Ok, pre-k and kinder teachers: let me ask you a question.
Do you have a blocks/building center in your room?
Have you done away with it because is seems like too much of a "problem-center"? Do your kiddos not seem to know what to do there?
PLEASE don't get rid of your block/building center....and if you already have PLEASE let me show you a couple ideas that will allow you to bring it back!
The building/block center has a very important place in any pre-k and kindergarten curriculum. Playing with blocks provides a wonderful opportunity for oral language development, hand/eye coordination, and spacial reasoning among many other benefits.
While this is indeed an important center, it can also be problematic. It can be a noisy center in which kids become off-task. Sometimes kids start playing with the blocks, throwing them, etc. Most of that off-task behavior is a result of not knowing/remembering what they can do there.
I won't go on and on about modeling and practice, practice, practice - you already know that. I want to offer 2 super simple ideas to help make this center manageable and more enjoyable for you and the kiddos!
1. Here is a little "I Can" booklet you can model how to use with your students. Then, they will be able to refer to the booklet for ideas to keep them on task in this important early childhood center. It basically offers your students ideas to begin their block creations -- not an exhaustive list -- just ideas to get them started in easy to understand pictures.
I hope you like this FREEBIE :0) Click HERE to grab!
2. Also, something else I find really helpful with keeping kids engaged and focused during center time is having clear boundaries for them. Most of the time the kids WANT to follow directions.....but they are 5 and 6 and they DO forget. I have found that using "duck tape" boundaries really help them know where their center begins and ends. My kids have learned very well how to stay inside their "zebra stripes". All I have to do is glance at the floor and I have kids checking their feet to make sure they are in their center. It's a great visual!
I hope these ideas help!
Now, it's your turn! What do you do to help manage your blocks/building center? Let us know below in the comments :0)