We're making it up as we go along

R furiously writes her lesson plans

I'm gonna let you in on a little secret (okay, most of you probably know this), teachers don't have every minute of everyday planned out in their lesson plan book.  This was a huge revelation to me my first year of teaching general education to third graders.  Surely, a teacher spends enormous amounts of time writing lesson plans and then sticking to them without ever straying!  I am so glad it doesn't have to be that way.  I am a very big fan of routine and structure, but let's face it, I would be a lousy teacher if I didn't have flexibility, adaptability and a penchant for improvising.

I found some masks in the basement and turned them into an emotion themed work by adding a mirror.

Some of my days are the kind where I feel like I'm lacking inspiration for engaging activities.  I sometimes come in a little worried that I don't know what I want to do for circle time or afternoon art activity.  What actually happens on these days?  I let the kids direct our activities.  I pay close attention to their moods (energetic or  low-key), their interests (they really want a story, some gross motor, a specific song) and I GO WITH IT.

Our recent emotions theme came from the kids talking about feelings.
This isn't to say that I don't plan out activities.  I love reading other preschool blogs for ideas.  I also know that just because I fall in love with an art project and spend a whole day buying and preparing materials doesn't mean the kids will enjoy it as much as I hope.  That's where the flexibility and adaptability come in.

I was so excited to try making clean soap.  This photo makes it look fun, but really it was a huge mess and the kids only used it for about 2 minutes. O'well....
These qualities help make my job as a teacher more enjoyable.  It allows me to be creative and think on my feet.  When something isn't working I don't hesitate to redirect and try something else or just make something up entirely.  It's all part of the fun!

Things got a little crazy with the masks so I made up this game to redirect and have the kids choose new works.  When I circle the first letter in your name, it's your turn to choose a new work.

--Leslie

Comments

  1. Why mask disappointment and failure? Why does it have to be so heavy? I used to hear that " failure is feedback." I think now " failure is fun and funny (and feedback)." I used to love to watch "Gilligan's Island" growing up. Gilligan's character meant well but always messed things up. It was amusing to see what unexpected situation would arise or speculate before it happened. I have to say in you soap photo, they looking they were having hours of good clean fun. The caption made me laugh. We always have power around perspective of life happenings. I'm going to use your idea when an area is unexpectedly not disappointing (but red hot) by adding the personalized letter rule structure... "Oh crap this is going way better than I thought what do I do?" "Hey kids by the way the letter game goes with the mask game!"

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