Preschool teachers are well aware that routines, schedules and clear guidelines are critical to ensuring that the classroom is effectively conducive to learning. When it is a teacher and an aide facing a dozen energized three- and four- year olds, one of the most important elements of a successful learning environment is proper implementation of classroom management techniques.
Here at U-GRO Learning Centres, we put a focus on ensuring the safety and success of each of our students by supporting our teachers in situations like these. We often go through a number of resources to make sure that everyone on our staff has the best information and resources on hand to teach your children. One bit of information that we recently came across is an interview with Sandy Fivecoat, founder of WeAreTeachers — a resource for lesson plans and professional development — and Vicki Gibson, who is an educational consultant and creator of the “We Can” early literacy curriculum.
In this interview, Gibson offered up five keys to early childhood classroom management:
- Divide and Conquer: “Students should spend the majority of their day working in small groups, says Gibson,” Hannah Hudson writes in a post for WeAreTeachers. “Dividing students makes it easier for them to stay on task and for you to work on skills one-on-one. Gibson finds that four small groups often work best in a preschool classroom.”
- Rotate: Once you have gone ahead and divided students into groups, creating a rotation chart or schedule that visually shows them where they are expected to be during the day and what they will be working on will help them work and learn more effectively.
- Simplify learning centers: One of the things that many caretakers and teachers of preschool-aged children do is to create several activity options for children to choose from. You don’t need to separate students in this way in order to keep them focused. Gibson suggests having a teaching table, a table for the class aide to work with students and two other tables for independent work stations.
- Teaching tables: This space is one station in a rotation system for classroom learning. A teaching table is the ideal spot to work with students one-on-one on the focus for any given day of the week. By establishing this type of setup, and using this particular space as your home base, you can offer your students a clear understanding of where to find you and have your full attention.
- Visualize: Using images in your rotation schedule, or in your explanations of activities, will help your students understand what is expected of them.
When it comes to setting up a classroom — whether it is after the holiday break or in the new school year — we are always sure to keep these elements in mind. For information about careers at U-GRO, visit our Careers page.