Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Cleaning Chores

Recently I have been reading 'Montessori Today' by Paula Polk Lillard and found some very interesting ideas that i wanted to include in my class. In chapter 7 ' Freedom and Responsibilities',  Lillard talks about the elementary children taking on nearly complete responsibility for the classroom. She goes on to discuss three steps to help the children to develop a total responsibility of the environment.

Since I do not have an assistant or co teacher, I sometimes find myself lost in the daily cleaning, checking and making new materials. The children do help, but I haven't relied on them to really take responsibility, but this week I changed that. I called a class meeting and explained that it would be great fun if we could all share the responsibilities, I explained that everyone will have chores that they must make sure the do them before lunch and before home time. I asked the children which areas of the class would need daily care and cleaning, we listed the following areas. 
-Language area
-Mathematics area
-Cultural area
-advanced practical life area
-Sensorial area
-Cleaning tables and chairs
-Library and books

The children volunteered for the areas they would like to be responsible for this month. I'm so grateful that all my children are so co-operative. I made a chores chart and placed it on the notice board. Everyone was so excited.

Close to lunch time, all the children independently began doing their chores. When all the chores were done, we gathered all the children and went around the class for inspection, checking if shelves were dusty, if there was mess behind the bin and if all the materials were straight and complete. The inspection, helps the children see where they have forgotten or missed things, I try not to be the one that points something out, but let them find the mistake themselves.

With each area, I sat with the child explaining what needs to be done and how to count and check that materials are complete.

So far, my class has been completely spotless thanks to the children!


nun said...

This is very nice...but i think if the teacher did show the children how to use each activity right and how to place it after finishing the cleaning after the Workcycle will be very for me the most difficult things is maybe not to give them responsibilities but to teach them disciplin and organization. that "When u take an activity you have to put it back" this is the first thing

montesecrets said...

You don't have an assistant teacher or Co-teacher? On my! I think I would go crazy! There's so much effort that goes into preparing the environment, when do you have time to do all the other things? Kudos to you for doing all you do!

N from the Learning Ark said...

Montesecrets: Yes :( I have no assistant and have so much to do all by myself. Luckily I do not have many children, however I discovered having a smaller class is in fact harder than a larger one.

Nun: The children all put their work back with no problem as this is one of the ground rules of the classroom. However, daily all the materials need to be checked, dusted and shelves wiped to maintain the clean, neat, organised look of my class.