Whether you’re a novice in the preschool classroom or a teaching veteran, you’ll be looking for preschool lesson planning tips to help make the lesson planning process go more quickly and smoothly. Here are five must-know tips for planning your preschool year in advance.
Tips for Writing Lesson Plans for Preschoolers
When you have a classroom that is literally full of little children all depending on you for their educational enrichment and learning, preschool lesson planning can feel overwhelming.
I once used a preschool curriculum framework that had 32 integrated teaching components. Plus, three to five learning objectives within each component were are all meant to be covered every single day. That’s a minimum of 96 teaching components we were to teach every single day, and up to 160 objectives!
That school year was overwhelming, to say the least!
None of those components came in tidy done-for-you lesson plans, either. With little support from the director, writing preschool lesson plans was a burdensome task. And frankly, a killjoy.
Nothing takes to joy out of teaching preschoolers faster than sticking to a script that has you filled with anxiety before the day even begins!
Planning your preschool lesson plans doesn’t need to send your stress levels through the roof and it doesn’t need to take up your whole weekend either. With these preschool lesson planning tips to help your pre-planning at the beginning of the year, you can ensure that you’ll save more time than ever before.
Frequently Asked Questions About Planning Preschool Lessons
A preschool classroom will include whole group time or circle time which invites children to learn together and participate in songs, stories, and movement. It’s also important that children are given free-choice time/centers that allow them to choose the activities that they are most interested in. Teachers often pull small groups during the free-choice time to work on varying skills.
Early learning activities, learning centers, and dramatic play time are all common in a fun preschool day. Plus, time outside for recess is a must! Preschool teachers also plan for transitions throughout the day to help children cope with moving on to the next part of the day.
Preschool is the first introduction to school life, working with peers, and building academic and life skills. Preschoolers, and kindergarteners, should be learning a lot about social interaction and problem-solving. These developmental skills are crucial for young children.
The foundation for math, literacy, and language as well as, fine and gross motor skills are taught in a play-based format.
It’s important to provide flexibility and structure in an early childhood classroom. Remember that young children have a short attention span and are not physically ready to sit for long periods of time.
When planning a preschool schedule, consider just 15-20 mins for whole group time. Check out this post on how to create a daily preschool schedule.
The Importance of Intentional Planning in Preschool
Intentional teaching begins with smart planning, which is why you can plan your entire preschool year in five easy steps. Everything from establishing a calendar to planning fun and educational activities, there are five simple steps to kicking off your preschool year.
Five Easy Planning Tips For Preschool Lesson Plans
Consider the Big Picture
When considering the whole year, what learning goals are appropriate for your preschoolers? A thoughtfully developed scope and sequence is a must-have when planning the year.
Reports and assessments can help you plan goals that build upon one another. This helps to reach the big goals at the end of the year. A scope and sequence helps to keep you and your students on track and helps to set up learning goals for each subject or skill in preschool.
Keep it Developmentally Appropriate
While you might run across a lesson or two that sounds fun and engaging, it’s important to ensure that the activities that are chosen are a good fit for a short attention span. Movement is critical in preschool and activities that include motion will yield better attention and focus in young children.
Use Student Interest to Plan
Children learn best when they are interested and excited about the upcoming theme. Choose themes that are of high interest to the children in your class. Consider how favorite activities or books will be incorporated into the theme, as well.
Keep Activities Simple
Don’t underestimate the value of simplicity. If preschoolers need something more complex, they will show you through their play, however, a single activity still shouldn’t take pages to write up.
Have a Flexible Schedule
Schedules are essential for children. They help children predict the day by anticipating order and routines. Children love to have a say, so planning a daily schedule with the students in your class might give them the voice and choice they crave. Additionally, don’t be afraid to change your schedule, if needed too!
Make Planning Easier with Preschool Lesson Plans
As a preschool teacher or parent, I know your time is limited, so why reinvent the wheel? It’s a lot of unnecessary work. Check out these preschool lesson plan ideas that are done for you.
I’m Sarah, an educator turned stay-at-home-mama of five! I’m the owner and creator of Stay At Home Educator, a website about intentional teaching and purposeful learning in the early childhood years. I’ve taught a range of levels, from preschool to college and a little bit of everything in between. Right now my focus is teaching my children and running a preschool from my home. Credentials include: Bachelors in Art, Masters in Curriculum and Instruction.