Help this new preschool teacher PLEASE.

Discussion in 'Early Childhood Education Archives' started by bijansmom, Oct 3, 2002.

  1. bijansmom

    bijansmom Companion

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2002
    Messages:
    116
    Likes Received:
    0

    Oct 3, 2002

    I am new to teaching preschool. I am a high school teacher on leave to be with my kids. However, I got this great opportunity to teach my daughter's preschool while my son is in Kindergarten half day.

    Now, I am feeling overwhelmed. I am not sure about some things:

    I had this view of sitting in preschool with all the little darlings around me listening to a story. Boy was I dissillusioned. Then, I tried splitting them into groups for story and that was better but not great. What to do??? They stand up and the other kids can't see and then it gets chaotic.

    Second problem: multi-age classroom. I have kids who are still 2 (will be three by December) and some that JUST turned three. Then, there are 3 1/2 -4 y.o. kids. I have MWF kids (12) and TTH kids (9) and some of them (3) come all 5 days. What do I do with the younger kids who have a shorter attention span? They 'disrupt' the others and before I know it, we have a domino effect -- and I have lost ALL control.

    I have plenty more questions -- these are just a few of them. I have a teacher's aide, by the way.
     
  2.  
  3. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2002
    Messages:
    3,274
    Likes Received:
    38

    Oct 3, 2002

    Your group is 2 1/2yrs-4yrs? It is better to read to small groups of kids then larger groups. When I had that age group I had my assistant sitting with the kids while I was reading. She helped with control. I rarely sit reading on the floor, sit on a chair, it raises you up & helps everyone to see. If you do centers, plan simpler activities & more complex activities. Do lots of open-ended things i.e. painting of any type, blocks, dramatic play etc. You could also have the aide take the younger kids while you work with the older kids. I rarely planned activities that carried over to another day, it was just too complicated when some kids come 3 days, some 2 or 4 or 5. The only exception was when we were making gifts which included cards & stamping paper for gift wrap. Then I used a check list to remember who had done what. Let us know if you have any more questions.
     
  4. bijansmom

    bijansmom Companion

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2002
    Messages:
    116
    Likes Received:
    0

    Oct 3, 2002

    Thanks for your reply --

    Basically how do you filla 2 1/2 hour day?

    This is how my day is looking now---

    9:00-9:30 Centers Free Choice
    9:30-9:35 Clean up
    9:35-9:45 Circle Time
    9:45-10:05ish (more or less) SIMPLE art projects (which I need some help coming up with)
    10:05-10:15 Wash up
    10:15-1025ish Snack
    10:25-10:30 Circle mainly to transition to line up for outside
    10:30-11:00 Outdoor
    11:00-11:20 Story (two small groups) OR Centers
    11:20-11:30 Circle with songs

    Somedays it flows and other days it doesn't. The most challenging part is what do you do with those younger ones who want to go play during Circle? Let them? Or keep getting them?

    Also, what do you do if you don't do a project? I assume you don't do a project everyday -- is that right?

    What is the ratio of free play to directed play? I use Free Play (or Center choice) as a time to go to students individually -- even if it is a couple of students a day for 5 or so mins each.

    I appreciate your help.
     
  5. AngelaS

    AngelaS Cohort

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2002
    Messages:
    688
    Likes Received:
    0

    Oct 6, 2002

    I hope unregistered was not trying to be sarcastic, but I do agree. This should not have happened. Take an early childhood 90 hour course (required for most daycare teachers to be in the classroom). This will answer most of your questions. If you are serious about working with this age group, you need to get re-certified with ECE.

    9:15-9:30 Arrival, read books
    9:30-9:45 Circle
    9:45-10:15 Bathroom and Snack
    10:15-10-20 Songs on rug as transitiion
    10:20-11:00 Centers (free choice- have your asst run the art center so that only a few kids are doing the projects at a time)
    11:00-11:20- Outside
    11:20-11:30 Pack up and teacher read-aloud

    Make things as simple as possible. All free choice at this pt in your year with this age- don't complicate things. Depending on your teaching style, I would require that all students stay and participate in group activities like story because it is a respect thing- you need to join our group. Some teachers disagree and don't force little little ones to sit they developmentally cannot.

    Good luck, and again, get some professional training if you want things to run smootly and your students to get the manimum benefit from your program.
     
  6. Amanda

    Amanda Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2001
    Messages:
    3,243
    Likes Received:
    99

    Oct 6, 2002

    I have removed Unregistered's post... Those types of comments should have a registered name attached to them. It wasn't exactly what was said, but how (and anonymously). Feel free to register and post again, but please remember that we are looking for constructive comments like AngelaS provided... The whole point of this forum is to offer advice and build our fellow teachers up so they can do the best job for their students. :)
     
  7. bijansmom

    bijansmom Companion

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2002
    Messages:
    116
    Likes Received:
    0

    Oct 6, 2002

    Thanks for the replies.

    I got the job with the understanding that my supervisor would be in the building at least 60% of the time. Also, I have a 7-12 cert. as well as a completed major in developmental psychology (a completed major in English and French and a Master's in Reading and Language Arts). In addition, I have devoted my life (the past 6 years) to rearing my own kids -- I have been very involved with them on a daily basis -- you could even say that I modeled some homeschool curriculum at home with my own kids.


    BUT. . . no amount of classroom hours can prepare you for the "real world" and can never take the place of experience. This is why I posted here -- hoping to find some answers, ideas, solutions -- basic networking.

    So, please keep the suggestions coming and your personal comments about my lack of formal education in EC is noted. THANKS
     
  8. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Oct 13, 2002

    mommaruthie multiage

    I think you are definitely going to find some activities for centers and such in Addison Weselly book called Workjobs. Things you can make yourself...
     
  9. Becky1A

    Becky1A Rookie

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2002
    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    0

    Oct 13, 2002

    Hi,
    I teach a class of 26 2 ½ year olds –4 year olds. I have two aids. This can be a very challenging group. The first thing I would say is to pick your behavior system. I use a lot of stickers for good behavior and 1,2, 3, Magic for bad behavior. Be very free with your rewards in the beginning. Kids want to please you. Make a big deal out of anything you see a child doing that meets your expectations. (Look how nice Joey is sitting. He has on pretzel legs, his hands in his lap and a quiet mouth. I sure like the way Jane picked up her work before choosing a new job. ) I give a lot of “high” fives for quick behaviors like standing in line. Have a few attention getters. I use 1, 2, 3 eyes on me. My class knows to freeze and look at me. If they are loud We do this chant Everybody Say 1,2, 3, (said in a loud voice and clapping my hands) they echo me. Everybody say 1,2,3 (in my talking voice and slapping my legs.) they echo me. Everybody say 1,2,3 (in my whisper voice and rubbing my hands together. You need to practice these things in small groups and as a whole group. So everyone has the idea. I do a lot of modeling.
    I recommend doing things in small groups. I also let the kids work at their own pace and celebrate the good things.
    At group time each child finds their placemat-it has their name written on it and sits there. I tell them they must sit down so there name doesn’t get cold. They will bend the place mats but that okay. If a child is standing up I usually say “Please sit down so that Joey can see” that usually works. If not I let them chose between sitting in the spot they are in or moving there place mat to the back of the room so they can stand there. I always to a moving “Stand up” activity for every “sit down” activity.

    Our day
    8:45-9:00 Clean up and head over to the area for group time.
    9:00-9:30 We have group time. We do calendar, days of the week (I use a song from the CD Dr. Jean and Friends)-where 7 kids stand up with the one day on a sign they hold up there day when we sing it’s name, the weather (another song from Dr. Jean and Friends)-the 5 kids have weather signs they hold up while we sing and put the right picture on our weather graph. We do the Macarena Months (also from Dr. Jean and Friends) I like to make everyone move. Then we read a story or talk about what we will be working on that day (i.e. Explain center choices, go over art project etc.)
    9:30-9:45 Snack time
    9:45-10:45 Small group work. We break into three groups. I have two aids. One of my aids does a sensory project-very calming. We make sure we have one every day. One aid does either large motor or center choices (only center’s I have introduced and explained how to use) and I take a group and do the “teaching activity)-letter work, name recognition, or a craft project. We journal two days a week. I had each child bring in a 1 ½ in 3 ring binder that the write in with special journal markers (the only time we use markers-b/c I had parent complaints). Each group spends twenty minutes with each teacher. We do some activates more that one day. Kids who don’t come everyday do miss out on some things. I don’t try to keep the children who come two days a week caught up with the children who come five days a week.
    10:45-11:00-Back at the group time area to talk about what we learned, saw or observed today and we sing the good-bye song
    11:00-11:30-Outside time Weather permitting
    11:30-Dismissal

    If you have any questions don’t hesitate to e-mail me.
    Good luck
     
  10. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2002
    Messages:
    3,274
    Likes Received:
    38

    Oct 14, 2002

    bijan,

    how's it going? Keep us posted
     
  11. bijansmom

    bijansmom Companion

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2002
    Messages:
    116
    Likes Received:
    0

    Oct 18, 2002

    Oh, thanks for asking. . .


    I must admit (knock on wood) that things are getting a little better. I am experimenting, still, with timing, different group combinations, etc. I have found that my most difficult tasks include -- getting evryone to Shhh during Circle Time and Story and what to do with all the down time when the kids are waiting while I set up and or clean up a project. I have an aide but it sometimes takes both of us to set up/clean up. So, what do you all do in these instances?

    I sometimes have days where I feel so inadequate (like when the kids just are off the walls and not interested in a story or such). I just stop and say "okay, this is not working" and move on to another activity. Is this the "right" thing to do?

    Thanks again for all your suggestions.
     
  12. Shawnmarie

    Shawnmarie Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2001
    Messages:
    84
    Likes Received:
    0

    Oct 19, 2002

    Hi, here are some things we have done to make setting up easier: I normally get materials ready when I first come in to school so that when it's project time, all that has to be done is putting the actual materials on the tables. My assistant would set up during our circle. For clean up, have the kids help! :) Our classes have always cleaned up after snack, helped wash tables, etc., plus the normal clean up time of toys and centers. My kids have always enjoyed helping set up too if it's something easy enough for them to do. Involve the kids in what you need done, they love to help.

    For quieting my classes down, I have used several different methods depending on the class. Here are some things I've done and seen done:

    1. Holding up fingers
    2. Clapping patterns, trying to get the kids to clap along, mine have always tried to figure out what I'm doing and clap too.
    3. Ring bells
    4. Instead of trying to yell over kids, I have just sat down and not said a word. The kids are confused as to why I won't talk, and they quiet down to see what I'm doing
    5. start singing a song, any song with verses, and with each verse, get quieter and quieter until the room is silent.

    These are just some ideas that might work for you, if I think of more I will post. Good luck, I hope things are going better for you!
     
  13. AngelaS

    AngelaS Cohort

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2002
    Messages:
    688
    Likes Received:
    0

    Oct 20, 2002

    Yes! Stopping is the 'right' thing to do! You never need to push a lesson when you know its not right for your students, especially in preschool. Never be afraid to admit soemthing is not working and try something else, even in the middle of the lesson. You should be proud of yourself for being so aware of your effectiveness in the classroom.

    Good ideas above for what we call 'transition times'. These are definitely the hardest for many teachers. Songs and fingerplays work wonders. The songs should have soem kind of motion you have made up so that little hands are busy and engaged and not playing around. They will sing anything. Make songs up on the spot, if you can. Any song with their names in it will be a huge attention-getter ("I like the way that ___ is sitting" etc).

    My kids got to the point where if I was not sitting in the rocker during transition times while my aide did whatever she was supposed to be doing to get the kids ready for circle time, etc., they would start singing without me! I was then able to help zip up coats or put back pencils, too. (Until that point though, I recommend you being with the kids every second- let your aide do anything that would distract your attentiuon from them while they are learning to respect the rules). Glad to hear you are doing well!
     
  14. Steph-ernie

    Steph-ernie Groupie

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2002
    Messages:
    1,299
    Likes Received:
    0

    Oct 27, 2002

    Something we use at the preschool where I work is that if the whole group is sitting on the floor for an activity, and one or two kids are acting up, they must go sit at a table, where they can still see the teacher and the rest of the class, but they have been separated out and may not participate. Most of the time, just asking if they need to "leave circle" will get them to behave, but sometimes we do have to send them away. We have large classes with 3 to 4 teachers in the room at a time though, so it is easier to monitor those students sitting out. It would probably still work though with only one aide. Good luck!
     
  15. lynmilly

    lynmilly Rookie

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2002
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0

    Nov 15, 2002

    I'm no authority.......

    bijansmom,

    I'm no authority on this, but I think your doing fine! I took my maternity leave from work at a University when my now four year old daughter was born and only a year ago decided to return to the workforce. I put Vicki in a preschool, and set out to find a position and found myself missing her so much, I went to the preschool I had just enrolled her in and got a job there!

    All the other posters here must be in larger areas, as teacher aids here are unheard of! I teach 18 mos. to 3 yrs. State mandates that I can only have 7 children under my care at any given time. 7 doesn't seem like that many until the fingerpaints are brought out!

    Some of the older ones, if they have been here for a while, know what certain signals mean... turning off lights to get them to be quiet or having them to use their inside voices. The newer, younger ones have a time, but they soon learn from the older ones what things mean.

    As the old saying goes, "There's more than one way to skin a cat..."
    You'll soon find what works for you, and there are others out there, in your own setting and online, that would be more than glad to help out. All of us started out somewhere!

    Best of luck to you,
    lynmilly
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. Backroads,
  2. stargirl
Total: 195 (members: 4, guests: 165, robots: 26)
test