Welcome to It's a Preschool Thing! This is my blog about all things preschool including best practices, philosophies, classroom ideas and more.
My name is Ms. Dawn and I have been teaching preschool for 16 years. I am blessed to absolutely LOVE what I do! The absolute joy I feel when I connect with a young child is hard to describe. The excitement I feel when a child makes a discovery makes going to work something I can't wait to do. I am helping these small humans learn to navigate their world. I am teaching more than ABC's and 123's- I am fostering empathy, building problem solving, teaching self help and critical thinking skills, encouraging a love of books and reading, providing a safe place for explorations, and building a community.
I have had the opportunity to work in many environments- from private preschool, to Head Start, and now in a cooperative preschool- and each experience brought it's own joys, frustrations, and learning experiences. One constant is that each year brings new personalities, new ideas and a whole lot of fun!
One example is when your preschooler plays with blocks. They are like little engineers, experimenting with balance, structure, space, and even gravity. Have you ever watched your child attempt to build a simple tower, only to have it fall down at a particular height? Perhaps you have noticed that they tried different ways of placing the blocks until they finally construct a tower that stays up. Believe it or not, this is the basis of the scientific method of experimentation, observation, and cause-and-effect to solve the problem of the tumbling tower. Block building teaches basic math concepts such as shape, size, area, even geometry and measurement. Best of all, blocks are an open ended activity that allows young children to use their imaginations!
Another example is dramatic play, otherwise known as "kitchen/housekeeping." This interest area has endless possibilities! In my classroom our dramatic play area has been a flower shop, restaurant, coffee shop, pet store and grocery store just to name a few. Dramatic play encourages role playing, the use of materials/props, make believe and social skills and interactions.
Art projects are more than just "parent pleasers." I provide different types of paper, crayons, markers, tape, glue, safe scissors, yarn, paint and so much more to encourage open ended creativity as well as developing small muscle control and hand/eye coordination. We do class art projects as well, but my focus is on the process rather than the product. Your hippo has six eyes and is orange? Great!
The students in my class are busy! Buy exploring, busy getting messy, busy learning through hands on experiences- there is no time (or educational value at this age) for worksheets!
These are just a few examples of interest areas in my classroom, stay tuned for more! Coming up, more about the interest areas and the skill sets they promote in my class, and how to get ready for that first day of preschool.