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Breaking My Head!


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I am breaking my head! At the beginning of the school year we have to present a year planning topic list and it is based on festivals which depend on the variety of cultures/faiths in the class and on topics which year after year have been a 'hit' with the children. Last year I took 3 weeks in September to centre hard on "Sounds" as a matter of reviewing, assessing the children to the Letter's & Sounds Phase One and going forward to Phase Two. I know that Phase One is an ongoing phase even when you go to the next levels, but I did notice that doing this really helped them a lot and would like to do it again this year... BUT... at the same time, I would have liked to use the topic of "All About Me" as a matter of introducing the Learning Journals.

 

I normally do this 'topic' during the whole 1st term because each week I have a "Star of the Week". The previous week I send home a letter which explains what information we would like for them to share with us so the child can sit in front of the class and answer to his classmates questions. Normally these are from some cut-out shapes in an A3 paper (name, birth date, where s/he was born, favourite book, favourite animal, favourite food, what does s/he do well, her/his wish, what they like most about school and who do they admire). The children also bring a family photo and 5 or 6 photos since they were born (born, at 1 year old, etc... until now). They can also bring their favourite book and favourite toy. All this is done on a Monday and the poster is on exposition until Friday. This child becomes the leader of the week, walks in front of the line and can help me or others in any extra special "helpers services". So if I have 15 children this school year, it might come that the last one has her/his turn by our last week in December. Somehow it would be a pity that I don't have the parent's feedback until late October, November and December.

 

The alternative would be to do 3 full weeks of this, giving each child one day and finishing by the end of September... but then each child does not have their full special week and then I would miss somehow the "Sounds" topic that will lay the foundation for L&S, especially for those who are new in school and come from other countries.

 

Do I explain clearly :o ?

 

These are the year 'introductory' topics. Yet, they can change depending on the children's interest or can be expanded with these.

 

Welcome to KG 3 (only Friday 4th of Sept.)

Welcome to KG 3

Sounds around us

Instrumental sounds

Our body makes sounds

The Little Red Hen

Handa's Surprise + Diwali?

Shopping 1

Shopping 2 (visit supermarket)

 

The Post

The Gingerbread Man 1

The Gingerbread Man 2

Saint Nicholas (big celebration here in Belgium... like Father Christmas there in the U.K.)

Christmas

Christmas (Christmas Concert/Show during this week)

 

South Pole

North Pole

Bears (Goldilocks and the 3 bears)

The Garage (visit garage)

Buildings (Bob the Builder, a carpenter comes to our classroom and lets them use his real tools)

Houses (The 3 little pigs)

 

Fire-safety 1

Fire-safety 2

Sea Life

(Easter Concert topic)

Spring

Easter

 

Earth Day

Minibeasts 1

Minibeasts 2

The Rainforest 1

The Rainforest 2

The Rainforest 3

Trains (visit train stations)

Holiday Time 1

Holiday Time 2

So Long, Farewell

Edited by SmileyPR
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this looks very comprehensive. In preschool we have the helper for one day, so we get through 5 a week. This might help you with the waiting - you can always give them 2 turns so they get another 'go' when everyone's had a turn

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hi there Smiley.

Could you still gather all the information in the early week or two as this creates lots of discussions between children who perhaps don't know each other yet? You can still have the star of the day, I think this is better than a week as if you happen to be at the end its a very long wait! In fact we used to carry this on all year so everyone got repeat turns througout.

 

Regarding letters and sounds, this does not have to replace something else, as many of the activities are happening all the time, eg during story or song time; when you walk somehwre or when you're all sitting together.

 

DO I understand you correctly that your topics are weekly? That is very fast if the children show a real interest, there is very little time to develop anything. Could you 'group' them eg by saying

all about me

all about my world

stories

 

or does that make it complicated for what you are expected to do?

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Hi Mundia,

 

We will start on a Friday, so I will then be able to give the parents the document to fill in and they will need some time to do so. I will be giving them a week so they can enjoy working with it calmly. That is why I would not start with it until the "3rd" week (really 2nd full week). I will probably change the order like this:

 

Welcome to KG 3 (only Friday 4th of Sept.)

Welcome to KG 3

All about me

Sounds around us

Instrumental sounds

 

So during the these last 3 weeks, I would take your suggestion of doing a Star of the Day so they can get to know each other better. Surely enough, we will consistently be doing activities involving learning their names (11 were with us last year and only 2 - 4 new ones) during the 1st day and 1st full week as well as settling in the classroom (all) and the school (new children).

 

I will keep the helpers duties weekly because it is easier for them to recall what is their service after some 'practice'. If I have to change these every day, some of them might not even get to do it because they forgot (e.g. plant helper, weather helper, etc.). The leader will still be able to bring a favourite book and toy during his/her weekly turn and gives them the chance to be leaders several times a year. That I have always kept.

 

Regarding letters and sounds, I don't do all the 7 aspects of Phase 1 during the 1st half of the term as topics by themselves, except with these 3 1st aspects that I consider needed a bit more of attention. The other 4 aspects are easier to blend into any topic, as you say.

 

Some of the topics are weekly and others take up to 3 weeks (e.g. Rainforest). Some are inter-related, like with the "Harvest" ones (The Little Red Hen, Handa's Surprise, Shopping 1, Shopping 2). During these 4 weeks we share about the harvesting process, bake bread at school, fruits and their importance on a healthy diet, learn about poverty in Africa and the need of sharing, which takes us to the supermarket. The 2 main books during the last 2 weeks will be "Don't forget the bacon" and "The shopping basket". Then we go together to buy the ingredients of our Kindergarten Harvest Festival at the nearby supermarket and every child helps out to prepare a plate: soup, sandwiches and dessert. Meanwhile, a letter has been sent home to collect non-perishable food for a program called "Mothers-to-Mothers" in our city.

 

Is it a bit more clear :o ?

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These are the 1st month planning sheets used last year. They are very simple in format. CIP is not written here but takes place constantly along the day, with a bigger period after lunch time. The related goals are highlighted in a separate template that is photocopied behind this one (double sided print-out).

 

Sept_1___5_Welcome_to_KG_3.doc

Sept_8___12_Sounds_around_us.doc

Sept_15___19_Instrumental_sounds.doc

Sept_22___26_Our_body_makes_sounds.doc

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Okay.... have updated my year topic list, but will still see how the children lead.

 

Term 1

Welcome to KG 3 (Reception)

Welcome to KG 3

All About Me 1

All About Me 2

All About Me 3

Harvest 1

Harvest 2

Harvest 3

Harvest 4 (visit supermarket)

The Post

The Gingerbread Man 1

The Gingerbread Man 2

Festivals 1

Festivals 2

Festivals 3

 

Term 2

The South Pole

The North Pole

Bears

The Garage (visit garage)

Buildings

Houses

Fire-safety 1

Fire-safety 2

Sea Life 1

Sea Life 2

Spring

Easter

 

Term 3

Earth Week

Minibeasts 1

Minibeasts 2

The Rainforest 1

The Rainforest 2

The Rainforest 3

Trains (travel from one station to another)

Holiday Time 1

Holiday Time 2

So Long, Farewell

Edited by SmileyPR
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