Discussion in 'Preschool' started by Nitch, Nov 12, 2012.
Nov 12, 2012
I found your post somewhat difficult to follow. From what I gleaned, it does seem like not the most engaging schedule for preK kids. It's been a while since I was in preK but 5 center rotations seems like a lot and I'd tend to incorporate some choice in some of the centers. Have you tried talking with your co-teacher? You could suggest finding a time each week to plan together, or you could offer to design a few centers activities for each day...your current situation certainly doesn't seem like a collaborative partnership...but I do think you should find ways to communicate with your partner, share suggestions and concerns rather than going directly to your administrator.
I can tell you that in my one and only experience with pre-k, the kids did have centers for around an hour, but it was entirely free choice. They had several set up and kids could go freely to any center they wanted and stay there for as long as they wanted. There was an imaginative play center, an art center, letters, books, listening, blocks, cars/trains, etc. This was in a summer program and I was teaching severe special needs students. My class pushed in to the gen ed class for centers and circle time. I found that the lead teacher wasn't very accepting of my students. She often got upset that they "wouldn't" do the exact activity they were supposed to in a center (obviously since they were severe needs, it was definitely more of a case of "can't" vs. "won't"). It was just a summer program and neither severe needs or pre-k was my area of expertise, so I just tried to make sure my kids got what they needed and largely ignored the attitude of the gen ed teacher.
The only suggestion I can think of if your principal sides with the other teacher is to try to find some other admin that might sympathize with you. Do you have a sped director who might be able to talk to your principal? Or an assistant principal that might be more willing to listen? Unfortunately if the other teacher has the principal on her side I don't think there is much you can do beyond that. You could try to bring in some research to back up the way you want to do things, but I would do so cautiously. Depending on your admin's personality, that could be construed as negatively.
Are you an assistant teacher?
Nov 13, 2012
Nitch, this is not the way PS is supposed to work. In this day and age many teachers believe that PS learn just like older kids. You are right, they need lots of creative hands on situations.
I suggest you ask your teacher, director, etc. for a copy of the curriculum that they use. (Creative Curriculum, High Scope, etc.) That should give you a start on figuring our what is supposed to be happening.
Since you are the co-teacher, you need to have a say in what is happening. Maybe you could offer to set up some of the lessons each day.
My concept of centers is that the teacher sets up each interest center to reflect the concepts to be learned.
For example: if you are studying color--the playdough would be the color you are studying. Circle time would be about things that color. There are lots of color games for another table. The sensory table could be filled with pompoms of the color.
I do have a BA in ECE. I would not be able to work in the situation you describe.
Yes, centers are big, even in preschool/pre-k. BUT, the majority of the centers should be play-focused. Blocks, legos, free painting, puzzles, house/dress up, etc. One center for me was always a season appropriate craft/activity that would be teacher led. Another would be handwriting - practicing letters, writing names, etc.
My assistant and I would be working with two of the centers while the other children were essentially playing - at the level appropriate for them and their abilities. Play is extremely important, especially when children are that young.
FYI, even though your students may not be able to do it; stringing beads is a very common pre-k activity. Helps tremendously with fine motor skills.
Nov 18, 2012
Hi! What does the F in ECFE stand for? I'm sure it's something obvious, but my district doesn't have an integrated program right now for pre-k and I'm trying to understand the scope of your program. How many special needs students do you have? Are you in the same classroom the entire day? I think the best place to start would probably be to implement some visuals to use at Circle Time. (Maybe a picture schedule?) Do your students receive any therapies?
What you describe does not seem ideal.
Often times in so-called co-teaching classrooms, the regular classroom teacher takes a lead role while the special education teacher follows along, doing things differently for just her identified students. I am not implying this is the correct. It does, though, seem the be the way your co-teacher operates. So she only plans at home? You never plan together? That's a problem. By planning together you can address some of the concerns you have about the schedule, activities, and progress of "your" students in particular.
Nov 19, 2012
Yes, Creative Curriculum is a guide, but you need to have an understanding of how to use it. I would suggest you take a look at Head Start Domains--as they are frequently used together. CC advocates developmentally appropriate practice.
I suggest that you and your co-teacher take a look at some research and do some quick readings.