Skills + Flexibility = Fun Learning Environment
One of the most important things to remember as a prekindergarten teacher is that this year is an introduction to school for many children. A good number of your students will not have had any preschool experience before setting foot in your classroom.
It may be your job to introduce the students to concepts such as working in groups, being respectful while others are talking, and managing simple self-help skills such as hand washing and cleaning up after themselves. In order to make the children's introduction to school a positive one, you will need some basic classroom management skills and the ability to be flexible.
Know that what works for one teacher will not always work for you. Try several different methods for lesson planning, behavior management and classroom communication before deciding what works best for you and your students. Be sure to bookmark this guide as it will be updated as more articles are added.
Tips for Preschool Classroom Management
Here are some practical tips that will work for almost any age. Many basic techniques are covered here including how to create a preschool job board, how to set up your classroom for behavior success, and tips for terrific transitions. While some of these suggestions may seem simple, when they are implemented early and often, they can mean the difference between a well run classroom and a chaotic one.
Setting The Rules
Here's another handy guide for creating rules for your pre-k students. It is one thing to be able to follow classroom rules while within the four walls of the school, but what about when students are on the playground? What about field trips? Are there special rules for these situations that should be outlined? Find all the answers to those questions and more right here.
Creating A Pre-K Schedule
Children learn best when they are comfortable in their surroundings and they know what to expect next. Creating a visual schedule can help children understand time management. Students will also learn to anticipate what comes next, which can help ease transitions. Making a visual schedule may even put an end to the dreaded question, "What happens next?"
Pre-K Attendance Ideas
Start the day off right with an engaging activity as soon as the children walk through the classroom door. Implementing a sign-in activity each day will help you take stock of the children as they are dropped off each morning. It will give you the chance to personally greet each child, as well as quickly assess their temperament and health. Use some of the many ideas here and add another element to your lesson plan.
Start The Day With A Routine
Circle time can be one of the most fun activities in the pre-k day, though many teachers dread it. This helpful guide will give you the confidence necessary to plan and implement some great circle time activities. It also includes a detailed description of how to make a circle time bulletin board so that you will have a visual aid to guide your morning meeting activities.
Transitions are those scary between activities times during the day when teachers often feel as if they are losing control. Tame those transitions with a song, a routine or a simple game. With the help of these simple songs and rhymes, transitions in your pre-k classroom will be under control in no time.
Songs are one of the easiest ways to engage children and capture their attention almost immediately. Try using songs during your hairy transition times between activities, before lunch or a snack or before the end of the day. You may be amazed by the difference a catchy tune can make.
Behavior Management with a Peace Table
This unconventional yet thoughtful approach to pre-k discipline is explained and outlined in great detail. A peace table is a place for children to sit quietly and reflect on their behavior or transgressions as well as a safe place for discussion between students. Implementing a peace table in your classroom will introduce students to the concept of effective communication as well as provide a quiet place for reflection. Try this technique in your classroom. You may be amazed by the results.
Positive Behavior Notes
Why do teachers only send notes home when a child's behavior has been unsavory or difficult? Buck the trend and start sending home notes for good behavior. Parents will appreciate receiving notes they can hang on the refrigerator, and children will see the value in their good decisions when they are praised for behaving well.
Classroom Behavior Charts
While behavior charts may seem like a good and easy way to keep track of student behaviors, they may not be the best method for this. You will learn the appropriate way to use behavior charts if you choose to do so as well as some alternatives to keeping behavior charts in your classroom. Weigh the pros and cons and choose the method that aligns with your teaching style.
How to Handle A Difficult Student
Got a Disruptive Dan or a Negative Nelly in your class this year? Try some of the strategies listed here to bring harmony back to your classroom. The simple-to-implement strategies include shadowing the difficult child, meeting with parents and individualized lesson planning. Each step is spelled out in detail, as well as strategies to try when all else fails.
Effective Parent Communication
The cornerstone to a good pre-k program is effective communication between the school and the parents. When parents are actively involved in their children's education, everyone benefits. Learn some easy ways to open the lines of communication with parents through newsletters, conferences and a classroom website.
Writing a Welcome Letter
Unsure of what to say to welcome new families to your classroom? Learn how to write your welcome letter to new parents and students in an informative and engaging way. Tips on including gentle reminders and classroom goals as well as adding your own flair to the communication tool are some of the highlights here.
How to Host an Orientation Event
What's the easiest way to present information to all of your new pre-k parents? Host an orientation in your classroom. It will be your turn to show off your classroom and share your preschool knowledge with parents as well as relay any important information parents will need for the upcoming school year. Here are timely tips for planning the event, inviting parents and students, and covering important information.