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Mealtime Observation

by Betty Piedra
November/December 2012
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Article Link: http://www.childcareexchange.com/article/mealtime-observation/5020892/

For many of us, mealtime is the busiest time of the day. By nature, lunchtime is a whirlwind of activity: from hand-washing to serving to clean-up, there are usually several things happening at once. Staff members have their hands full helping children transition into lunch from circle time or outside, keeping children focused and seated during the meal, and cleaning up after the meal, while simultaneously guiding children away from the table and into the next activity. Often, one or more teachers are out of the room, either on break or ­otherwise occupied, putting additional strain on the remaining teachers during an already hectic time. With so much going on, it’s often all we can do to get through it in an orderly fashion.

But what if lunchtime could be more than a meal? Lost amidst the chaos and confusion of a typical preschool classroom at lunchtime are important moments of observable growth and development. Because lunch is both an independent task and a social event, it offers a unique chance to study children in action, if we can only make the time to watch. As children move through this daily routine, their interactions with the environment and their peers are ...

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