Hello! I'm a newbie here, and to the world of teaching. I've searched the archives but so far have not found exactly what I'm looking for. I teach two classes in a play-based, cooperative preschool (3's and 4's). There is one other teacher who created a weekly theme calendar that I follow for the most part. It seemed easiest to just follow along so we could share books, craft ideas, etc. However, now that I have been teaching since September, I'm filled with discontent over the "weekly theme" format and the daily class schedule in general. Most days, the kids play fantastically during the "free play" time, and I really hate to ring the clean-up bell and struggle to get everyone sitting for circle then line up for recess... Morning circle is usually fine -- I can read a book or sing or do the calendar -- but other gathering times and lining up times are tough. And I hate feeling so rushed to create curriculum on a new topic each week. I barely scratch the surface, then it's time to move on. Ocean animals? Really? One week? For my three-year-olds that only two days!! :| So... I've been learning bits and pieces about emergent curriculum and project based learning, and it sounds wonderful. The kids regularly get very engaged in something during free time, and I'd love to just let them continue! Do we -need- a second or third circle time? If not, how do I transition from free play to recess (which most definitely -is- needed at some point)? I'm thinking of changing formats after winter break, but I don't know if I should try it with one class first, ask the school board what they think first, talk to the other teacher first...? I don't think I have enough knowledge about emergent/project-based to pitch the idea to the school yet, so if anyone has suggestions, resources, books... I want to learn more! I think I'm free to structure the day how I choose, but would like input on how the day -should- be structured. I'm sorry for the random thoughts and no clear question. I'm just feeling very disenchanted with the way things are now and want to change, but don't know how. I appreciate any direction you can offer!