During a regular clean up of the centre, my friend found some medium size sitting floor mat in good condition. She said, we could cut and make individual working mats for the children with them. I suggested we can use these whole mat as a working mat for one whole team. She said, ok. Lets try it out.
This week I put up four mats on four sides with the team tags against them and waited with excitement to see how it would be like. The kids came and settled on the mats and started to work. There are few smaller and new kids to Aarohi, they were not sitting in their teams at all, they were all around the room, sitting and working anywhere they wanted. Many times I tried bringing them to their team, but within a few minutes, they would again anywhere in the room.
With this new system of having a different colour mat for each team, I observed that, those kids, who never sat in their team, were working on their working mats now. Whatever material they used, they did everything on their working mats itself. And also at the end of the session, clean was very easy. Everyone in the team, irrespective of who used any material, cleaned up their whole working mat.
But earlier, stationery things were taken, used and thrown off, at the of time of clean up, it was that, I didn’t use this thing. I cleaned up my place and so on. Or there were one or two kids, who initiated to do clean up.
My learning was, that some kind of colour code and an isolated mat, gave an ownership of my space, to the kids with more responsibility of putting back materials and resources.