run, jump).
    Just my opinion.
     
  20. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    bijansmom,
    No toys means just that, no "toys." They are allowed to use art supplies because these items are very separate from the "toy" areas. This is a good opportunity for them to "create" on paper and practice their small motor skills. So they do have something "fun" to do...but it does not include playing with the many nice toys that they refuse to put back on the shelf. It is not cruel to take away the things that they do not take care of properly. They are 4 and 5 years old and this is part of their training for Kindergarten...they know how to clean, believe me that is not the problem. They know where every single thing goes when they make up their minds to do it .
    The parents do not and will not help.
    As for outside, we are not allowed to totally take away their time playing outside and I do agree they need to run and play outside. However, they do need the time outs on the playground , watching other children have fun because they did their job of putting their toys away. My 5 year olds are very capable. THis is an unusually lazy bunch of kids and they need the stern consequences to drive the point home. Constant praise doesn't phase this group of kids. AS stated earlier, there are a couple of real lazy ones and the apathetic followers. I respect your opinion and I know what you mean...it is true of younger kids (3's) and some of the newer kids.
    Thanks for your comments.
     
  21. Jeri Dawn M

    Jeri Dawn M Rookie

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    Oct 5, 2004

    Maybe you should very purposefully make a big mess of your room one day after they leave. Empty all the paint containers, hide all the toys, even bring some broken ones out that are no fun to play with. Show them why you clean up and why we want to take care of stuff. Maybe being very drastic and not having anything to play with when they come in will show them what could happen if they don't take care of toys--even the art stuff. If they have other options then it's not that big of a deal. I'm talking a sort of object lesson. Let them try and figure out why the room is like that and let them try and play with stuff (or no stuff) and then bring them together and tell them how serious it could get if we don't clean up. Playing is a must for children, but also is learning responsibility. Just a suggestion. I hope things get better for you.
     
  22. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    Oct 5, 2004

    In my mom's ECSE class (3-5 special needs), the kids help clean up after their toys time... for kids that REFUSE to clean up (usually they're pretty good after being given a specific task and/or with adult help), those toys are left out, and thek id isn't allowed to do anything else until they're put away... and if they choose to not put them away before it's time to go home, they will begin the next day with the same task before being allowed to participate with the rest of the class... they don't like it, but it works... perhaps that would do something for you?
     
  23. LucyLane

    LucyLane Rookie

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    I agree with the idea of not having too many toys out and available. In the beginning of the year, I don't put out too many. I know how I feel when I have my whole house to clean, sometimes i dont know where to start, its overwhelming. I think it is the same for children, if there are fewer toys to bring out, there are fewer to clean up. I do have a few children to refuse to help clean, but for the most part they are all getting to the point where clean up time isnt such a struggle anymore. For those few who don't like to help clean up, I praise them when they do, even if they have only picked up one block, and if I see the opportunity, I say something like "Mike, I noticed what a good job you did in the block area at clean up time, do you think you could help Stacy with the puzzles?" Most times it works, and they help. One of our classroom rules is Respect, respect for their bodies, for other's bodies, for our classroom and for our earth. We often talk about the fact that if we do not keep our toys in good shape, we will have to throw them away because they become unsafe, or if game/puzzle pieces are lost, the game/puzzle is ruined. Its a tough situation you are in, and hope things get better.
     
  24. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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    Oct 6, 2004

    I have had some that I've had to LITERALLY take their hands and hand-over-hand PICK UP THE TOYS, walk over to the shelves and place them on there... over and over and over. I have limited the amount that is out. I TOTALLY understand where Grammy is coming from. When I notice someone actually picking up the toys and the rest not doing anything, I'll let the one picking up stop, thank them for the great help and let them do something special while I "help" the others do their part.

    Lori
     
  25. Miss Landers

    Miss Landers Rookie

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    Bijansmom, you must never have had a challenging group. Me either - lucky for me. I'm new, but I could tell that Granny is the type of teacher that probably started OUT with praise and that when she said nothing would work - she meant including that. It may seem cruel to take all the toys away, but sometimes the lesson that consequences are attached to disobedience is best learned in the early years rather than later. I'm betting that if she took all the toys away and said that only those who cleaned up could use them, that by the end of the third or fourth day, most, if not all, would be cleaning.

    Deb
     
  26. bijansmom

    bijansmom Companion

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    Oct 6, 2004

    I have had my shre of challenging classes. I teach a multi-age pre-k room -- this is my third year. The first year was by far the most difficult. Before this, I taught 7th grade (before I had my own kids) so I have had many many challenging classes (my classroom management in middle school was also based on rewards and praise -- I was in an inner city school -- and it work really well given the circumstances).

    This year is a bit challenging in that the majority of my kiddos are 3s -- and I mean JUST three as in over the summer. Today, in fact, I spent the majority of open Centers 'chasing' kids to come back and clean their area BEFORE going to another area. This is a rule I establish very early on -- this is only our third ful week of school so it is taking a bit longer with such a young group. I have been teaching them that we clean up our area before we go to another area. Today was an off day for them -- I felt like I was on constant clean up patrol. But, I rather teach them now so that when I do flick the lights signamling Clean Up" -- all they really have to do is pick up where they are at the moment and push in chairs. And, as I said in my other post (2 posts ago), I go to each group at a center and ask them to not take out anything else as it is going to be Clean Up in a moment and I tell each group what their responsibility is for that day's clean up.

    Honestly, if they were to refuse to clean up, I would just keep singing the clean up song and help each child carry a toy over to the shelf.

    I hear what everyone is saying about punishment. At my center, we are not allowed to use any form of punishment -- no Time Outs, no "Thinking Chair" -- nothing! So, I have had to get creative -- I praise unitl I literally have a sore thoat by the end of the day.

    Have you, Grammy, tried telling the kids how this not cleaning makes you FEEL? Kids generally respond to that -- "It really makes me sad to be the only one cleaning up", "It would m,ake me happy if we worked TOGETHER so that way we will have more time for more FUN things".

    Good luck!

    I just want to apologize if I offended anyone and their teaching/ classroom mgmt methods -- that was not my intent. I was merely sting my philosophy towards punishment in this situation.
     
  27. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Lori,
    I have done that same things with the hands and walking over to the shelf. It has worked with some kids in the past. I also let the good cleaners stop and thank them as you do...funny how we are all so good at this!
    Ms. Landers,
    I am using the praise and the consequences(taking toys away from the ones who don't help) and I do believe it is working! Today, they picked up without a second warning. I am glad I took their toys away for a whole day.
    bijansmom,
    I do tell them how it makes me feel. Some care and some do not get it. However, we are all beginning to bond now and I think that makes a difference. I am very fair and they know I love them and they are starting to show that affection toward me. I expect things to improve steadily. I find it to be a combination of being firm, having consequences, being consistant, and praising.
    One more thing that I do is limit the number of toys, especially alot of little pieces that they can "throw" all over the floor when I turn my back. I find this especially helpful in the kitchen area. At first they only had like 2 plates and cups , small amount of play food, a few dolls, etc. Now I have been adding items (not many) because they are still throwing things on the floor. I talk to them about that as well. I remind them that "babies" need to lay in their beds and be warm and that we don't eat food off the floors so please keep it on the tables, etc. O.K. I'm done blabbing now. Thanks for your comments! The kids are improving!
     
  28. Miss Landers

    Miss Landers Rookie

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    Oct 6, 2004

    Grammy - I'm so glad you had a better day today. I knew it would work, but didn't think it would work this quickly! Sounds like you're really getting through.

    Bijansmom - you actually sound like you teach very much like I do, with the same methods, but I've had enough discussions with a teacher or two who have had some tough kids and I know how they've handled things and that they were successful with this method as a last resort. Something about not being able to do something motivates even the most defiant, it seems. So, if your postscript included me, no offense taken, and I realize my post probably sounded harsh, which wasn't my intent. I'm really not a meanie!


    :love:

    Deb
     
  29. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    AAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH...Now they're back to not cleaning up again! I talked to my director today and she said maybe I should involve the parents , so I have typed out a note to them. I have made more changes in my room that might help as well.The ones who haven't been putting things away, are not allowed in those areas. I have moved my library/manipulative area to the outer part of the room so that they can sit in there and color or do puzzles. Those are things they will put away. It's the trucks, blocks, dolls and dress up things that they throw all over and nothing will motivate them to put them away. We usually go outside as soon as they get things put away and you would think that would be an incentive, but it's not. We miss so much outside time because of the kids not cooperating...and can't move on to the next activity. They are just awful about this!!!! There is one boy who seems to be the leader, several lazy ones, and the rest are followers...fun, fun, fun. I have NEVER experienced this before in all my years of teaching!
     
  30. gpsysngbrd

    gpsysngbrd Companion

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    Oct 13, 2004

    We give each of our kids an individual 5 minute warning before we want to clean up then we turn the lights off so they know thats when they need to clean up.
     
  31. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Oct 13, 2004

    That does not work with these kids...
    I am working feverishly to get them in line and ready for Kindergarten! Today, parents got a special note about the problem and I am going to keep at it until we get some cooperation out of these kids. Another thing I am doing is making some drastic changes in my room. I am determined. They have met their match (me) and I will not give up!
     
  32. Jeri Dawn M

    Jeri Dawn M Rookie

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    Oct 13, 2004

    You go grammy!
     
  33. debbie

    debbie Rookie

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    Oct 13, 2004

    immediate action

    tell them we are a team (no excuses i didn't this or that) we are responsible for this room. Observe. Say thank you (Name) for tidying up (you'll get a couple after this) for the die hards... 1 put something in their hand and say please put this away 2) hold something up and say who knows where this goes (kids who like to know will respond) or go up to a child and say what exactly are you tidying up (although nothing usually they will respond with something) Use all three strategies together. Depending on age level colour also works (who will tidy up blue things...etc.)
     
  34. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    NO these things do not work. This group has always been this way and have not been reached by previous teachers. Here is what I am doing. Since nothing has worked, I am "starting' over with them, teaching them just as you would a 2 or 3 year old. I have put a very limited number of toys out. Each thing has a spot and it is labeled. For example, in the block area, I have stacked up 4 large unit blocks and cut out the shape of the blocks to place them on. I have carried this idea out throughout the room. Very few things and everything is labeled. I have explained to them them why we are doing this...they must show me that they are capable of putting away those "few" items before I can add more. I am talking to their parents about this at open house and have written notes home about the problem . I talked to our directors about it and they seem o.k. with it but want me to be sure and tell parents(especially for open house. What do you think?
     
  35. bijansmom

    bijansmom Companion

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    Oct 16, 2004

    I think you are on the 'right' track. I agree with giving/adding as they learn to clean up. It is positive reinforcemnt as opposed to punishment (removing items/privledges)..

    Labels (AND pictures to go with them -- I cut mine out of the catalogs we use to buy supplies) work wonders. Everything that doesn't move is labeled (and pictured) in my classroom -- we are in the NAEYC accredidation process so this is a requirement --plus, it helps keep order and link literacy to their everyday lives.

    I love the idea of involving the parents as well as informing them of what you are doing. I am sure you will get support.

    GOOD LUCK!!!!
     
  36. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Our center used to be accredited (NAEYC) an it was nice because it kept everyone on the same page ... now it's "whatever" again and I don't like it as well. The reason we are not accrecited now is because there were no evaluators availbable to come and keep the ball rolling. How ridicolous is that! They gave us money to improve and for other things(some in our pockets) and that was nice. Have fun with it...I love the curriculum book and still use it. I think I will have to go back to it. My classroom ran better when using it. Thanks for your input.
     
  37. Mamacita

    Mamacita Aficionado

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    Oct 16, 2004

    If there are older students in your building, could you arrange with their teacher to have them come into your room and stage one of those Tom Sawyer deals where they are 'absolutely having a blast putting those toys away' while your students have to just sit there and watch? And I mean just sit there. Forbidden to participate.

    And I think 4-5 year olds are plenty old enough to have consequences fall on their heads when they don't do what is right.

    After the older kids clean up, give them all kinds of treats and let them eat and play side-by-side and in front of the kids who refused to do it. Let the lazy ones fuss; ignore them. I bet they don't do it more than a couple more times. All during the treat time, praise and coo and go on and on about how helpful and wonderful and nice those helpful and willing students are, and how you appreciate them so much because your own students wouldn't help. Invite them back for more treats after another cleanup.

    Sure, kids will complain and so will parents, but not the smart ones.

    I have never liked punishments either, but I am really, really big on giving rewards to the good kids right smack in front of the not-so-good ones.

    Not every time, mind you; but just often enough to make it worth their while to jump when you say jump.

    Consequences. They are sooooo important.

    And don't worry about their self-esteem with this issue. Self-esteem is only worthy when it is earned. They aren't earning it, with the cleanup issue.

    And every time, after the big show, a child willingly puts away his/her toy, publically notice it and give him/her a big 'you rock, kid!'

    Yeah. Reward the good kids in front of the bad ones. I like it. Worked for me.
     
  38. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Hi Jane,
    No...it does not work with these kids. I have done that very thing more times than I can count. Seriously, they do not care one bit as long as they do not have to pick up.
    As I mentioned above, I am trying a totally new approach with them, treating the as if they really don't know how (and telling them) that I see they don't know how to pick up so we will start with just a few toys and when they can put those away, I will add more. They have met their match...'ME!" Yesterday was hilarious. They went into the area to play (particularly the block area) and there were 4 large blocks on a labeled shelf, 3 small square blocks on a labeled shelf, and 5 Lego blocks...And did they ever have fun!!! They were so busy with those few stinking blocks , 2 barns and 3 plastic moose!!! ... But, the main thing was, they put them away when I told them to. The "worst" one (the ring leader for not cleaning up) looked like he had been defeated and tried to sit there and do nothing as usual and I gave him "the look!" He got busy then. It is kinda funny, but in reality, it's pathetic!My god, give me a break!
     
  39. Mamacita

    Mamacita Aficionado

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    Oct 16, 2004

    What a group you have this year! And to think, in a few years they will be voting! And removing our tonsils! And probably changing our Depends! Holy cow. It's scary.

    It does seem like negative traits like that run in stages. One year, the majority of your kids are great; the next year, just the opposite.

    I think there was something in the water, the year your group was created.

    At my old school, we've had whole classes that were still being wondered about YEARS after they were gone. And other classes that were still being praised.

    I think that in any aspect of life, the wheel goes round and round, and the fly on the bottom is the fly on the top, eventually.
     
  40. MisterG

    MisterG Comrade

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    Oct 16, 2004

    Well there are a whole bunch of replies and since Im at school (again!) this weekend, I dont have time to read them all.

    First what I used to do with my fourth graders (for the month I had them before my class was disbanded because of enrollment)...I had them clean up at the end of the day. My timing wasnt the best, but I just wouldnt let them leave until things were cleaned up. Did this make some parents mad? Probably...but in my school...all the kiddos walk or are driven by their parents to school...no buses to miss. With that in mind...i just didnt let them leave at the end of the day. They soon got the point that they wouldnt be allowed to leave until the room was cleaned to my satisfaction. I ended up doing a little thing called mystery item. I would had one thing on the floor that I noticed...without telling them...the incentive for getting the mystery item would be a cheezy little prize...like a pencil or something. I wouldnt let them come up to me and ask if they had it...I simply said that I knew where it was and I would tell everyone when that person got it. After the mystery item was found, I had them all line up at the door and rewarded the person who found it. Sometimes I would have more than one item.

    With my kindergarteners...they do the same thing...I just give the winner a sticker. If they didnt want to clean up...I wouldnt threaten them about not having things the next day...because they will forget by the time they get out of the classroom. Carryout your intentions that day. If they dont clean up in the morning, dont let them have a snack...or break. I tell my class that snack and break are gifts that I give them...not something they deserve. If they dont show me they want it...they wont get it.

    Also...I have centers...when I have them clean up their centers and go back to the carpet...I look at the centers...and If a center is not cleaned up the way it should be...looking like it did before they got there...I would send those students back to clean up. If they dont want to go...just keep reminding them you wont go on until they clean up....peer pressure works wonders.

    Ryan
     
  41. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Oct 16, 2004

    Doesnt' work with this group. They don't care if you offer them a pony ride or tell them you will take them to Disney Land.They will sit and stare at you all day and not clean up. You can physically put the toy in their hand and they won't carry out the next step. Bottom line is, I told them that if they refuse to put things away, we will start over and have very few items to use and play with . When they show me that they know how to put 3 block on the shelf, I will add 3 more. We are not allowed to withhold food from them as a punishment(like the daily snack breaks) ... it is a state rule. I have tried the "extra special" treat (candy or whatever) and stickers, etc. and they don't care. They are real snotty about it as well with their I don'r care attitude.
     

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