It’s a New Year! Raise your hand if a new year makes you want to try out new things in your classroom? 🙋
I love getting fresh start after Holiday Break – getting new things in order, organized and planned is part of my January fun! …. which might mean I need to get out more…. but I digress…
When wanting to add something new to your classroom, you might take to TpT or Pinterest and do some searching. We live in a time where there is no shortage of ideas and there are so many different teaching resources out there. It can be hard to determine which ones you really need. Which ones will benefits your students most? Which ones will make your life a little easier?
Well, today I am sharing 5 Resources for Preschool Teachers that you Need this Year!
These resources for preschool teachers recommendations are based off what is working really well for me in my classroom. All the resources were created by an early educator for real students. These resources were created to solve a problem or discrepancy in the classroom. Now, let’s get goin’!
1. Social Emotional Lessons: Some of the most important skills that we teach our young children are social skills. We live in a social world, where problem solving, people skills and conflict resolution are real needs. As preschool teachers we are constantly teaching social skills in the moment – and these are such important moments. But, I also wanted to be more intentional when helping children learn important social-emotional skills. I wanted to give the class as a whole experiences in new vocab and discussions that they could draw on later. This is when I decided to put together Social Emotional Lessons for whole group. With 8 units ranging from self-awareness and social-awareness to self-management and conflict resolution, I was giving my students the tools they need in a child-friendly way.
Learn more about these Social Emotional Lessons by watching the Video Series.
2. Literacy Units: The need for creating Literacy Units came from wanting to dive deeper into Literacy with my pre-kers than my thematic units were allowing. Now, I combine my 2-week thematic units and my month long Literacy Units. I created the Literacy Units to be somewhat thematic. Each one features 4 focus read alouds. Each day we focus on one or two elements of the read aloud. By ‘wondering aloud’ I help students learn BIG literacy skills like…
- Author’s Purpose
- Writer’s Craft
- Story Element
- Art Element and/or Phonological Component
- Reaction/Connection to Read Aloud
- Extension Activity
3. STEM Challenges: STEM is a big buzzword in education right now… but not without good reason. The way STEM can help challenge children to use intellectual thinking skills is why the resource made this list. Being a problem-solving, critical thinker with perseverance will get you through a lot in life. I truly believe there is not enough intellectual learning happening in classrooms – but STEM Challenges are way to help bridge the gap. When creating STEM challenges for my students I wanted to make sure that they were simple, engaging and full of intellectual learning. I put together 4 sets of STEM challenges for each month. Each challenge includes read aloud ideas, materials list, focus question, challenge instructions, challenge prompts and vocabulary cards with pictures.
Learn more about Why I Love STEM Challenges so much in this video.
4. Circle Time Games: Raise your hand if Circle Time gets a little mundane sometimes.. right? Well, I’ve found over the years that I always have some students who thrive on the routine that circle time provides – so much so that they remind you when you forgot to do a circle time activity. Then, there are other students who seem to get bored with the routines and show you by rolling around on the carpet. I wanted to help meet in the middle by providing a little routine with a little new and exciting. So, I created Circle Time Games. These games were designed to be fast, engaging, whole group games that focus on practicing skills in a fun way. I’ve currently got 3 sets of Circle Time Games = Fall, Winter and Spring (with Summer coming soon). Each set includes 2 themes and each theme includes 20 games (so 40 games total for each set). I will tell you- Circle Time Games have done exactly what I wanted them to- there is routine and excitement for a new game = win, win!
5. Math Games: My number one favorite way to help children practice much needed math skills are through games. While I love some commercially made games- I’m talking about homemade, simple, quick and engaging games. Gameifying learning is where engagement is at! We play these games in small group. Then, after I’ve introduced a game and played it with students, they can then play them by themselves. If you try out some of these math games- just be warned- some games create so much excitement that squealing and cheering often break out (it seriously makes my heart swell!).
Learn more about every Math Game we play and how you can make your own during this free webinar.
There you have it! Five resources for preschool teachers to save time and increase engaged learning!