My Top Tips for Prep Teachers!

Teaching Prep this year?? YAY! You are SOOOO lucky! And guess what – this is the blog for you – it’s full of tips for Prep teachers!

(FYI, Prep is also known as Kindergarten or Foundation in some states.)

Grade Prep is one of my favourite years to teach and it is very close to my heart as it was the first year level I ever taught – also the level that I have the most experience in.

This is going to be such a REWARDING year for you however, be prepared to be EXHAUSTED in Term 1. Trust me though, it WILL get better!

This post has been created to give new Prep teachers some advice on how to go about the first few weeks of teaching this unique year level. I hope that you find it useful :)

BEFORE THE YEAR BEGINS…

This is the exciting part! My advice is to try to set up your classroom and organise as much as you can BEFORE the first day of school. Once the children start and you are into the term, you will find it very difficult to find time to get these things done.

Here are some more tips for Prep teacher, along with things I suggest you make / purchase / borrow – please note they are not essential, however you will find them useful.

CLASSROOM DECOR

Alphabet Posters – up high and visible to all students (examples here)

alphabet-posters

Word Wall / Literacy Wall – a wall/board to place new words or weekly Reading focus

(I have some FREE Word Wall cards in 3 State Fonts – NSW, VIC and QLD. Click on your state to download for FREE)

word-wall

Number Posters – up high and visible – its good to include the numeral and word and a visual representation of the number (Tens Frame or collection of objects) (examples here)

number-posters

Numeracy Wall – a wall/board dedicated to display new maths concepts, strategies or weekly Maths focus Visual Timetable – to outline your daily schedule – many children at this age require visuals so they know what to expect. (Read about this more here)

visual-timetable

Bag/Locker/Tub/Desk Plate Labels – parents and children like to see this all set up prior to the first day – use a different picture for each child to assist them in locating their name.
I used these desk plates for their tables.
(examples here)
modern-farmhouse-editable-labels
Alphabet Desk Charts – the children will use these daily so make them accessible – on their desks or around the room so they can refer to them when writing. 

ORGANISE YOUR CENTRE STATIONS OR GAMES

One of my favourite tips for Prep teachers? Organising some laminated games and activities ready before the year begins. These games will often need to be self-directed and focus on either Alphabet letter/sound knowledge, Number Knowledge, Fine Motor Development and even building social skills.
There are LOADS of ideas around that you can use. Pinterest is a great start!

Literacy Games

Alphabet recognition games, letter sound games, matching upper case and lower case letters, sight word games, jumbled sentences.
literacy-games
literacy-games

Numeracy Games

Number recognition, number ordering, matching amounts with the numeral, one to one correspondence (pointing to objects as you count them – only once), subitizing (the ability to look at a small group of objects or dots and instantly recognise how many are there), patterns (red, yellow blue, red, yellow blue etc)
numeracy-games

Fine Motor Activities

Threading and beading, jigsaw puzzles, play dough, magna doodles, tracing the alphabet with whiteboard markers or fingers
play-doh-number-mats
threading-activity

Developmental PlaY

Dress ups, make believe play, sandpit, water play, board games – anything that encourages sharing and co-operation and building relationships.
I really hope these tips for Prep teachers make your start to the year – and entire year! – a lot less stressful, and a lot more fun.

If you’ve tried any of these activities or games, I’d love to hear how you went in the comments below!

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