Thursday, July 14, 2011

Organizing All Our "Stuff" Part VII...Planning Calendars

You know that feeling you get as a teacher when you're on break from the classroom for a bit? You know it...that overwhelming desire to gather and organize and plan for the NEXT year!  Well, last week I definitely had that feeling!   

I generally believe we need to plan daily for teaching young children; which is why I've never attempted to plan monthly or...gasp...even further ahead!   However, there are those days, that I remember I have a meeting during my prep time, a parent calls or a child has had a very challenging time and I need to collaborate with specialists!     

Now, of course, everything in my classroom is individualized and our group times are kept very short (10 min. or less) but these type of group activities really help the children build a sense of unity and group experience!  Often the play the children engage in is directly based on activities, songs and stories we introduce in a group time!

So, here's what I did: I pulled up blank monthly calendars on word and used these as my template. I started by adding all the days off, early outs, conference and home visit days and regular events (music therapy for some children, story lady once a month).

I then began brainstorming! I know the children in my classroom very well!   I know what they enjoy, what they will benefit from and how they learn best. For each week, I wrote down a focus area (basically, in my case, these look very similar to toddler "themes"- a focus on a tangible item...ex. "balls", "snow", "socks and shoes" etc.) 

These areas are obviously VERY loosely tied together with the activities (they are really not themes in the true sense- just reminders of possible ideas)!  The days on the calendar mean absolutely nothing; these are simply ideas I can draw from based on what the children are engaged in at the time (so I may or may not use the ideas on the weeks or days listed :).

Below are two examples of the calendars I created for August (large group time and circle time).     I have calendars now for an entire year...in each of these areas:  



  1. circle time ideas,
  2. large group ideas, 
  3. play dough and sensory table ideas,
  4. individual and center time ideas and
  5. books and sign language to use.  
That would be 5 areas with calendars for each month of the year (it took me several days working on and off to complete these)!  I figure this will help me when I'm having one of those days when I just can't remember that great activity we did last year...or when I really need to focus my energy on brainstorming solutions for a challenge in the classroom...or when I simply need just one more simple activity for us to explore! 

So, now I'm quite excited for the "new year"...and I do believe I'm over that planning for the new year feeling now!  I'm exhausted!




Large Group Activities            AUGUST 2011
SUNDAY
MONDAY
TUESDAY
WEDNESDAY
THURSDAY
FRIDAY
SATURDAY
Focus area:
Bubbles:
1  LG (Bubble Freeze to music)
2  Speech              group

3  Story Lady
(Bubble Painting)
4 Last water day  (bubble table)
5(Painting with cotton balls)
6
7
Bubbles:

8 bubble “foamators”!  delic.
9    Speech
      Group
10   Bubble wrap fingerpainting
11  no RM
Bubble wrap prints/bubble wrap bike riding.
12 Painting with q-tips
13
14
Tents:
15 “table tents”
Tent outside..
16 Speech
      Group
 
17  Painting sheets for tents

18   no RM
Painting canvases
19   
20
21
Hodge-Podge:
22 tiny world with bird houses (painting houses) 
23   Speech
      Group
24 tiny world with bird houses etc.
25  no RM
Gardening

26
27
28
Fishing
29 Gone Fishing snack

30  Speech
      Group

31 Fish bowl snack

Watercolors on fish shaped paper





Circle Times       AUGUST 2011
SUNDAY
MONDAY
TUESDAY
WEDNESDAY
THURSDAY
FRIDAY
SATURDAY
Focus area:
Bubbles
Sign to intro:
(bubble)
 Brown Bear Song (Greg and Steve)
 Going on a Bear Hunt (Greg & Steve)

U letter and puppet (up)
5
6
7 Bubbles
(bubble)

Miss Lucy had a turtle
9 Goolie, Goolie (Tiny Tunes)
B puppet and letter (bubbles)

12
13
14 Tents
(outside)
Sleeping Bag Chant (HUM)
5 Green and Speckled Frogs
G puppet and letter (green)

19
20
21Hodge-Podge:
(small)
 Going on a picnic (HUM)
K letter and puppet (kisses are
small)
25
26
27
28 Fishing
(fish, water)
29 Octopus song (10 carrot diam.)

30 Ducks Like Rain (HUM)
31 with umbrella
F letter and puppet (fish)
5 Little Fish (with plate prop)

Grab the "How Long is this Hall" Button!

HowLongisthishall?!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Total Pageviews

Popular Posts