Theme list

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by firstwonders, Apr 11, 2007.

  1. firstwonders

    firstwonders Rookie

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    Apr 11, 2007

    I am trying to get together a theme list...
    If you use themes...how long do they last? Do you have a theme list you can share?
    Thanks so much!!:)
     
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  3. childcare teach

    childcare teach Comrade

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    Apr 11, 2007

    OUR THEME LAST ONE TO TWO WEEKS. THIS MONTH IS OFF WE DID ONE WEEK EASTER , ONE WEEK WEATHER AND THE LAST TWO WEEKS ARE FARM.
    SEPT- ALL ABOUT ME AND APPLES
    OCT - PUMKINS, FIRE SAFTEY,
    NOV- NURTION, THANKSGIVING- MANNERS
    DEC- CHRISTMAS, SNOW,
    THIS IS THE SHORT LIST OF OUR THEMES I CAN GIVE YOU THE REST IF YOU WANT .LET ME KNOW. WE ALSO CHANGE OUR THEME IF THE CHILDREN SEEM INTO SOMETHING ELSE.
     
  4. ad65shorty

    ad65shorty Companion

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    Apr 11, 2007

    I do a theme a week (sometimes they last for two weeks, but most are weekly). Just enough to expose them to the concept. They can learn more at home if they're really interested. These may change slightly from year-to-year, but I love what I teach so most are pretty consistent.

    Friendship
    All About Me
    Home/Family
    Apples
    Fall
    Spiders
    Manners
    Halloween Activities
    Food/Nutrition
    Pilgrims/Indians
    Bears
    Christmas Around the World
    Gingerbread Man
    Penguins
    Telephones
    Winter
    Dinosaurs
    Bodies
    Teeth
    5 Senses
    Weather
    Seasons
    Shapes/Colors (review)
    Fire Safety
    Seeds/Plants
    Easter
    Frogs
    Farm Animals (or Zoo)
    Butterflies
    Insects/Bugs
    Bicycle Safety
    Summer Fun!
     
  5. mrs. makedonsky

    mrs. makedonsky Rookie

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    Apr 11, 2007

    My themes are about the same usually lasting a week or two. Here are mine
    All About Me/Family
    Friends
    Fall
    Seasons
    Apples
    Pumpkins
    Scarecrows
    Fire Safety
    Turkeys
    Thanksgiving
    Nutrition
    Christmas
    Christmas around the World
    Winter
    Arctic Animals
    Snow/Snowmen
    Dental Health
    Valentines Day
    Zoo Animals
    March- We have reading month and each year we have a different theme but then I will tie in different authors and/or genre such as Dr. Seuss, Eric Carle, Fairy Tales (three of my favorite)
    Spring
    Plants/Gardening
    Insects
    Farm
    Summer
    End of Year
    Of course there are many things we talk about during our themes but those are the "general" ones we work with in our building. We also throw in the holidays such as Halloween and Easter, New Years, etc. but those just kind of "fit" with what we are talking about at the time. Hope this helps
     
  6. Mally

    Mally Rookie

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    Apr 11, 2007

    The City I live in has developed a program they want all centres to work within, and the program moves away from "theme programming" to "skill development". The program is broken down into developmental areas (fine motor, gross motor, cognitive, social, emotional, communication) and we do quarterly group and individual observations to determine which skills within each developmental area the children need to be working on and we then program to meet those areas.
    During the workshops (which the City paid for each centre to train three staff), any time the word "theme" came up, the instructors visibly cringed! Frankly, I think we were always programming for skill development within our themes!
    The purpose was to emphasize that child care centres are places that educate using curriculums and based on child development (rather than just "babysitting"), so that Early Childhood Educators are seen more as professionals. That part of it I think is great, but I disagree with getting rid of "themes". And I do think that the checklists and observations are helpful for uncovering areas of strength and weakness within groups, but I don't understand getting rid of themes.
    I program for a group of Kindergarten age children, and, don't tell, but I am still using themes! I do program for skill development, but I read a Magic Treehouse book each week and program around the theme of each book (ie: dinosaurs, knights, dragons, outer space, wild west, arctic animals, vikings, etc. etc. etc.). The kids love the Magic Treehouse series, and are excited to read the adventures and then do the activities (from word search to scavenger hunts) I program around the book.
     
  7. firstwonders

    firstwonders Rookie

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    Apr 11, 2007

    Do you happen to have the checklist and observations for preschoolers?
     
  8. firstwonders

    firstwonders Rookie

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    Apr 11, 2007

    Thanks for the lists!!
     
  9. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Apr 11, 2007

    Mally, Building a curriculum based upon skills is developmentally appropriate. And, using the theme based approach to teach those skills is certainly acceptable. That is the way most centers are run. It is so easy for centers to forget the skill development and the observation of children, and slip into focusing upon a theme. When a center uses only themes, the scope and sequence of learning is so disjointed, that learning does not evolve.

    I think it was unreasonable for the trainers to discount themes. I, too, am a skill oriented teacher, but find themes drive and define the activities. All of us must be respectful of the styles that work for a center and/or teacher.
     
  10. Pre-K Teacher 1

    Pre-K Teacher 1 Comrade

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    Apr 11, 2007

    I incorporate both in my classroom. I don't see what the problem is in using a themes and skill development approach. Reminds me of when I was in a program where we couldn't cut anything into any kind of shape! (No pre-cut stuff!)
     
  11. vannapk

    vannapk Groupie

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    Apr 11, 2007

    Here's a link to the theme list on my website for pre-k teachers:
    ~vanna's themes~ Our themes generally last for two weeks.
     
  12. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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  13. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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  14. tm91784

    tm91784 Comrade

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    Apr 11, 2007

    Our curriculum (High Reach) determines our monthly themes

    September - I Can Be Me
    October - I Can Imagine
    November - I Can Be Healthy
    December - I Can Go
    January - I Can Discover
    February - I Can Take Care of Pets
    March - I Can See the Stars
    April - I Can Go to Town
    May - I Can Go to the Farm
    Themes change every year though, so we will have different themes next year.
     
  15. mrod

    mrod Rookie

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    Apr 12, 2007


    Don't we as educators do the "skill programming" anyhow. Everything we do with children is to enhance their development. The project approach which is centered on one "theme" develops the children social/emotional, cognitive, language, physical (includes fine motor and gross motor) development. I just don't understand why a center would say, they weren't going to use a "theme" or would I call a unit to enhance the children's development. I just have never heard of a center doing skill programming when we do this every day we work with children. I do assessments everyday on every child, including anecdotals and portfolios but my children work on a unit of study. We work on a unit of study for about 2-4 weeks sometimes longer, depending on the subject and the children's interest. What we work on also depends on the children's interest. We started a unit on Eggs about two weeks before March ended and we ended the unit last week. This week we began our unit on Birds and we will work on the unit until the children's interest has faded. The entire month of January we worked on a unit of snow, and in december it was a unit on penguins.
     
  16. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Apr 13, 2007

    Head Start uses skill development. Many teachers do not understand the skill development piece of curriculum, and only teach to the theme. I give my teachers a matrix with the skill areas listed, so that they can just plug in the themed activities for each skill. Without a list, lesson plan, or webbing, some of it can get lost.
     
  17. MsWK

    MsWK Habitué

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    Apr 13, 2007

    We use a broad monthly theme across the program, and the teachers use the project approach / emergent curriculum approach to tailor the theme for their children.

    September, for example, is always "All About Me." The K group does different activities than the infant group, but both must use the theme to complete developmental lesson plans, and include all areas of development. Not all activities relate to the theme, but circle, outdoor, centers, etc. usually do.
     
  18. tchecse

    tchecse Companion

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    Apr 14, 2007

    I build my skill development into the theme we are working on. Themes I use are: All about me, Back to school, fall (includes apples, pumpkins, etc.). Turkeys/thanksgiving foods (short unit), Halloween (short unit), Community helpers, Pizza, dinosaurs, Gingerbread/sensory unit, holidays (secular focus only), snow/snowmen, beach/ocean, transportation, hearts/valentines day, rainbows and st. patrick's day, frogs, camping, plants/flowers, spring (includes butterflies, rain, etc.), farm.

    I have decided that next year I will do 14 themes (11 will last a month, the rest 1 one week mini units). Then the year after, I will switch out themes to prevent repetition for the returning kids.
     
  19. Maria79

    Maria79 Rookie

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    Apr 23, 2007

    Mods can you please sticky this theme. :) This thread comes in very handy for everyone.
     
  20. educatingme

    educatingme Companion

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    Apr 23, 2007

    What about summer themes? Any suggestions?
     
  21. cokelady

    cokelady Rookie

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    Apr 23, 2007

    some summer ideas,

    Science Week, Bubbles and Balls, fun in the sun, all about bugs, Happy Birthday America, Treasure Island, Hawaii Island, Disney, Ocean & Shells, Healthy Eating, Growing Seeds to plants, pets:angel:

    That is a few we have used and we like to write a little about each title, I need some help on describing it with just a couple sentences. Hope that helps you get started
     

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