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Old 07-30-2015, 02:28 PM
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sharlan sharlan is offline
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Default HELP - curriculum, themes, schedules, etc

I know this has been talked to death, but I'm too lazy to look for it right now.

After several years of mostly free play all day, I've decided that two of my toddler/preschoolers are in serious need. I want to start a more formal preschool program with them. I have a lot of various resources from a full A Beka 4K progam, Letter of the Week, different other curriculums, to idea books (you name it and I probably have it), but just can't pull it all together. I need help.

My kids do have access to a lot of manipulatives, puzzles, crayons, markers, etc.

For those of you who already do a preschool program, in your opinion is a set curriculum or weekly/monthly themes better?

If you do themes - is weekly or monthly better? Where do you get your ideas?

What is your daily schedule?

Do you do a daily sensory activity or a weekly one? (playdoh, paint, shaving cream, water beads, etc.) Do you do a daily craft or a weekly one?

What exactly do you do for circle time? I am positive that at least one of two of my toddlers won't sit for 30 secs.
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  #2  
Old 07-30-2015, 03:48 PM
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NoMoreJuice! NoMoreJuice! is offline
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I use Mother Goose Time, but even if I didn't purchase their materials, I would follow their monthly themes because I LOVE them!

I used to do weekly themes and drove myself insane. Monthly is so much better! Here is my daily schedule:

8:30 Circle time--we have a set of three songs that we sing every morning: Good morning song, days of the week, months of the year. On Mondays we add the Little Helper song when we assign "jobs". I let them dance to one other song where we shake out our wiggles. Then we all sit down in a circle and talk about what we did yesterday, and what we're going to do today.

8:45 Write/color in our journals. Write the date/our name/phrase of the day depending on the age. Younger ones just write the letter of the day, and color a picture.


9:00 First lesson--MGT provides these, but easy to sub. We either do a math component or a literacy component

9:20 Second lesson--Science, art, etc

9:50 Center 1 (Usually manipulatives, tanograms, etc)
10:10 Center 2 (Something that goes along with our literacy component, "fishing" for letters in rice, painting letters with Qtips, etc)
10:30 Center 3 (Something fun! Water table, play kitchen, etc)

10:50 Third lesson--Geography, social studies, or more literacy/math

11:15--Clean up, then Goodbye Song last.
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  #3  
Old 07-30-2015, 04:45 PM
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My center provides the curriculum materials (lesson plans, stories, etc.) We do a weekly theme, but the themes flow together. For example, we may do a beach theme one week, then an ocean theme the next.

We do some form of group art at least once per day, but not necessarily a craft. We may paint one day, color with crayons another, etc.

We have three circle times: an early AM one, a late AM one, and a PM one. They're each about 15 minutes. What we talk about and do vary depending on which circle time it is.

I've found that most toddlers will usually sit for songs, so maybe try to include as many of those as you can.

I don't come in until 9:30, so I don't know what our daily schedule is before that.

9:30 - Gross motor (outdoors, weather permitting)
10:00 - Free play & small group art
10:30 - Circle time
10:45 - Routine care (potty, diapers, hand washing, etc.)
11:00 - Lunch
11:30 - Routine care/quiet activities
12:00 - Rest time
2:00 - Snack
2:15 - Free play
3:15 - Story time & routine care (including sunscreen)
3:30 - Gross motor (outdoors, weather permitting)
4:00 - Table stations
4:30 - Circle time
4:45 - Routine care
5:00 - Snack
5:15 - Limited centers (I give them 2-3 centers to choose from to play in)
6:00 - Close!

Some sensory materials, such as sensory bottles and play-doh, are always available. Our sand/water table is available in the mornings, when there are 2-3 teachers in the room. We also include sensory in a lot of our art projects.

Last edited by Febby; 07-30-2015 at 04:51 PM. Reason: Forgot something
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Old 07-31-2015, 05:04 AM
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7:00-8:00 arrival quiet free play-table toys

8:00-9:00 free play with creative art activity offered two /three x per wk.

9:00 snack (breakfast on food program). Free play after snack till 9:30

9:30. Circle time. Story (books, flannel board, interactive puppetry), songs, color/shape/letter game, nursery rhyme (charted) charted poem, etc.

9:45-get ready for outside

10:00-11:25 outside play-large motor/musical activities if we only stay out a short time and come in early another free play (weather related-winter)

11:30 - 11:45 kids choose from the math manipulative shelf. These are pegboards, geo board, etc. and games I've made- used at the table.

12:00-lunch

12:30-nap with book on tape/CD

3:00 - up from nap

3:15- snack and story at snack

3:30-5:00 outside weather permitting

5:30 close

I still love themes. They keep me motivated and loving my job! I do one or two week themes. Usually one week

I also have Weekly Reader! Love it! WR will cover lots of science, social studies & literacy for you. They have a weekly or twice monthly version.

I have a simple science center that changes every few weeks, oatmeal table, playdoh, markers, scissors, glue, etc that are available in the morning. I have two dedicated child care room.
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Old 07-31-2015, 10:18 AM
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Josiegirl Josiegirl is online now
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With a strict schedule, how do you find time to go outside every day, much less twice a day? My dcks love outdoor time, as do I. And when it takes 20-30+ minutes to get ready to go out(either sunscreen season or snowpants season) how do you fit it all in??
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Old 07-31-2015, 12:37 PM
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I like to do themed units, but I typically do 3 weeks per unit rather than a full month. More than that & we all get bored, less & we don't have time to really explore the topic. I like to introduce new info the first 2 weeks and review the third week. I plan out units for the year based on the kids' interest & my own. Some favorites: human body, dinosaurs, fall/pumpkins, Christmas around the world. We do circle time right after breakfast. Then free play outside for 40 minutes to an hour. Inside for preschool activities followed by lunch & nap. Back outside for an hour or more until pick up in the afternoon.
Circle time tips: Use placemats or rugs to give children a visual on where to keep their bottoms when they sit. Alternate a movement activity with sit down activities. Anything that can involve movement should.We count standing up, standing on one leg, hopping the numbers, etc. Allow designated time for them to "go crazy." When we count we clap 9 numbers & go crazy on the tenth. They can hop, bounce, spin, etc but when i clap its back to your mat to count some more. Involve them in your read aloud. Ask questions, have them make predictions, etc. If its fun, even most of my rowdier kids will join in. I'm just worried about the one I posted one earlier. You'll do great whatever you decide to do.
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Old 07-31-2015, 12:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josiegirl View Post
With a strict schedule, how do you find time to go outside every day, much less twice a day? My dcks love outdoor time, as do I. And when it takes 20-30+ minutes to get ready to go out(either sunscreen season or snowpants season) how do you fit it all in??
I use the spray on sunscreen & I apply it outside. They line up & I spray each one. They go play as soon as they're sprayed. Never more than 5 minutes for 7 kids. Winter is harder, but I have them all dress themselves so it still doesn't take us more than 15 minutes unless I have a few that really struggle. We play outside a lot & I incorporate a lot of our preschool activities into outdoor time. Our preschool is definitely not a sit & do papers kind of program and my kids do learn a lot.
Plus, I go with the flow. Some days we stick to schedule. Some days we ditch the schedule and just play. I say go with what's working
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Old 07-31-2015, 05:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josiegirl View Post
With a strict schedule, how do you find time to go outside every day, much less twice a day? My dcks love outdoor time, as do I. And when it takes 20-30+ minutes to get ready to go out(either sunscreen season or snowpants season) how do you fit it all in??
Well, we usually have two or more teachers in the room when we're preparing to go outside. One will essentially run the room while the other applies sunscreen and provides backup. We usually sit the kids down for story time and one teacher pulls kids one at a time for sunscreen. If we have a lot of kids (we can have up to 24 in my room), we'll start doing sunscreen while the kids are still playing and through cleanup time, too.
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Old 08-02-2015, 11:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josiegirl View Post
With a strict schedule, how do you find time to go outside every day, much less twice a day? My dcks love outdoor time, as do I. And when it takes 20-30+ minutes to get ready to go out(either sunscreen season or snowpants season) how do you fit it all in??
Spring, summer, fall it only takes us about 5 min to get out the door. I buy one bottle of spray sunscreen and all parents pay an extra dollor toward and sign a form Agreeing to that brand. That way I'm not rubbing in sunscreen, trying to find the right bottle, etc. we spray up outside. It's fast!

In the winter I'm not a fan of bundling up in snow suits. I have a long black-topped driveway. Kids put on boots, coats, mittens, hats. Takes about 15 min. We just play on the driveway. I'm not a super hero! I'm not into wrangling kids into snow suits! We only go out once a day in the winter. We don't go out if it's colder than 25-30 degrees.
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Old 08-02-2015, 01:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoMoreJuice! View Post
I use Mother Goose Time, but even if I didn't purchase their materials, I would follow their monthly themes because I LOVE them!

I used to do weekly themes and drove myself insane. Monthly is so much better! Here is my daily schedule:

8:30 Circle time--we have a set of three songs that we sing every morning: Good morning song, days of the week, months of the year. On Mondays we add the Little Helper song when we assign "jobs". I let them dance to one other song where we shake out our wiggles. Then we all sit down in a circle and talk about what we did yesterday, and what we're going to do today.

8:45 Write/color in our journals. Write the date/our name/phrase of the day depending on the age. Younger ones just write the letter of the day, and color a picture.


9:00 First lesson--MGT provides these, but easy to sub. We either do a math component or a literacy component

9:20 Second lesson--Science, art, etc

9:50 Center 1 (Usually manipulatives, tanograms, etc)
10:10 Center 2 (Something that goes along with our literacy component, "fishing" for letters in rice, painting letters with Qtips, etc)
10:30 Center 3 (Something fun! Water table, play kitchen, etc)

10:50 Third lesson--Geography, social studies, or more literacy/math

11:15--Clean up, then Goodbye Song last.
I use MGT too. I your circle time! Mine is in serious need of revamping. How old are your kids?
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Old 08-02-2015, 02:42 PM
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I started doing this a couple years ago and the kids had a blast. It was lots of work but it inspired me and made our days fun.
I created a curriculum around the alphabet, started with A and got as far as K(IIRC), then my dad passed away and I just never got to the point where I could commit to it again.

I've been trying to figure out a way to do it again when all the SA dcks go back to school. And I think I'm going to start doing it again. There are soooo many cute ideas I've been finding on Pinterest so that'll be my main source.

Thank you for sharing your schedules. With those ideas in mind, I'm going to make a chart with pictures so the dcks know what comes next through out their day.
I'll most likely do weekly themes because I think my little ones would become bored and there are sooo many different things to explore and have fun with. However I'll be focusing on a shape and 2 colors each month.
The dcks love sensory play so I'm hoping to do those at least twice a week. Those are easy enough to bring outside too.
Circle time....engage them, if you read a story ask them about what they see. Do simple games such as 'whoever is wearing the color red(or whatever color you're working on)' stand up. Look on Pinterest for some short simple songs with easy activities to do. You can do stretching movements, counting, discuss the weather outside, talk about the season, sing the days of the week song, teach them a sign(such as if your theme is apple, teach them sign language for apple). Keep it simple, fun, short, and engaging. If one child doesn't want to participate, fine. If they all start straying, you'll know it's time to move on.
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Old 08-02-2015, 02:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamamanda View Post
I like to do themed units, but I typically do 3 weeks per unit rather than a full month. More than that & we all get bored, less & we don't have time to really explore the topic. I like to introduce new info the first 2 weeks and review the third week. I plan out units for the year based on the kids' interest & my own. Some favorites: human body, dinosaurs, fall/pumpkins, Christmas around the world. We do circle time right after breakfast. Then free play outside for 40 minutes to an hour. Inside for preschool activities followed by lunch & nap. Back outside for an hour or more until pick up in the afternoon.
Circle time tips: Use placemats or rugs to give children a visual on where to keep their bottoms when they sit. Alternate a movement activity with sit down activities. Anything that can involve movement should.We count standing up, standing on one leg, hopping the numbers, etc. Allow designated time for them to "go crazy." When we count we clap 9 numbers & go crazy on the tenth. They can hop, bounce, spin, etc but when i clap its back to your mat to count some more. Involve them in your read aloud. Ask questions, have them make predictions, etc. If its fun, even most of my rowdier kids will join in. I'm just worried about the one I posted one earlier. You'll do great whatever you decide to do.
I like these ideas!
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