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Before our students set foot through the doors of Pre-K 108, a DonorsChoose.org project was funded to help kick off the start of the 2018-2019 school year. There hasn't been a day gone by where the material from this project has not been used. Although it isn't one of the fancier projects on the DonorsChoose.org website, it is an important one.
On the surface level, one may see a project that requests items to keep a class clean. Disinfectant wipes, paper towel, tissues, soap, soap dispenser, and a few dustpans may seem ordinary. But these items are way more than just what they are. On a deeper level, they are teaching our students how to maintain clean and healthy hands as well as teaching them the responsibilities of taking care of their own work space.
Research shows that giving children chores will help them learn about responsibility and allow them to become more independent. Our kids know that after using the restroom, before eating, and coming back from outdoor play, they must wash their hands. The materials have allowed us to create class jobs that switch up monthly and our kids know they each have an important job to do to maintain a clean and sanitary space for us to play, socialize, and learn.
The simple materials have gone above and beyond in impacting our children on a daily basis. I believe parents have certain expectations of what their child is learning in school. In our community, many have expressed how they want their children to learn their numbers, alphabet letters, reading and writing. For us as educators, we believe it is essential for our students to learn how to communicate with others, express their feelings, and become responsible and independent. Although some are not taught or learned formally through lessons on the carpet, it is obtained by the experience and expectations we set in the beginning of the year with rules and routines.
Currently in my eighth year of teaching Pre-K at an early childhood elementary school.