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New Job, Help!!

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New Job, Help!!
Old 04-24-2006, 05:52 PM
 
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I just signed my contract for my new job today! I will start in the fall. I will be teaching Pre-K at a Catholic school.
Where do I start? Does anybody have any suggestions on where to start? It's a really small school and I'm going to be the only PreK teacher so my help will be limited there. Are there any programs, that I could look into, that anyone suggests?
Thanks for your help.


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Congrats on your new job!
Old 04-24-2006, 06:01 PM
 
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Start with what you know. How many kids, ages, gender, interests (if possible), what do THEY know coming to you? Also, check out your room or space, take photos and begin deciding how to manage, arrange, and work in the environment. Grab a thick notebook and make lists, lists, lists! Questions you have, school supply lists, schedule, rules & routines. etc, etc. Do you have a mandated or suggested curriculum?

There are so many wonderful resources for Pre-K on the internet. Be specific when you search. Using "pre-k + _____ has helped me get better results. Several of my favorite sites were found doing this type of search. (just remember to bookmark the good sites!)

Good Luck! Remember to love and care about them and everything will work out.
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pre-k
Old 04-25-2006, 06:19 AM
 
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Find out from your administration if your focus is pre-academics or developmental. In developmental it is the process that is important, not the end product. No one walks out with the exact same piggy shaped paper plate because everyone is doing it at their own level.

Will you have themes for each month? friendship/names, fall, pumpkins, author studies ( Eric Carle is a favorite author) , nursery rhymes, spring, zoo animals, the 5 senses. I stay away from the "Hallmark" curriculum of having every theme revolve around a holiday.
Think of your areas in your room-- block building, writing table, reading corner, group circle area on the rug, housekeeping, art/messy area. Think of traffic flow so there are quiet and loud areas in the room.

Think of the balance between inside time and outside time-- is there an appropriate playground outside or will you be hauling toys etc out in a wagon daily( my situation).

Art can be made from anything. I write a weekly newsletter and ask for parents to start sending in things. And they do!!! I ask for cereal boxes to cut up to make bases for sculptures, any leftover wrapping paper, ribbon, material, pringle cans, magazines, empty pepsi plastic bottles to make sensory bottles to go with my themes....
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Ideas
Old 04-25-2006, 06:30 AM
 
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Long time ago, when I worked with the "little ones" I was given some great advice. They thrive on repetition..... have a good morning song, cleanup song, snack verse, circletime song, goodbye song, attention song. You get the idea... just watch some episodes of Barney or another preschool type show (Sesame Street) and see how much is repeated over and over. I must say that this helps with classroom management and makes lesson planning that much easier. Humans are creatures of habit and children feel much more secure if they know the routine and what is coming up. Have fun--I miss that age sometimes.

I also noticed that you are (or were) a paraprofessional. You probably have seen some great ideas that would work for all ages. Perhaps you could visit and observe some of the pre-k or kindergarten rooms where you have worked. Good luck.
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where to start
Old 04-25-2006, 10:15 AM
 
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You want to start with good resources. Get Eric Jensen's teaching with the brain in mind, stantley greenspan's growth of the mind, sue brekekamp's developmentally appropriate practice, and rae hirsh's early childhood curriculum.

Observe some naeyc accredited centers in your area and joing a professional early childhood organization for resources and information.

also - don't think of it as a pushed-down K or 1st program, preschool children in a special developmental period that needs to be recognized!

Good luck!


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thanks
Old 04-25-2006, 12:07 PM
 
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Thank you so much everybody for all the great advice! I can't wait to get started. My ideas have already be overflowing, I'm going to need a few notebooks to keep all my ideas in. Thanks, everybody!
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PreK in Catholic School
Old 04-26-2006, 01:25 PM
 
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I have been teaching PreK in a Catholic school for the past 6 years and am in the same situation...only PreK teacher. My room is developmental and not academic. We tell the parents that we are getting them ready for Kindergarten.
As was suggested, routine is very important. My little ones come in each day and follow the same routine. Find their name on the board, do their attendance marker, pick a colored spoon from a mug to find their table for the day and sit down. As soon as we are all seated we stand for prayers and the pledge. Then we move on to the rug for calendar and a story followed by an activity. Then there is lots of playtime with myself and a parent helper moving around the room to all the activities the children are engaged in... This seems to work for me. I would be very willing to email you privately with other suggestions.
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thanks
Old 04-26-2006, 07:05 PM
 
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That would be great Peggum, Thanks.
Feel free to PM me.
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Schedule
Old 04-27-2006, 02:10 PM
 
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I've been doing pre-k for a long time and I just stumbled on this awesome thing that helps me more than anything I've ever done with classroom management.

I took a pocket chart and made a schedule on sentence strips. Then I made strips for each special and events that sometimes come up during the year (pictures, visitors, parties). With each strip I made a card. On one side of the card was an icon representing that activity (a pencil for writing workshop, an easel for art, leggos for choice time) and on the other side is a star. At the start of the day, all the icons are turned up. When we complete an activity, we turn over the card so the star is up (I make a big deal about how we worked together to earn a gold star.) We can count how many stars we have earned and how many more stars we need to get to lunch or the party or whatever.

This had two great effects. First, it draws the attention off me so I don't sound like such an ogre saying it's not choice time yet. Instead, it makes the children responsible for knowing when choice time is and what it will be after. Secondly, it holds me accountable to the schedule, which makes me ultimately a better teacher and more organized.


Good luck. Pre-K is pretty cool. You'll be just fine.
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Great site for pre-k teachers
Old 05-30-2006, 11:27 AM
 
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Hi Traci! Congrats---you'll love this age group! I know that I do! I also felt clueless when I was first put into a pre-k classroom. It's a bit overwhelming at first and I was lucky enough to have other pre-k teachers around me so I can only imagine how you are feeling!

I actually found this website after several members here suggested it. The owner is a teacher and she has themes for most everything! Also has a weekly newsletter that has so much info in it that you can actually use not just advertisements. I feel like I should get on that bandwagon and highly recommend her. The site is flschoolsupply.com. The owner's name is Tracy and she will really make the effort to get to know you and help you out if you need it. Just tell her what you need help with and she'll take care of it for you. If she doesn't have it, she'll find it for you! I know right now she is updating her site so the pages are changing daily. Be keep checking back through the summer and you'll be pleased!

Also, check the internet. Ebay has tons of teacher resources for discounted prices. There is a great seller (seller id: gps5457) that makes felt board stories which are great to do during circle time. You can also find carson dellosa books, mailbox books (I love their books), plus a ton more!

Good luck and please let us know how everything works out for you! Wishing you the very best!

Danielle


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Old 06-19-2006, 09:07 AM
 
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Preschool is the best! I have been an Assistant Teacher in head Start now for 11 years, we use the Creative Curriculum. I'm sure you can find info about it on the internet. It is a great resource in that it shows you great ideas and what you need to set up the day, and has an assessment tool that is great for individualizing for students!
Good Luck and enjoy them!
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