Lesson Plans for Preschool
How to Write Excellent Lesson Plans
You’ve completed the research. You’ve got your templates. You’ve included the age-appropriate standards. And you’ve even incorporated hands-on games to illustrate each idea in a practical way.
So why doesn’t little Rita seem to understand it?
Well, to put it candidly: Little Rita is not ”average”. Neither is Carter, Ashley, or Josh.
Since every youngster has her individual very distinctive persona, diversions, proficiency levels and learning abilities, your lesson plan could be missing the point by not bearing in mind these important learning dynamics. You’re teaching the right syllabus, but it’s based on averages and common denominators in the child population. And Rita is not a common denominator. She may well be strong in one area and weak in the next. She may well be fascinated for an hour when you read her a story, but she can’t seem to pay attention for more than 3 minutes when you pull out the abacus.
It will take more time than usual to modify your academic curriculum to all of Rita’s various problems and foibles, but in the end it is all worth it! You know that she is captivated by puppies, and she begs to go see them each time you drive by the pet store. She takes off her shoes and socks so fast and so habitually that you’ve taken to calling her your “barefoot princess.” She’s viewed “Spy Kids” 20 times, communicates by speaking into her secret agent Mickey Mouse watch, and scurries around the house with your sunglasses and a flashlight.
You’ve also noticed that she has a rather short attention span and seems to glaze over when you begin counting and talking about numbers. And you’ve seen her spell out easy words like “big” and “bat” with her letter blocks, at the same time as singing the alphabet song.
This is all very significant information to bear in mind as you teach her. Already you have the data to try some slightly untraditional instruction:
•Count her tiny barefoot toes on one foot, and then on the other. Then ask her to do the same. Then count all her toes and ask her to do the same.
•Give her some paper and crayons and ask her to draw a puppy with eight spots on it.
•Put on your sunglasses and a hat, call it your Secret Agent Hat, and in a Secret Agent-style whisper, ask her to search for objects around the house that start with the letter “A.”
Well done! You have now made learning much easier for Rita because you made it appealing – for HER.
But to seriously hit it out of the park, take it one step further: Start!Begin to proactively OBSERVE, LISTEN, and ASSESS every time you can. This will permit you to determine other distinguishing traits such as her sensitivity level, strengths, and weaknesses, along with her social and cognitive levels.
Remember how her eyes welled up when she answered “five” to the 2 2 query? What does that indicate about her temperament and sensitivity? It’s not uncommon for a child’s learning capability to stop for at least a few moments after what she may consider to be a painful failure. So maybe, just maybe, our response and interaction technique is what’s holding the child back! Rather than stating that the answer is four, not five, how about merely requesting that she to draw it out on a piece of paper so that she can find out by herself that she fell short? Now EVERYONE can have an A-ha moment – and learn and retain that math lesson at the same time.
Never stop examining and evaluating all of your child’s qualities, and be honest with what’s in front of you. One of the prevalent mistakes we make as parents and teachers is oversimplifying a child’s abilities based on a few incidents. “Rita’s a great speller”, “Rita’s shy”, or “Rita doesn’t like math” are detrimental statements not only because Rita may actually overhear you saying them, but even worse, YOU may actually begin to believe them!
No child ought to have to start hearing self-fulfilling prophesies this early in life.
The main idea is to utilize your continuous observation skills to show you how to relay concepts while keeping your child both intrigued and challenged.
Your child is a learning sponge, soaking up data every minute of every day. She is also a vibrant human being whose skill levels, interests and personality are changing constantly. So keep listening and watching her for signs on how to modify your lesson plans to meet her shifting needs.
And always remember: Just because she loathed adding does not mean she won’t LOVE subtracting!