Teachers tips

Start journals.

Start your Pre-K students on a journaling routine with blank books that you make by stapling white paper together. Set time each day for students to write and draw in their journals.

It’s never too early for writing.

Pre-K students aren’t too young to start writing. We love this Valentine’s Day idea that has students write basic sentences.

Plan fine motor practice.

Pre-Kindergarteners will need to hit the ground running in kindergarten, and that includes using scissors. Use these free grass and snake cutting sheets for practice.

It’s one of those tips for Pre-K we can’t say enough, MOVE!

Whether they’re spraying letters with a water bottle, doing letter hopscotch, or doing a letter relay, it’s important to integrate movement when teaching and practicing letters.

Consider an emotion buddy.

Use this trick for one student or your entire class: “Have a stuffed animal, Anger Bear, that can be a student’s best friend to talk to when she gets mad. They can cry to it, talk to it, and let it all out.” —Sarah F.

Use the two-minute rule.

Plan lessons that match your students’ attention spans. “Remember, you’ve got two minutes, then move. Pre-K students can’t be expected to sit and listen for long.” —Laura C.

Make calendar time active.

Pre-Kindergartners need to move (a lot). So one of our biggest tips for Pre-K is to let them wiggle! Incorporate movement into your daily routine, like calendar time. Michelle M. recommends having students jump for each day of the month they count or have gestures to show the weather (rain movements if it’s raining).

Teach a storytime transition.

“Hands go up, hands go down”—when teaching Pre-K, help students stop and transition to storytime (or substitute other rug activities for storytime to use this chant throughout the day). Find the poster at Teachers Pay Teachers.

Try Conscious Discipline.

“I am a huge fan of Conscious Discipline by Dr. Becky Bailey. It helps teach children social and emotional skills they will use the rest of their life.” —Erin K.

Start the day right.

One of the best ways to manage your class is having a good entry procedure. Standing tall at the door, greeting each child, and having clear expectations for what kids do when they’re in your classroom (put their backpack and coat in their cubbies, choose a book, sit at their seat) is one way to start the morning. (Read more tips for Pre-K classroom management at Scholastic.)