The Little People are coming! In just two days, we will be back at it again in my classroom full of Early Childhood Special Education Preschoolers. This is the fourth year that I will be working in this setting, and as always, I have some things I want to do better this year.
- Do a better job of teaching the basics – by teaching what comes before the basics. In a school setting like mine, where I teach children with a range of needs, you have to be very intentional about the basics. This is different than teaching a classroom of typical preschoolers. In that setting (and I was doing this just a few years ago), you might be able to simply present a developmentally appropriate concept in a large group setting and have perhaps a third of your students just learn it by exposure. However, students in an ECSped Class need more time, more instruction, and more breaking down of the basics. For example, I have been thinking a lot about the concepts of more and less, and sequencing, and am realizing that each of those basic skills are made up a myriad of subskills that I need to teach first. So I’m going to be working on that – the Myriad of Subskills.
- Take more advantage of large group settings. Large group settings can be tricky when you have a classroom of around ten 3 – 5 year olds, with varying degrees of special needs. However, with well-thought out classroom materials at hand and good planning, I think I can stretch the learning potential out of this setting – at least more than I have before. I will be explaining more about this as the year progresses.
- Do more with our Dramatic Play center. This has been a big failure for me the past few years. Ever since I have been in this teaching position, the Dramatic Play center has just been the Home Center. Not a grocery store, not a vet clinic – just the same ole’ kitchen area. And at the same time, the other areas of the room (especially the carpet play area where apparently the most fun toys are) have been congested and problematic, mainly because there has not been enough engagement in other parts of the room. So, it’s time to spread out the fun in our classroom, in a dramatic play kind of way.
There you have it – three goals to work on during this upcoming year. What are your new school year goals?