Any ideas for first few weeks of preschool?

Discussion in 'Early Childhood Education Archives' started by buterfly, Jul 19, 2005.

  1. buterfly

    buterfly Companion

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    Jul 19, 2005

    I was wondering if anyone has any ideas on what activities to do for the first few weeks of preschool. This is my first time being a preschool teacher and I'd love some tips on ways to start off the school year right. What activities could I do? I've gotten some great tips on this site from other teachers that suggested that I start the first week w/ freeplay and music and reading. How about after the children are settled in and are more at ease w/ being in school? What should I teach first? Should I start w/ letters, numbers, colors? How should I start? I've never worked w/ a preschool class before and I'm really nervous for some reason. I just want to do a good job and make sure the kids are learning. It's a 3-5 year old group, so activities will have to be modified. Some kids will already know the alphabet, colors, numbers, and for some it will be their first experience. PLEASE HELP!!!
    THANKS!!!
     
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  3. Seich30

    Seich30 Comrade

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    I'm doing a color and shape a week for the first 8 weeks of school. We are making collages, matching, sorting, lacing around shapes, etc..
     
  4. buterfly

    buterfly Companion

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    thanks for the tip. sounds great! any suggestions for modifications for different age levels?
     
  5. ABall

    ABall Fanatic

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    Once you get adjusted you should stick with your ruiteen so they can get used to what happens next. It will have to be a little flexable. I would start with your good mornings, circle time, read aloud, or song. Then do some sort of free play or center. Snack time, bathroom time. Then set up your lessons, with different ways of teaching numbers, colors, shapes, alphabet and name practice. If things get too wild have a quiet activity to switch to. Don't forget to add in time between each segment for clean up and give ample warnings when a free play or art session will end. I am not a preschool teacher. I can't give you specifics, but, I did teach my own kids. I hope my suggestions help some.
     
  6. talk to me

    talk to me Rookie

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    Jul 19, 2005

  7. buterfly

    buterfly Companion

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    yes, i actually checked out the littlegiraffes website. it's great! i love the footprints w/ the poem leading in to the classroom. I think I'm going to use that.
    Thanks for all the pointers. I love this site. I just joined this week, and already I'm getting some great ideas and pointers!
     
  8. talk to me

    talk to me Rookie

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    I joined only last week. I am enjoying my summer break. Back to school by September. I agree with you. It’s a very creative group.

    Good luck with your first week
     
  9. Kathy S

    Kathy S Rookie

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    Routine is very important for the children. Less is more during your first few weeks. Introduce new items slowly. Read many, many books to them. Sing and dance, helping them understand their place in space. Explore the building by taking a field trip and seeing where the other children are. Help them learn the adult faces by introducing them to the secretary, director, custodian, and nearby teachers. Be very, very consistent with your rules. You aren't there to be their friend, you are there to be the teacher. Help them learn more about each other too. Do some activities that allow them to talk about their home. We also started our year books right away that 1st day (although it usually took a week or so to do it all) such as their handprint, recording their weight and height, writing their name (as best they could all by themselves) and drawing a picture of themselves. These stay at school, so be sure to let them make two so they can take one home. 1st week photos are really nice too so you can put them up where they can see them. If possible make them with their parent(s) or guardians. They love to go look at them.

    Also, make a linear clock (using pictures) that help those anxious ones understand how much longer until their parent comes to get them. It can really help calm them. Parents can show them what "time" they will be coming and then you can help them locate it again if they become distressed.

    Most of all, just let them know you think they are wonderful people.
     
  10. roselover772

    roselover772 Rookie

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    Jul 27, 2005

    Hi Buterfly,
    I have always wondered why 3 -5 yr olds are grouped together ! There are big differences in what is age appropriate. Stick to a routine and make a pictorial chart dividing your day. Stick to it and use lots of tranistions...Use the same ones so the children will know what to expect. Even if a child "knows" his colors, numbers, shapes, concepts of less and more, etc, and alphabet letters, he may NOT really KNOW them.
    Plan on the first few weeks to be a settling in time. The first 3 days will be crying days.....usually after 3 days it stops. Keep the children moving and involved. Do you have an assistant? How many children do you have in your class?
    I think this is a pretty intelligent teacher's resource site....ask questions ! :)
     
  11. jhope

    jhope New Member

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    New Teacher

    Roselover:

    I am a new teacher as well. I will be teaching just a 3 year old class. You were talking about those first three days as being mostly crying. Any advice with helping parents deal with this, or ways to calm the kids down. I have a cirriculm for the rest of the year - but am fairly nervous about those first few weeks of helping the children get into the routine. Any things I should expect those first few days?
     
  12. Seich30

    Seich30 Comrade

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    I just always explain to parents that this is typical, but they usually stop pretty quicky when parents leave. The longer they hang around, the worse it gets--of course you can't really tell them that :) I can be a hard situation to finese.
     
  13. roselover772

    roselover772 Rookie

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    If you quietly and with a big smile, tell the parents that it will be alright, they should hopefully get the message. If they want to hang around, you really can't throw them out ( although sometimes they are definately NOT helpful) so ask them to help out in the classroom. You engage their child so to help them adjust to being with you.
     
  14. buterfly

    buterfly Companion

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    Actually, I found a great site that is designed for preschool. It offers great ideas for curriculum, themes, and ways to help the children become more comfortable and deal with separation anxiety. I got a lot of great ideas from here... www.preschoolrainbow.org
     
  15. tstewart113

    tstewart113 Rookie

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    I love 3-5 yr olds together. The older children nurture the younger ones and the younger once desire to be more mature like the older children...it works well! The first day I have the children join me for some playdough fun, while we wait for everyone to arrive and feel comfortable. Then we take a tour around the room and I explain the different areas of the room. Then they get free time, until children seem to get restless. Then we sing some songs, have snack and go outside to play while I snap some pictures of the children for their cubbies. Day two I start with playdough, free time and then add a shorten version of our circle time. We will have a nurse visit and weigh and measure the children. Day 3 and 4 I'll we will prolly start with circle time and I'll keep them engage as long as I can and I'll add art into our day. By week 2, I hope to be able to keep them engaged in circle time for the full 20 min and add in a center.
     
  16. jhope

    jhope New Member

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    Jul 29, 2005

    line-up

    Great ideas! Do you have any creative ways to help them learn lining up and sitting for circle times?
     
  17. tstewart113

    tstewart113 Rookie

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    For lining up, I will say things like, "if you are wearing red today, line up". As the year goes on, I will say things like, "if you have the letter R in your name, line up". As far as children walking in straight lines, I don't care that much. I figure they will spend the next 12 years of their life, walking in straight lines, LOL. For circle time, if you want a circle, have the children stand and hold hands, like you are going to play a game, such as ring around the rosy. Once they are in a circle, drop hands and sit...works like a charm. Once again, I'm not too particular about the children sitting in a circle, but If the children start touching each other, I will have them sit on colored pieces of paper, or x's marked with tape on the rug. The x's work better, because the children will sometimes inch their paper, so they end up sitting where they want, instead of where I want them. If a child is really being disruptive, I will have them sit and touch my leg. With their hands on my leg, I know they aren't touching someone else and they are close enough that I can keep giving them a firm hand on the shoulder as a reminder that their behavior is inappropriate.

    Tammy
     
  18. tstewart113

    tstewart113 Rookie

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    About crying, sometimes it helps to tell the nervous child, that you are nervous too! They are always surprised that an adult can be nervous, but they seem thankful to know that they are not alone in their nervousness. It def. helps if you can get rid of those clingy parents, but sometimes, they just won't go away!
     
  19. beckyeduk8er

    beckyeduk8er Comrade

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    Jul 29, 2005

    Procedures

    Choose the things that are most important to you and practice practice practice.
    IF you want you class to line up have a line on floor (clear with custioan as to what type (Painters tape, velcro, etc.) Especially for the children whose first preschool experience then need the concrete real line before the can do with out it. Make a game out of it. I think safe lines are important if you will take your class on feildtrips or walks so I used to spend quite a bit of time practicing this the first week. Choose how you want your kids to stand in line. Mine stand with their hands behind their back. Before having them line up I model what I expect them to do and have a few students (those who you think will struggle) show the class what to do. Then we walk over to the line and stand in place. I walk down the line and say Joe will walk right behind Sue, Bob will walk right beind Joe, etc. to the whole line. We sing the line song and they go play. I tell them that I am going to try and trick them. I am going to sing the line song and when they hear it they should line up quickly (WITH WALKING FEET) and quietly. I let them play and at differnt points sing the song. I make a big deal out of those who have done it correctly and walk down the line agian saying names. (I do this everytime for the first week-otherwise some kids think as long as they stay somewhere behind the person from the first line attempt they are doing great :) . We also play follow the leader and walk in line around the room a few times. Again I praise praise praise those who are doing what I like (keeping hands to self, following the person in front of them, quit mouths). After I feel comfortable with the line we move from the room to the hall. I have another member of the staff watching for us to praise our efforts right there in the hallway! Here is mine line song if you are intersted tune "Gilligans Island"
    My hands are tight behind my back,
    I'm standing straight and tall
    My eyes are looking straight ahead
    I'm ready for the hall
    I'm ready for the hall.

    If you have the song on a poster it is something they can "read' the first week at center choices.

    Also choose your attention getters and practice them. Praise those who stop and look at you.

    I like to use the Cheer Everybody say 1 2 3
    Loud Voice Everbody say 1 2 3 (While clapping hands) they class echos
    Talking Voice Everbody say 1 2 3 (While taping lap) they class echos
    Whisper Voice Everbody say 1 2 3 (While rubbing hands together) they class echos

    I like this one because they end quiet. It is great for assembleys, outside, or even loud choice time.

    Another quick and easy one is "1 2 3 eyes on me" They respond "1 2 eyes on you" and freeze looking at you.

    I also use a wind chime. We practice freezing our body and looking at the teacher with the wind chime every time they hear. Again praise praise praise. This is great for giving directions.

    I also have a clean up song that I play on repeat until everything is clean. I use "Believe in Yourself" by Greg and Steve. Just choose a song that you can stand hearing several times a day. Have them practice playing in centers and cleaning up and siting in their place for morning meeting as so as they are done. Start with making a mess in one center ( I like blocks because it has big peices so it looks so messy but is quick to clean up it is also a quick way for me to assess kids sorting skills. ) I pick three kids to show everyone what to do. I have them pretend to playl. Then I turn on the clean up song. They race to have everything put away correctly and be in their seats beforet the end of the song. Praise Praise Praise. Then try it again with another group of kids. With this group point out the pictures mentioned below and have them make sure they match before sitting down. Then let everyone play and clean up. By the end of the first week you shouldn't have to say a word at clean up time. Just start the song. To make clean up eaiser I took digiatal pictures of each center and each container in each center. The center is not clean until everything matches the picutres. Be very firm on this in the begin and clean up will be a snap.
     
  20. Kathy S

    Kathy S Rookie

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    Jul 29, 2005

    jhope,

    You asked about lining up. tstewart113 and beckyeduk8er had some great ideas. I used carpet samples instead of paper. If you use tape on carpet, be sure to get the painter's tape that won't leave a sticky residue.

    I typically sing any transition information because it catches their attention faster and keeps it longer. Choose a tune like twinkle twinkle little star, or Old MacDonald..anything will work!...and sing your instructions to the children. Add movement information like skating... or tiptoeing or walking like an elephant...to the door, sing "Now let's skate to the door, please line up behind your friend. (name), you be leader, (xxx), you be the caboose. Keep your hands (wherever you have them keep them), Wow, you sure did a really good job!)" There's no set rule on what you sing, and you don't even have to be able to do it the same again.

    Just use a higher pitched voice, modelling appropriate singing for the children, and don't sing, volume-wise, over them. Just walk around, smiling and gesturing what you need them to do as you sing that instruction to them. It's a really pleasant way to give any type of directions.

    It's also modeling one of the MENC preschool music standards for of improvisation.

    Kathy S.
     
  21. jhope

    jhope New Member

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    Jul 29, 2005

    Great ideas from everyone - they will be quite useful. Thanks! :)
     

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