This year I have the pleasure of running an inclusive Pre-K 3 classroom in the morning and pushing into a Pre-K 4 classroom in the afternoon.  The two classrooms are extremely different yet very much the same in the sense that we have worked hard to structure both of them based on the needs of the students.

My lessons are based on the Early Learning Standards.   Within the Early Learning Standards there are seven main domains: Language/Literacy, Math, Social Foundations, Social Studies, Science, Physical Development, and Fine Arts.  Within those domains are 72 SKBs or Skills, Knowledge, Behavior, each that have a rating scale from A-D and 1-5.  In our county we are focusing on 12 SKBs for the Early Learning Assessment however a whole year of instruction will touch on all.

As with other classrooms in the past, I like to look at the whole month in order to make sure I am encompassing monthly themes along with a good mix of all subjects.  My three-year olds only come for the morning so between circle time, recess, therapies, specials, recess etc. we do not have much time left!  I like to make sure I hit on multiple skills when planning.

I print out a monthly template, fill in the important dates and get to work making sure I incorporate main themes (ie: Halloween, pumpkins, leaves, Fall, Thanksgiving, turkeys, etc). I plan standards-based lessons that incorporate some math, reading and basic learner skills while our amazing paraprofessional runs language arts and math Leveled Curriculums 0.5!  Let me tell you, I never worry about missing skills when I incorporate leveled curriculums. They are based on the Assessment of Basic Language and Learner skills, so I know my kiddos will be well prepared for more advanced skills in the future.  When I taught second grade, I realized how many basic skills our kiddos were missing, and I remember saying, “I wish I would have gotten to them sooner!”. As soon as I started implementing leveled curriculums and daily work my kiddo’s skills TOOK OFF.  I can’t wait to see the progress my threes are going to make with level 0.5! Currently, I have a few students who are not ready for paper pencil tasks.  With those kiddos I focus on following a structured teaching station that teaches them how to come to the table and complete a work task.  These are important skills that should not be undervalued!

Leveled curriculum is pulled out daily for the paraprofessional and placed in the daily work bins!

Early Learning Standards Lessons

The main SKBs that I touch on when teaching include: following directions, interest, information recall and word meanings.  That may sound pretty advanced for a three-year-old however it’s easy to make sure you hit those skills during each lesson.

During Halloween we would read adapted authentic literature.  I love knowing the kiddos are working on basic matching skills, discussing characters, learning to look back in a text, and expanding language!  After reading a Halloween book we worked on a big and little pumpkin sort.  My kiddos loved this and were working on such important skills while having fun!

Ah.  Adapted books by Sarah have my whole HEART.  If you have never used one of these, do yourself a favor and print one immediately! These structured books support early learning print skills, expressive and receptive language and so many other amazing skills! I love to use one of these books and follow it up with a fine motor craft or paper task. So. Many. Options.

With each lesson, I always have basic visual schedule.  I use this for ALL students and they love taking off each task as it is completed. I usually have a “read a book, activity, worksheet and/or game” tag.

I store all of my current lesson materials, upcoming and “need to prep” materials in these gold boxes. I like them because they reduce visual clutter and I do not lose any precious pieces!

On days when recess is canceled, I take that normal recess time and we break out the file folders, play-doh, work boxes and game boards.  So many amazing skills and they have so much fun!

The Pre-K 4 class in the afternoon runs the same however we do not have as many kiddos needing a super structured schedule.  I did come up with a very functional visual that I have been really loving!  Our kiddos leave the room for so many different activities that I made one giant “exit board”. Students take their tag and place it on the exit board on their way out.  Students know where they are going but we do not loose pieces or have to run all over the school at the end of the day to collect them!

Happy lesson planning!

Gina Russell, B.S , M.Ed

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