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Preschool Teachers Need Creativity
For children below the age of five, before kindergarten, preschool is almost a must. The benefits of preschool have been shown to be real and make for a better start in kindergarten. Normally this will start at around age three and continue until the child is in kindergarten. Note that this is not referring to child care. Child care is not the same as preschool. Preschool can be thought of as early childhood education.
Preschool really means, pre school. Because of this, preschool teachers must be creative in their lessons to insure a successful start to kindergarten. You cannot just do fun and play actvities with little concern for any learning. The first thing to think about is the routine. Get creative in your routine for the day. How can we start the day off? With a song? Learning a poem? Realize, however, that you students will not be used to a regimented structured routine. Your creativity will make it seem less like a routine, and more like an age appropriate activity. That's the art of teaching!
Games and play are very important at this age. They like moving, touching, feeling, yelling, crawling, and playing. You as the preschool teacher must harness this into a curriculum that will teach what they need to know for their age. How you do this is really up to you. You need to instruct your preschoolers in certain behaviors like appropriate interaction with other children, toilet use, and dressing. Core curriculum should include letters, sounds, shapes, counting, naming animals, and recognizing ordinary objects.
Preschool teachers should do at least weekly and daily planning. Each day should incorporate all of the issues above. You can do more than one at once. Example, you have a pile of colored blocks. Ask, "Who can bring me two red blocks?" This gets counting, colors, and shapes. One afternoon you could do a lesson on apples. They can learn the word apple, starts with the letter A, is red (red apples are best for showing), tastes great, is nutritious, and they can count them. You could even slice them into pieces and pass them out to eat as a snack.
There are great preschool games out there. But games at this age are not just games. Each game can be a learning experience for behavior. Manners count. be polite, share. A parachute is a great way to get kids working together. Please note that these games do not need winners. Games here are group activities.
Preschoolers need to be moving, talking, and touching things. Each and every lessen you do should incorporate these actions. Because of this, storytime can be a challenge. Use hand puppets. Use stuffed animals. Make funny faces and use a funny voice. Make sure every student sees the pictures in the book. Ask if the person or animal in the book is doing the right thing or behaving the right way. Keep your students talking and interacting with you.
Dressing is a skill that preschoolers need. There are many stuffed animals and books that come with common snaps, buttons, tying, and zippers.
Incorporating the weather can make good activities as well. They can learn words like rain, sun, hot, cold. You can even have them keep track of the weather.
Calendar activities are great for learning the days of the week and months of the year. Plus, the date gets numbers in there as well!
So remember, as a preschool teacher it is your duty to incorporate the core curriculum into each fun activity you do.