Teachers tips

Organize the end of the year

How you organize your materials before heading out for summer vacation will influence your next school year. Store games and activities by month or theme, so they’re easy to find and ready to go when you need them. We’ve compiled some great packing up tips here.

Make templates.

For each activity you create, make a cardboard template (use an old cereal box for the cardboard), so you have a sturdy model for the next time around. (From Northwestern Kiddies.)

Use a master copy binder.

Instead of filing the worksheets and papers you use every year (or copy and recopy for kids who need extra practice), file them in a master copy binder. It takes up less space and keeps your most-used worksheets close at hand.

Have a clear, predictable schedule.

Your day, and year, will go smoothly if your Pre-K students know what to expect. Check out this schedule from Fun-a-Day that includes “sign in” and lots of center time.

Use buttons.

Try some of these button activities to help kids build fine motor skills, work on math, make cute crafts, and much more.

Use clothespins.

Clothespins strengthen kids’ pincher grasp, which helps them hold pencils and scissors. They also strengthen academic skills, like this activity that has students placing a clothespin at the appropriate number on each card. (Get more tips for Pre-K on 1 Plus 1 Plus 1 Equals 1.)

Teach the alligator method for using scissors.

Holding and using scissors are key ready-for-kindergarten skills that the kinder teachers in your building will thank you for later. Try teaching Pre-K students the thumbs up alligator method.

Organize your instruction around themes.

When you structure your lessons thematically, you provide your kids with more “hooks” for learning. Check out this blog by Fun-a-Day for some great ideas.

Begin teaching shapes.

Learning shapes is one of the earliest concepts we teach kids. Shapes ready them for geometry in the years ahead, but it’s also an important skill for learning how to write and draw. Get started with these activities.

Count the days of school and celebrate when you reach 100!

There are so many different fun ways to celebrate the 100th day of school. We’ve got a whole collection of activities for you!