For the 2013-2014 school year, Curly will be 3. We will begin preschool in earnest in late summer, ideally. We plan to build our plans around “themes”. We will interweave learning activities around the theme. The activities will include those that introduce and reinforce math concepts, literacy, science, motor skills, creativity and critical thinking.
Many of my ideas are from books; many more of my ideas are from some amazing preschool blogs. If I use an idea from one of these blogs, I will make sure to refer you to where I originally saw it! As for the books, I first suggest you check out the early childhood or education section of your library. It’s always nice to see a book before you buy it. Here are a few that I thought were helpful:
The Complete Resource Book for Preschoolers: An Early Childhood Curriculum With Over 2000 Activities and Ideas by Pam Schiller
The Instant Curriculum: Over 750 Developmentally Appropriate Learning Activities for Busy Teachers of Young Children by Pam Schiller and Joan Rossano (Actually, anything by Pam Schiller is usually worth at least looking at. Many of her books are preschool staples.)
The GIANT Encyclopedia of Theme Activities for Children 2 to 5: Over 600 Favorite Activities Created by Teachers for Teachers
Creative Resources for the Early Childhood Classroom by Judy Herr (I’m not sure why this book is so expensive. College text maybe? Check your library!)
Early Education Curriculum: A Child’s Connection to the World by Hilda L. Jackman (This book is apparently one used in college courses, which is why it is ridiculously expensive new..I scored my copy at a garage sale!! Woot!)
Encountering Children’s Literature: An Arts Approach by Jane M. Gangi (I purchased this at the same garage sale. This book is for all the elementary grades, and it gives some great suggestions on multicultural books that are culturally correct.)
I tried to condense this as much as possible. This is just an overview of what I would like to focus on this coming year; the list I keep handy is much longer. It sounds super academic, but really much of what I listed kids this age are discovering on their own through play and natural curiosity. Learning through play at this age not only works, but is fun for everyone involved.
Goals for the Next Year
Counting and Number Recognition
Classifying and Sorting (by color, size, etc)
Measurement (longer than, shorter than, etc)
Spatial Awareness (games and movement activities; words like on/off, over/under, etc)
Environmental Awareness (no littering, etc)
Lots of Reading Aloud
Letter Recognition (especially her name)
Rhymes, Songs, Fingerplays
Motor skills, creativity, and critical thinking are all included in activities related to the above goals.
So, that is the big picture. In addition to things I already have, I also picked up a few resources specifically for preschool.
Kumon workbooks: My First Book of Tracing, My Book of Easy Mazes, and My Book of Numbers 1-30.
Building Thinking Skills Beginning from the Critical Thinking Company.
Day and Night logic game from SmartGames.
ABC and number puzzles.
Wedgit Blocks, Pattern blocks.
Primary Science Set from Learning Resources.
Little Pim Spanish.
I also picked up several reference books for me that should get us through science experiments and art projects for the next few years.