Lesson plans are used by teachers as a guide for course instruction. Many children are in childcare for as many, or more hours than adults are at work, so child care providers should prepare daily lesson plans for more effective instruction. The detail and information covered in each lesson will vary depending on the age of children. There is no mandated curriculum for child care centers, but providers set their own instructional goals. A well thought out lesson plan will reflect the child care provider's interest in the academic success of the children. Preschoolers have abundant energy and having a lesson plan will result in a calmer, more educationally stimulating classroom.
How to Prepare Weekly Lesson Plans in Child Care
Become aware of children's interests. Preschoolers are naturally curious so you should make yourself aware of their current interests. Perhaps there is a television or movie character the children can identify with. If so, integrate the character in the lesson to keep them interested in the information. This is where eavesdropping skills will come in handy; as you hear children talking about a particular character or other interests, put in on a list to be included in future lessons.
Use students’ interests when preparing lesson. Pull from your ongoing interest list when developing the lesson plan. Create a theme using the interest and combine with the desired learning outcome. For example, combine preschooler’s interest in the movie, “Transformers” to help teach a lesson on counting or spelling.
Create a lesson outline to help you set a time for each learning activity. When creating the outline, consider time that will be spent doing other activities such as snack or nap time. There are lesson plan templates on the Internet that will help save time creating the plan, if you do not want to produce your own. The general categories to be included in your lesson plan include: circle and share time, art, math concepts, movement and music, story and sharing time. If meals are provided, you can allow the children to participate in meal preparation and incorporate a learning outcome in the activity.
Make room for flexibility. Although preschoolers need structure, allow for flexibility into your plan to reduce stress that can be caused by sticking to the script. Children can pick up on stress and in order to keep the environment calm and stress free, be able to switch gears if needed. Keep some time open in the day for the children to have free play. If a situation arises that demands your immediate attention, children can play freely without affecting the instruction goals.
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