Our daily schedule in preschool

A general overview of the flow of our day in the classroom

I always find it interesting to learn about a typical classroom day from others. I suppose you could say that our daily preschool is fairly typical but perhaps it is typical to me because it is what I have always implemented.  I wanted to share it with you but I hope you will share your schedule with me, too, so I can compare what we do with how others approach a typical day in preschool…

First, it is important to note that my students come two to three days a week and three hours on each day. We have two classrooms that we use throughout the school year which includes an outdoor and an indoor classroom. The outdoor classroom is closed during the really cold months of winter because it has no heat or windows to help protect the kids from the really cold days of winter.  When our outdoor classroom is back up and running our daily schedule will be modified just a bit to allow us time for the outdoor classroom…

This is a general overview of our daily schedule just to give you an idea of how our days are structured. I won’t go into every detail because this would be a very long blog post if I did but I will link up to some parts of our day that I have written about in detail as I go along.

Beginning Our Day

We start our day by coming into the classroom, putting coats and back packs in our cubbies, then signing in on our sign-in sheet

Morning Routines

Then we head over to begin our morning circle time.  My students now tell me it is called “square time” because we are sitting on a square rug and not on a circle.  Our morning circle time includes our helper and weather routine and then highlighting any concept we may be focusing on like a letter, shape, color, or number…

And then we dive into our morning story, music, and whatever else is going to be the central focus of our circletime experience.

After circle time (or square time), we spend a few minutes talking about any thing we have prepared for the children to explore at our tables and then the children are free to choose what they would like to do in all of our centers.  We call this our morning center time – I will show you a few of our everyday indoor centers in action here…

Art Exploration

We set out different materials and tools everyday for creative art experiences. We also have a creative art shelf with markers and paint and glue and paper and scissors and yarn and so on for the children to use in their own way as they wish.

Block Center

We change the kinds of blocks and materials throughout the year but always have it set up next to our largest carpeted area on the floor for play.

Water Play or Sensory Play Tub

Our large water and sand play areas are out in our outdoor classroom so we set out a tub in the indoor classroom for this kind of play during the cold days of winter time.

Writing Center

We have a variety materials available all the times to promote writing in the classroom including clip boards, paper, pencils, crayons, stamps, stickers, envelopes and so on. We rotate the materials by listening to what the children would like us to add or observing what they seem to have lost interest in.

Other Centers

We can’t possibly fit everything into our small classroom environment at once, so we rotate this shelf from being a light table center to a music center to a puzzle center throughout the year and you will notice that our books are kept easily accessible just above this shelf.

We rotate other materials throughout the classroom centers  as we go along. When the materials are not in use, I keep them in my storage room or garage.

After Center Time

After our morning center time (which lasts as long as the children seem to be staying interested in things) then we clean up, wash hands and sit down for snack time.

After snack time, the children clear their own table then pick out a book to read or look through while the others finish up.

Outdoor Play

And then we get on coats, hats, mittens, scarves and head outdoors for play.  We may stay outside for five minutes or 45 minutes depending on the weather and what the children have going on outside. Often times, if a few children are ready to head inside before the others, then they can come back inside with me and help set up for the last part of our day and Mr. Hayden will bring the rest in shortly after…

You will notice that I didn’t put any times down for our daily schedule for you. This is because we have a general idea of the flow of our day, but we genuinely try to keep the schedule open for change at the same.

Finishing Our Day

By the time we head back inside, we usually have about 30 to 40 minutes left to finish up our day. This last part of our day changes almost daily. So we might use it for large group math bag time

Or for our Scholastic Magazines

Or a special science or sensory play activity…

Or journals…

But almost always, the last part of the day includes some kind of large group experience…

Or the children come up with some new experiment they want to try like making pyramids…

And then the children head off to gather their things, put on coats and gloves, and it is time to head home…

Does your schedule look anything like ours? Totally different?  I would love to learn about it, so please share in the comments below!

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Deborah J Stewart

Deborah J Stewart

Every time I think I know everything I need to know about teaching young children, God says, "Hold on a minute!" and gives me a new challenge.

Let me tell ya...

With each new challenge that you overcome, you will find yourself better equipped and more passionate about teaching young children.

God didn't call wimps to lead, teach, or care for His children. Nope, he has high expectations, so get ready. You will have to give your very best but after teaching for over 30 years, I can tell you that it is a wonderful and rewarding journey.

Whenever your calling feels hard, just remember, 'He who began a good work in you (and in the children you serve) will be faithful to complete it.'

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