Friday, August 29, 2014

Tips for Teaching Toddlers

It is almost time for preschool to start!  To see my thoughts about picking a preschool read this post:

Picking a Preschool

This spring (April 2014) I wrote my thoughts about teaching toddlers and a few helpful hints:

I love to teach preschool.  This year marks my 10th year that I have had the opportunity to teach.  Last week when I taught we focused on the letter D.  We had so much fun with Dogs and we even ate our snack like Dogs!  The kids thought it was so fun.  

Here are a few of my thoughts for how to keep it fun for kids and for moms:

1.  Plan more than you think you will need!  Little preschool kids have very short attention spans so we move from one activity to another.  When I first started teaching preschool I really liked that the "Joyschool" curriculum has it all planned out for you and how long each activity should be.  It was a great way for me to start out so that  I learned how to plan my time.  I usually do something like this:

active activity
writing or cutting
sit in a circle to learn
color or something at the table

2.  Remember you are there to teach, not put on a show.  One time preschool was at my house and I had an amazing idea for a snack that went along with the theme.  I was sure that it would impress the children and the moms would think I was amazing, so I got up at the crack of dawn to make fresh dough for my amazing snack.  In the end the kids didn't even eat it, they took one bite and pushed it aside!  I should also mention that not one mom even got to see how amazing I was for making such a great snack to go along with the theme!  All that stress was wasted!  Another time I had preschool at my house and nothing great to serve so we had a taste test party.  We had to choose between Cheerios and Honey Nut Cheerios and Craisins or Raisins.  They voted for their favorite snack.  The kids thought that was a blast, and they ate everything!

3.  Creative enough to be cool, simple enough to be sane!
I love pinterest.  There are so many great ideas, but I believe if we spend our time worrying about if our teaching is worthy to be pictured on pinterest we feel extra pressure and miss the magic moments!  I have seen mothers who completely burn out from teaching preschool because their personal expectations are too high! Preschool kids can't even put together some of the amazing projects that are presented.  

4.  Eye contact on their level
The best preschool classes that  I have taught have been the simple ones where  I got involved with the kids, looked them in the eye and was really on their level.  They love to feel your attention and love.  They also love to learn.  

5.  Go with it!
Recognize when they are interested or enjoying a particular activity and do it longer if needed or if they don't seem to understand, feel free to move to the next event.  

Letter D dogs:

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