Back to School time is a giant mix of excitement and stress, especially for preschool teachers! There is so much to plan and organize, and definitely not enough time or money to do it all. Plus, it’s preschool. Those students have probably never had to stand in a line, navigate a room with a dozen other little bodies, or even used the potty without their moms. There’s a lot to learn!
Back to School Tip #1
The most important thing to remember about the beginning of school is that we have to teach our students how to do school before we can teach them any skills or content at school. Think through your school day and make a list of all the routines that the students will need to know to make the classroom run smoothly. In our class, lining up is a challenge. To make it a little easier, we stuck footprint shapes down on the floor with contact paper. They are color coordinated and also have numbers for extra practice!
Back to School Tip #2
Choose the first week of school activities very carefully. We want to give the students things that they can do independently. It’s an added bonus if the activity holds their attention and keeps their hands busy! Our favorite first day center is Magic Play Dough! I make up a story about how I can tell if they are going to have a good year (if the play dough changes colors). When I give out the little bags of white dough, their eyes are as big as saucers! They are so excited to play with it to see if it will change.
Back to School Tip #3
Finally, students do better in new situations when they know exactly what to expect. We love this visual daily schedule because it helps our students understand what comes next during their day, and they also keep their eyes on how close we get to dismissal time! I love preschool.
Back to School Bonus Tip
Finally, here’s a little something to say, “Thanks for stopping by!” Print this free Apple Number game to help your students practice their number identification and matching skills. We use these file folders as an arrival activity (“Morning Work”) to keep the kids busy while everyone arrives and settles in. Enjoy! 🙂