Back to school week | I can week!

It won’t be much longer before I have to start getting serious about making sure I am ready to head back to preschool. In fact, many of our elementary schools in the area have changed to a new system and start back to school by August 1st. Each year during our first week of preschool, we focus on the things we CAN do in preschool…

I Can Day by Teach Preschool

To help get preschool off to a positive start, we spend our first week focusing on all the things my students CAN do in preschool. Here are a few examples of the things we can do in our classroom..

I can paint

Whether you decide to include actual tin cans in your I Can week or not, you do want to be sure to invite your preschoolers to come and paint with you. While painting during the first week of preschool, you can use this opportunity to facilitate conversation about where paint smocks are, where to wash hands after painting, and any other guidelines or helpful tips you think your students will need for a successful painting experience…

I Can Paint (Back to school week) by Teach Preschool

I can glue

Introducing the children to glue early on will help them learn to regulate and use the glue all throughout the school year. As much as possible, keep your first week of planning as open ended as possible. Invite the children to explore the materials rather than actually making something with the materials…

I Can Glue (Back to school week) by Teach Preschool

I can cut

Giving the children opportunity to explore cutting with scissors as well as the use of other commonly used tools in your classroom will give you the chance to share a few simple rules for the use of the tools such as where they belong, how to take care of them, and when or where they can be used in your classroom…

I Can Cut (Back to school week) by Teach Preschool

I can play in sand and water

Our sand and water tables are open every day in preschool so during the first week, the children spend time exploring the sand and water table…

I Can Play in Sand  (Back to school week) by Teach Preschool

I can read a book

We also spend time introducing each of our centers to the children and give them time to explore the materials in the centers. Throughout the week, we talk about how to take care of the centers and how to put things away when they are all done playing…

I can read

The goal for planning our first week of preschool is on helping my students know what they can do in our classroom and giving them simple to remember guidelines along the way. Of course, any expectations I share will need to be reminded as we go along but starting of with a positive I CAN experience helps get us all off to a good start! Below are some past posts I have shared about some of our I CAN days in preschool…

Links to Grow On

The things we can do in preschool

Tin Can partner painting

I Can Day (Circletime)

Kick the Can game

Tin Can Magnetic Play

Designing with Glue

The tools we use in preschool

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By |2013-07-22T09:00:59+00:00July 22nd, 2013|

About the Author:

Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. has been working and teaching in the field of early childhood education for over 30 years. Deborah currently owns and teaches in her own part-time, private preschool called The Children’s Studio. Deborah’s deep passion for teaching and working with young children is documented and then graciously shared with millions of readers around the world through her blog and other social networking communities. Deborah believes that young children learn best through play and exploration and embraces this belief in all that she does in her own classroom so that she can effectively and passionately share rewarding, real- life, tried-and-true practices with other teachers, parents, and leaders across the field of early childhood education.


  1. I love this idea to focus on things that your preschoolers CAN do. I also like your idea to keep things open-ended. What a great way to introduce materials and procedures.

  2. [email protected] July 23, 2013 at 10:48 am - Reply

    Last week I just created some free “I Can” cards to use a motivational tool. When kids are able to do an activity write it down on the “I Can” card with their name. At the end of the week draw a card and that student can win a prize. Or hang out all the completed “I Can” cards as some collaborative art work or bulletin board.

  3. Raleigh Preschool July 26, 2013 at 11:25 am - Reply

    Love how everything is positive and you’re getting to know your preschoolers while showing them around. What a great first day of preschool!

  4. JDaniel4's Mom July 29, 2013 at 9:04 am - Reply

    I love the idea of focusing on things kids can do. They will feel so proud of all they can do after this activity.

  5. Rosanne August 9, 2013 at 6:12 pm - Reply

    Hi Deborah! Thank you so much for sharing your experience on this wonderful blog. I’m preparing for my second year of teaching preschool and was thrilled to discover your blog this spring. I’m loving this “I Can” idea and all of the fun projects. I have one question–what do you do about sharp edges on cans?

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