So, here we are beginning the second month of school and yes, I still have some children not quite comfortable with their surroundings. From the instant they step in the room until the minute before they go home--"When is my mom coming?" Believe it or not I have never had this aspect before--1 week, maybe 2 weeks and they were good to go. All weekend I kept trying to think of a way to help these children with their day. Then on Sunday, I thought of it--a picture schedule. I know many of you well-seasoned teachers could have told me this weeks ago, but it's something I never had to utilize before. (Maybe I'm just losing my touch.)
So here is what I did. I took a piece of poster board and made 8 columns--one column for a specific part of the day. Then I went out to Google images and searched for pictures that would coordinate with the time of day. I printed out the pictures and then printed out a group of children. I glued the pictures to the board. I then used contact paper to cover the board. I like the strength of contact paper, especially when I will be moving the schedule from room to room with us.
I then got some Velcro and put one tab on each time of the day, and one on the group of people. We then moved the group to the different sections throughout our day. How did it work? Actually, I think it was very helpful.
The children came in very "upset." I introduced our schedule right away, showing the pictures, explaining the different times of the day, and moving the group around so they could see. Then we stuck our group on Circle Time and began our day. During play time they started to ask. We walked over to the schedule, took a look at it and they were okay each time. Every time I moved the group I made a big deal out of it. I really think it helped them to see that the "end was in sight."
I can't tell you how happy mom was to see them come out of school with a smile instead of a tissue. Was it all the schedule, or are they adjusting? No way to tell for sure, but it was nice for us to actually see them enjoying themselves--even interacting with the others. I think we turned a corner.