New to Early Childhood Teaching- Need Crash Course on Lesson Planning

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by xingxin, Sep 4, 2011.

  1. xingxin

    xingxin New Member

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    Sep 4, 2011

    Hello fellow educators!

    I am a special education teacher who just moved from several years of teaching in the middle grades to pre-school teaching. This year I'm teaching 4 y/o in a school closer to where I live.

    I have taught special ed early grades prior to special ed middle school level, but I have been so used to teaching middle school grades that I really feel I absolutely need a crash course on teaching pre-k!

    I have wonderful coteachers who are always willing to help. They also help me set my classroom up in terms of centers. I am learning about these things as I go along, but I hope to learn ahead that's why I joined this forum.

    I guess my question is can you suggest activities for me to give them. I am a little bit challenged by the lesson planning, simply because my mind is still used to middle school age activities and I am still in the process of pulling my mind to a younger level of activities.

    Take this for example: our first theme is Back to School. We are going to learn about school, feelings, family, the letter A and circle. If I were to think of activities for these, I can only think of coloring pages and worksheets (tracing letter, tracing circle, etc). If you have time, can you please help me plan activities for the following?

    - Feelings
    -Family
    - Letter A (aside from tracing)
    - Circle

    I am considering this as a crash course. I am positive that eventually, I'll get the hang of thinking of activities for them. But for now, I'm hoping to get some help.

    Thank you very much and God bless everyone! :)
     
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  3. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Sep 4, 2011

    Feelings: talk about your feelings. Give them words to use (mad, angry, silly, happy, sad etc). Read books about feelings. There's a song about feelings, it's on a Greg & Steve or a Hap Palmer CD I think.

    Family: talk about who is in your family. Involve parents to find out who is actually lives in their house. Draw pictures that include family members. Read books about different types of families. Maybe a center could be a doll house with different types of families available.

    Letter A: practice making both upper & lower case letters. You can use sand, shaving cream, playdough. Talk about the short /a/ sound. Think of words that make the /a/ sound.

    Circle: make a circle out of playdough, teddy bears etc.

    Lot's of movement, story times, and songs.

    There are recipes to make your own playdough that you can do with the kids.

    Please when teaching letter sounds don't teach /b/ as buh, /d/ as duh. It is so hard to break them of that habit. Also when you write their name ONLY the 1st letter of their name is capitalized. Same with when you teach them to write their name.
     
  4. xingxin

    xingxin New Member

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    Sep 4, 2011

    Thank you very much! I really appreciate your ideas! :)

    Yes, I'm very particular with capitalizing first letters of proper nouns as well. I taught English in middle school and I have always stressed that rule. At least I have that part covered already. :)

    I am spending the whole holiday weekend doing lessons. I am excited and looking forward to a better week. My first week was just alright. My peak was the second day (Wed), when I had almost everything in order.

    It's also a bit difficult to imagine trying to address their IEP goals all at the same time. Our schedule is a little too complicated as they are in school the whole day.
     
  5. scmom

    scmom Enthusiast

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    Sep 4, 2011

    I think the first thing I would do is buy a good curriculum book and check out preschool websites. There are a lot of great ones out there which can give you help with those themes. I'm not thematic, but off the top of my head Prekinders, Alphabites and Make Learning Fun are great resources for teachers like you.

    I know many preschool teachers do worksheets, but there are also a lot of us who feel worksheets aren't really developmentally appropriate. Please limit the amount you do.

    For example, for the letter A they can trace it in shaving cream or on salt trays or fingerpaint. They can rainbow write it, make it with sticks, decorate a cut out, play with animals, make applesauce, paint on aluminum foil, find it in alphabet pasta or the alphabet in your sensory table, do rubbings, etc.etc. etc.

    What about starting journals where they draw about your theme and dictate the story to you.

    Please include lots of music and movement and art (not just crafts). They need a lot of small motor stuff - OTMom has good information. Lots of freeplay and building and manipulatives. In other words, feed their senses and keep them moving.

    Learn more about developmentally appropriate practice - they aren't miniature middle schoolers. Mostly, nurture them.
     
  6. Pre-K Teacher 1

    Pre-K Teacher 1 Comrade

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    Sep 5, 2011

  7. dogs&teaching

    dogs&teaching Comrade

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    Sep 14, 2011

    A little off topic but the feelings theme make me think of last year when I did this theme. My students and I were discussing different types of feelings such as happy, mad, sad, etc. I asked them if they knew what jealous was and no one knew. I explained jealous to my 4/5 year old group and asked if they ever felt jealous. One girl in my class said, "Oh yeah Ms. D&T, sometimes you just feel like a third wheel too." :O I asked her to explain what a third wheel, and she could very accurately.
     
  8. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Sep 14, 2011

    Good luck in your move. I suggest you take a quick review of the theories of child development. Some children can learn to write letters at 3/4 because they have developed their fine motor skills, while some just need to practice and develop strength in their fingers. With this in mind, you can develop actitivites to meet their needs. (This is why PS looks like all play--because teachers give them fun ways to learn.)
     

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