Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Organized Chaos in the Preschool Classroom

Well, we are actually in our first week of school, so pre planning didn't get blogged. That tells you just how busy I have been. It has been a whirlwind during the past two weeks and I am tired to say the least.

During the week of pre planning I had a lot to go through, organize and get rid of. I took over a site, so I basically had to start from scratch. When our classrooms are cluttered, it creates a chaos that can not be described. Much like our homes, when we remove the clutter from our lives they seem to simplify themselves.

As an early childhood teacher, you have to be organized. The preschool classroom is not a place for scattered thoughts. When children arrive in the morning, you have to be ready, when you go out onto the playground, you have to be ready, when they wake up from their naps, you have to be ready; do you get what I'm saying?

When you begin your lesson plans, think in units or themes. Have those items prepared ahead of time down to the outdoor activities that will accompany you. I like to use 2-gallon zip lock bags for outdoor activities. I place a label on the bag and it will go with me in line with the children. Organize your sand table and water table themed objects and activities in those bags, you will see a big difference in your transitions.

Again with the lesson plans, think in themes. Have things organized into bins or large bags labeled with your theme for that week or month. Do lesson plans two weeks in advance at least, so that items can be purchased and prepared in advance with time to spare if something comes up. We know that our days never go as planned, so being organized is key.

Now onto setting up your classroom. The environment for a child is essential in the learning process. There should be at least these learning centers in your classroom: writing, math/science, home living, art, blocks/transportation, library, and circle time learning area. Some to add are: wood working, computers, and listening. You should have sensory tables or bins in your setting daily. These sensory tubs and micro play activities are key in behavior modification and personal space recognition. If you have any questions about sensory play or micro play, please post them and I will get back to you as soon as possible. I will be writing a blog about micro play in the near future.

Until the next time we meet, remember that little lives are depending on you...