Around this time every year I start to think about what I am going to do next year, not do next year, and what things in my classroom need to be changed to make next year that much better.
Here are some of the tricks I do to help prep and make planning easier for next year.
tips you can do to start planning for next year.
1. Clean up your Pinterest boards. Pinterest is my go to for arts and crafts activities and for other fun activities that I want to make.
- Around this time every year I start to compile a list of materials I will need to complete some of these tasks.
-I delete activities that I no I won't be able do with my kiddos or that we have done and I do not plan on doing again for whatever reason.
- I start making a month by month list of activities I found on pinterest that I really want to try with my class the following year. Since I have some of my kiddos for up to three years I try to mix up what I do with them to make sure that things are fresh and new for them, but if there are activities they love I make sure to note it and mark it down to do again!
2. Have an ongoing binder of lesson plans that once the month is done you can move the items you plan on doing again the following year into a new binder. That way some of the work is done for you!
This is my current binder (excuse the mess).
This is next year's binder.
3. In my lesson plan book I make notes with stickies or on my lesson plans of do again, don't do again, tweak it by doing this to make it work better. These go into the binder for the next year so you know how you plan on using it the next year. Here I marked would be great to use with the vocabulary core board for the word my.
4. I put extra copies and pieces to arts and crafts in a hanging folder marked for that month. That way I can easily go to it and pull those things out and have less copies to make and have some of the materials already prepped and ready to go!
I use these crates to store all of those materials.
Need to mix some things up in your sensory room or want to bring some of those gross motor activities into your classroom?
Here are some easy activities that the kids love, but also require little storage and are great for their fine and gross motor skills.
This activity can be made for any holiday. I have different color hearts and we taped them to the floor. Students would hop, gallop, or march to each heart. I also had duplicates of the hearts for students to identify the color and match. You could easily do this with any die cut.
I found this fun road decal at Target in the dollar spot. I put it up on a magnetic board and students can drive the car around the track. It is great for hand eye coordination and tracking and being vertical helps strengthen the core. You can easily make the track out of paper too!
If you have a large mat available you can put it upright and make it into a tunnel that the kids can crawl through. They love this. We have also let them drive a train through the tunnels.
Something else fun to do is to blow up balloons and you can make paddles for the kids to hit them back and forth with paint sticks and paper plates.
We made this fun beanbag toss game. Great for practicing colors and throwing accuracy skills!
We also have used plastic eggs and spoons and walked back and forth trying to hold our eggs on the spoons.
Toss the Easter eggs into the cups.
Easter ring toss.
Toss the ball into the basket of grass.
Stacking chicks made out of kleenex boxes.
What activities do you like to do in your sensory room to shake things up?!