Teachers tips

Set up sensory tables.

Early childhood teachers know that hands-on learning is essential. Sensory play encourages open-ended thinking, language development, collaboration, and builds fine motor skills. Sensory materials are magically both engaging and calming. Here are our favorites!

Build collections of books on one topic.

Even though they’re pre-readers, Pre-K kids like to look at books on the same topic like this selection of books on dinosaurs . Organize your books by genre or topic to teach Pre-K kids how to learn from book collections.

Consider laminating your books.

Books in a Pre-K classroom are loved … well loved. Here are two tips for Pre-K teachers to keep your books from falling apart (or at least slow it down). “Take out the staples of the books and then laminate them.” –Samantha L. “Use the wide packing tape to cover and reinforce books.” –Cheryl M.

Choose an appealing theme.

We love this “Super”-themed classroom from one of our Facebook community members.

Stay crystal-clear with parent communication.

This is most likely a parent’s first experience with school, so be clear with your expectations. Include information about the “schedule of the day, snacks, discipline, how to get in touch, and what to do if they get scared, have a tantrum, or are hurt” in your newsletter. —Kelly J.

Use mascots.

Give your classroom some additional energy with creative mascots at each center. “I teach Pre-K and my classroom theme is superheroes. Each center has a ‘mascot’ and the Hulk and She-Hulk are the mascots for the dramatic play center because they change and are dramatic.” —Ariel E.

Make time for morning meetings.

It’s a great way to reinforce calendar and core skills and build community. Watch how this Pre-K teacher leads morning meetings in her classroom.

Teach Pre-K students pencil grip.

Reteaching fine motor skills is hard! Teach Pre-K students proper pencil grip from the get-go, and future teachers will thank you. (Here’s information about what proper pencil grip looks like from OT Mom.)

Sneak in the learning with games.

“I like playing ‘I have, who has’ games. I take their picture on the first day of school and create an ‘I have who has’ game with their photos, it’s a great way for them to learn names, plus I use their picture for everything” —Lisa G.

Use hands-on alphabet activities.

Go on a scavenger hunt, play with shaving cream, and much more. These alphabet activities are perfect for your class.