Sisters. Heidi & Emily are both former 2nd grade teachers and current preschool teachers with a combined 17 years experience. We are passionate about making education fun for little ones and teachers alike. We share ideas, tutorials and free downloads here. In our shop you'll find classroom resources like homework, lessons, and workbooks. Read more about us here.
As teachers we know how hard it can be to help young children accomplish a task in a timely manner. We suspect you mothers feel the same way at home! This week we'll offer some tips on helping your children accomplish work, chores, and tasks in a way that will make you both happy!
Our first tip is to set a time limit! You can do this the simple way by setting a timer. It's always a good idea to give warnings too, such as "only 5 more minutes!"
One way I did it in my classroom was with music or poetry. During transitions, for example, when we recited the monthly poem aloud as they cleaned up one task and came to the carpet, the students knew that they needed to be at the carpet by the time we finished the poem. Since they were familiar with the poem before this time they knew how long they had to make it there. It worked like a charm!
And another way I've seen it done in the classroom is with an end of the day clean-up song. I recommend a fun, silly song that you will all be happy to hear each day. The kids get familiar with the length of the song and when it's nearing the end so they'd better hurry!
Come back tomorrow for some more ideas to help your little ones accomplish a lot this summer. (We'll be showcasing some fun ideas like using tickets and a summer bingo!)
Heidi says: We were cutting a lot of papers for math the other day which, inevitably, left a blanket of confetti on the floor. It's those moment when I'd like to kiss the person that invented "secret scrap." I do it a little differently than Emily, so I'll let her chime in with her ideas below. In my class when we have a huge mess to clean in a hurry, I choose a bit of litter on the floor (as minuscule as possible) and announce that I've picked a "secret scrap." They immediately go crazy getting everything they can off the floor. The first few times we have a talk about what to do with things (like books) that obviously aren't garbage. If their little hands are starting to get full (and the floor is still dirty) I tell them that no one has found it and to dump their piles and keep looking. When the floor is clean or the scrap is found, I have them line up at the garbage so I can inspect their finds. I look at their piles until I find the person who found the right bit of litter. And if I sometimes don't really pick out an actual scrap and instead give the prize to someone who was working hard or could use a little happiness, well the kids don't know the difference!
Emily says: I do the routine in the same way except I don't want to look through the trash from the floor so I just tell them I'm watching them as they clean and I see who picks up the "secret scrap." I don't announce who picked it up until the floor is as clean as I want it. And, like Heidi, I often pick the person who worked the hardest to clean or who might need a pick-me-up.