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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Tutorial Tuesday: Planning Preschool Activities

Planning Preschool Activities 
Hi! My name is Trina from Teaching My Blessings! I am a former elementary teacher and the Mommy to my three sons, who are my most amazing blessings. I am honored to be guest posting here today at Tutorial Tuesday. Today I will be discussing how to plan preschool activities and match activities with books.

One of my most favorite things to do is PLAN! I am a planner by nature. My calendar is my friend! When I was teaching full time my planning period was always my favorite time of the day. When I first started teaching I always loved getting a freshly, sharpened pencil and my empty lesson plan book! Then as technology progressed I began to type my lesson plans and then I loved looking at my blank excel spreadsheets to fill in. Oh how I do enjoy the planning piece of teaching. I learned over the years to be flexible with my planning. The ideas in my head can often be so much greater than the “real” world of teaching and learning.

In August of 2011 I decided it was time to engage my sweet boys more at home, therefore my new adventure began. I decided I would teach them concepts that I felt they needed to know at home at least two mornings a week. As the year went on I learned to be flexible with this piece of the planning process too and we did “preschool activities”, as we like to call them, anytime.

I began planning preschool activities for my children. First, I ran to Target to purchase an empty lesson plan book from the dollar section. I was so excited to have a blank lesson plan book again!

First, I planned the year thematically by choosing a theme for each week. I included monthly themes to coordinate with holidays. Then I researched online preschool themes to get more ideas. I found a ton of great resources! Including an amazing community of bloggers all blogging about teaching their children. I also asked my boys what they wanted to learn about this year and I included those themes in my plans. One week we learned about dinosaurs because that was what my son was interested in at the time. Another week we learned about Big Bird and Ernie at my son’s request.

I love to match our learning activities with books. I have a huge love for the public library. During the planning process I use our public library’s online card catalog to search for books to match each theme. I write the coordinating titles in my lesson plan book next to each theme. Then I put the books on hold to match each theme according to when I need them. I try to plan ahead and reserve the books to coordinate with each theme. Reading to my boys is one of my most favorite things to do as a parent and it is so important!!

I then search many of the blogs that I follow to find activities and printables to match the themes. I preview the activities and if I feel they are age appropriate for my children I bookmark them and write them in my lesson plan book.

This past year each week I planned:
Letter of the week
Bible Verse
Character development Trait

I also plan crafts, cooking projects and field trips to coordinate with the theme when appropriate. The more hands on, creative, and fun activities I can plan, the better!

I hope this simple tutorial of how to plan activities has inspired at least one reader. Happy Planning!