Tuesday, September 18, 2012

How are they supposed to sleep?

My classroom has a long expanse of beautiful windows, some 30 feet, floor to ceiling, alongside a very active alley.
Fabulous, right?
Yes, the light is lovely.

There is lots to see.
I've begun keeping a running list of what the children see in the alley.
I want to get some binoculars for all along the windowsill, to encourage observation.

Many delivery trucks come down the alley.
There is a high school on the other side of the alley from us, so we see students, teachers, lots of people.
There have been bicycles and skateboarders.
It is quite fascinating to preschoolers

Unfortunately, it remains so during nap time.

A darkened room is an essential environmental clue for preschoolers that nap is about to begin.

There is so much light in my room that when I turn off the overhead fluorescents, no one notices.  (I often don't bother turning them on.)

I was told during the summer that room-darkening shades would be installed in my classroom as part of the building remodeling.
But, the contractors are gone,
we are in our fourth week of school, and
nap time has been near impossible.

On our very best day, half the class fell asleep.  (We had played many running games on a nearby field.)

Check out this visitor during a recent nap:

Yes, that would be a backhoe/power shovel inches away from "trying to sleep" Big Cats.  Everyone sat up in their beds, with a squeal, "Look!"

Six times, back and forth, the backhoe/power shovel lumbered by,  picking up large pieces of concrete from a construction site at the end of the alley and carrying these out.  As it moved out of the alley, the backhoe/power shovel made its backup warning sound "baaahnn, baaaahn," and construction workers guided it past parked cars, barking "All clear!, that's good!"

This is the stuff of preschooler dreams - construction equipment in action.

With the exception of a few who had fallen asleep before the construction equipment came down the alley, the children were either out of their beds, pointing and exclaiming, or standing on their cots, huge grins.  There was no going to sleep now!

I'm investing in curtains...these children and their teacher need nap time for napping!!


  1. Oh my. I pictured you looking 'down', but this is right outside! I can imagine their glee & their wakefulness when outside is so interesting. I hope it will change soon, Maureen. Your room is so beautiful, but...

  2. I feel your pain . . but also your joy. Binoculars all along the windowsills! How wonderful that will be.

    My ESL "Newcomers" room looked out into the park. While we, too, had many distractions we also had great observations. We monitored the changes through the year in the big maple tree; watched squirrels bury acorns; listened as skateboarders zoomed past; and some of my students witnessed their first snowfall. I love a classroom lined by windows! And, we had great, authentic writing opportunities.

    Good luck with finding nap time, and have fun looking out the windows!

  3. Oh my...you will need more than curtains I am afraid! I cannot imagine ANY preschool child sleeping with that going on outside! I would suggset CURTAINS AND a SOUND MACHINE!!!!!!! Good luck and keep us posted on your progress with naptime!

  4. This made me chuckle. When I was first married (30 years ago), I taught at a preschool to earn some extra money during the summer. I'm a middle school teacher so this was a big change for me. I had the opposite problem. Our classroom had no windows! So I often fell asleep right along with the kids. Other teachers would report tiptoeing into our room to find me head down on the table, sound asleep. I hope the curtains arrive soon.
    But construction equipment right outside the window - what fun!

  5. Well I guess the parents may be happy that they have very tired children or are they cranky because they are tired? What a dilemma!

  6. Wow - makes me glad I don't have to deal with nap time. How about head phones and piped in music?