When a teacher writes lesson plans she has a goal. For some teachers it’s to teach a thematic topic – such as Thanksgiving. The children are taught what thanksgiving means , how it got started and some cultural diversity content such as Indians and pilgrims. Back in the day when I didn’t teach the way I do now I taught these things as well. As I learned more about child development I truly understood that children can’t even keep today and yesterday and tomorrow straight so how in the world and why !!!!! should I be teaching them historical facts ? I switched to still using the themes but only as a vehicle to teach the foundational kindergarten readiness skills. So here are some turkeys let’s play a fun game and count them or Turkey starts with T ; let’s go on a turkey hunt !
I added some thanksgiving materials as a provocation. There was little talk. I tried to read a book about thanksgiving there was little interest. However – some children did get a basket and put a turkey in it as a “nest.” Gradually I will add more materials to spark interest and conversation.
My lesson plan today was made over the weekend. At parent conferences we made goals together. I made a few based on the assessment we did and parents made a few. I typed them up in a list . Holly has the first year students and I have the kiddos going into kindergarten. I am intentionally looking for ways to meet these individual goals.
Ex. One of Anissa’s goals was to continue working on her name. Today I noticed she was drawing. I sat across from her and watched. When she was finished I said ” Can you write your name on your paper ?” She said SURE ! I noticed she struggles with her s and asked could I help. It took about 2 minutes of direct instruction to see improvement. This teaching was done in her time and during normal play.
Next to her was Jude. He said ” I can make an S.” He did it. Then he said “sometimes it looks like a 5.” Me- yes it does but one has straight lines and one is made with all curves.” I drew both. He copied mine. One of Jude’s goals was recognizing letters and numbers. Check ✅ completely done within a child led play moment.
This is just two examples. I have my Thanksgiving books and materials ready. Which would you rather you child learn facts about a holiday or individualized instruction based on specific goals for each child ?
But the SNOW !!
We went outside and played for a few minutes in the snow.
Later in the morning we wrote snow – what does snow start with ? ssssssssss…
We built snowmen with Playdoh.
We played letter bingo
It was a good day.