Friday, 07 April 2023 10:16

When the Clean Up is Too Much

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This year’s YG students are a group of makers and doers. Paper projects, “stuffie homes” designed from cardboard boxes, block structures in the hallway, intricate displays in the YG Library can all be found in progress on most school days in our classroom. This is in addition to the scissors, glue, pencils, books, math materials and more that we use in our lessons and personal projects throughout the day. 
Around the middle of March the YG children found themselves with a little too much clean up at the end of each day. These particular days would end with slow moving ”jobs time” sessions and voiced requests of “I could use help with my job” around the room. Unfortunately because all the children had plenty to clean up there wasn’t much extra energy to give to the requests of help needed. 
The solution was identified. If we were not able to clean it all up at the end of the day then we needed to have less to clean up. “The blocks are too much. Can we take a day off?” It was discussed and decided. Yes, we would take a few days off from our commitment of tidying up the hallway blocks for the school community. The plan was finalized with the promise that YG would not build on our “days off” and that if Nursery, Kindergarten or Older Group wanted to build in the hallway they would put the blocks away when they were finished. 
The block-cleaning-respite was very appreciated and was also used as a way to get the classroom, hallway hooks and cubbies much cleaner (and easier to keep tidy!). After a full school week of no indoor block building we were ready to discuss the hallway blocks again. 
“I want to build in the blocks.” (A younger YG child initiated this conversation)
“But we are doing such a good job cleaning up, why should we make more to clean up?” (An older YG child)
“I want to build too, but I don’t want to make too much clean up. It is tiring.” (A middle YG child)
“What if we don’t build with too many blocks? Then there’s not so much to put away.” (Younger YG child)
“When I build I like to make big stuff. That takes big blocks.” (A middle YG child)
“Maybe we could build on some days of the week. Like Mondays and Tuesdays. Wait, what is today?” (A middle YG child)
This idea was considered further. The children decided that if we didn’t build each and everyday then we would have the energy to take care of the blocks and our classroom. 
We are currently working with the class plan that YG has the blocks open on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday each week. This means that when someone has the job of cleaning up the blocks on Monday they will get a “day off” from YG jobs on Tuesday. So far the YG students feel that this plan is working. We have noticed that often when one child has a “day off” they have enough energy to help a friend with their clean up job at the end of the day. 
And at the end of the day, helping a friend clean up a mess feels pretty good. 
Read 135 times Last modified on Friday, 07 April 2023 10:21

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