This post will explain how to use each time and what is to be expected during each teaching session. I am including my time frame that I am using for the lessons so that I can show you how long each session will take. This schedule is 9 am to 2:30 pm and includes some breaks. My girls will have this schedule three days a week. I will include extra activities for those of you who would like to do this five days a week.
Circle Time – 9:00 AM
As always start the morning with Circle Time. Call the child or children down to the floor to go over the circle chart. In the first lesson, you will need to introduce circle time to them. During the first week you will need to set your expectations for this time. Usually this means that you want them to sit down and listen to your directions. They need to raise their hand to ask a question. They can come up to touch the board only when you give them permission, etc…
This is also important time to explain what they see on the circle time chart. Show them the calendar and explain that this is the calendar they will use. You can explain that the months will change and the numbers will move but that you will only move those once a month, that they are not to move the numbers for you. You can then explain the colors, shapes, etc… Explain why we are using them.
The weather bear will be the most fun for them to learn about. Explain that the weather bear is going to tell us about the weather outside. Each day they will get to dress the bear for the weather outside. They will love this part!
Letter Work – 9:15 AM
From circle time move on to letter work. On the first day introduce the letter and tell them the sound the letter makes. Have them repeat the letter and the sound. From there have them seated at a table to work on tracing the letter. You can find each week’s letter attached to the lesson. You can have them write the letter, trace in different materials such as sand or shaving cream, repeat letter sounds, find objects that start with that letter, etc… Those are all things that you do during this time.
This is also a great time to start working on the sight words of the week or word building.
This should only take about 15 minutes. It may take a little longer during the first few weeks until the children know what is expected during this time. It will also be a little longer on days that you use sand or shaving cream due to the clean-up time.
Sight Words – 9:30 AM
During this time you should work on the sight word for the week. I have included different tasks to do with the sight words each day. It is also important to review past sight words so that your child does not forget them.
Reading – 9:45 AM
Reading lesson should start with a story. It is very important to read to your child. This is perfect for sitting down together on the floor or on the couch to just enjoy story time. During the story pause to let them look at the pictures, it is important for them to start noticing pictures and talking about what they see. This will introduce prediction and comprehension. On certain days you can have them do a picture walk with you before you read. This means that they will look at the pictures and tell you what they think is happening based on the pictures. Be sure to talk about characters and their feelings during the picture walk.
After reading the story, have the children sit down with pre-chosen books to look at pictures and tell you about the stories. This is important to for building reading curiosity as well as momentum for sitting still. If you are teaching multiple children, this is a great time for one on one reading time.
Writing – 10:15 AM (Maybe earlier or later depending on how much time is needed for reading)
During writing lesson you will need their writer’s notebook. I chose this composition book because it has space for drawing pictures. Many young children can express themselves through drawings. They relate to pictures more than words. This composition book allows for the drawing part of writing that you will begin with. For the first few weeks, your child will be learning how to hold the pencil and draw the shapes and pictures. They will begin to trace words that you have put in their book.
It is important for them to start the writing process at this age as they will be writing in Kindergarten. Each day will have different lessons and ways to write.
Math – 10:45 AM
Math time for preschool is not adding and subtracting like we are used to. This will start by identifying the numbers and learning that those numbers hold a value. Math will be counting objects, creating patterns, learning shapes, etc… Math can be an expansion of the morning circle time or can be an entirely new lesson.
I like to start the first of the week with a new concept by modeling the teaching. Then as the week goes by, they will be asked to practice that skill on their own. At the end of the week, they will be informally evaluated to see if they understand the concept. These lessons will build as you go throughout the school year.
**This time of day is usually snack time for my girls. So this is a perfect time to incorporate snack into counting or other math time. I know that we have been told not to play with our food, but this is a perfect time to learn with our food.
Outside Time (Physical Exercise) – 11:15 AM
This is a perfect time for a mental break. Small children cannot sit for a long time and this is the perfect time for them to move. Depending on where you live, you may not be able to go outside all of the time. I will include activities to do on those days you are stuck inside that will get them the physical movement they need.
This time is perfect for learning things like throwing and catching a ball, jumping, hopscotch, etc… You can also include Science experiments or nature walks during this time. It is also a great time to just take a break for you.
Lunch Time – 12:00 Noon
My kids normally eat around this time. It’s great to have them outside playing for about an hour and then bring them inside for lunch. This is also just a nice break for them before starting something else.
Technology or Quiet Time – 12:30 PM
During this time I have my kids play learning games on their tablet or Leap pads. Technology is a newer concept that children are expected to know as they enter school. So much of our world revolves around technology so children need to learn how to use it at earlier ages. I have specific games or websites that I want them to use during this time.
I limit the time to thirty minutes because I don’t like them to spend too much time using the technology. From there it’s quiet time in my house. I require my kids to lay down quietly or play something in their quiet boxes so that they have more down time. This allows their brains to recharge a bit before we start learning again. Some children need a nap still so this is a great time to let them get that power nap.
Science or Social Studies – 1:30 PM
I list this as Science or Social Studies because you may not need to do both in the same day. Sometimes these subjects can be taught during other times of the day such as reading or outside time. These lessons are usually short. I start the week teaching the concept and like to end with a fun activity or experiment. These are both hands on type experiences that are great for their learning.
Art or Drama or Music – 2:00 PM
This is the last subject of the day. You will not teach each of these every day, sometimes you may not teach these at all in a week, it just depends on the time allotted and lesson concepts.
Art – this time is great for drawing, coloring, painting, etc… You can use the themes of the week or concepts that are being taught to incorporate into the art time. For example learning about weather, you can paint rainbows.
Music – this is a great time for kids. They love playing musical instruments. The purpose of this subject is to get them interested in music. You do not have to teach them how to play songs or grade them on their musical skills. This is simply to get them interested in music. I like to use this time for dancing, singing songs, playing instruments, etc… You can put on your own “rock band” or “concert” as a fun way to include music.
Drama – this is basically imaginary play. Let your child play dress up, with babies, building towers, etc…, anything that they want to pretend and play. You can play with them or just observe them playing. This is not a structure learning time. It’s a time to allow them to be creative through play.
You can skip the quiet time, shorten the outside time, whatever you need to make this work for your schedule. Like I stated before, this is what I am doing with my children, you need to make this work for your family.
I’d love to hear your feedback on lessons that you have taught or ideas that you have for teaching preschoolers. Please post your comment below.
Please check back for the weekly lessons that I am using to teach Preschool to my girls.
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