Hi Isaac,I now teach a full day class for 4K (those kiddos 1 year out from Kindergarten). They come 3 days a week, I teach two half-day three-year-old classes on the opposite days. I do require a rest time for my 4K kiddos. They don't have to nap, but they do have to rest. This is my third year doing this and each year it has been different. The first year I had 19 students and 1-6 might stay awake. Last year, I had 18 students and maybe 6 would fall asleep. This year I have only 10 students (small town numbers fluctuate), and only 1 or 2 might stay awake. Usually once per week all 10 fall asleep. I have based the length of naptime on the majority and the fact that as part of a pre-k through 8th-grade school some times are set for me. Our lunch time is 11:15, this is followed by an outdoor recess until 12:15 (we get 30 minutes for each). Our school day ends at 3:10, Kindergarten-4th is dismissed at 3:15, and 5-8 is dismissed at 3:20.After recess, my students come in and we settle down and I read some books to them. Then they all take a bathroom break and retrieve their "rest things" from our lockers. Then the kids can grab a blanket to borrow and I turn on soft music and dim the lights. I don't have a dimmer switch, but I turn the lights off in one area, then another. My rule is if the lights are off, so are their voices so they and their friends can rest. We are "lights out" by 1. I start to open curtains around 2, with "lights on" at 2:15. If someone is extra tired I will let them go until 2:30 or 2:45. Since we dismiss at 3:10, I can't let them sleep later than that. I have a couple of kiddos who are in "extended care" by 6:30 in the morning! That's a long day!When I had the class that didn't sleep, I purchased several volumes of The Magic Tree House books on CD that we listened to. They really seemed to enjoy those! If someone is awake during the last 15-20 minutes of rest time I will give them books to look at while I start to open the curtains and prepare their afternoon snack. I have not done quiet boxes or anything like that.
Here is a link to a website that talks about the benefits of daytime sleep for preschoolers:
Heather, thank you so much! I appreciate the details you've shared, as well as the article. Very helpful.
Isaac Enloe, Assistant Head of Beginning School8825 SW Barnes Rd. Portland OR 97225503-297-1894 x1002 | firstname.lastname@example.org