I have been an Early Childhood Educator for over 20 years. I have watched the field go from simple nurturing of young children to educating young children in all areas of their development. I love what I have seen. Although it puts higher expectations and responsibilities upon the teacher, it is also making our field one that is recognized finally as professional and allowing Early Childhood Educators to have more than a minimum wage income. As recognized professionals, we Early Educators need to step up our practices so that everything we do throughout the day is relevant and has intentionality.
Over the years I have found that the one component that takes the most time and energy is preparing the lesson plan. I wanted to make sure it was interesting, relevant, and developmentally appropriate. It also had to be loose enough that I could individualize for my students. I want it to be easy to implement without spending a lot of outside the classroom time and money to prepare. I know that many Early Childhood Educators spend their own money for anything extra in their classrooms.
I have worked for many years in a Head Start program where we were required to share meaningful educational information with parents about their child through home visits and parent-teacher conferences. I learned the value of written observations and portfolios so one could easily monitor a child’s development across the domains. I have done both formal and informal assessments that helped me to better individualize parts of my day to strengthen children’s emerging skills. I have helped children to express their needs and desires in socially expectable ways. I have put out the fires, wiped the tears, and worn many hats that a teacher is required. And when I have finished doing all that, I have still had to write a lesson plan for the following week.
Over the years I have heard more and more about the importance of language and literacy as determiners of later success in school. It is because of this that I decided to develop a resource of books and activities to go along with them. This blog does not contain any new or exceptional teaching activities. They are all tried and true from my 20 plus years of teaching experience in the field of Early Childhood. I want to show how the simple act of reading a story can build a foundation that can be brought to life in all centers/areas of the classroom throughout the day. I hope that you find it easy to use and minimally expensive. I hope that it allows you to be more purposeful and intentional in your teaching. I hope these story ideas give you more time to enjoy the children that are in your care; for they are precious and the early years are so important in the development of each child.