Monday, August 27, 2012

At Home Preschool Prep

Last year I did a co-op preschool with some wonderful ladies and it was a huge hit.  Now, being pregnant with twins I just can't do a large group this year.  Instead, I'm just going to do what I can with my kiddos.  I'm going to share with you what I do.   So, if you'd like to compliment me by copying me, you can.  The activities listed will be appropriate for preschool aged kiddos.  Mine are 18 months and 3 years old.

At the beginning of each school year in my classroom we always assessed what our students already knew.  So, I did that with my two girls.  Here's what I did based off of my state's preschool standards. You can find out what your state's standards are by looking online if you're curious what preschools should be teaching your kiddos.

18 Month Old Assessment:
At 18 Months children can range in their skills depending on what you've been working with them on.  We read, color, and sing daily.  We also have been working on colors and recognizing print in our environment.

Here are a few things to look at:
Can my child hold a book upright? 
Do they know the front from the back?
 Can they turn the pages sequentially? 
Do they recognize print/letters in their environment?  (My little one will point to words and say, "E E E" showing that she recognizes that letters symbolize sounds of words...very very basic)
Can they hold a crayon/pencil in a proper writing position?
Do they know their colors?  ( I have color flash cards.  I laid 2 or 3 out at a time and asked my 18 month old to find one of the colors.  She would point to the correct/ incorrect color.  I would note what colors she knew.  Then I'd ask her to say the color and write down if she could.  Part of her preschool at home will just be acquiring vocabulary).
Does your child copy cat letter sounds and names when you say them?
Does your child sing songs that they know? (They may not know all the words but do they do the actions with you?  Do they attempt to sing?)

3 Year Old Assessment:
Three year olds can vary in skills as well. My three year old has been worked with a lot and has done a whole year of co-op preschool.  We haven't worked on site words yet, but she is ready.  Here's what I looked at:

Can my child name all capital letters?  (not the sounds....that's another test.  A good way to do this assessment is to print of a page with all CAPITAL letters -not in alphabetical order and ask her to name a letter that you point to)
Can my child name all the lower case letters?
Does my child know the sounds each letter makes?  (There's many ways you can test this.  I have a visual and kinesthetic learner, so I had her point to a page of letters and say what the letter says.)
Does my daughter know the letters in her own name?  Can she write them?
Can my daughter recognize rhyming words?
Can my child recognize beginning sounds of words?
Does my child recognize words in books?  (My daughter is not reading yet, but she does recognize that I'm reading what the word on the page says.  I point to the words as I read so she recognizes that I read left to right, top to bottom.  She pretends to read this same way)
Does my child ask questions while reading a book that relates to the story? 
Can they predict what's going to happen using pictures and/or parts of the story to help?

Does my child know their colors?  shapes?
How high can my child count? (My 3 year old counts up to 13 without missing a number)
Does my child count items using one-to-one corespondence?  (Meaning when I place items in front of her...I placed 15 items out...can she point to one item at a time and assign just one number to them? Or does your child count without necessarily counting how many objects are out in front of them?  Does that make sense?)
Can my child identify big from small?  biggest?  smallest? shortest? tallest?  longest? same?  different?  (I used math worksheets with pictures on them that helped me assess each one of these concepts.)

 Again, this is informal assessments that I'm doing with my kiddos.  I just wanted a basic idea of what they know, so I can gear preschool towards what they need to work on.  Feel free to add to my list of questions based on what your kiddo may or may not know.  I focused mainly on math, reading, and writing.  There are other subjects in our state's standards that I did not assess.  Mostly because they will be incorporated into our daily lives and preschool lessons already and are skills I know they will acquire before kindegarten. Feel free to ask me questions or give suggestions too.  I'm not a pro at this but, I do love to teach and can find resources to help teach kiddos along the way.  And I'm all about collaborating to make learning more fun!

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