AISD Connections Newsletter

January 2016

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Happy New Year!

Clean up time in a preschool classroom can be a challenge! It can also be an opportunity for children to learn responsibility and build self-confidence. Managing clean up time is a balancing act that requires the teaching of procedures and routines. So... how do you manage clean up time in your preschool classroom?
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Talk about Expectations and Provide Visual Cues

Make clean up time expectations explicit. Use visuals as an example of your expectations, procedures and routines.

Have Mini-Lessons
Have clean up mini-lessons frequently. Each lesson can focus on a different clean up skill that your children need to know. Make the lessons very brief! Let the children participate in the lesson and model the skill.

Have Appropriate Expectations
Young children can do a good job helping to clean up the classroom but there will be areas that you may need to go back and finish later. Don’t expect a spotless floor or table, instead make clean up time about encouraging children to participate and do their very best.

Prepare Children for Clean-up Time

Give children several warnings so they can prepare for the clean up transition. A few minutes before clean up time begins, go around to each child or group of children and give them a heads up that it is almost time to clean up. Be specific. For example, if a group of children are playing in the sand table, tell them that when you announce that it is clean up time, they will need to shake all the sand off of their hands, then help sweep the sand up off the floor.

Use a Clean Up Song

After preparing your students for clean up time and giving them reminders that clean up time is about to begin, wait a few minutes then begin singing the clean up song. As you sing the song, go around the room and gently guide students back to the messes you want them to help with. Another option is to play a special song that is only used during clean up.

Be Consistent
Make your clean up routine consistent and don’t give up on the children. Your children will learn expectations more easily as they become familiar with the routine.

Set Up the Children for Success
If you want your children to be successful during clean up time take a look at your classroom organization. Make sure that toys and shelves are labeled and it is obvious where materials belong.

Don’t let messes get too far out of control. If the mess gets too out of hand, children will be overwhelmed and unable to clean up. Remember, young children are still developing their cognitive ability to sort and classify items. Clean up time is a skill they must learn.

Give Children Recognition of the Work they are Doing
As children are helping, let them know that they are good helpers and recognize the work they have done. If you have a child that isn’t helping, redirect the child to an area that needs some help and ask that they help his/her friends. Make clean up a rewarding experience.

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Please let me know if I can help you in any way!

I would love to visit your center this spring to talk to your parents and or teachers about transitioning to school.