If you have been an ECE professional for any amount of time you have undoubtedly heard about the importance of observations and assessments. This element of your teaching life is crucial. These tools help you to understand at all times what each child in your care needs to be working on, so that you may continue to scaffold their skills. Not just academically but socially, emotionally, and physically as well.
This plays into how and what you plan for your students. Every child needs something different from you.
We sit down monthly to plan for the month to come. While we usually have a "theme" idea already in mind we really are sitting down to come up with what activities need to be placed in the plan that will continue to support the needs of the children in the room based on what was assessed and observed.
If you look on our worksheet page on our website you will see the outline we use when planning. This gives us a visual of the activities planned and which category it falls under, we keep our thoughts and plans on paper so that each teacher knows whats going on and what we need to work on as the week moves along.
Now I must say, ALWAYS have a plan B! Sometimes things don't work and you have to move things around based on the kids attitudes and interests. NEVER make the children do something they do not want to do. School is supposed to be fun, if they are not having fun, they are not going to want to go to school! That is why you have to know your children, inside and out. You need to know and understand the children you are planning for. What do they need to work on to prepare for Kindergarten? Which activity can you add to your plans to help them achieve mastering this skill? These are the question you should consistently be asking yourself if you are a teacher of preschoolers.
A pre-designed curriculum does not know your children, and not every plan works for every child. Shake things up, don't use the same curriculum. You will get bored and your children will notice, and they won't be interested if you are not enthusiastic and genuine in your teaching. Keep things fun for you AND the kids. If you need to use more than one curriculum and enhance it with your own ideas! There are a lot of websites out there that want to support you on your preschool teaching journey! Chances are you came across this searching for preschool ideas! Good for you!
Take a chance, trust yourself and start teaching the children in your room the way the deserve. Follow their lead, get to know them, and plan FOR them.
Abby Lazarus M.Ed.
Masters in Early Childhood Studies and Bachelors in Child Development. 13 Years in the ECE profession.