Opening activities?

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by Rainbowbird, Aug 28, 2013.

  1. Rainbowbird

    Rainbowbird Groupie

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    Aug 28, 2013

    Arrival activities?

    I am new to preK and hired last minute. What sorts of things do you have the kids do on arrival? I'm thinking puzzles, books, or a coloring page.

    I had Open House this morning. Parents and kids were told it was a drop in event but almost everyone came at 9 and stayed the entire two hours! Despite my encouragement, all but two parents ignored my activity (a quick drawing and writing activity for them to do together) so for two hours I had parents visiting and kids using all the toys and stuff in the room. They cleaned up and I'm not upset that the kids used the toys, obviously 3 and 4 year olds in a room for two hours will do that!

    My concern now when the kids come in next week for school, they are naturally going to immediately pull out all the toys again. I am planning to have table activities out and my assistant and I will tell the children that it is not time yet for centers and toys, yet.

    Should I have not allowed them to use the toys during open house? That just didn't feel right, but now I feel I've set myself up for a problem on the first day of school.

    Any advice? Thanks!
     
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  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Aug 28, 2013

    When i taught PreK, I had tub choice out in the morning as kids trickled in.
     
  4. Preschool0929

    Preschool0929 Cohort

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    Aug 28, 2013

    I typically find that my impression of kids at open house and what they do in that unstructured few hours, doesn't usually translate to what we do at school, so I wouldn't worry about it!

    On the first day of school, i set out plain white paper that says "I drew this on the first day of preschool" with crayons (this goes in their portfolio later). For the rest of the year, I have table toys out upon arrival. Students put back packs away, wash hands, and sit at an assigned table. Sometimes I'll have out plaudough, bristle blocks or Legos, puzzles, or coloring. I usually have the same thing at every table so there's no wanting to switch tables. We do this for 10-15 minutes until everyone has arrived and gotten settled, then we transition to circle time. I only open a few centers with very few materials at the beginning of the year so we can practice using those materials and how to clean up.

    Just practice practice practice your routine!
     
  5. Preschool0929

    Preschool0929 Cohort

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    Aug 28, 2013

    One other thing, it's helpful to have a visual schedule out on the first day so that for any students having a hard time understanding why they can't just go play, you can point to the schedule and say something like "look, we have circle time, then breakfast, then we get to go to centers"
     
  6. TinyTeacher

    TinyTeacher Rookie

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    Aug 28, 2013

    They did that at my Meet The Teacher also, but they have been great this whole week (minus 1 or 2). I wouldn't worry too much about it. Also, make sure the kids know what your expectations are, that way they know what they can and cannot do, and at what times.
     
  7. Shiloh17

    Shiloh17 Companion

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    Aug 28, 2013

    What about a classroom scavenger hunt? Get to know the areas and familiarize them with the class rules
     
  8. Rainbowbird

    Rainbowbird Groupie

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    Thank you! Doubtless I am worrying too much. Yes, I am planning to have table activities. Good idea to have the same at each table. I do have a schedule chart with pictures and a clip that I will move down as the day progresses so that they can see what's next and how much time is left til home time.

    I know it is going to take a long time to get them settled into a routine. I have 3s and 4s and for some reason, I have an entire class who has never gone to preschool before...the other classes have a mix with some kids who have preK experience. So it's going to take awhile. :)
     
  9. Rainbowbird

    Rainbowbird Groupie

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    Thanks, that's good to know! Yes, we will be going over our rules and routines. And over. And over. :lol:
     
  10. wyvern

    wyvern Companion

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    Aug 28, 2013

    Picture schedules and going over the routines. I also have all toy shelves curtained until the play time. For arrival it's usually puzzles in circle and books. At the table I put out limited activities such as coloring, tracing. I also (later) put out miniature felt boards. I found that you can make a portable felt board by laying a layer of felt over a stick on floor laminate on the sticky side and bordering it with a matching masking tape. Simple felt shapes are good. A felt story of The Big Green Monster and other simple stories aren't too hard to make. I do lots of morning activities on tables. Little homemade paper books, name writing, gluing activities. small magnet sets on trays, mosaic tiles and the like. They are only put out during the morning activity, so kids don't get too tired with them. When kids wander into unopen centers I ask them to remember what time it is and ask them what areas are open to play at. After kids are used to the routines, I will tell them as they enter the options they have. Tables for activities and the carpet for puzzles.
     
  11. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    Aug 29, 2013

    I was taught to open each center after demonstrating to the kiddos how the center was used and how to clean up. My TA and I covered several centers with tablecloths last year, and when kiddos wanted to get into them, we just said "That's unavailable, but you can come paint/play with playdough/Legos/do a puzzle." We used that phrase "unavailable" throughout the year when necessary. It helped to have the centers I wasn't ready to open covered up.
     
  12. Rainbowbird

    Rainbowbird Groupie

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    Aug 30, 2013

    Yes! I had no time to make curtains this week, but I ran out and bought cheap plastic tablecloths, cut to size and velcro'd to the shelves. I bought the fabric that I want, though. Hopefully next week I can get them done.
     
  13. wyvern

    wyvern Companion

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    Aug 30, 2013

    That's a start!
     

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