Do you ever wonder how a kindergarten teacher maintains order and control with 20 or so five- and six-year old children? It’s a simple, yet effective method that can work in your home or office, too. These simple steps will help you create and maintain order in any space.
Follow Simple Routines
Kindergarteners enter the classroom, hang up their book bags and jackets, put their snacks in the snack basket, sit in their assigned seats, and work quietly on morning work until the bell rings. After just a few days, every student knows what to do when he/she comes into the classroom.
Simple routines simplify life. Routines allow you to complete repetitive tasks with little thought so you can spend your energy on the things that take more thought, effort, and work. They give your day a simple structure so the things that must be done every day get done first. They become your habits: get dressed, make the bed, eat breakfast, brush your teeth, grab your purse or backpack, and head out the door.
Establish Work Centers
Kindergarten classrooms are set up in centers – the art center, reading center, calendar center, etc. All the supplies needed to do an activity in the center is stored in or near the center. It is easy to do the work and clean up afterward. Yes, cleanup is part of the activity.
Labels are everywhere in a kindergarten classroom. They help the students learn how to read and identify things. Labels can be written or verbal, and both help to identify where things belong and where they can be found. Books belong in the reading center. Scissors and paint smocks are found in the art center. Everyone using the classroom knows where things are kept.
Use Appropriate Storage Containers
Make it safe and easy to store and retrieve items. Baskets for snacks, storage cubbies for lunch bags, hooks for coats, trays for puzzles, cans for scissors, and folders for papers keep supplies orderly. Use the right size of the right type of container for the job.