Thursday, October 20, 2011

Lunchtime Proceedures for the Full-Day Class

Children are invited from the line or the hallway to wash their hands and proceed to find the chair with their lunch box on it.  Most children sit on the same side of the room each day so there is little confusion of where to go.

After washing their hands and locating their spot, the children pick up their plate, glass, silverware and napkin and set their own table spot.  This may take several trips back and forth, adding in yet more movement to our day.  Emphasis is placed on learning how to set a table, yet another opportunity for the Practical Life curriculum to infiltrate our daily routine.

Children then stand behind their chairs until the whole table is prepared and then everyone sings the "Bon Appetit" song. 

            Look around and you will see a family
            Brothers, Sisters
We are one
Bon Appetit, you may eat!

Some children proceed to unpack their lunches onto the plates, while others participate in the hot lunch program and this stays in the provided container.  Lunch is a time filled with opportunities to work on Grace & Courtesy.  The children remain seated during this portion of the day, raising their hand if help is needed in opening a container.  Manners are re-enforced and please and thank-you are words heard frequently at this time.

Milk and water are on the table in child-friendly pitchers and children ask their friends to 'please pass the milk".  The milk or water is then passed carefully from friend to friend.  Each child pours his own milk or water.

When the child has finished his lunch he asks if he may be excused.  Leftovers are packed in to the lunch box to return home so the parent knows what has not been eaten.  Each child carries their plate, glass and utensils to the wash basins to wash and then stack his/her own dishes into a basin.  They then carry a small bucket & sponge back to the table for cleaning up their own spot.  If needed, they use a broom & dustpan to clean up under the chairs.  A smaller broom & dustpan is used for table crumbs.

Following lunch, the younger children are dismissed to use the bathroom in preparation of naptime, while the older children help load the dishwasher.  Tables are returned to their original locations, chairs are returned to the tables and a last look around is made for any stray crumbs. Children meet at the blue line to wait for story time or movement exercises with one of the teachers.

Submitted by: Cindy Shelley

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