First month of School, September. The first few times of school is always the hardest, for all ages, for both the children and the teacher. I always try to plan my lessons around establishing routines and making things very simple and repetitive. We practice and practice our routines. For example we sing an opening welcome song once every preschool. In the month of September we sang this three times in every preschool time.
We focused a lot on name recognition, communicating when we need something or have a problem, and taking turns. In order to prepare children for our current education system, group learning is one important aspect. This takes concentration and practice to wait ones turn in order to participate.
Success early on is also very important when helping kids gain confidence in taking control of their education and making intrinsically motivating choices. I made sure the group activities were simple, repetitive and very age appropriate, if not younger. I wanted them to feel success as they were trying new things. I found this to encourage bravery and courage when trying harder things as they know it takes work, but also know the feeling of mastery is worth it.
My preschool is broken into units that revolve around the month. Calendar, Learning Lesson, and Music Time are very much the same throughout the month and as the kids get the concepts we are able to add more, or even change and tweak a bit to meet individual goals. Not every bullet point in the learning lesson is got every week. It is a comprehensive list.
SEPTEMBER – establishing routines, name recognition, turn taking, fine motor practice (stickers) concentration, matching and sorting.
Opening Activities –
- Wooden Block Match @busytoddler. (this was an excellent prep activity for my 4 year old as well. During quiet time I traced the blocks with a pencil and she went over them with a magic marker. FINE MOTOR SKILLs!!!!)
- Play Dough and cookie cutters
- Rice Sensory Bin
Circle Time – read my post on circle time here
Music Time – refer to September list and search Music Time on my website for more info.
Learning Lesson –
- Recognized and talked about everyone’s picture they will be using for Circle Time. We talked about similarity and differences, really practicing the vocabulary same and different. We noticed hair color, eye color, shirt color, etc. We gave high fives when we noticed similarities and even gave high fives when we noticed differences. We really pushed individual identify and uniqueness.
- We used rhythm sticks to tap out our names. I buy rhythm sticks here!
- Played 5 Little Monkeys. Love this game! We jump on the couch, sing the song, and fall off when our name is sung. Practices concentration, listening, turn taking, gross motor skills! SO MUCH FUN!
- Sorted different Toy story characters on our learning wall. Used words same and different and made graphs as we categorized the. We focused on also putting them in straight lines to create a ‘graph’. Source : HERE
- Sticky note name match – used a big piece of brown craft paper and wrote everyone’s name. Gave each children sticky notes with their name and helped them find the match! Made a big deal of their name.
Arts and Crafts –
- Dot stickers on outline of first letter of name. Goals – put sticker on line, take sticker of sheet, recognize letter
- Match dot stickers to all letters in name. Goals – match (use word match to notice the same letter)
- Play Dough letters with cookie cutters (first letters of name)
- Water color paint over first letters (first letters written in white crayon) @busytoddler
- Sidewalk Chalk
- Sensory Bins
- Matching Games
- Wooden Blocks (These are my absolute favorite blocks!)