Sunday, October 7, 2012

::Lesson Planning::

Part of my job description for a long while. When I first started writing lesson plans, my boss had pre-planned weekly theme's that I had to match my projects too. There wasn't too much freedom but I was OK with that because I had never had to write out lesson plans before. I did that for about a year before I transferred to another site. When I got to my new site (where I am now and have been for the last 7 years) we didn't write plans for a few years. But then we decided to revamp our program and began writing lesson plans. I had loads of freedom. I picked the projects, the games, and themes. From there I began to challenge myself to pick bigger and better projects. I wanted my parents to see how much I could do with they're kids and how creative they could be. That piggy-backed on my desire to do some slammin bulletin boards! I wanted our collective creativity to really come across.

Moving on to this year, we're doing something completely different. My boss decided he wanted to reinvent our program again and really make it an experience for our kids to come to child care. We want our child care to be fun. We want it to be worth the money our parents have to spend to send they're kids to our program. To us that means something going home almost everyday, that means fun games and things to talk about when they get home. We want to encourage parents and children to engage with each other.

That birthed the idea of our "Bizarre & Unique Holiday Lesson Plan." We divided up the months of the school year between three of us, my boss, me, and a fellow coworker (you can find the ideas for my months on Pintrest- you can find my other child care ideas on this Pintrest board). Each of us took a month and the list of holidays from this website and planned an art project and games for the day. Our schedule includes outside play time and an outside game. Then an art project and inside game. Our projects have to be relevant for kindergarten thou fifth grade and that's a rough spot to be in.

So far it's proven to work out pretty well and to be a little over ambitious at the same time. It's taken a little of time to figure out how to prep 50+ crafts daily. But we're working it out and the kids have been able to take home some pretty fun things. We post our schedule and weekly plans by the door so that our kids and parents can see it as they walk in. Several of our kids ask to stay a little longer so that they can do the activities we have planned and even bring in things that coordinate with the day!
Here's something we did in September for "mini golf day." 
Every kid made they're own mini golf hole. 
We used Styrofoam balls and Popsicle sticks as golf clubs.

Overall it's been a rewarding experience to try and launch this idea! When we really get this idea rolling we want to send home a daily or weekly letter to help encourage dialog between parents and kids. It'll include what we've done for the week and things to talk about based on what they've learned or done. Maybe even a kid written article.

So there's a little insight into my days and way we structure our site.
Laters! ;)

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