Preschoolers play and laugh and fight and run. They are exuberant energy pods floating through the classroom bumping into each other and causing a commotion. You gather together for circle time and try to find an activity that engages and teaches important skills.
You have their attention for a few precious moments. How do you best capitalize on those moments? With the "Gift of a Compliment Game" your preschoolers will learn how to compliment one another while learning to identify similarities and differences among their peers.
This game is a great addition to an "All About Me" theme or any holiday related theme. With a little creativity, you can add it to other themes as well!
How to play the "gift of a compliment game"
how to combine this important social skills with math skills
Identifying similarities and differences is an important early learning skill. This skills is needed for sequencing, patterning, making comparisons, and much more. Create opportunities for preschoolers to practice these skills in the context of a fun activity!
Preschoolers are just developing some basic social skills. Teach your preschoolers to compliment their peers and see a transformation in your classroom! With a little practice, you will hear your preschoolers complimenting each other outside of your teacher-led activities.
Children love to give and receive gifts, especially ones that are wrapped in beautiful packages. This game teaches the value of recognizing the good in others (even though initially your preschoolers will choose superficial characteristics to compliment). For this game, it's about the process of recognizing what they like about each other and putting that together with recognizing things that are the same or different about their peers.
Play the game!
Once your preschoolers have learned to play the game, modify it by:
Do you find yourself short on time for planning and activity preparation? Creating an engaging curriculum is time consuming and time is one resource many preschool teachers are short on.
Many activities can be adapted to be used again and again with each theme you choose. Reduced planning and preparation time is only one small benefit of repeating activities with different themes. Using these activities across themes helps students build proficiency. They will not need to learn how to complete the activities each time, allowing them repeated practice to develop skills.
1. Themed guess how many: Teach a large number of important math skills with one activity
2. Themed sorting: Sorting is a critical early math skill that has implications
3. Themed patterns: Patterns are all around us and preschoolers are just learning to expand patterns
4. Themed sequencing: Sequencing is one of the main building blocks for being able to complete many different activities, including following directions
5. Themed counting: Counting and 1-to-1 correspondence requires repeated opportunities for practice
Boost learning and maximize your time by using these activities again and again
These activities provide the opportunity for your preschoolers to practice vital math skills while freeing up your time to plan new and exciting activities. Get out there and give it a try!
Get your preschoolers invested in literacy. With so much competition with video games, how is this possible?
Teach them to make their own books! Have your preschoolers create books for each theme in your preschool classroom. Children love to share what they make with others, especially when they are the author and illustrator! Over time, their creativity grows and their books become more elaborate.
I will cover some basics here, but if you want more detailed ideas, check out this fabulous book!
Begin with the basics
Introducing this idea to your preschoolers may feel overwhelming at first. Start small, using simple materials. As you and your preschoolers learn, add new materials and techniques to your book-making.
A simple book can be made by folding sheets of construction paper in half the long way and stapling pages together. Children draw on each page and adults can scribe their words for them.
Books can tell a story, but they don't have to. Use this opportunity to teach your preschoolers the different types of books. Some books entertain. Other books educate. Which type of book do they want to make?
Create a book making center
Create a space in your preschool classroom for the children to work on their books. The space does not need to be elaborate, but should provide inspiration for creating great works! Have a variety of materials readily available. Provide a place for your preschoolers to store their books so they can come back and work on them later.
Basic materials to provide in your book-making center include:
Provide a visual for step-by-step directions
Talk about content
Your preschoolers probably enjoy pictures that tell the story. Will they create a book that entertains or educates? What do they want their readers to get from their book?
Use professionally published books and books that you create as models to show your preschoolers how to do this. At first, guide them in planning their books.
Sure, they can write or draw whatever they want. There are no right or wrong answers. Teach them an important lesson about content: make sure it makes sense to the reader.
Show them what happens when you skip pages or don't provide enough information. Ask open ended questions as you scribe for the children. Ask questions like "how did that happen?" or "can you tell me more about that?" Help the children expand their thoughts more completely.
As with everything your preschooler does, the process counts, not the product.
Binding it all together
Be creative when deciding on how to turn the loose pages into books. Stapling works and is a good place to start. Want to work on fine motor skills? Punch holes in along the left edge. The children can lace yarn through the holes to finish the book.
Make book-making a staple (pun intended) in your preschool classroom!
When preschoolers become authors they become excited about literacy. Begin with the basics. Build creativity! Get out there and give it a try today! Let me know how it goes!
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Welcome! Through my career I have worn many hats. I taught preschool in a public, commercial preschool and I taught at a Head Start program. Currently, I am a BCBA, supervising 2 clinics for children with autism. At the clinics, I have created a program to prepare our children for success in public school. Children participate in a preschool classroom style program. I developed a comprehensive parent training program and frequently consult with schools. Here, I want to share my experiences and offer some practical advice. Please let me know if there is ever a topic you would like me to cover!