What do you do with the non-sleepers?

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by Miss J. Pre-K, Nov 20, 2008.

  1. Miss J. Pre-K

    Miss J. Pre-K Comrade

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    Nov 20, 2008

    I have between 5-10 out of 18 of my four-year olds who don't sleep. I'm fine with that, if they lay down quietly on their cot. I have about 3-4 who simply cannot be quiet. It's the same ones every day. They get a book at the beginning of naptime, but it doesn't keep them occupied long. What in the world am I supposed to do with them? I'm about to pull my hair out because my only planning time is taken up with "Sit down. Put your words in your mouth. Stop playing with the toys on the shelf." I wish we could take them outside or something, but that would leave me out of ratio if my assistant is outside. :help:
     
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  3. tgi1515

    tgi1515 Comrade

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    First, I always start a story on CD (we listened to The Great Turkey Race today.) Then, I ask my kiddos to lay quietly until "everyone else is asleep" then I give them Leap Pads with headphones. If they were noisy during that first 20 minutes, then they didn't get to "play" that day. They get to "play the reading games" on them so I usually don't have problems. I only have one or two that don't sleep this year. I just put them in an area where none of the other children are sleeping. I will get out my Leap Desk for one of them after Thanksgiving. Anything with headphones will work. Last year I even had one child who used headphones on my "kid" computer. I let them "play" on starfall.com. That child started reading before they left Pre-K!!
     
  4. Prekfreak

    Prekfreak Rookie

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    Nov 20, 2008

    I will even allow them to get paper to color, write name, words, etc. Cheap coloring books are a great option as well. But I am like Tigi and they have to lay down the first part unti lthe others go to sleep.
     
  5. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    Nov 20, 2008

    If I sent my awake people outside they would just play loud and wake up my sleepers. Not a well designed building for what we are using for---sad.

    I have them lay quietly while others fall asleep too-then they can draw, do puzzles, read and so on. But I am thinking about using my noisy items w/headphones. Why didn't I think of that?
     
  6. sugar001

    sugar001 Rookie

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    Nov 21, 2008

    We have toddler 2's and only Tuesday and Thursday- I have several that don't sleep but they lie pretty still and quiet- I don't know what to do with one girl in particular- she is either sneaky or thinks we are playing a game with her-
    example my assistant is busy getting a few others down- patiently patting backs etc. After a bit I get up to write the notes for take home folders to tell moms about their day at pk---- this one little girl is so quiet and sneaks up and just stares me in the face smiling- I tell her she cannot get up- I put her back on her nap mat- she doesn't make one noise- she doesn't want to be cuddled- she just smiles a big grin almost a giggle- I am afraid it is defiance but not sure- We told mom and asked her if we could put the child in a playpen and mom said get this

    She sleeps in a crib at home with all the lights out- gets a good nap every day (except up here at pk) 3 hours and is a handful when she doesn't get her nap with us- but mom will NOT let us put her in a playpen to sleep- the director was the one that asked mom if we provided one could we use it?
    I know I overanalyze everything but WHY do ya think? Are parents afraid we will ignore them if they are in a pack n play?
    Any ideas ? I do get the girl to attempt to rest for an hour of this "up and down up and down grinning" and just keep returning her to her mat but after one hour I let everyone that has not fallen asleep get a book and look quietly at it. Sometimes I feel like I am unintentionally rewarding her with this for her poor behavior- of course i am never sure how much she understands because she doesn't even answer me most of the time and lots of times her answer is the unbelievable "no uh huh" ???? what the heck- mom says it means "yes"
    I even talk to this sweetie pie every day before nap time and we tell her once again she needs to listen to her teachers and try hard to stay lying down and she agrees and says OK- then the game BEGINS I guess. At age 2 and from what mom has told us she has not outgrown naps.

    Any advice is appreciated and thanks for listening
     
  7. Miss J. Pre-K

    Miss J. Pre-K Comrade

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    Nov 21, 2008

    We have headphones, books on tape, no individual players. Sigh. I had thought of that already, if we only had mini tape players. We don't have Leappads either. Occasionally I will call up the non-sleepers to work with me one at a time on an activity. I think I will try the puzzles or drawing paper next week and see if that helps. Any other suggestions, keep them coming.

    We have 2 classrooms in my center. (I know, it's small.) The other teacher has mostly threes and young fours, I have older fours and fives. The other class almost always goes to sleep. Our schedule calls for a two-hour nap, which is too long for many of my kids. There are a few who need it though, or take awhile to fall asleep and are only sleeping about an hour anyway. Should I shorten naptime to 1 1/2 hrs? I know next year in kindergarten they'll be lucky if they get an hour.
     
  8. Miss J. Pre-K

    Miss J. Pre-K Comrade

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    Nov 21, 2008

    Sugar001,

    I worked with toddlers for two years. Some things we tried:

    Make the room as dark as possible. Put up dark curtains you can open and close or tape dark pieces of paper to the windows during naptime.

    Situate this little girl away from everyone else. If you have a quiet, secluded place, like a box, tent, under a climbing structure, etc. that is a little closed in, that also tends to help them sleep.

    Lay down with the child. Yeah, you're rubbing her back, but actually laying down and closing your eyes while you help her lets her know that you are not going to respond to her when she makes noise/talks and is a visual reminder for her to close her eyes. Make sure you don't fall asleep!

    Finally, can you try putting them down in shifts? The ones who fall asleep easily were diapered and helped to sleep first while the ones who took longer were put in another area of the room. (We had wooden gates to separate areas of the room, it worked well also for when some got up. They could play in another part of the room without waking up everyone.)
     
  9. mrgrinch09

    mrgrinch09 Comrade

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    Nov 21, 2008

    I guess I'm just mean. :D Rest time in my classroom is for either sleeping or lying quietly on your cot. It's a time to rest your body and mind. I don't offer quiet toys, books, etc.. to a non-sleeper.
     
  10. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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    Nov 21, 2008

    Call me mean, too. I don't offer them either. I do have one with autism who has a thing for lace. So, she gets a piece of lace to fidget with until she goes to sleep.
     
  11. Taliesin

    Taliesin Rookie

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    Nov 21, 2008

    It seems like you've already gotten a lot of good advice but I'll share my situation in case there is anything you could use from it.

    Our nap time is 2 hours. We have a story on CD (actually it's from the Internet) for 30 minutes. During that time, everyone can look at books on their cots. They choose three books that they keep for the duration of nap as soon as their things as set up. After the story, I close the blinds, put on soft music and get serious about children going to sleep. Everyone must lay quietly for 30 more minutes. After that first hour, children who are still awake are allowed to go to their cubby and get out a special sketchpad that they brought from home, along with some markers. It really keeps their attention and I have no problems with it. I usually have either 0 or 1 child each day who can't sleep. Sometimes as many as 3 (out of 10).
     
  12. ~Evolution~

    ~Evolution~ Rookie

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    Nov 21, 2008

    In a preschool i assisted at they had clipboards with a blank piece of paper and a crayon or coloured pencil under the cot that the children could use but only after the story tape was finished.

    Sometimes the kids who never slept but where quiet and just rested got to do small art projects (like marble painting) with an aide.

    Some of the kids just don't need the nap, where others couldn't do without it.
     
  13. Miss Sam

    Miss Sam Rookie

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    Nov 22, 2008

    I have about 4 non-sleepers in my class. I keep them as far away from eachother as possible. I let them get one book if they lay or sit quietly until all my other kids are asleep. If they finish thier book they must lay quietly until nap is over, with one exeption. Sometimes I will let them get a stuffed animal, but they tend to get noisy talking to the animals. My class all knows that if thay are disruptive to my other students they do not get to play outside, they will sit on the wall. This is working pretty well with the exception of one child. I believe he has ADHD and the last teacher in my room let him have a toy on his cot to keep him quiet. So now he screams ang jumps up and down on his cot. Lately I have been letting him read on his cot and get a stuffed animal, If he stays quiet for the first 30-45 minutes I let him sit at the table with me and color quietly. Normally I wouldn't do so, but dad is no help and if we send him out of the room or to the office for his behavior dad throws a fit and cusses out all the teachers. So far the positive reward of coloring quietly is the best I can come up with.
     
  14. tgi1515

    tgi1515 Comrade

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    Nov 23, 2008

    We only have a total of an hour or hour and 15 minutes at the most. It includes the 15 minutes at the beginning for a story (the CD story) then 45 minutes (sometimes 60 mins) for a nap. Usually by the end of the CD more than half of the kids are asleep. I put on a George Winston CD and usually all but 2 are asleep in the next 15 minutes. After about 30 minutes, the 1 or 2 that are still awake, get to listen to Leap Pads. I'm going to start stories on CD/tapes too. I have a BUNCH of Christmas stories. In previous years, my aide has worked with those kids. This year we have Head Start and my aide seems to only have time for paperwork. I've seen the stacks of paperwork, but I can't imagine that she has to do 2 hours every day. (Another thread...sorry)

    My room is pretty dark except for a lamp on top of the bookcase next to my computer desk. I can still work and it's only a 40 watt bulb that doesn't seem to disrupt the sleep of the one or two kids close to me.

    I went out on freecycle.com and put out a wanted note for old Walkman CD players that still worked. I got 3. I have some headphones in my room that I put with them for individual listening centers. I know you can buy cheap ones at the dollar stores. They don't last too long, but they're pretty cheap.

    You might be able to put a wanted note out on Freecycle for Leap Pads too. I know a bunch of high school kids that have them stuffed under their beds or in closets. I think their moms just haven't thought of it. My own kids had 2 that I took to school to use in addition to the ones that the school got with a grant a few years ago.

    Good luck!
     
  15. harbodin

    harbodin Companion

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    Nov 23, 2008

    When I had a class that had a rough time staying quiet, I would be sure I reminded them about "game time". After rest for about 10 minutes or so before the end of the day we would play a game. If you laid quietly or slept, you got to play the game. If you were disruptive or I had to speak to you, you didn't play. Only took about 3 times of missing out and most of them got with the program.

    And yes, there are some (mine is one) who does not need the sleep in preschool because they are well rested at night or just don't sleep well away from home (mine sleeps 2-3 hours on weekend days but very rarely naps during their hour of rest at preschool). However, their bodies and brains have been working hard too and need a break time to absorb everything and recoup-everyone needs the quiet rest time! :)
     
  16. Miss J. Pre-K

    Miss J. Pre-K Comrade

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    Nov 27, 2008

    I tried the small clipboards with a pencil to draw on Wednesday. (Yup, we had school the day before Thanksgiving :( I had 6 kids out of 17.) It worked pretty well with the two who stayed awake, but my two big talkers/noise makers were absent. So I'll have to see on Monday.

    I had forgotten about freecycle, but I'm wary of meeting strangers somewhere for pickup. I have put out an APB at my church for any old Leappads or tape/CD players. I'll also be checking out the Black Friday sales. I noticed K-Mart has Light Bright flat screens for $5, I may pick up a few of those.

    Thanks for all of your suggestions!
     
  17. Miss J. Pre-K

    Miss J. Pre-K Comrade

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    Nov 27, 2008

    Um, no, I work in Headstart and my aide, while she does our attendance, food stats, and weekly government reinbursement sheets, spends probably about an hour total throughout the week doing paperwork. Somehow she still manages to get it wrong, sigh. Apparently I got the aide who can't count or spell or fill out charts correctly, so half the time I end up redoing it. Between lesson plans, disability activities for my kids with IEPS, newsletters, and filling in daily assessments for Creative curriculum, I seem to do much more paperwork.
     
  18. vbubbles1874

    vbubbles1874 Companion

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    Nov 27, 2008

    I usually have at least 1 who doesn't sleep. I ask him to lay quietly until his friends fall asleep and then I let him play with puzzles on his mat. I make sure that is some what isolated from the others so he doesn't wake up his classmates.
     
  19. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Dec 1, 2008

    I find the different opinions about nap time interesting. I wonder how many of you came up with your nap time proceedures. And my responses are:

    1. In Oregon, Child Care Division Regulations are specific about how long a child who is awake can be required to be on a cot.
    2. Is it really respectful to expect a child who does not sleep to stay down for 2 hours?
    3. Punishing a child for not resting--???
    4. Rountines like rest time are also education times, and part of the teaching responsibility. Teachers often forget that napping, eating, and toileting are all parts of the curriculum.
    5. Programs should not rely upon nap time as planning time.
     
  20. mrgrinch09

    mrgrinch09 Comrade

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    Dec 1, 2008

    Probably not. But the reality is most teachers only get the time during rest time to do planning, paperwork, parent newsletters, and all that other work that you can't do while there are 18 little ones awake. It would be wonderful if centers/schools had the capability to allow the teacher to leave the room for an hour to work on planning and other paperwork, but we know this just doesn't happen in most places.

    After years of trial and error, when it comes to rest time, my classroom really hasn't had a problem with children not resting for the past few years. I think it's all about setting expectations. If you let the children know what your "expectations" are for rest time then they will rise to those expectations. In my classroom you are expected to sleep, or at least lay quietly on your cot. I can't count the number of times we've had a new child start at our school and the parent would tell us, "She never takes a nap" or "I've never been able to get him to have a nap time". Then these same parents are amazed that their child takes naps at school and they want to know how we got their child to take a nap. It's because we let the child know this is how it works at school, and the kids don't have any problem with it.

    In past years when we have had kids who wouldn't take a nap the parents would come to us complaining that their child was so tired at the end of the day. "We go home and by 6 o'clock he's out for the night. I never get to spend any time with him at the end of the day because he's so tired." We let this parent know that situation would change if the child took a nap during the day.

    :hugs:
     
  21. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Dec 2, 2008

    mrgrinch, you sound like nap time is going well for you. A well though out nap time proceedure respects the awake as well as the sleeping child. Even though managment expects nap time to be free from interruptions--the awake children must come first. (My toddler class never has all the children asleep at the same time.)

    My comments about being respectful of the child are to inspire teachers to think of both sides of the situation.

    And, the routines and reasons for nap time are the curriculum. You are teaching the child about the benefits of rest.
     
  22. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    Sure, the lesson isn't how to do a lacing card it is the ebb and flow of the day. Sometimes are for quiet some are for play. I get it. But just the same I like a nap that is built well and have children arranged by abilty to sleep. As I think you do too-both of you. Am I right?
     
  23. Miss J. Pre-K

    Miss J. Pre-K Comrade

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    Dec 3, 2008

    Blue,

    I'm not trying to attack you, but I'm curious. What do you do with your non-sleepers if you think it's their right to be awake and active? We don't have a separate napping room, an indoor gym, or a separate play room, and even if we had the ratio for them to go outside, it's too cold for them to be outside an hour or more while the others sleep. While I wish I could let them play, I don't have the resources to do so.

    I don't punish them for not resting, and they are given books and I've started giving out clipboards to draw. I do, however, expect them to be quiet. It's a sign of respect for those children who do choose to sleep.
     
  24. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Dec 4, 2008

    Miss J. I don't feel attached, and I do love a lively discussion, as it makes us think about the way we do things and the reasons behind them.

    No, I don't think you must allow the non-sleeping children to be up and active, but I don't think it is respectful to "force" them to lay quietly for a great length of time. And yes, that creates problems for all of us.

    The awake children can learn about many things during nap time, and I believe the teacher can set up the classroom to facilitate a successful nap time. And you are right Wa, I do believe that a well structured nap time will provide a successful experience for all concerned. And that is the key, be well planned and provide a quiet napping area for the sleeping children, as well as a place for the awake children to pursue quiet activites. If you are lucky to have a second room, or a large room, this is possible. For those programs with one small room, it is harder--but it is possible.
     
  25. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    Sure, alone work (beading, painting and the like) these things can happen w/o a team of teachers all saying "good job" during the whole process. We work a lot on a thumbs up w/ happy face instead of always talking. These things help during quiet time. Awake people here are usually able to look at books, so they do that and draw for 30 full minutes. Then after that they can have puzzles and beads and stuff that moves a little more. that lasts another 30 min and lets them know that they are moving through the time. Then the awake kids and the staff can begin to talk a bit since the sleepers are asleep. They can play board games or paint w/specific goals-not free paint usually. Then that lasts 30-60min. If the paint/game time dies then they read out of chapter books for a 30min time usually.

    by the end the sleepers got 2 full, long, good hrs (we are tiny remember) and the awakes had their time broken up. We group together by ability to sleep-but we aren't far apart.

    Staff does paperwork, their own homework, takes breaks off site if they need to, rests, and eats if they haven't (but the same food as everyone else). Then we are all back to work.

    Works fine here-everyone is validated and almost everyone sees that they aren't stranded in a nap situation. Almost everyone.
     
  26. sarzacsmom

    sarzacsmom Groupie

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    Dec 4, 2008

    I know they are kind of expensive but catalogs like discount school supply have a tape player adapter thing that you plug into the tape player and youcan plug several sets of headphones into it-- of course they would all have to listen to the same story--,

    I do not use story tapes for nap time, I prefer to actually read a book to them--- once that is done, it's on their mats, i close the shades, turn off the lights and turn ont he nap music. I do wait a few mintues to turn onthe music becaseu some children ahve a difficult time falling asleep unless is is completely quiet, afeter I give them a few minutes of silence to fall asleep I turn on the quiet peaceful nap music (no words-- they will lay there and sing the words)--They ahve to lay there for at elast 30 minutes and if someone does get up early (nap is 2 hours-- but by the time they fall aslppe and I actually open the shades and then turn on the lights in 5 minute increments starting 15 minutes before hte end of nap to let them wake up gradually-- they get about 1 1/2) they can sit at the table and color or do puzles or some quiet activity. If they can't be quiet they ahve to go back on their mat. For those who jsut can't stay quiet enough, I open the classroom door and sit jsut outside the classroom and bring them out with me to the hall where they can play iwth little people toys---
     

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