That is why I have made it my goal to help the children in my care to get off to a good start. That way, when the time comes for them to take that first step into their kindergarten class, they will already have many of the skills that they need to succeed. Here is a very basic overview of our
preschool routine with pictures below for you to view.
We do our school activities from September through mid-June. We begin each day with our circle time activities. Our circle time activities begin with the daily helper posting the day of the week, the current date on the calendar, and the current weather. We also practice recognizing colors, shapes, numbers, the alphabet (upper and lower case with their sounds), sight words, rhyming, and the kids also practice their writing skills during circle time using dry erase lap boards.
Each week we have a learning theme. Most weeks the children bring in an item(s) from home that correlates with our theme(s), letter, number, or color
of the week to share. We may use the items throughout the week during math, science, or social studies.
Each week we have new words on our word wall. We use these words to practice KWL (what we know about the particular word, what we we want to know about it, and what we learned about it). We may also use some of these words during circle time to practice our writing skills with our lap boards. In the picture below, you can see on this particular day, we were practicing writing the word "bus" on our lap boards during our "Back to School" theme week.
When we have completed our circle time activities, we then move on to a project that can range from a structured craft, self-directed craft, painting, coloring, cooking project, or free choice.
Over the course of the week, I try to set aside time for each child to have one on one time with me so that we can work on areas that they need some extra learning time in. Generally the children bring home an activity
every day. However, sometimes our activities take more than one day to complete or we may be doing activities as a group.
We practice writing their names, as well as general writing skills, many times daily. One of the many ways we practice is in the morning when the children arrive in the morning. They begin by putting their picture/name card on our sign in board. On the opposite side of our sign in board it tells the children what we are doing for the day and then there is a question for the children to answer.
The child's parent or I help the child to read the board and question. The question has two choices for an answer. The children choose which answer that they prefer and then sign their name under that answer's heading. Example: "Do you like the color yellow or red best?" They will sign their name under the yellow or red heading depending on their answer.
You can also see in the picture of our daily menu chart. Not only does the chart let the parents and children know what we are having for lunch, it is helping the children see that there is a word to go with the picture of the food which in turn is helping them with the process of learning to read.
In addition to our structured learning time, the children have paper, crayons, markers, pencils, scissors, glue and a word box available for them to use at their discretion.
The word box has sight words, the children's names, and other frequently used words on index cards alphabetically in the box. Many of the words have a picture to go along with the word to help the children learn the word and also to encourage the children to try out their writing skills. There is also a book basket that is available that will have assorted books and other items that may go along with our weekly theme.
I feel that it is very important that children have an opportunity throughout the day to "just play". It is amazing what children learn through play alone!
I always take a fun and casual approach to our school activities and never force a child to participate. Even though all children learn at different rates, it is my goal that each child in my program know the majority of the alphabet (including their sounds), shapes, colors, numbers 1-20, basic sight words, and how to write their first and last name by the time that they are ready to enter kindergarten.
I am so very proud of the all of the accomplishments of the children in my program and truly treasure every one of their milestones along with their parents. I would love to talk with you more about my program and I hope that I will have the opportunity to cherish your child's accomplishments along with you too!