On this page you will find lots of information about pre-k and some resources you can use in your pre-k classroom. I have also listed some information about the Georgia State Pre-K program by Bright From the Start - ughhhhh!
Okay in case you have not figure it out yet I will tell you. Bright From the Start is so nit-picky about everything; the materials, the brands of the materials, and even where you purchase many of the materials. If you ask me a crayon is a crayon and a block is a block. But not in the eyes of the Georgia State Pre-K. So having to suffer through this crap for two years I decided to help other teachers out with this mess. I have listed some items below that you are required to have in your pre-k class and the places where you can find and purchase these things from. Be sure to order 2-3 of easy to break items since the students will easily break them and the state lady will be looking for the correct items and amount when she comes.
Many of the items required can only be found at one specific place and vendor.
Franc Schaffer Publications:
Regular and Jumbo pegs and yellow peg boards that go with them
Stethoscopes (science area)
Magnifying Glasses (science area)
Primary Balance (science area)
Great Games for Learning:
Find the Rhyme
Find the Word
Find the Letter
3, 4, and 6 Scene, and 4 Step Products
*Frank Schaffer may be purchased at your local school supply store.
*Sometimes your local school supply store will have to special order those products from that vendor since most school supply stores do not carry many of their products.
*1-800-253-5469 FrankSchafferPublications.com (School Specialty Publishing)
can find great creative hands-on materials and kits
drawing journals (expensive)
Just Write Jumbo Journals
Magnetic Math Tiles Sorting Circles Set
Interlocking Kids Puzzle Kit (use to decorate and write kids' names on)
Mini Stamper Markers
Mini Sand Timers - Set of 6
Letters and Numbers Dough Kit
First Words and Pictures Dough Kit
3 Compartment Caddies - 4 Colors: red, blue, green, and yellow
Some dramatic play furniture (like a clothes tree)
Authentic Musical Instruments - ones from real country of origin
Doctor Kit Play set
Clear Plastic Bins to hold materials
Some Big Books
Read Along Stories on tape/CD
Some dress up clothes, and costumes (doctor, princess, nurse, etc.), very expensive though
Some good storybooks
Big Books - great titles
ETA Cuisenaire Early Childhood School Readiness Solutions:
Lots of hands-on activities and materials
Play Foam Sets
My Journal - young children Pre-K, K
My Primary Math Journal
Jumbo Reading Rods and Floor mat
Great Literacy and Math Sets complete with big books
Learning Place Games and Materials
Science Big Books
Lots of books with rhyming/phonemic awareness
Lots of Big Books
Center Signs Mini Bulletin Board Set (great for labeling the centers)
Classroom Labels Bulletin Board Kit - pictures and words of various things in a classroom
Kitchen Tools for House Keeping
Bring some old ones from home that are safe.
Purchase real plastic dishes at Dollar Tree and Dollar General
** Please Note **
For real cheap items it is wise to just purchase those few things with your own personal money.
Items from educational catalogs can be quiet expensive.
Use school and state lottery money for equipment, big books, and more expensive items.
Can get markers, crayons, glue, pencils, and scissors at Wal-Mart where they are much more cheaper.
Crayola products are the best - pay a little more have better stuff that lasts longer.
Look through several catalogs for the same products - some cost less in different catalogs. Also compare shipping charges.
Plan and spend wisely. Prioritize - What do you need or want the most pick first.
Purchase the most important things first. then work on the things that you would like to have.
Important Note - Must go by PQA Guidelines
Some things you purchase can be used from year to year.
Items in the Art Area and Places to Purchase Them
Paint Sets, craft sticks, white and colored cotton balls, and a variety of colors of yarn - Dollar Store
Different sized paint brushes, buttons, wiggle eyes, glitter, beads, confetti, feathers, gems, and pom-poms - local school supply store
Other Items and Where To Purchase Them
Local School Supply Store or Educational Catalog:
Alpha and Math magnets, purchase in large amounts
Large Real Working Classroom Thermometer
Large 60 minute timer
Be sure to order a doll that teaches students how to dress - tie, buckle, fasten, snap, zip, button
Please see the section titled Bulletin Boards and Wall Displays for pictures of different activities and wall displays you can do with your pre-k class.
Some Hints and Tricks of Teaching GA Pre-K
Attendance Pocket Chart - Write students' first names only on both the yellow and blue sides. As students come in each morning have them find their card and turn over their name from the yellow side to the blue side. *To help them learn how to quickly recognize their name and the letters in their names move the cards around daily to students will have to look for their names.
To ensure you have enough art work on the walls at all times, choose one day a week, like Friday, for the whole class to do. Divide the class into 4-5 groups, each group does a different art project. One can draw a picture with crayons, one can use paint sets, one can make a collage, and the other group and create a picture using markers or colored pencils. Write the students' names on their papers. Do not write that day's date on it. Hide them in a cabinet somewhere so that no one can find them. Take out 2-3 each day and write that day's date on them and hang them up around the room. That way you will have a variety of art work up at all times.
Remember art work can only stay up for 4 weeks and then it has to come down.
Always put up more student work than is required.
Keep all pieces of art work students create in the art center each day. Hang up in the classroom. Allow 3-4 students to go to the art center each day. (Secretly choose 3-4 different ones each day so all of them will have a chance by the end of each week.)
If a small group of students or the whole class does the same activity hang the work spread out all over the room. That way it will not all look the same - it will look like a variety of work is done over several days.
To get lots of work samples in each domain for each students, discuss or do an activity about classroom rules, plants, etc. during whole group time. During small group have students draw pictures and write on paper what they know and understand about a topic. Write student dictation on the paper. Write the standard it covers and put it in the correct domain it belongs in like science, social studies, math, etc.
Always put more work samples and pictures in each domain than is required.
Take lots of pictures during center time on the camera the school provides for you, not your own personal one. On the camera you use at school do not set the date and time on it. That way you can use the pictures throughout the year. Check each student's domains if the student is lacking in that area one month use a picture that you have not already used in the past and put it in that domain and match it to the standard.
Plan 1 math and 1 literacy activity using a read aloud storybook during small group each week.
Assess students during center time each day.
When planning lessons you can rotate the 4-5 small group activities you planned so they will last throughout the week. The students will be exposed to all of the standards and most students will master the standards doing it this way. Just write 2-3 different activities each day in your lesson plans. When state lady comes pretend you do it their way.
Grouping Students - Group students in small groups of 4-5 based on ability in language and math skills. This is the best way to help meet students' needs. Change the groups of students every 4 weeks depending upon student progress. Keep this private from state lady. When writing down groups of students to be assessed each day in the state lesson plans just put down a different variety of students every day. Make sure you have written down all students' names at least once by the end of the week.
If you need certain work samples and pictures in specific domains for some students assign them to go to that center for a few times. You can get pictures and work samples from them then. Once you get the samples you need for that day have them choose the center they want to go to.
You must teach students how to write the letters of the alphabet, numbers, and how to color neatly on coloring sheets. Slip one of these activities in each day but do not write it in your lesson plans and do not tell anyone. If students are struggling with how to write a letter or make a number you must show and guide them. This is the only way they are going to learn it and be on level and ready for kindergarten the next year.
Right before center time each day pick a letter for students to practice writing. The teacher write the upper and lower case letter in the center of the construction paper. Call students up one at a time to write the letter. They can either write the upper or lower case letter on the paper. Then have them choose a center to go to. You can display the letter paper on the wall in the classroom.
On the first day of school make a picture of each student. Take the pictures to Walgreens and have them developed into wallet sized pictures. They come 4/page. I would get 2 pages/student. Cut pictures out and glue them on students' things such as: cubby, attendance card, lunch card along with their lunch number, and name written on sentence strip.
Place a copy of student name cards in the writing center.
In pre-k a variety of students are requried to have jobs each day. Use a pocket chart to write the job title on it and place them in the pockets. Just move the student name cards around every day to the desired job. Jobs students can do: line leader, door holder, caboose - last person in line (monitor line), lights, plant or animal keeper, teacher helper, bathroom monitors (one boy, one girl)
Have a student put lunch cards inside students' cubbies every morning. When it's time for lunch students just go to their cubbies and grab the cards and go.
To keep up with who is who the first few weeks of school write student names on name plates. Punch holes in the top of them and tie them with yarn. Student wear the name tags during the day until nap time. Use first name only. This can be done with any grade level.
To help count students have first one in line say 1, second one in line says 2 and so on to the end of the line. This helps you get a count of students and helps students learn to count since they have to think about what number was before, what number to say, and what number comes next. Train students how to do this at the beginning of the year. Do it when you start to leave the playground. electives, or lunch. That will be a quick and easy way for you to get a head count. Works great on field trips too. This can be used in any grade level.
Pre-K Morning Work Activities
The activities below can be done with in classrooms using the Georgia Pre-K program and any other pre-k classrooms.
Students can practice writing their name on a strip of unlined paper. Write first name to begin with and then move on to first and last name once the students have mastered writing just their first name.
Cut up construction paper into pieces.
Press letters out of play dough using plastic letters.
Glue pre-cut shapes or colors onto construction paper to make a pattern.
Write/copy seasonal words on poster or bulletin board paper.
Draw a picture using crayons, markers, or colored pencils.
Make a pattern out of unifix (linking) cubes.
Pre-K Christmas Morning Work:
The teacher cuts out candy canes from white paper and red and green small rectangles out of strips of construction paper. When the students arrive in the morning the teacher models how to make an AB or ABC using the white in the candy cane. Students can make a candy cane to put display on the wall or on a Christmas tree.
Type Christmas words with a picture representing them on the computer. Print them out cut them out and glue to red or green construction paper. Students each write 2-3 Christmas words on a large piece of bulletin board paper. This can be displayed in the classroom writing center or anywhere else desired.
To see some pictures of some pre-k classrooms click on Pre-K 1 or Pre-K 2 below. To see some pre-k wall displays click on Pre-K Wall Displays below.
Pre-K Wall Displays
"Complexity creates confusion, simplicity focus." - Edward de Bono