Reading to children is one of the best parts of my teaching day. Whenever I get a chance to dive into one of my favorite picture books it brings passion to my job. All good teachers know the power of what a good picture book can do for children’s learning. Books can be used for the sheer joy of reading for pleasure or they can be used to specifically plan and teach a skill. This is what we would call an interactive read-aloud.
Interactive read-alouds are a fun way to bring picture books to life.
Why is Interactive Read-Alouds Important
Interactive read-alouds are about providing children with the opportunity to be actively involved in asking and answering questions and making predictions, rather than passively listening.
In conclusion making deep connections through the reading process is critical for reading comprehension and vocabulary development in preschool. This process challenges the teacher to be more purposeful about their read-alouds, it’s a purposeful use of our time.
Run Run as Fast as You Can!
Children will enjoy bringing in the holiday season with this fun lesson plan all about the Gingerbread Boy.
Products used to in planning this two week lesson plans.
TPT Products Used
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Today I wanted to share with you a fun and simple way to bring cheer to all your kiddos this holiday season.
The holidays can be a little stressful at school with all the different commitments and celebrations. Which can sound like a cash register ringing in your head. (ka-ching, ka-ching ringing) That is why I wanted to do something relatively inexpensive, that I could hand out to all my kiddos. These Holiday Gift Toppers are inexpensive, easy, and your kiddos with love them!
All that needs to be done is to print out bag toppers onto cardstock from the link below. I used malt o meal smores cereal that you can find in the lager bags at any grocery store. Then I filled clear cellophane bags with a ½ cup of cereal. You can find these bags at your local craft store or you can also find them in the craft section at Walmart. Fold over the top of the bag (about 1 inch) and tape close to keep fresh. Fold and staple toppers onto each bag.
These make great party favors to take to any holiday gathering that has kids involved.
All free printable downloads are for Pre-K Teachers Tool Kit readers and personal use only. I hope you enjoy this fun (and affordable) gift idea for your kiddos!
DOWNLOAD S’MORE KIDS LIKE YOU BAG TOPPER HERE.
Do you need to use the Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale (ECERS) to rate your classroom?
This assessment is to help you improve the quality of your classroom, but sometimes it can feel a little donating.
Here are 4 simple tips to help you through the ECERS process.
ECERS Tip #1 Hand Washing
Keeping children's hands clean is the best method to avoid the spread of germs in your classroom and the most important way to keep everyone healthy.
I understand why it's a key part of the ECERS rating process.
It's also one of the most stressful part to meet if you don't want to spend your whole time with kids in front of the sink washing their hands.
Parts of your day that children need to wash hands
Before/After using the water table
Before/After using play dough
When coming in from outside play
So if you eat your meals in your classroom you might feel like all you do is wash children's hands all day long. One way to avoid the whole hand washing dilemma is to teach children how to use non alcohol hand sanitizer. We like to use it after meals and in the classroom for cleaning their hands before and after using the water table and play dough. Once we started this habit with the children our ECERS rating has improved.
ECERS Tip #2 Substantial Portion of the Day
What does substantial portion of the day mean when you are looking at rating certain centers?
Many of the ECERS items requires access to learning materials for a substantial portion of the day. What that means is a 1/3 of your program day, children need to be actively engaged and allowed to use learning centers for long portions of the day uninterrupted.
Here is a great visual to see if you are meeting ECERS meaning of substantial portion of the day. Remember you can add different parts of your day together to get the whole time allowance. Example of this would be morning work time and center choice time.
Say you allow children to work (free choice) for 30 minutes before breakfast and again you have your learning center work time for 45 minutes. When you add that together you get
1 hour and 15 minutes to count toward substantial portion. If your program runs for 3 1/2 hours you need 1 hour and 10 minutes. You would meet
ECERS Tip #3 Center Checklist
Does it take you forever to go through your centers to insure that you have all of the needed materials in your learning centers? Then this tip is for you.
Using a checklist to help you complete and enhance your learning centers to meet ECERS is a must. All you need to do is go through each center check off what you have and then go to your storage area to find the needed materials to meet each area and boom you completed your ECERS in no time.
Make sure to grab the FREE Checklist Here.
ECERS Tip #4 Rotating Materials
You have your areas all ready, but you want to rotate toys to meet the theme of study, what do you do?
Simple, when you go to rotate toys make sure when you take something off of your shelves make sure that you replace that item with the same type of item.
Example: You remove your set of bristle blocks from your Manipulative section make sure you replace that with another small building manipulative. That way you always know that you can meet ECERS no matter when someone walks into your classroom to rate you.
I hope these tips and tricks helped you to meet your ECERS.
What do you do to help you meet ECERS each year? Leave a comment and let us know.
The holidays are sneaking up and it's never to early to start planning your classroom family events and outsmart the holiday season.
Proactive planning will help reduce stress and increase productivity over this holiday season. Read on to get some planning tips that are sure to knock the socks off of Santa.
Pre-Planning helps you be Prepared
Planning gives us a clear perspective on what needs to be done and what amount of time we need to complete each tasks.
Set a deadline for each task that needs to get done. When do you need to send out invitations to the families, when do you need them to RSVP by, and when do child created projects need to be complete.
When you are planning a projects for children to complete make sure you have deadlines for when you need material prepped by and when it needs to be added to you lesson plans.
Keep Everything Together
Make sure that you keep everything in one handy place. When you need to hand out invitations, write down who is coming or even decorating the classroom, having everything in one handy spot will save you time and a whole lot of stress.
Visit the FREE Resource Library to download your Cookies with Santa Planning Worksheets.
By taking the time to plan ahead, the amount of stress and frustration that can be avoided is huge. This allows for a better experience and gives you the time to spend with the families and build lasting relationships that will build the bridge to lasting family involvement.
What are some simple ways that you celebrate traditions in your classroom?
Planning is just part of what a teacher does to help children thrive in their classrooms.
It is the part that takes the most time outside of the classroom. A lot of time and thought goes into every weekly lesson plan to insure that the children are scaffolding their learning and that we are differentiating the learning based on all children’s needs.
It has taken me years to find the right planning method that works for me and the administrator. (What works for one administrator might not work for another.) So learn what they like, I promise it will make your life a lot simpler.
My Planning Method
Here is how you can save Instagram post for future planning purposed
Intentional Play Learning Centers
We all know the importance of intentional play in the preschool classroom, when planning your learning centers make sure that you can address a learning objective to each activity so that when administration walks in you can tell them what the learning goal is behind the play based activity.
There is nothing worse than have administration in during a walk through and then make a comment like, it seems like all your kids do is play.
Just be prepared to respond so that they now what you’re doing!
Weekly Lesson Plans
In my weekly lesson plans I like to plan the areas that I know I have to stay on task and keep the engagement flowing. These areas include my group meetings and small group activities.