routine

Help your Students Know What You Expect with Procedure Cards

preschool procedure cards

Procedure cards are a visual for the routines and procedures that you teach in a preschool classroom.
 

Just stop and think about all the routines you have to teach little ones when they are coming to school for the first time...

Coming to the carpet, sitting at the carpet, lining up, walking in the hall, using the restroom, washing hands, how to clean up, how to treat toys, how to pack up to go home.... and the list goes on!

We have to TEACH children what we expect of them or they simple will not know and therefore may not fulfill our behavioral expectations.

Don't want students running in the hall?  You have to teach them what you do expect them to do... which in turn will decrease the chaos!!! <hallelujah! 

Now… fast forward to January. After a long winter break it is time to re-introduce these procedures. Actually, you may find that re-visiting your expectations of students several times throughout the year is just what you need to keep students accountable. While we mostly work on teaching procedures at the beginning of the year, don’t forget that little learners need lots of practice throughout the year as well!

Don’t make your students wonder what you expect them to do. Many times, as adults, we think that some things (like flushing the toilet or hanging up our coats) are common sense. But, the reality is… young children haven’t been around long enough to learn what is common in our society. We have to teach them.

Since our young learners aren't yet reading, visual cards are perfect for students to follow through with procedures on their own (after we direct them).

These procedure strips have made such an impact on teaching my students our class procedures.  Plus, the visuals have keep me from having to say it over and over and over and over and... you get it! I keep the procedures up all year long. If I find that a student needs a little re-direction on a particular procedure, we walk through the cards together.

 
 
 

Would you like to try out a procedure strip in your classroom?


Get the 'Clean Up Cards' and the 'Washing Hands Cards' to try out free:

preschool procedure cards
 

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Preschool Classroom Jobs

You can give every student in your classroom a job easily and fit them into your preschool classroom!

 Kids love feeling special and I love helping them feel special!  That is why in our preschool classroom each and every child has a special job every day.  For us, having preschool classroom jobs is not just about children helping out in class.  Jobs help cultivate a feeling of community.  Plus, when each student gets a job everyday he or she fills a special spot within that community.  For preschoolers, jobs are super fun!

I like to create jobs that fit easily into our day.   Some of the jobs I assign are carried out through the day.  Some examples of these jobs include: 

-Door Holder

-Light Helper

-Snack Helper

-Lunch Helper

-Materials Helper

-Line Leader

I also like to incorporate some jobs that promote learning and community that we carry out during our circle time.  Some examples of these jobs include:

-The Greeter (see picture below)

-Weather Watcher

-Calendar Helper

-Estimation Helper

-News Reporter

-Survey Taker

Some of these circle time jobs I like to bring in and out throughout the year to give a little variety to the jobs and to our circle time.

Are you thinking...a job for everyone- that sounds like a lot of work?!  Trust me when I tell you, once students learn the jobs, it flows so nicely.  Give it a try!  

Do you already incorporate a job for each student everyday?  Tell me about it in the comments below!


Are you looking for a classroom jobs kit that is already made for you?  You can check out the one I created and use in my classroom here:

Holiday Happy Notes for Kids

holiday-happy-notes-square.png

Fa la la la la..... We set up our tree- Yippee! Pumpkin spice has been replaced with Peppermint Mocha and my kids have been circling the whole...Target...toy....catalog (you feel me?). Helllooo Holidays!! I love when you arrive! But, to be honest- you also stress me out. The amount of things I need to get done in the next month is... well... riDONKulous! To combat some of the ridonkulous-ness I like to start planning early. I want to have all my preschool Holiday planning done. Lesson plans, gifts for kids to make for parents, Holiday party and gifts for my students. I need to get it planned out before the late-December-stress-storm hits. Cause if I don't - well..let's not even think about that!

One thing on my Preschool Holiday to-list is Happy Notes. I LOVE to let the kids in my class know just how special I think they really are. With a class on 8 students, I can really get to know them and love them for who they are. So, every Holiday I send home hand written notes from the heart. I feel it is UBER important that my kiddos know that I am their biggest cheerleader!

This year, I have made some cute little Holiday Happy Notes for me and you! Just print off these notes (I like to use red and green paper) and hand write how much you care for your kiddos!  Simple, easy BUT leaves a big impact.  Who knows, maybe your Happy Note will be saved in a box for the kiddo to find on graduation?!

Let your students know how special they are to you by writing them a Holiday Happy Note!
Let your students know how special they are to you by writing them a Holiday Happy Note!

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This freebie was part of the Take and Try Newsletter back in November.  Have you considered joining?

Join the take and try newsletter for early educators and get an idea to take and try in your classroom every 2 weeks!
Join the take and try newsletter for early educators and get an idea to take and try in your classroom every 2 weeks!

Transition Songs

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Oh transition time... it is never easy. Whether it is lining up to go outside, getting the kids to clean up or sitting on the carpet for learning time, transitions can be the most challenging time of the day! The single most effective thing I do during transitions is SING! Yes, sing, lucky for me the kids don't care that I don't sound like Taylor Swift! Ha! Children tend to listen better if you take what you would just be saying and turn it into a song. So, of course I have a song for each transition that we take. I usually try to keep the songs the same, so that when they hear the start of the song, they know my expectations. I also try and keep my songs fairly short and repetitive, so the kids can sing along. It works wonderfully!

If you don't already have some transitions songs in your classroom, feel free to check out mine. I created a printable for you to print out and place on a binder ring as a reminder to SING!!!

Get singing with these easy transition songs!
Get singing with these easy transition songs!

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Don't know the tune?

I've got a video for you so you can learn the tune.  But, please know...I'll be sticking with my day job, because I will not be winning a Grammy anytime soon!

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You need to join the Take and Try Newsletter!  This freebie first appeared in an April 2015 edition of the Take and Try Newsletter.  The purpose of this newsletter is to give you a snippet of info related to the early childhood field, along with a printable so you can take what you have learned and apply it into your classroom.  Want in? Click the graphic below:

Take and Try Early Educator's Newsletter.
Take and Try Early Educator's Newsletter.

Writing our Names in Preschool

Name writing in preschool is an essential skill in preparing for Kindergarten.  A child's name is generally the first word that they write.  Lots of pride comes from a child learning to write his or her name.  This is why I created a Name Writing Notebook for my students. Read on to find out more!

Name Writing Notebook for Preschool
Name Writing Notebook for Preschool

Before name writing can take place, it is important that children take the first two steps:

1.Recognizing: students need to be able to recognize their name (read a post about this here)

2.Constructing: students need to be able to build their name (read a post about this here)

Then, students can work on writing their names.  I like to start with the first letter of a students name. We always practice the first letter as a capital letter.  In the Name Writing Notebook, students work on tracing the first letter and then writing the first letter on their own in a grey box, as a designated spot on the paper to practice.  In this notebook you will not find dots or dashed lines.  I believe that children can be easily confused by those dots/dashes.  By tracing solid lines, students are practicing the strokes rather than going from dot to dot, which can sometimes result in jagged lines.

We then move on to tracing the whole name with only the first letter a capital letter.  I know that there is much debate over having children write in all capital letters and the transition to lowercase will happen.  But, to be honest, I am not of that thinking.  To me, a habit is a habit.  How I practice things will be how I complete them.   We do explore with building and writing capital letters, just not when we work on writing our names.

name writing in preschool
name writing in preschool

What I am loving about these notebook is the versatility.  Lots of different options for name practice in an easy to understand, child friendly format.  Check out some of the pages below:

name writing in pre-k
name writing in pre-k

Do you feel like your preschoolers are ready to practice writing their names?