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  1. #1
    Euphoric !
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    Formal programming

    I am wondering how many of us do some sort of formal educational programming in our daycares?

    My program is structured through out the day and we do crafts/activities for special events but that's about it. I didn't find circle time went over that well so I scrapped it. We do about 30 mins of stories before naps though. My kids have very little free time inside as we spend a good chunk of our time outside which I guess is free time as well. My kids are happy but I am wondering if I should be doing more. None of my 3 year olds know how to write their names so I think this would be an important first step. When doing something like this, do you sit with each child 1 on 1 or as a group? I find we don't have a ton of extra time through out the day and do most of our learning naturally.

    Thoughts? Am I just being lazy or should I offer more?

  2. #2
    Starting to feel at home...
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    I don't think you are being lazy! This kind of goes with my earlier post about wanting to run more of a pre-school so I could do more teaching but it is SO hard with the different age groups. I will be following this post to see what others say.
    My group loves circle and I don't make it an option...we have special mats and everyone gets their own, we review the month, the day of the week, the weather, the season...I have a "days of the week" song and a "weather song" that all my 2 year olds know now and I think this will benefit them when they go to school as all JK classes do a similar circle and I think it is important for them to learn to sit and listen at this time. We then do a few songs, mostly action songs that keep them moving and jumping around, and then we do some stories where I teach them signs for some of the things in the stories...followed by stretches and yoga. All of this takes about 20 mins but I feel like they get the most learning at that time and I love hearing them repeating some of the stuff the have learned at circle later on in the day! My babies love circle too and will sit and dance. My 14 month old will actually get the circle mat, sit on the carpet and point to calendar! If anything, I say continue with that. I was for some time, following circle, setting the toddlers up at the table with a colouring sheet to do and going over how they write their name, the letters in their name, etc.

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  4. #3
    Shy
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    I do circle every day as well. During craft time I encourage the older children to write their own names on the craft. I will sometimes write their name on separate paper for them to copy. During nap time I will sometimes practice printing with the preschoolers who don't nap.

  5. #4
    Euphoric !
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    I think partly why the circle wasn't working was because there wasn't a good time during the day to do it as we had to do the school run in the morning. Also, my program is just starting so we were a small group which made things difficult as my oldest daughter protested the loudest and when you only have one dck other then your own kids I didn't get very far. Once my school run is over (for good) this week I would like to implement the circle again as a part of our routine.

  6. #5
    Starting to feel at home...
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    I bought a great calendar set from Staples, it came with the weather wheel, etc! It is bright and big and I get the kiddies to help me count and then I use sticky tack on the back of the numbers and have one child come up and put the number on for us.
    Some days when it is busy I will do circle with them all sitting at snack and then later in the day we will do our songs and stories.
    It is wonderful you are even giving this some thought!! I know a lot that wouldn't!!

  7. #6
    Euphoric !
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    DaycareLady, I pm'd you

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  9. #7
    Outgoing
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    I've made little activity bags with letters (a tracing page for the older kids names and letter tracing flash cards that use dry erase markers, clothes pin matching for simple words and a couple of alphabet books) and numbers (clothespin matching game for numbers 1-20, some fun numbers books), also some random color matching file folder crafts and clothespin matching that don't really fit in a bag.
    I don't do this as a structured activity though, my son loves it but the other little guy really struggles with fine motor stuff so I'm trying to take it slow so he doesn't feel adversive to it at first exposure.

    I also don't really do circle time (though I love the idea of the songs mentioned by daycarelady above!), just a story or song or both, and hopefully a craft that is related.

    I think the social aspects are more important than the 'academic' side for 3 year olds, like following directions, asking questions, solving problems, and conversing with their peers. I like to develop fine motor skills using games and teaching simple science, math and letters with books and songs.

  10. #8
    Euphoric ! Sandbox Sally's Avatar
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    I started out being much more structured. I used to try to implement a learning time, but the kids would just stare blankly at me, some would pitch tantrums because of transitions, and none of them seemed happy, so I now sit on the floor and point out colours and shapes and letters, sounds, animals, etc instead of having a formal lesson. Everyone is learning, and nobody gets upset. It's also better this way, IMO, for multiple ages.

    We also do crafts only when there's a special occasion, and I don't force it. I do circle time, and that's a favourite.

  11. #9
    Euphoric !
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    My day is very much the same as for Sandbox Sally. Mostly freeplay with some episodes of me directed play for those that are interested but offered in such a way those that don't participate are not a distraction.

    My program isn't formal in the sense of a purchased preplanned one but mostly consists of seasonal songs and poems or topics of interest in the child's world. Feltboard, fingerpuppets, songs mostly. I don't do the weather, calendar, days of the week etc. as to me it is just a ritual they go through and even kindergartens are getting away from that sort of thing under the new system based on the fact that abstract learning doesn't happen till the child is older so while they might be able to memorize the names of the days etc. they don't fully comprehend and to me it wastes time that could better be spent on basics and concepts like up, down, bigger, smaller, etc.

  12. #10
    Euphoric !
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    I don't think I am interested in the formal learning per say as I think kids learn best by doing and through play. I also agree that the social skills are most important to be developed right now. We are a very active group and learn as we go e.g. nature and science exploration outside etc. I think a circle time though would be interest to my younger ones though. I am also aware that parents often take older kids from home daycare settings (in Toronto especially) to enroll in preschool to get that academic piece. I personally think kids get enough of that once they enter kindergarten but I am looking to add a little more structured learning and appeal to families for the long term. I think basic circle time activities are a good idea to review day of the week and introduce out themes e.g mother's day and sing songs. Simple enough and it makes parents happy.

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  1. Looking for someone to come do some programming
    By torontokids in forum Daycare activities
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 02-05-2014, 08:45 PM

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