Whether you’re preparing to teach your first preschool year or your 30th, a little planning goes a long way. Here are 12 tips and resources that will help you get started right:
- I’m a big proponent of developmentally based preschools. You can use this Printable Developmental Checklist to assess and track developmental goals and objectives.
- Starting with the end in mind will help inform your decisions as you begin to plan. Check out this post about Backwards Planning for the Year to help you as you outline your yearly curriculum.
- Once you start planning each unit, you might want to use this Printable Thematic Brainstorming Worksheet to keep track of your ideas. Print one for each unit and keep them together in a binder so you can collect ideas and activities as you find them.
- If I could recommend one literacy resource book for preschool teachers it would be Literacy Beginnings : A Prekindergarten Handbook. It’s a fantastic, developmentally appropriate guide from two of the leading minds on literacy education, Gay Su Pinnell and Irene Fountas.
- As you set up your classroom, you’ll want to take a mindful approach to creating your Learning Centers. This post will help you to be aware of what you should find in each area, and what kind of learning should be taking place as the children become engaged with each one.
- Many parents want to know how you plan on Teaching the ABCs This post explains my approach.
- Of course, literacy isn’t just about the ABCs either. Check out my series on a well-rounded approach to Emergent Literacy.
- One of my favorite numeracy activities to do with young children is the Number Bag (Video included). It’s hands-on, incorporates loads of variety and keeps the kids interested and engaged as they learn about numbers and math concepts. Maybe it can find a place at your circle time this year!
- When it comes to getting kids to learn to write their names, I’ve used this Sign In activity in the past. Also, check out this round up for other takes on signing in.
- Take some time to consider your Arrival and Departure Routines. Arrival sets the mood for the day, and departure will influence the way you, your children, and their families reflect on it.
- Get parents on-board and involved by starting the year with a Parent Meeting. Parent participation plays a huge role, not only in your classroom, but also in the lifelong education of each of your students.
- Of course, the most important people in your classroom are the children! So take some time to welcome them individually. Here’s a post to give you some ideas for Individual Child Orientation.
Taking time to plan and prepare will pay huge dividends when you jump back into that school routine!
What are your tips and traditions for getting ready to go back to school?
Debbie Clement says
Thanks so much for the link to my ‘sign-in’ article from my Fine Motor Leads to Fine Arts series. I’m delighted to report that your link has been drawing new readers to my site!!! Yeah, teamwork!
Becky K says
I love reading your blog. I live in a town near Washington D.C. Academic preschools seem to be the norm here. The attitude seems to be that our kids should “Race to the Top” of everything. Children are tested on their knowledge of sight words when they have only been in school for a month. Some child know the whole list in September because they learned it in preschool. The parents of children who don’t know the words, feel that their child is already behind. They may know all their letters and some letter sounds, but they are not in the top group. I am starting my own preschool so I can teach in a more DAP manner. Keep the great posts coming! I appreciate you as a resource.
Thank you for such an informative blog.
AS a parent of 5 grown sons I so enjoy your pictures and comments about your own beautiful family.
I find that I am still struggling with the enduring theme idea and wonder if you would offer a bit more guidance, as I am now planning for upcoming preschool year .
Thoughts I have are:each season of the year brings change, or I am part of a community and a great Big world.
I think the part that concerns me is the fact that this idea is supposed to cover the Whole school year. If you could offer a bit more guidance I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks so much!
The idea of the enduring theme can be overwhelming sometimes — and if you feel it’s really hanging you up then let go of it. The idea is that it’s a them that can be woven through the year, tying each individual unit together. The examples you mentioned could definitely work. The idea of change can be discussed across seasons, metamorphosis, cooking, etc. Community or helpers could be explored through different settings and even into animal life. You don’t necessarily have to guide the whole unit based on your enduring theme, but you’d want to find a common thread somewhere in the unit that can tie the units together. It may just be one question that can be applied to each and evolve into a discussion — Who are the helpers here? What changes did we observe? What is the process/series? How does this fit in this great big world? Whether it’s an enduring theme, a guiding question, or a progression of thought, it’s always good to provide some type of connection from one unit to the next. I hope that helps. I’d love to hear what you come up with.