In some of my earlier blog posts I talked about lots of changes in our classroom routines this year. One of the biggest changes we made was about our snack routine. Last year the class learned how to serve themselves snack, set the table and wash their dishes.
This was such a great learning process for them, but I wanted snack to be more of a part of our morning choice time, than a designated time for everyone to eat. My thinking behind these changes were a few reasons:
- 1. To empower the students to choose when they were hungry and wanted to eat
- 2. Allow them to learn how to serve themselves different snack items (this is a lot of fine motor work, pouring water, scooping food, and the feeding process)
- 3. Snack isn’t as big because they are just eating the designated amounts of food (last year they often ate quite a bit because it was more of a social event)
Learning how to “serve” themselves has proven quite challenging at times. Yogurt, peanut butter, and other snacks can be tricky to scoop and pour. I often find them helping each other if one child is more confident with the snack preparation.
There are cards are placed on the table with the ingredients. After I took these pictures I re-did the cards with picture clues as well so they knew what was written. Ms. Lori thought to draw dots under the numbers as well to help them count “how many” of each item they should take.
It is amazing how much learning takes place while they are eating:
1. fine motor work
2. communication skills
3. cooperation skills (working together and helping each other)
4. math skills (counting the items to serve themselves)
Another aspect I love is seeing the children eating with different people each day! Last year they always wanted to sit next to their buddy for snack time. Now they end up eating when they are hungry and visit with new friends. It has proven to be such a great set-up. I truly think the children feel very empowered too!