Friday, August 26, 2011

Breakfast in my Classroom {horrors}

So last year our school implemented Breakfast in the Classroom.  I am wondering how many of you have this at your school.  This is not a snack out on the playground...this is full blown breakfast in my classroom every morning as the students enter.  We are talking chocolate milk, pancakes, yogurt, etc...EVERY MORNING...Here's a visual. Not the cuties reading...but the chocolate milk next to the cheese stick and apple.
Now I know what you are thinking, only poor classroom management would allow for that milk to be out during guided reading and inches from the edge of the table...right????   W-R-O-N-G!!! That chocolate milk is there during guided reading because that child happened to be tardy that day...and he is the S-L-O-W-E-S-T eater in the South...that cheese stick is peeled string by string for a half hour if allowed.  This pic was from last year. 
Now I am in full blown training mode right now with my new firsties and believe me I have a cupboard full of these babies
It just kills me that the first 30-40 minutes of my day is messy, chatty, and disorganized. If this is going on at your school, how does it play out for you?
This is how it works for me as of now:
7:30 students enter, morning procedures, and take breakfast to their table.  They eat and chat it up while a select few (4 students) complete morning work because they are not sitting at a desk of food and mess. (there is a spill almost daily---insert fake smile, encouraging words, and internal cringing)
7:45 Morning announcements come on and at the close of those announcements all students are trained to be finished with their breakfast and ready to wipe down tables and get to work.  BUT those late students that are slow as molasses (thus the daily late slip) want their breakfast and my hands are tied.  They are allowed to take. 
Our amazing cafeteria crew at school has nothing to do with this and they have this system of delivering food down to a science.  They are amazing at making it as easy as they can for us, but it doesn't stop the mess and chaos from happening when you have a room full of 6 year olds that want their milk and cheese opened after trying and spilling some first. 
This is eating me alive...PUN intended..  :) How do you handle it?

26 comments:

  1. Oh my word!!! First of all, you made me laugh my pants off but then I really felt bad for you! If this happened to me while I was teaching, there would be a lot of cringing and no fake smiles! This is AWEFUL!! I really feel your pain when you have to cater to all those slow poke eaters!! If it was me I would tell they have 10 seconds to eat it or it goes in the round file. AND if they spill anything, this miss recess. Okay, just kidding:) BUT, I really do feel bad for you!!

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  2. Oh my word the round file is my new favorite file. You are hilarious...Thanks for feeling my pain. :)
    Reagan

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  3. First off, let me say that my kids LOVE my book barn -- and so do I. Thank you for sharing that. But about the food -- whose great idea was it to eat in the classroom? Our kids eat breakfast in the lunchroom, and if they get there after the first bell rings, they are out of luck. That would drive me CRAZY. We had a program once that served a snack of fresh fruit or veggies in the room every day, and although I liked the idea of the nutrition, I hated that it took time out of my instruction. Sorry I have no solutions, but lots of sympathy.

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  4. Oh my goodness, we have breakfast in the classroom TOO! This will be the fifth year. I'm so excited to find someone who feels my pain and can relate! I definitely have a love/hate thing with it: love that my students aren't hungry, HATE that it's in my classroom! (Oh the spills, the spills!! 2nd graders...) Maybe I can find your email or else I'll come back to this post to comment again later when I'm not soooo tired and I can make a little more sense. :)

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  5. NO WAY!!!! I can NOT imagine. We had inside recess today due to the heat and I couldn't stand the SNACKS in the classroom. I feel for you!!!!!! And I think "no more Mrs. Guy" would show up after the first couple of weeks . . . you have this much time and it's UP. Throw it away and let's start school!!!!! Hang in there!!
    Kristin
    A Teeny Tiny Teacher

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  6. My school implements breakfast in the classroom as well. The students must be at school by 7:50 in order to receive breakfast... and I usually give them until about 8:15 to finish it so we can get the day started :) The students who are not eating breakfast have some sort of morning work to complete. It is challenging some mornings for sure, but that's when I'm thankful for our custodians and clorox wipes!!! :) Good luck!

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  7. fortunately our kids eat breakfast in the cafeteria- we have lunch aides that are there to help them. They come in about 10 minutes before other kids and can eat then. I can't imagine them eating in the room each day. I feel your pain!

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  8. To be honest I love that they are full and happy and it does allow for a few "mom" moments with me which I love. (mom moments are when they really give you that look like- "She is so wonderful just like my mom") But day after day the food in my room gets really old. Especially when I have such rocking lesson plans all lined up for a jam packed day that I found on my favorite blogs! That sticky apple juice spill isn't part of my plan! Ya'll are so awesome! Glad to know I am not the only one cringing on the inside.

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  9. This is no fun at all! Our kids eat in the lunchroom and they have to come before 8:45 or they miss breakfast. My suggestion would be to play a book on tape while they are eating. That way they can be getting some learning in and you can assist students quietly throughout the room.
    Rambling About Reading

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  10. I feel your pain. We also have had breakfast-in-the-classrooms (cereal and milk). aka ...Milk on the desks. Which dribbles onto their seat. And as they carry their mess to the trashcan it dribbles on the rug. Or sometimes everything just falls for no apparent reason into a big ol' heap of milk and fruit loops on the floor. Ugh.

    The only way I coped was my putting my messiest eater at a big, flat table in the corner with a placemat. I made it look like a little kitchen table to make him feel like it was something special for him. Verdict? He STILL spilled.

    www.asurvivalguidetomiddleschool.blogspot.com/

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  11. So when did our job become being "mom" or "dad" in the morning...I am not that old to think that it's the parents job to feed their own children!!
    Aren't we just fostering bad behavior on the part of delinquent parents???
    And then we feel negativity towards the children…Somehow we are coming out the bad guys for feeling like it infringes on our teaching time!! Yikes…I feel your pain.

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  12. My school has always had breakfast in rooms for the 5 years I've been working there. This year I decided to scrap morning work and instead have a whole class game going on- like matching analog and digital clocks. I am lucky enough to have a Smartboard, but I'm sure you could do something with a pocket chart, flashcards...Anyway, I was surprised how well this worked. As soon as kids finished and wiped their table, they moved to the carpet and got to take turns in the game. But the amazing part was that the kiddos that were eating were actually turning around and watching the other students!

    There's still the problem of the straggler child who's still eating 30 minutes later...but at least it's a start.

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  13. Great ideas...right now I have the good morning attendance slide up on my smart board until announcements so as they come in they have to slide their name to their lunch choice as a way of checking in. But I do like the idea of coming down to the rug as they finish. We have morning announcements with an actual news team and it is a big deal to us. They have to watch that at 7:45 so most are still eating. I don't allow them to get up and throw away during announcements because all I can hear is the opening and closing of my classroom door (along with the milk and fruit loops hitting the floor! ha ha that was classic Courtney!) I love my morning math and I do actually get 90% of them to get through it once they become really good at breakfast. It's just hassle. :) Thanks so much for commenting!

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  14. OMG! WOW! I can't even imagine. We do have breakfast but it is served in the cafeteria I can't even imagine if it had to be in our room everyday!

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  15. I feel for all of you that have to have breakfast in the classroom. Boo! My school serves breakfast but in the cafeteria and when the bell rings, that's it. They must stop eating, clean up, and get to class.

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  16. If it's taking away from instructional minutes then I can't believe it's allowed. I understand the idea behind it but why can't they just eat in the lunchroom before school. I'm so sorry you have to deal with that. It would be hard to start the day on the right foot and in a good mood when faced with that craziness.

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  17. ok so we have been doing this at my campus for several years now. when the students walk in they put their stuff away and get their breakfast. They eat stand for the pledge and then go back to eating they must be done by the time announcements are over. So they get about 15 to 20 min give or take. It may take a bit longer at first but like anything else you must train them. When announcements end they trow their breakfast away. The slow eaters will quickly become faster eaters. They wipe their tables and the day begins. Your worst days will be cereal days (one child will always spill. Invest in real paper towels if your school uses those brown ones that absorb nothing only spread the mess. After drying up the mess i wipe down with a baby wipe so the floor / desk doesnt stay sticky. As far as your kids that are tardy you need to get on the parents. Let them know that if their child is late they spend the whole day trying to catch up.For repeat offenders I tell the parent if they are late they will not get breakfast of course its not the childs fault and I still give them breakfast but it really does help to get children to school on time.

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  18. oh i forgot to add about trash. In my trash can I put a breakfast trash bag over the regular one and allow the students to throw away their breakfast as they finish then I dump the trash as a whole when all are done.

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  19. Well I don't have the breakfast problem but since I teach JK (4 and 5 year olds) we have lunch and afternoon snack in the classroom! My biggest problem is the lunches being dropped on the floor. Just the other day one kid decided it would be a good idea to eat his fruit cup in his hands rather than on the table...you can guess where that ended up (all over the floor). I have found that if I walk around and make sure everything they don't need is on the floor and help them open things generally we are fairly clean. I also find that if I can get the kids away from the lunch area and then clean it it works best. I usually send the kids to the reading center when they are done so the messes can be cleaned up. Also the rule is once the lights go off lunch is over. They quickly learn how to eat a whole lunch in 30 minutes!

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  20. That would drive me BANANAS! I'm so sorry, I had to take my kids through snack during summer school and I dreaded it daily...I can't even imagine how you feel!

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  21. Yes the trash is an issue because they have to throw away the half-full milk containers in the special trash so that is why they have to walk out in the hall every time...it means my door opens and shuts with sticky hands 21 times a morning. I leave it open and we just get more noise from the hallway etc. I like the idea of calling the late kid parents and letting them know breakfast is GONE at 8. Of course I can't look a kid in the face and say NO you can't have any breakfast. But I can let the parents know how it is affecting their learning for sure!!! Thanks everyone for the support!

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  22. My school offers breakfast, but it is only something simple such as a cereal bar, breakfast sandwich or a granola bar. They can get milk and orange juice also. In my classroom, breakfast has to be eaten or in the trash by 8:30 (bell rings for tardy at 8:20). I have about 10 kids that get breakfast, and I haven't had any problems last year or this year (yet) with spills. Maybe try and tell them that they have a set time to eat and whatever isn't eaten, they have to throw away. We start a guided reading group at 8:30, so I need them to be done. Good luck!

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  23. I feel your pain. We have pre-k through 5 th grade with breakfast in the classroom. Spilled milk everyday. We used to eat breakfast in the cafeteria but now everyone has to eat in the classroom. It is a mess!!!

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  24. We also have breakfast in the room. I tell parents they have to be at school by 8:00 to be able to eat. We take the cart back to the cafeteria at that time and late arrivals don't get to eat. They have to clean up when announcements are over and those who are finished read on the rug until the others join them at 8:10. Then we put up books and start class. It is a mess, but I just tell parents if they want free breakfast for their child they have to be on time. It works so far. We put out paper towels at each place before we leave for the day and then kids are ready in the am. Kids who spill also clean up their own mess. sometimes it's not great and I let the custodians know about spills so they can mop after the wipe ups. I don't know why they have a rule against using the cafeteria. I think they don't want to clean twice a day so we are stuck doing it. It is a nuisance at all grade levels. my husband teaches at the high school and he hates it too, but it is something about Title I rights thing.

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  25. Oh my Heavens! I feel so bad for you!

    Our school implemented Rise & Shine about two years ago. Buses unload between 7:50-8:20 and the kiddos put their things in the classroom then they either go to breakfast in the cafeteria or Rise & Shine in the gym. As students finish breakfast, they go to Rise & Shine, as well.

    Rise & Shine is almost like an assembly each morning. The kids have free time and talk (school-wide K-6) while listening to music. They sit with their class and in designated areas. They sit in rows or groups all the way around the gym floor and the older kids get to sit on the bleachers.

    Around 8:10, the Rise & Shine coordinator announces birthdays, special events and the kids say the Pledge of Allegiance and the School pledge. She also goes over our PBIS matrix expectations that we need to work on as a whole. Classes or individual students can also perform skits or things of that nature. We have several SPED paraprofessionals in our school that are available during this time though and not everyone may have that luxury.

    Our school doesn't even officially start until 8:30, but because we offer breakfast, we have to occupy the kids somehow until the day has started.

    I dislike having to deal with snack and milk in the classroom. I cannot even begin to imagine a full meal everyday. The spills alone would drive me crazy! Bless your heart!!!

    ✿Marlana
    Lil' Country Kindergarten

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  26. I am at a title 1 school in AZ and we serve breakfast in our classrooms. My school day is from 8-2. The students are in the classroom by 8 o'clock and I give them until 8:17 to eat. By 8:20, we are all "supposed" to be on the carpet to read the morning message!

    Our student have to get 3 out of the 4 breakfast choices! The choices are milk, juice, cereal, and an entree (cereal bar, applesauce, bun, etc.)

    I have a few students that have trouble opening the packages and they have to ask 3 friends before they ask me. We also have an extra trash bag that I put in the can and then my breakfast helpers take out the extra breakfast and the breakfast garbage bag to the hallway.

    I keep a strainer by the sink so the kiddos spill the cereal in the sink so the milk will go down the drain and then they dump the cereal into the garbage can. It is messy at first but they are now used to it! :) Hope it helps!

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