Going back to school is full of emotions, not only for the children and their families but especially so for early childhood educators. There is a lot to plan and set up, and neither time nor money is enough to do it all. Not to mention that it is preschool!
Many of the children who are coming into your classroom probably have never had to wait in line, get around a room with other kids, or even go to the bathroom without their parents. There are many things to learn!
Tip #1 How to School
At the beginning of school, the most important thing to remember is that we must teach our children how to do school before we can teach them any skills or content. Think about your school day and make a list of all the routines the children will need to know to keep things running smoothly in the classroom.
A common hardship for many preschoolers is the concept of standing in a line. Some things teachers can do is use a jump rope with different colored ribbons attached to have the children hold on to while they walk in the line, or some teachers stick different colored footprint shapes on the floor to show the children where their feet need to be placed while standing in line.
Tip #2 First Week Activities
Carefully choose what to do during the first week of school. We want the children to be able to do things on their own. It's a plus if the activity keeps their attention and gives them something to do that keeps them active.
Tip #3 Visual Schedule
Children do better when they know what to expect in new situations. We recommend creating a daily visual schedule so the children can see what their day is going to look like! To make it even more meaningful, as the first week progresses, take photos of the children engaged in the different parts of the day and use those pictures as part of the visual schedule.
Tip #4 H&H Child Care Training
Keep on top of your professional development! We here at H&H Child Care Training Center have lots of classes on child development, lesson planning, and classroom management to help make your Back-to-School a success!
5 Things to Do on the First Day of School
Have a Party!
How exciting is it to go to school for the first time? Exciting enough to have a party to welcome them back! There is no need to wait until the school year is over to throw a party!
Serve baked goods, fresh fruit, and orange or apple juice. Include a circle time where kids can tell stories about their summers and dance away their nerves.
Do Some Read Alouds
Choose quality books that will help them feel less nervous, make them laugh, or boost their self-esteem and build sense of community.
Don't be afraid of the classics with words that are hard to understand. Children can fill in the blanks, which helps them learn new words and understand the story if it is interesting.
The first day of school is a great time to just sit down with your kids and read to them.
At the end of the day, give each child a gift to say thanks for a great first day. If you have a theme for your classroom, you might want to get a gift that goes with it.
Spend a few minutes with each child on their own. Meet them, say hello, make them laugh, and encourage them. It's very important to make a personal connection on the first day.
Ice Breaker Beach Ball
Put questions on a beach ball with a permanent pen. Sit your children in a circle and have them throw the beach ball to each other. When a child catches the ball, they answer any of the questions they can see and then pass it to the next person. You will have to help the children “read” and ask the questions, but what a fun way for the children to get to know you and each other!
*Archived from H&H's Constant Contact Newsletters [8.1.2022]