Pre-K teacher in a rut!

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by jenah.smith, Jul 20, 2018.

  1. jenah.smith

    jenah.smith Guest

    Jul 20, 2018

    Hi everyone!
    Im wanting to revamp my classroom, curriculum, teaching styles, etc. I feel like I have gotten stuck in a creativity rut so to speak. My classroom usually runs fairly smoothly but I have noticed over the last school year that my students have gotten bored/lost interest faster with lessons, centers, circle time. I have previously used frog street curriculum but my current school can not afford a true curriculum so I have based everything on material and resources I had already had or could find for decent prices on TPT. What is your favorite curriculum? How do you run you center time and circle time? I would also love to see your center schedules of anyone that use the daily 5 or break up their centers into literacy and math etc. Im open to anything that will help me get back on the right track! Thank You all so much! -Jenah
     
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  3. svassillion

    svassillion Companion

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    Jul 20, 2018

    When I taught pre-K my favorite part was that there was no curriculum and I had full autonomy. I never focused on math or literacy games and never would have tried anything like daily 5 with them unless I wanted my director down my throat about how it's not developmentally appropriate. I spent the 45 minutes I had of instructional time each day exposing them to as much as I could and getting hands on with our current theme (such as recycling or outer space). I've found if I'm excited about what I'm teaching, the students are excited to learn about it which is why I hate the restrictions of packaged curricula. So my advise would be to think about what you get excited about and then starting thinking about how you can share it with your students.
     
  4. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

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    Jul 21, 2018

    Some thoughts I had to avoid students becoming bored....I'd double check the classroom, make sure it's brain friendly for that age. I'd avoid distracting displays. Most importantly, there is "a place for everything and everything in its place. These places are as close to being categorically organized as possible. The day would follow a standard routine, but with room for small novel alterations within the regular routine. I wouldn't have the students working for rewards, especially food rewards; school is for the goal of learning, not earning. Rewards tend to lessen the thrill of the lesson as students become more focused on the reward than the novelty of learning.

    At this age, just about everything that a child experiences and does is educational. Life is an adventure of new experiences and repetitive practice of learned experiences.

    An essential (and now-a-days, often skipped over) reading lesson is listening to the teacher read a book, with plenty of time to view the pictures. Especially helpful are "big books"; if you can locate them, the old fashioned captioned filmstrips; chart paper for the teacher to tell a story while drawing an illustration (or by turning an abstract doodle into a picture-story); paper constructions that tell a story; etc.

    An essential math lesson involves manipulatives more than paper and pencil calculation. In fact, I've noticed a danger in early childhood education through third-fourth grade of emphasizing paper calculation over conceptual understanding. Pouring water from one size/shape of container into another would make Piaget jump for joy. Lincoln Logs, Legos, Tinker Toys (do they still exist?) and such are very math friendly, especially for pre-developmental place value concepts. Play Doh develops many skills.

    For many kids, here's what's happening at home outside of school that's educationally and developmentally positive, efficient, and appropriate.

    No that's not a typo. I intentionally left that blank. Students are coming to school deprived of what in my days as a child was considered normal. When I was preschool age, soda was a treat, not a staple. Fruits, vegetables, and grains were considered a balanced meal rather than McDonald's (which was also a treat, when I was an older kid). I had a bedtime. TV was Romper Room, but not an electronic baby sitter. My parents and grandparents talked with me. Music was a part of my life; (I'm told I would pretend to be Lawrence Welk or Mitch Miller conducting); and the music wasn't a diet of crash-bang-bang, not that that's bad, but a musical diet should also consist of regulated rhythm, harmony, and melody such as in classical or older forms of music. Play did not consist of pressing my finger to shoot Martians; and play was often creative. My mom still has a picture of the garden I planted one day--a shovel and a rake firmly planted in the ground. This is another reason why preschool kids might exhibit abnormal behavior in a classroom--it's difficult for zombies to come back to life.
     
  5. ChildWhisperer

    ChildWhisperer Groupie

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    Jul 21, 2018

    I loved the curriculum designed by Primrose Schools. It was easy to implement and the children learned so much, I loved it as much as they did. The kids who went through Preschool and Pre-K at our Primrose location always scored high on their Kindergarten assessments in their respective public or private schools.
     

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