Saturday, August 18, 2012

A New Way of Thinking

First, a fun congratulations to Kelly, Penny, and Katrina for winning our giveaway!  Kelly will be receiving the book in the mail as soon as I get a mailing address from her and Penny and Katrina will be receiving the Feelings Tot Pack, coming soon!

I'm working on a new way of thinking about education.  I was traditionally schooled, and it worked for me.  I've also taught in a few public schools and that was fantastic as well.  Now, as I study more about my children I am ready to start releasing some of the responsibility for their education to them, or at least to CJ who will be four in January.  I think it's important to teach our children some of the basics when they are interested in the preschool years.  He's already learned his letters, sounds and how to blend words together when dealing with short vowel sounds.  We're still working on some advancing reading skills and basic math skills, but I've recently bought him an Encyclopedia which he loves reading with me.  For Preschool B I'll be giving him and a few other kids the opportunity to make more choices about the subject we learn from.

I intend to use the following subject labels on a large magnetic board (oil pan).  The only thing that will have a set time will be snack.  Each day I'll start with a group time activity, introducing different concepts and ideas for the day and having calendar time.  Next, I intend to lead a discussion regarding our "To Do" list.  We will organize the subjects according to the schedule that we agree upon every day.
Reading will involve some one-on-one literacy lessons, I'm using Ready2Read and the Amazing Action Alphabet according to needs.  The reading block will also involve students working on individual or small group projects.  As children discover their passions, individual and small group projects will relate to what they're studying about, while furthering their reading ability.  

Math will follow the TouchMath PreK curriculum for August-December (ish).  According to student needs we can move into the TouchMath Kindergarten curriculum for the remainder of the year.

Music will be entirely student choice. Using the following cards we'll pick what we'd like to do for the day.  In the beginning of the year we'll all do the same thing.  As we start to master the concept of choice and responsibility for that choice students will get to pick what they'd like to do individually.  Musical concepts will be taught as appropriate.
Snack will involve picking what we'd like to eat, preparation and clean up.  Each day will have 2 choices.  I'm working on cards that represent different snacks.  Depending on what I have on hand I'll pick 2 cards that would be options. 
I wish I could share these cards, but I don't have the license from the artist :(
Art will be entirely student choice.  From a variety of art supply cards we'll pick a few that represent what we'd like to use for art.  Students will be welcome to use their journals, loose paper, foam, play-dough, and many other items.  In September we'll start talking about each child's passion.  As we use their passion to further their reading, writing and math skills we'll also be able to tap into that passion to create artwork around it.   
Writing will primarily be embedded throughout the day.  I'll pull it out to add to our day when we have times that need a specific art block.

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