Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Professional Development

As I get ready to head down south to Orlando, Florida to the FLAEYC Conference, I want to share some thoughts about professional development.

This is a very important aspect to the job at hand and to the future that we are helping to create and form. I stress to you that you can only grow, nurture, and inspire if you grow, nurture, and inspire yourself. It is hard sometimes to get to the workshops held at your local coalition or other early childhood central agencies. It is expensive to attend state or national conferences. Seek external help from your local central agency, look for sponsorships that may be associated with the conference, and bunk up! These conferences are worth your time, so get some gals together and share a room.

Even though there are more convenient ways of earning your in-service hours or CEUs, like the Internet, please be aware that they may not always deliver the valuable hands-on experiences that you seek. Just as our kids learn through sensory, so do we. Try doing half and half and see if that works for you and meets your needs.

Stay inspired out there and until next time...go teach the children!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Below are some of the pictures from a training that I facilitated titled, "From Blah and Boring to Learning and Soaring", how to set you classroom at a higher standard of learning. I enjoyed the training so much that I shared it at One Goal Summer Conference in Tampa, Florida this past summer.

As we look at lesson planning, we can't help but to also look at how our program is implementing these plans. How are we setting the stage for learning? Where are we getting our information from that causes us to write those words in those squares?

The trigger to all lesson planning should come from observations, assessments, curriculum needs, adaptations, program evaluations and much more that reaches far beyond the paper that we print on. This is a term that continues to rapidly become a part of early childhood vocabulary, intentional teaching.

I have been saying it for some time now; you should always have a purpose in everything that you do in your classroom as a teacher and through your program as a director. Why are you planning? How can you make adaptations and meet the needs of the children if you haven't did any observations? And, more so, how are you planning anything without making those observations?

To truly complete a lesson plan, you should first consider your children, where they are at the time you are planning, make decisions based upon observations and assessments that have been done recently, and have a reason for putting your pen to the paper.

I will soon be training a workshop titled "Finding the Intentional Teacher In You". I will be excited to share some of that information with you.

Look forward to spending more time with you all on my blog. If you have preschool friends, please invite them and post comments. I am always happy to answer questions.
 I will explain more in depth what these pictures are...think about your preschool environment and how you are implementing your lesson plans in that environment. Can you tell me a theme, color, and letter for this environment?

Thursday, July 1, 2010

It's Been Forever

I know that it has been a while since I have posted. Life gets hectic sometimes and gets in the way of us doing things that we enjoy-hobbies!

I will continue the lesson planning conversation soon. I am actually getting prepared to present it at One Goal Summer conference held in Tampa, Florida. I am very excited to be bringing my little bit of knowledge to the big city!

Stay tuned because I will also learn a lot of new information as I attend One Goal and will post some of my thoughts after my trip.

Until then...go and teach the children!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Preschool Lesson Plans Part 1

Preschool teachers are often misled about lesson planning, in turn, they become intimidated by them. I have seen it time and time again. Lesson planning in a preschool classroom can be a lot of fun for you and your children. Here are just a few ideas...

First, think of lesson planning as a story that will unfold Monday through Friday. Think about the beginning, the middle and the end. I love to start by webbing out ideas and going from last week or last month's observations of task activities that were observed. The power of observation is powerful itself and should be at the forefront of your lesson planning. We'll talk about observations and their importance another day, but know that you shouldn't complete a lesson plan without them.

Let's go back to the beginning. Why are you completing a lesson plan? Are you wanting to make your boss happy, your inspector happy, possibly a co-teacher? You should be planning for your children and yourself. A classroom without a plan is a problem waiting to happen. Have you ever hear the term enabler? By not planning, you are the enabler to complete chaos.

So how do you start? Going back to the webbing. I like to web because it starts with an idea and weaves itself into something bigger. Take for instance the winter theme. Suddenly the winter theme has turned into a whole week about hibernating animals and their environments. Webbing helps you to take an idea and narrow it down into a weekly unit. Then from there, you can web ideas about the animals, science experiments, environment changes, math, literacy, and so on.

The middle should contain your substance. The materials, the changes to the environment (did you know that your room should not look the same from week to week and that Friday should look totally different from Monday), and the presentation and deliverance of your unit to the children.

The end should be what your objective was at the beginning of the week. What did your children learn? Did you set out to accomplish what you wanted when you started this plan? Everything you do in your classroom should have an objective and an outcome. Will it work every time? No! That's the experiment in it all.

There is so much to say about lesson planning and so much more that I will be giving you that I will break this information down into parts. I will also be giving you some different tools to work with when we are finished with all parts of this conversation and in the end I hope that you learn something spectacular about lesson planning in preschool classroom.

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Preschool Lesson Planning Coming Soon

Do you ever feel frustrated with lesson planning? Are you intimidated by them?

In the coming weeks I will be posting training information on how you can develop lesson plans that will send your classroom learning experiences through the roof. I want you to know that lesson planning does not have to be so hard and so time consuming and so expensive. I will show you how to create a unit on a shoe string budget and still get fantastic learning results for your children. Until then...

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Let's Play Dough

I will begin to post some of the past trainings that I have done. These are the power point slide shows that accompanied the training. Please feel free to take a look at them and enjoy.  Play dough can be such a powerful tool in the preschool classroom. I will post recipes soon.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Lesson Plans for Preschool

Next month I will be facilitating a training that will focus on lesson planning in the preschool classroom. Why is it that we let them imtimidate us so? This workshop will change the way that we approach them and transfer those great ideas to paper.

I will focus on how our classrooms are like the butterfly and the transition that it takes before it is what it is, "one of God's most beautiful creatures".

Check back soon for my link between the two and what both of them have to do with lesson planning.