Visual Daily Schedule

Using a Visual Daily Schedule will help ensure a successful day for your students (and you)! Knowing what is happening throughout the day helps to relieve stress and anxiety in young children. It also helps them to feel safe and secure in their environment. Your transition time will run more smoothly because the children are prepared ahead of time. Using the schedule consistently will help foster independence and confidence in your students!

I use a Visual  Daily Schedule on the very first day of Kindergarten. This Carson Dellosa Pocket Chart is perfect for a schedule chart. It is hanging on the wall in our Morning Meeting area which is the most important area in our room. I read the schedule each morning as part of our Morning Meeting. Doing this teaches the children what to expect during the day; where they will go and who they will see. It also ensures that events WILL happen . . . they WILL eat lunch, they WILL play outside, they WILL go home . . . these are all things that little ones (especially first timers) worry about. Using the schedule also helps children know WHY we are doing certain activities. For example, we are cleaning up because we have PE in 5 minutes.

The school day can be long especially for Preschool, Pre-K and Kindergarten. When you have a child missing their family the schedule is a helpful tool. You can show them the schedule and say "we will eat lunch, then play outside for recess, play math center games, go to PE and then it will be time for mom to pick you up".  You will see that child will feel better knowing that there are 4 more activities before pick up time.

In my classroom I keep the Visual Daily Schedule in a pocket chart. I flip each activity over when we are finished. I do this every day for the first month of school. Starting in October, the "Teacher's Helper" (one of my classroom jobs) takes on the role of telling the class the daily schedule at Morning Meeting. That child also turns over the activities as they are completed.

Ready to start using a Daily Schedule in your classroom? Pick up the Daily Schedule Cards in my TpT store. There are 98 schedule cards that are perfect for PreK, Kindergarten and First Grade. 

Happy Teaching!

Back to School Essentials

Back to School can be an overwhelming time of year for kids, parents and teachers, too! Stores are stocked with brightly colored bins, borders, and stickers and it's easy to get distracted from what we NEED to make our classrooms run smoothly. Over the years I have found that there are certain things that I MUST HAVE at my fingertips when the kids walk through the door. Here are my 10 Back to School Essentials for teachers.


Label, label, label! I label everything in the classroom! Print out sheets of name labels before the first day of school. They can quickly be placed on art projects, papers, folders, and school supplies. Print them on Avery Address Labels and keep them handy!


Children feel better when they know that they are part of a classroom family. Have each child's name written in a variety of places on the first day of school and throughout the school year. Have names already written on cubbies and desks or table areas. I also have a name list hanging in our Meeting Area that we refer to all year long. Keep several sets of name cards to use for games, circle time, pocket charts etc. Simply write the names on sentence strips and store the sets with a rubber band. You will use these again and again! I also keep a set of prepared name tag necklaces to wear for substitutes, specialist teachers and other occasions.


Every kindergarten teacher must have songs, fingerplays and poems at their fingertips! Whether it is one you sing on your own, with a CD, on the computer, iPad, YouTube or phone . . . just be sure you have quick access to it! Have a variety of music, too, such as quiet songs to settle them down, active songs to get their wiggles out, and songs with actions and movement. Singing a song is magical in a classroom!  Some of my favorites are Greg & Steve, Jack Hartmann, Laurie Berkner and Dr Jean.


My Meeting Area is the central location for Morning Meeting, Shared Reading, End of the Day Circle and so much more. I would be lost without my teaching easel! I write my Morning Message on the whiteboard, hang song charts on it, hang a pocket chart on it, place the daily books on the ledge, and store dry erase boards, lesson supplies, and journals in the bins.


It is important to have a variety of materials close at hand in your circle time area. These are items that you can use during circle time while playing games and activities (that you don't want to search for in the middle of the lesson). Here are some things I keep in my bin: , pointers, soft ball, finger puppets , feelings bear, large foam dice, two sets of name cards, small piece of fabric (for playing guess what's missing games), rhythm sticks, alphabet cards, number cards and sight word cards.


As a teacher you always need to plan ahead. Editable monthly planning calendar sheets are great for looking ahead at your year and scheduling around important dates and events. You can also use them to send home with monthly homework or a calendar of classroom events (show and tell days, special snack days etc).


I have a class set of dry erase lapboards. They are great to use when teaching handwriting and writing words. I also love to use them for quick games like "Beat the Teacher". Be sure to make rules with the boards and dry erase markers (or you will be out of ink in no time!) and the markers are expensive! 


Using a daily take home folder will save you TONS of time and keep you organized! I use poly folders because they are durable and (most) will last the entire school year. All papers that need to go home (forms, permission slips, book orders, corrected papers) are put in the folder each afternoon. Parents empty the folder each night and they are returned in the morning (hopefully, empty!) The children put the folders in a basket near my desk each morning as they enter the room.


Yes, inside recess will happen so be prepared! I have a shelf that is designated for inside recess only. I do this for three reasons. One, to keep the rest of the classroom materials clean and organized. Two, so the kids have special toys, supplies, and games to look forward to using during inside recess days. And three, so the inside recess duty teacher knows which toys the kids can or cannot use. Yard sales are the best way to stock up on board games, art supplies, puzzles, blocks, dolls, doll houses, Legos, wooden trains, and other fun and educational toys.


I laminate everything in the classroom. . . posters, center signs, center activities, calendar pieces, bulletin board letters and more. I invested in a personal laminator so I could get things laminated at home and on the weekends. It's definitely a MUST HAVE in my book!

AND . . . a little treat to take home on the first day of school! My Back to School Editable Stickers are FREE through August 18th so get them now! Add your name, print, and stick to a 4 count Crayola Sidewalk Chalk pack (the best price is to use your teacher's discount and a coupon at Michael's!)

Get your centers printed, cut and laminated! My Back to School Centers Bundle and Fine Motor Activities are 20% off until August 18th!

I've teamed up with my #Kinderfriends to share our favorite Back to School Essentials. Be sure to click through all of our blogs for great FREEBIES and deals to make Back to School run smoothly for you! Just follow the link below to visit Paula's Preschool and Kindergarten.
Happy Teaching!

Earth Day FREEBIES for Kindergarten

Earth Day is right around the corner and I have some AMAZING Earth Day FREEBIES to share with you! All of these resources and activities can be used in your Pre-K, Kindergarten and First Grade classrooms.

First, is a fun little Earth Day Word Search from my store, Pocketful of Centers. It includes a picture with each word so it is perfect for beginning readers.

Next is an Earth Day Promise Writing and Craftivity from Katie Byrd. In this activity your students will write their "Promise to the Earth", decorate an Earth template, and color an Earth Day sign.

Here is an Earth Day Non-fiction Reading Comprehension Passage from The Barefoot Teacher. It is designed for Kindergarteners to develop a confidence in reading while having fun!

Your class will look adorable wearing these Earth Day Color and Cut Hats from Karly's Kinders. Simply color, cut, and attach a paper headband for this fun and festive hat.

Celebrate Earth Day by teaching your students how to recycle and reuse crayons with this How to Make Earth Day Crayons freebie from Lacy's Letters.

Have your kinder kids write a letter to the Earth with this Earth Day Freebie from K is for Kinderiffic. This download includes Earth Day words, a writing page, and letter writing template.

Review letters and numbers with Earth Day Puzzles from Kelci Judas. These little puzzles are great for centers or early finishers!

This Earth Day Freebie from Nancy Wilcox Richards will have your kids writing and drawing about Earth Day!

Here is an Earth Day Writing freebie from Kindertails has your Kinder kids writing about what they can do in the classroom to help the earth.
 Every Day is Earth Day Math Story Problems from 1stgradefireworks is a fun Earth Day themed activity to practice counting coins.
Celebrate the Earth with an Earth Day Bingo Game from Try-Hard Teacher. This fun little game includes 6 bingo boards and calling cards. The image matching is perfect for a wide range of learning abilities.

Here is a collection of four Earth Day Bookmarks from Chez Chris in color and in black & white.

ZippadeeZazz has an Earth Day Writing Activity. Have your kiddos write about what makes the earth happy or makes the earth sad.