As I write this post, I am (like many of you) awaiting on our state superintendent of schools to speak about the latest update on schools and COVID. As teachers we like to be super prepared and a pandemic just does not lend itself to normal planning. By now I would be picking out my new borders, fabrics, thinking about fresh shelves with clean books, and structured centers. While some things in my room are just non-negotiable in my eyes (ie: visuals) there are other things that we may not be allowed to have such as fabric on the bulletin boards or carpets. There is just so much unknown. So, I decided to figure out a few possible solutions for things that a Pre-K classroom just has to have such as visuals, books, and toys in the event that we will be opening in the fall.
I plan on having a few of these baskets located around the room so we can easily toss in used picture symbols, schedule cards, toys and other visuals! Again, I have no clue what the cleaning protocol will be, but I do think having a few stations were materials can be tossed throughout the day will save some time in the long run. Everything in this basket can be wipeable, especially if you laminate your little sanitizing sign…maybe add some directions on how they should be clean once you get that information from your school.
Books and Tasks
In Early Childhood we are always reading books and doing short tasks! I feel like my best friend might be page protectors this year! I can lay one on top of the book while I read and have a friend point or label pictures. Same goes with assessing using task cards, stick them in a page protector then toss it in the basket to be wiped down later. I am hoping they account for all the extra time it will take to wash student hands and materials daily when planning for instructional time!
Toys. We have so many toys in a Pre-kindergarten classroom. I have a feeling that the amount will have to be significantly reduced and we will need to be creative and strategic with which ones we put out and when! I made a little sample toy rotation schedule as a visual organizer. In the beginning of the school year I have very limited amount of toys out until children learn how to use them and put them back in their spots (or close to it)! I was also thinking about the things that are very important for fine motor that little kiddos should have access to. Putting play doh kits and mini art kits in clear bags with labeled names will be something I think we will at least attempt!
Tips in Action!
Check out the video below to see me using these tips in real time. Overall, make many duplicates of your schedule cards so that you can wipe them down at the end of the week or daily while having enough on hand to have fresh visuals each day! Get a nice box of those page protectors and sanitizing baskets made and have them available throughout your room. As teachers we are very flexible and go with the flow, but safety comes first! Good luck this year everyone we will make it happen!