You know the importance of reading to your preschoolers regularly to build literacy skills. You choose engaging books that your preschoolers love. You read with enthusiasm. Did you know that the books you choose can impact the language development of the children in your classroom? This can be especially true for children with disabilities.
Books that are predictable, either because they rhyme or repeat, can support language in preschoolers that may be struggling. One of my all-time favorite story books is a wonderful example.
Include The Napping House by Don and Audrey Wood in your "All about me" theme
This book touches on many important topics for young children. The story opens the door for conversations about non-traditional family structures. Does this child live with his granny or is he just visiting? Who takes care of your preschoolers at home? Your preschoolers can identify with the child in the story.
This story brilliantly engages children through repetition. Your preschoolers will be reading right along with you even if they have never heard the story before.
Tell the story using visuals
use the story to teach math skills
Once the children have become familiar with the story, bring it into your math center! Here are a few ideas, but be creative:
What stories do you use to engage your preschoolers?
There are thousands of amazing children's stories available. There are many traditional stories that we all have used. What are some of your favorites and why?
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!
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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!