I recently led a workshop on how to simplify preschool lesson planning. It was well-received, so I thought that I would share a few of the ideas here with you.
Everyone has a different method for planning. This is what works for me.
Lesson planning is a 4-step process for me. It begins long before the school year starts with Thematic Plans. This is probably my favorite part. We plan for a new unit each month because our students only attend 2 or 3 days per week. One week units are too short!
The second step is planning for our learning centers. Many of the centers stay up for the month, while others are changed weekly. Art projects and other special projects might only be available for one day. When planning, I scour teacher resource books, look through our theme boxes, search relevant Pinterest boards and rely on successful centers from years past. I try to complete these pages before the month begins.
I record all of the center ideas for the month on these terrific pages from Learning and Teaching with Preschoolers. When you sign up for the newsletter, you will immediately receive a massive file full of editable plan book pages. I love them.
Many bloggers type their plans and post them online with gorgeous photos and hyperlinks. I’m afraid that I am not that organized. Here’s a little glimpse at my hand-written center ideas.
Next I complete my weekly plans, which include more specific learning objectives for circle time, specific notes about centers, and the titles of the books we will read during story time. I try to get this completed each weekend. (During the workshop, many teachers pointed out that they have to submit their daily lesson plans to their director or supervisor a month or a week ahead of time. Thankfully, I do not have to do that because I am the world’s biggest procrastinator. Seriously. Just hearing their stories made me sweat!)
This was our plan for the first week of school. Our state license requires that we sign each child in and out for the day, so that page is copied on the back of each week’s plan.
The fourth and final piece of the planning puzzle is to get everything prepped and ready for the day. That’s the part that I can never find enough time to do! I’m always running behind and wishing for a few more minutes in the mornings. If you have tips for me on this front, I’m ready for them!!
When all else fails, the best plan is to laugh when you want to cry and just enjoy playing and learning with your children. Best wishes!