As a preschool teacher planning for the school year can be a daunting task but if you plan out the school year it will help to relieve some of that unneeded anxiety that last minute planning can cause.
If you would rather watch the video version of this video I have you covered.
To make things a little simpler this year I created a FREE school year plan template to help your planning for next school year.
Why would you want to create a school year plan template?
Before I started mapping out the school year I would sit down on a Friday afternoon and try my best to figure out what to do for the following week. Did you catch the word TRY, ya well that never happened and I would end up planning through the weekend and missing out on valuable family time. That’s why I started creating this valuable resource for myself and my team. In the good old days I would use a thousand sticky notes and take up the kitchen table for weeks, but those days are over because I finally figured out how to do this planning process with a digital yearly planning template.
Steps to take for your school year plan and activities.
Planning for a successful academic year plan for school
I feel the most important part of the planning process is the second step which is where you think about and plan out all the themes for each month and mapping out the year. The important thing is to remember to find themes that you know children will be interested in. This is where the brain dump activity comes in handy for this process.
I know you are thinking she is going to plan out all of her weekly lesson plans. So let me put that to rest. I like to plan out my weekly lesson plan ideas a month in advance. What I include in my weekly lesson plans are the daily circle time activities, small group activities and learning center enrichments. I’m always referring back to the school year planning template that guides my planning process throughout each month. Without the school year plan template I would be a hot mess trying to figure out what to plan for next, and that would trigger my anxiety to the next level which isn’t good for anybody. That’s why I can’t live without my school year plan template.
Pre-plan and prep
Now it’s time for the fun stuff. Hunting and gathering items to enhance each of the learning centers based on the themes. Here is what I like to do to help streamline the planning process.
Booklist- I like to make two different booklists. One list with all of my personal books for each theme. (hardcopies and kindle) The second list is a list of books that I can borrow from the local library, which also includes the libby app for borrowing e-books for each theme.
Project Wish lists- Determine projects and sensory play activities that you will do for each of the themes. Come up with an item list, this list will come in handy when it’s time to collect the materials. A lot of times materials that you can use on projects are items that can be found around the home. You know the saying trash to treasure that is my motto for many of my child created activities and a lot of these items can be gathered from children’s families and or friends.
Delegate: Oftentimes parents and family members want to have a way to help out in the classroom and if you know what and how they can help it will relieve a little or a lot of stress. By determining what can be done by others in advance it gives you and the families plenty of time to hunt, gather and prepare for activities.
For example if you have your library list ready to give to a child’s family member they are usually more than happy to run to the library to pick up and drop off library books for the classroom.
Teachers always have a million things to do on any given day, but when prepared it’s simple to delegate simple tasks to others to help carry the workload.
Keep it Organized: The plus side of planning ahead is working smarter not harder. That’s why I like to keep everything in one place. Trello Boards are my go to organization tool that helps me do just that. This system allows me to have a sticky note free work zone and my organizational system can go with me wherever I go.
Grab your FREE school year plan template and start planning for next year. Your teacher self will thank you for an anxiety free school year.
I'm Tami Sanders creator of Learning and Teaching with Preschoolers, a blog to help teachers create magical moments for the young.