Friday, February 26, 2016

"Save my work!"

 "It is time to clean up."  For some children these words evoke excitement - a signal that it is time to move onto something new.  For other children, clean up is something they dread.  Stopping something you are enjoying or engrossed in can be difficult.  Part of this difficulty is related to a child's ability to self-regulate, but for many children, especially those with attachment issues, letting go of work and play experiences can be wrenching.   And yet, we must move on to lunch, to recess, to the next activity.
Having a way for children to save their work helps children to move on, knowing that they can return to an activity later in the day or the following day. This predictability, knowing that their efforts were worth it and the chance to return is calming for many children.
A basket of name cards with children's photos is always available
 in this classroom so children can save their work. (Eliot-Pearson Children's School)
These name blocks have Velcro on them and can be
moved to various places in the classroom where there is a
Velcro piece. (Capuano Early Childhood Center)
These gallery spaces are a place for children to save work
that is either finished or in progress. (West Somerville Neighborhood School)

In some classrooms saving work becomes part of the learning experience.   In a preschool classroom at the Capuano Early Childhood Center a teacher created a Save My Work book.
The directions in the box are:
1. Print my name on the cover.
2. Make something first.
3. Draw a picture of what I made.
4. Put the book in my white box (a box each child has, but could go in a folder or communal basket).
5. Show to my teacher when on the last page.
Save My Work books available in the classroom.

Drawing or Recording her efforts, this child saves her work.

Children often want to save playdough, but drawing or
 photographing is a way to save it.
We try to remember to save our work on our computers, find places to put projects in process at home, and recognize the comfort of returning to something we found enjoyable.  Let's find ways to extend this same experience to children!