Learning and Teaching with Preschoolers is a place to share classroom ideas that bring magic and wonder to children's learning. Filled with ideas for theme based lesson plans, classroom environments and learning centers.
Have you ever stared at a stack of planner from years past and thought what a waste of time and energy? I have come to realize that lugging around a planner day after day and squeezing everything into a small square that I can't even read isn’t for me. Let’s not forget about all of the messy crossed out plans that had to be moved around because of that unexpected fire drill.
The Feeling of writing and rewriting the same thing over and over again year after year because your following the same curriculum.
That’s when I said enough is enough!
There has to be a better way.
That’s when I decided to embrace the digital world of lesson planning.
I didn’t want to miss out on the cuteness of a traditional planner. So, I designed planner templates that I could use with OneNote.
Calendars with digital stickers to on top of everything that is due.
Weekly lesson plan templates with digital subject stickers.
12 different templates to help with planning needs.
Over 100 stickers to help with make planning fun.
5 Reason to embrace Digital Lesson Planning
Say goodbye to the lugging around a heavy bookbag. I can now access my lesson plans from all of my device as long as I have Wi-Fi.
Nothing gets missed because I can easily share my weekly plans with my teaching team and administration.
I’m able to copy and paste activities that where skipped.
Let’s not forget that I can link any and all resources so everything I need for the day is just a click away.
Easy to update lessons to meet the needs for the following year. Hours SAVED on planning.
OneNote Lesson Plan Templates
Lifetime Updates Looking for a way to plan anywhere? With OneNote and lesson plan templates you can do just that. You will be able to lesson plans from any computer, iPad or phone at any time!
Sensory table activities are always my kiddos top choice during center time. The key to getting them there week after week is by changing out the filler and tools frequently to keep the learning fresh and engaging.
When it comes to filling your sensory table, the ideas are only limited to your imagination. Get creative and think about what you would have liked to play and explore with as a child. This is your opportunity to do something that you always wanted to do.
Think about what you want your outcome to be before changing out the sensory table. If you are wanting children to experiment with volume, then make sure that you include a variety of containers in different sizes. Include items such as acorns so children can discover that it takes more popcorn kernels than acorns to fill the containers.
Print the list below and I challenge you to changing out your sensory table weekly or biweekly.
Start by picking one or two types of fillers. Enhance the learning by picking items from the scoops and containers list and spice it up even more by adding an item from the extras list.
Are you clenching your teeth just thinking about center time management? Inhale everything is going to be OK.
There are many different ways to mange center time, but today I’m going to only talk about one. Over the years I have tried several different center management systems, and this is the on that just seems to stick.
First let me say that I have center time and small group time and they mean two totally different things to me.
Our Center Time is a free choice time, how ever I do limit the number of children that can be in one center at a time. Also, I don’t worry myself about making sure every child goes to every center each week. Since it is a free choice center time it doesn’t matter to me that a child visits the same center for days in a row. It tells me that they are investigating and expanding their play daily.
The children can choose from 17 learning centers daily and they can spend one hour of uninterrupted play exploring centers of their choice.
So how do they flow in and out of these centers?
Simple We start by having children pick and plan what they will be doing in an area.
This begins with our center sticks. There are only enough sticks for the amount that is allowed in each center. Example 5 children can work in the block center, so there are only 5 block center sticks available for children to choose from.
Once children have chosen areas, they are then free to change and move around freely.
Children have learned to negotiate where they can work and play by center signs and necklaces. Children are visually able to see how many children can be in any given area and they also know if a center is open to work in by the available necklaces.
How do you figure out how many children can play in each center? I like to place large hula hoops in a center to determine how many children can work there this gives me a visual that allows me to see if children have enough personal space to work and play.
Do children clean up before they move to a new area? If a child is working in an area independently then yes, they clean up what they were using. If a child was working with a group of friends to build a structure and they are done playing there and their friends are still working, then we encourage the child that wants to leave to pick up a few items that no one is using any more before they move on.
What if you want to use a table for more than one activity? We will place a strip of masking tape down the middle of the table. Children know that items on each side of the tape are intending for different activities.
What if a child really wants to work in an area but there are no necklaces left? In our really popular areas like the paint easel we have children sign up on a waiting list. They can then go to a center that is available and we will call them when a child is done.
Editable Center Signs
You can edit the amount of children that you would like to have in each center.
We dismiss our little's after small group so they are at their small group tables. We dismiss children by having them pick the learning center that they would like to work in. As a child picks a center that stick is placed back into the bucket and the children know that center is no longer available.
All these time chunks that I talk about in my Instagram stories have caused a lot of questions about what does my daily schedule look like and how do I find the time to get all of it in. First let’s start off by saying that our routine is the same every day, but the time that we do it is flexible based on the needs of my students on any particular day.
Morning Worktime or Table Top Activities
This is the time of the day as the children arrive. My children come in at random times based on the need of their family. So, with that being said I like to have activities out for the children to do that doesn’t require me to open up my whole classroom since we will only be at this time for a small portion of time. I like these activities to be activities that children can do on their own with little to no help from me. They are usually activities that we have already done before, and this time gives them the opportunity to build on their prior knowledge and extend their own learning through play.
Worktime or Center Time
Center time is the time of the day that all areas of the classroom are open for children to explore and interact with their friends for long period of time that is uninterrupted. During this time of the day we also set up learning provocations for the children to explore, usually in the area of sensory play, process art, play dough and writing activities.
Small Group Activities
This time of the day is only for 15 to 20 minutes a day of teacher directed activities based on children learning goals.
Still struggling with that perfect schedule?
Think about all the chunks of time (morning meetings, snack, learning centers, story time, outside play) there are so many parts to our day.
Try to place all chunks of time with minimal transitions. Transitions can cause a lot of stress to our little ones and transitions are the parts of the day that we can lose them, and mayhem can arise.
Can you place any of those chunks together? Example Snack and Small Group. Children have already moved to the tables for snack, you can extend their time there and flow into a small group as children finish their snack.
Make sure that you are alternating those times of movement and calm to keep the children interested and involved.
Provide children with one time slot of a large uninterrupted, child-led play.
These last few weeks have been a little on the CRAZY side.
First my computer crashed and it couldn't be fixed. :( So I had to purchase a new computer, which I had to download my back up files to, which took way to long!!
Then to TOP IT OFF...
My husband landed himself in the hospital for the 3rd time in two years! (can you hear me throwing a fit). I thought after the last hospital visit that our lives would be filled with rainbows and unicorns. When the unexpected happens I'm glad that I have the membership site to have everything planned out in advanced. Boy did it come in VERY helpful these last two weeks.
Super Friend Count Find and Write
Stamp and Match
How Many Super Friends Tall?
Peel and Stick
Super Friend Shape Match
FREE Editable Weekly Lesson Plans
Grab Super Friend Week 1 Lesson Plans Here. You can edit my weekly lesson plans to meet the needs of your own classroom.
This week has been buzzing with activities and it has been hard keeping up with it all. Lesson Planning Observations Assessments Training's Staff Meetings and so much more as a preschool teacher time is sometimes not on our side. So... To help YOU save time, each week you can grab my FREE weekly lesson plans.
Our kiddos have been acting out the Little Red Hen and to watch them add their own little twist to the story has been heart warming.
As they act out the story the comprehension just keeps growing.
What weighs more than an Apple?
Children investigated and discovered what weighed more than an apple.
We set up a process art activity in the art center where the children could retell their version of the Little Red Hen.
Children enjoyed building the first letter of their name using Play to Learn Preschools Alphabet Cube Letters.
We worked on making Little Red Hen patterns with character cards
and we talked about More and Less using the same character cards.
We worked on syllables with Hickety Tickety Bumble Bee using their names. We continued our syllable practice with a small group game.
Square, Circle, Triangle which coop does the chick belong to?
You will never again be planning through the night on Sunday. Instead you will be clicking the lights off in your classroom on Friday knowing that you are ready for Monday before leaving for the weekend. September Membership has plans that are ready to go. Themes Include:
Preschool is the prefect time to start building fine motor skills and hand strength. Allowing children to use scissors in a variety of ways will give them the opportunity to develop those much-needed fine motor skills as they begin the process of learning how to write. But it is much more than just fine motor skills, when children use scissors they are also improving hand eye coordination and bilateral coordination.
Give children plenty of opportunity to use scissors through out the day.
One way is to give children access to a cutting station. Set up a simple cutting station that children can use through out the day. Morning Work Time Quiet Time Table Top Activities before nap or When children need to be redirected
Have different items for the children to use scissors with.
Straws Paint Chips Sale fliers
Challenge children with different styles of cutting tasks.
Short Straight Lines Short Slanted Lines
Long Straight Lines Curved Lines Zig Zag Lines
Start and Stop Strips
Preschool Cutting Skills
Looking to set up a cutting station in your own classroom?