Saturday, September 12, 2020

Covid19 Adjustments for Preschool Housekeeping Center

 We have just finished our first two weeks of school with all of our new re-opening policies for safety, disinfecting, and social distancing.  It's tough!  Last year I started my preschool special needs class with 15 students and ended my year with 17.  This year with all of our new policies, I am so thankful for lower numbers.  We currently have 7 children in the classroom and 4 remote learners that I teach concurrently through zoom lessons for circle time, small groups and therapies.

My last post showed the adjustments we made for our block center.  This center worked great from day one!  The reduced choices, the reduced visual "clutter" by removing the ABC rug, and simple visual supports from the painters tape and Lesson Pix symbols really helped this center to be successful.

Our housekeeping center is functioning well after two weeks of adult support.  Remember, my district has a policy for limiting shared materials, disinfecting after each use, all students must wear masks, and we must attempt to social distance to the best of our ability.  The housekeeping center isn't great for social distancing!  The kids naturally want to play together and be in close proximity.  Most years, this is exactly what we are hoping for, however, as we all know, this year is a bit different.  I wanted the kids to continue to have opportunities for pretend play and natural conflict resolution, but I still have to adhere to my district policies.

We decided to remove the small table and chair set that we typically would have in the housekeeping center.  This created more floor space for distancing.  We also removed many of the props including all of our dress up clothes.  We decided to limit the center to 2 children (typically we would have 4 children playing here) and set up the center as a "store" for our first few weeks.  We have two shopping carts, two cash registers, two sets of keys, and sets of food.  We have enough these categories of toys to either disinfect quickly after each use or rotate toys with our rotation system.

It took a LOT of support initially and I still don't love it.  But at this point, I have not figured out a different way to provide the students with the play opportunities and adhere to the district guidance plan.  So I can live with it.  The students are playing, they are talking and solving problems through the "trade" solution, the "timer" solution, and the "wait and take turns" solution.  Our "solution board" visuals can be found for free at the CSEFEL site under their practical strategies section.  I'll show photos of this in another post!  At this point in time, I feel like this option is at least allowing us to continue with developmentally appropriate play and natural opportunities to work on our social emotional goals.

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