With my new job there have been things that I like, and things that I did not like. I suppose that is bound to happen when you add a new teacher to a co-teaching setting where things have been rolling along the same way for quite some time. Some of the things that I did not like have been changeable, and some – at least so far – have not. I have really had to think hard about what things were the most important to me to be changed right away, and which I need to wait on. I am trying my best to pick my battles, so to speak, and am addressing the things that are most important to me first. The rest I am adjusting to, trying to adapt to, or just biding my time on.
I have been able to deal with some of the things that are not (at least yet) changeable by putting my own “spin” on them. Take our “morning circle”, for example. I realize that I am weird in this, but I am not really a teacher who likes to do a lot of the morning routines that many preschool teachers like to do. I don’t think that preschoolers need to spend a lot of time talking about elements of a traditional calendar, as (in my opinion) most preschoolers can’t really understand many time concepts. I don’t really think preschoolers need to arrange words on the board to make a weather sentence, and I don’t think they need to add correct punctuation. I also don’t think we need to count how many boys and girls are at school every single day. (Have all the boys stand up, and count the boys. Then have all the girls stand up, and then count the girls…)
However, these are rituals that seem to be important to my coworkers, so for now I am rolling with them. Or at least trying to make them a little more interesting – if not meaningful for the Little People. For example, I have decided that we can go beyond counting just boys and girls each day to bring in some new vocabulary to teach the kids. So on my days to lead we count those wearing stripes/no stripes. Or we count teachers/kids. Or we count short hair friends/long hair friends, which leads to meaningful discussions about these concepts and the comparative concepts of “longer” and “shorter”.
Regardless of what we’re doing in our room, I always feel the need to add more visuals to our teaching. I find that we do some many activities routinely by just talking about things when we could be showing visuals to help our students understand. Not only our special-needs students, but also our second-language learners.
So, with that in mind I went to work on the computer and came up with some visuals for our “Count the Kids” time. Now I can show pictures of the concepts we’re talking about, such as “straight” and “curly” and “zipper” and “no zipper”. I also added some pictures that I am calling “Transition pictures”, which will help show concepts that we talk about during transitions. (Such as, “Everyone with ponytails please go line up.”
Here is what the thumbnails look like:
When you buy this set you get all of the visuals above in two sizes: 5.5″x 8.5″, and 4.25″ x 5.5″. You can see these items in my TPT and my Teachers Notebook stores. You can also download a preview of these items at either store.
But wait – there’s more! Starting with this product, I am giving each of my new products at “New Product 50% Discount” the first 24 hours they go on the store shelves. To get alert on my new products, just follow either my Teachers Pay Teachers or my Teachers Notebook store.