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Amyece Amyece is offline
 
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Dev appr planning for 3 and 4 year olds
Old 07-26-2010, 01:25 AM
 
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I know that most of you here are teaching in public schools with teaching certificates. I guess because of this I trust your insight.

I have over 40 credits towards my ECE degree but will be starting a new job in a couple of weeks, teaching 3 and 4 year olds in a child care center. The director intends to get approval for the GA PRE-K program. I hope to teach the PreK program after I finish school.

What I am wanting to know for now is what is the best way to implement a developmentally appropriate curr. Are themes appropriate? Any links on appropriate math, science, literacy for this age group?

This is a brand new center. I will be able to even help with setting the room up and everything. I want to do this right. Thanks for any advice.


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Old 07-26-2010, 05:23 AM
 
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Go to http://www.prekinders.com.
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Old 07-26-2010, 12:04 PM
 
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our preschool is part of the public school program and they do themes and teach the alphabet with the same company the kindergarten uses. They do most of the opening calendar activities kdg. does. There are 4 small groups that move from table to table during one hour of instructional time. An associate is at 2 of those tables and the teacher at one. One is a manipulative table where students are independent. I sub there and it really works well. It switches to daycare at 11:30 when lunch is served and some go home.
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Old 07-26-2010, 04:28 PM
 
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Quote:
our preschool is part of the public school program and they do themes and teach the alphabet with the same company the kindergarten uses. They do most of the opening calendar activities kdg. does.
Of course I haven't seen the routines so I could be wrong, but IMO that isn't developmentally appropriate. Calendar especially...time is such an abstract concept, and preschoolers really have no idea what you're talking about with boxes on the calendar representing days. When I was teaching preschool (NOT part of the public school system; I was at a center that is affiliated with a local college, and which was working on the NAEYC accreditation process when I left; I'd imagine they've since completed it), we stopped doing calendar for that reason.

My program was all about developmental appropriateness, and therefore didn't always look "academic." I honestly believe, though, that my kids learned plenty. It's just that instead of doing letter of the week, we'd fill the sensory table with alphabet pasta and talk to them about the letters as they explored, or give them ABC cookie cutters to use on their play-dough. We'd learn how to count by taking turns setting the table for snack, and figuring out how many plates we'd need. We'd do graphing of simple things the kids could relate to, like what color eyes we all had. One of the best, simplest things I did was write each child's name on a piece of cardstock, in solid letters on one side and dotted on the other, laminated them, and put them at the writing center with dry erase markers (you'd be shocked at how quickly my 3-year-olds figured out which markers were for the cards and which were for regular paper, and they helped remind each other). Kids who were ready could copy their names onto paper. Kids who wanted a little more guidance could trace the dotted letters with the dry-erase pens. And kids who just weren't there yet could draw all over the cards. This was all done independently; we never had "sit down and practice writing our names" time. I know I was lucky, because I wasn't being held accountable for the number of kids who left my room knowing how to write their name or count to 10 or whatever; I had the luxury of letting them develop at their own paces (which, after all, is what developmentally appropriate means!). But if you can, I really think that's the way to go.

Oh, and I did do themes, although I didn't usually go too crazy with them. Sometimes they were something science or social studies-related (eg. families; seeds/gardens), sometimes they were seasonal, sometimes they came from something I'd noticed the kids getting really into in their play.
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I am teaching it and have a 4 years old
Old 07-26-2010, 07:44 PM
 
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Where I teach, we have junior kindergarten (4 yrs) and senior kindergarten (5 yrs) that are taught by certified teachers. I'm teaching a combined JK/SK class this year. I definitely do themes, my teaching partner and I find it is much easier for planning. We like having themes as it helps us choose our read alouds, songs, etc. It also helps us develop our activities centers We do both structured and unstructured play. We definitely have structured activities that students need to complete but we keep the activities hands on. We do try to stay away from worksheets as we don't feel it is developmentally appropriate. We do calendar time and keep it fun - lots of songs, etc. The kids do very well with it - I know my own son (who is 4) loves doing calendar at his preschool (he starts JK this fall). He knows the days of the week and often asks to see when a day (like show and tell) is on the calendar - he gets the concept. I find calendar is a great time to review many other concepts like counting, sequencing, graphing, etc. I find kids at this age can do many things BUT the activities must be done in a developmentally appropriate way. We don't have our students sitting at desks but believe kids learn best through exploration and try to develop activity centers that allow them to do it. I also find at this age there is a huge difference in what kids can do so giving kids open ended activities allows them to work at their own level. It is incredibly busy but a fun class to teach. Have fun .


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Old 07-26-2010, 08:08 PM
 
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Thoughts on the calendar question
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Thank you!
Old 07-26-2010, 10:24 PM
 
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You all bring up some great advice. Gray, I would adore working in a center like that. You learn in ECE classes to do things just the way you are referring to but it seems that is not how it is done at most centers.

Especially in my area most center directors do not have much education in ECE. I have more than my director.

I am going to read your link about calendar time.

Cmommy, your class sounds great. I do see that calendar time is not just about understanding that the boxes represent days...

The prekinders site looks great. Thank you for sharing!!

Thank you all!
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Old 07-27-2010, 03:47 PM
 
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I teach in Texas. We use CIRCLE- they have the best teaching manual I have seen.... just a few pages of research and why and the rest just fun activities, games, songs to go along with concepts. Several years ago, it only had Literacy ideas, now it includes math, sci, social development... All age appropriate, nothing is glitzy or glamourous...simple fun things.

They do not do a letter of the week, rather using a letter wall (similar to a word wall), they have everyday activities to discuss letters, focusing on the letters that are meaningful to them (their names, their friend's names). Making books with children's names, singing songs, for example, to the tune of BINGO: There is a boy who has blue eyes and Jacob is his name-O! J-A-C-O-B, J-A-C-O-B, J-A-C-O-B and Jacob is his name-o! But their favorite is cheerleader spellling (even the boys), they get to point to their letters on their special name card- and chant "Give me a J!" and the students repeat J! (do same for all letters) Student: What does that spell?? Class: JACOB! Student: I can't hear you! Class: JACOB!!!!!!! (I personally think that they just like the only part of the day where they can yell as loudly as they want!!) We write morning message on the board, we write daily news on the board (student lead). It only takes a few weeks for kids to know all the letters and sounds (just through playing).

CIRCLE has research centers, what centers, how long, what the teacher's job is during centers....its my favorite part of the day!!

Classroom management- how to post your schedule, rules, each child has a job....

Tons of activities for phonemic awareness...I find most of my students are reading, yet I have never sat down and taught them to read, they have never once been shown sight words on flash cards or drilled and killed and they don't learn through any worksheets. Its just doing meaningful activities that are exciting.

Writing- they use journals daily, sign in daily, use of playdough, stamps. I put letters in 2 L coke bottle with sand and they get to write down the letters they find, or put the kids names in their class in the bottle (or numbers or whatever!) and they have so much fun, they will go to their friends and say, "Look Jacob, I found a C! That is in your name!!" (these are all just quick ideas I have gotten from CIRCLE-- they have TONS of activities!!)

I do use a general theme. Most of the themes last 2-3 weeks. For example the first few weeks my theme is "My Wonderful World" And we get to know eachother, our school, our families and pets... But the most important thing about the first few weeks will be for you to set up your classroom routines. Teach them how to sit on the carpet (will you let them scoot up to see the books, will you let them ask questions during the book, do they have to sit criss-cross apple sauce?) How are they expected to use the materials in centers, clean up, go down the hallway... all those little routines need to be taught and then your class will be the best class in the school and they will learn so, so much!! (I even work with a teacher who has the kids practice putting paper on the easle, attempt to write their name, then turn it in) Once they do this, she adds markers, then paint...but she never has a mess, her markers always have lids, their papers always have their "mark" on them.

They do not promote using a calendar either, I still have a calendar time, but it only takes about 3 min...and mostly use it to count days to a speical event (birthdays, field trips, hollidays...)or remind them that library is tomorrow and to return their books,

whew lots of info, but wanted to share b/c I love it! And you seem to be on your way to teaching your students some amazing things!
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Old 07-27-2010, 05:22 PM
 
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First, I would get on your state's dept. of ed website and look up the standards for preK. There should also be recommended curriculums listed on that site for PreK settings. In the state of Illinois, there are 3 listed on their website, if you are to receive state funding, you must adopt one of those 3 curriculums. If you are private, or non-profit, you don't need to adhere to one of those curriculums, but it is a place to start.

It would be wise to see what curriculum the surrounding public schools are using for their PreK setting. Since you are going to feed into those very same schools, you should look into the possiblity of adopting one of those curriculums..

Remember, this is PreK, not kindergarten.....you need to set up the environment for children to experience literacy, written language, fine motor, gross motor, etc, experiences. Children learn by doing and experiencing throughout your room. PreK is not an 'academic' classroom.
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Old 07-28-2010, 02:19 AM
 
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I did a Google search but I cannot seem to find that curriculum.

My state has quite a few curriculum's approved. I know there is Creative Curriculum, High Reach, High Scope, and many more... I will look into them and see what the differences are. Thank you all again.


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Old 07-30-2010, 02:20 PM
 
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I work at a center where we are given a weekly theme such as back to school, community helpers, ect. We also do a concept a week which is matching, size/placement, letters, numbers, ect. What I love that we do is a thing called Alpha pals. We have parents sign up for a letter and when we are learning about that letter that week, they are to bring in things that start with that letter so we can eat them or play with them. For example I always do Aa, so I bring in airplanes for each child and we have apples for snack one day and we do an art project with acorns so both a sounds are represented. We also sing songs about each letter. In my class I did a bunch of hands on activites and singing. By the end of the year, my 17 3 year olds were able to tell u their addresses, birthdays, phone numbers, days of the week, months of the year, and they could read and spell every color. They learned almost all of this through songs. Good luck and if there is anything else I can help u with I will.
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Old 10-24-2010, 05:11 PM
 
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after reading this journal I am totally going to re-do the way we have calander time...I have always felt it wasn't dev. appropriate b/c the concept of time is so abstract--but now I have a better of idea of ways I CAN incorporate time concepts--totally going to make a photo schedule to talk about before-after-next etc...may use calander to count days but that takes less than 30 seconds---if you have any better ideas please share
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