Are you looking for Lesson Plan Ideas? Are you paying for a monthly curriculum and would prefer to save some money and create your own? I'm excited to announce my 2016 Weekly Theme Calendar. I've scoured the Web to find Arts & Crafts Ideas, Educational Activities, suggestions for your Dramatic Play Space, your Construction space, and have made Book and Toy recommendations for over 52+ Weekly Themes.
You can print a copy of my Calendar Here or swing by and check out my resources any time you'd like under my "Themes" Tab at the top of my Website. Check back often for updates!
I'm also sharing a copy of my Weekly Theme Planning Page, for you to plan your own weekly Lesson Plans.
12/28-1/1 Winter Clothes-Coming Soon! & New Years-Coming Soon!
1/4-1/8 Snow & Snowmen
1/11-1/15 Arctic Animals, Igloos and Ice
1/18-1/22 Penguins- Coming Soon!
1/25-1/29 Nursery Rhymes and Mother Goose
2/1-2/5 Post Office
2/15-2/19 Pets & Vets
2/22-2/26 Dental Health
2/29-3/4 Dr. Suess
3/7-3/11 Rain Rainbows Clouds & Wind
3/14-3/18 St. Patrick's Day-Green Week
3/28-4/1 Forest Animals
4/4-4/8 Caterpillars & Butterflies
4/11-4/15 Birds, Nests & Birdhouses
4/18-4/22 Earth Day & Recycling Week
4/25-4/29 Pond Animals Week
5/2-5/6 Flowers & Bees & Mother's Day coming soon!
5/9-5/13 Spring Cleaning
5/16-5/20 Rocks Dirt & Mud
5/23-5/27 Growing Fruits & Veggies
5/30-6/3 Worms, Snails, Slugs & Snakes
6/13-6/17 Transportation & Father's Day
6/20-6/24 Outer Space-Coming Soon!
6/27-7/1 4th of July Week
7/4-7/8 Fun in the Sun
7/11-7/15 Multicultural Week
7/18-7/22 Under the Ocean
7/25-7/29 Day & Night Camping
8/1-8/5 Picnics, Ants and Watermelon
8/8-8/12 Zoo Animals
8/22-8/26 Kings, Queens, Castles & Dragons
9/5-9/9 Healthy Me Inside & Out
9/19-9/23 Down on the Farm
9/26-9/30 Friends & Family
10/3-10/7 Fire Safety
10/10-10/14 Corn, Scarecrows and Crows
11/7-11/11 Squirrels and Nuts-Coming Soon!
11/14-11/18 Leaves & Trees
11/21-11/25 Turkey Week
11/28-12/2 Thanksgiving Week
12/5-12/9 Deck the Halls
12/12-12/16 Sweet Treats
12/19-12/23 Santa and His Helpers
Are you looking for ideas to help plan your Fall Lesson Plans?
I've updated several of my Fall Lesson Plan pages on my Website.
You can find Arts & Crafts, Ideas for your Dramatic Play Space, Construction Space, Activities, and Freebies.
In addition to clicking on the photos below-You can also access my Themes from the Theme button at the top of my page or on the right side button bar.
When you visit the Theme pages, be sure to click on the photos to be re-directed to the original source for complete instructions, and additional information
(or just to share the LOVE and let them know you like their idea!).
If you have a photo that you would like to contribute, please check out the information here.
Getting it Organized
An important part of a Thematic Curriculum is rotating Theme related materials in and out of your space. If you have just started creating Theme Units (or even if you have been doing them for a while), you may notice your Theme Materials are starting to get out of hand.
As a previous Childcare Provider I know what a precious commodity your time is, so in this post I'll share how I organized my Thematic materials to save time and energy.
Finding a home for everything ...
The key to keeping your items organized is having a home for them. The amount of storage space you have will be dictate how you organize your materials.
Spend a few moments figuring out the best place to store your items. Do you have a small room that can be converted to a Storage/Resource room? Some space in your Garage? A spare closet? Look for under utilized space around your home-even under the bed storage boxes make a great option for storing your materials.
If you have a large storage space you will be able to create a storage box for each of your Themes. If you are short on storage spaces you may want to consider a monthly theme box, or even Seasonal Box. Keep in mind a monthly storage box will not be able to hold as many items as an individual themed box.
Choosing a box and deciding how many..
Once you've you've decided on how much storage you have, you'll need to decide what types of materials you are going to store. I knew that I wanted to store Puppets, Puzzles, Toys, Educational Games, felt stories, Printable Games, and Craft Materials related to each of my Themes. I knew I would need a reasonably sized box to store all of these option.
I decided to create 52- individual theme boxes. Because I had so many Themes I knew I wanted something reasonably priced and something I could stacked easily in my storage room. I decided to go with Bankers boxes . One of the other benefits of using Bankers Boxes was that I could also include a hanging file in each one to store my theme related patterns, File Folder Games, and Printables.
You will want to make sure you clearly write the name of each Theme on the outside of your box. If you are using plastic boxes you can add Masking/Washi Tape labels for easy removal.
Stack your boxes by Season or Alphabetically (whichever way is easier for you).
If you are going with Shelving, consider purchasing shelves and bins that are made for each other which will minimize the amount of wasted space on your shelf.
It doesn't have to all fit in the box...
I had many toys, dramatic play items, and books that I used for multiple themes-and daily use.
Rather than trying to fit all of these things in a box, I created separate storage options for these items.
I preferred to keep my books on bookcases (Billy Bookcases from IKEA)- Why re-invent the wheel right? These were kept away from the children in my storage room, Each week I would rotate new books into the children's bookshelf in the Childcare Space-I'd rotate both Theme and Non Theme related books.
Sort your books in a way that makes it easiest for you to find them. I chose to sort my books by Season, and then by Theme. General books were sorted by Topic (Colors, Shapes, Letters, etc.).
If you are storing them on shelves, you will want to keep them divided so you can easily find them. To keep them divided you can place your books in Magazine holders, laminate a paper divider or use labeled paint sticks as a low cost option to divide them.
Some providers choose to store their Theme Books in a Box with the rest of their materials. Unfortunately I found that many of my books were awkward sizes and that they didn't all fit in my boxes very well. In addition to pulling out Theme books I also used the same books for multiple themes and having to hunt through boxes wasn't effective for me.
Using the same bankers boxes above, I also created Dramatic Play Prop Boxes. I also had separate storage for Construction/Small World Play Items, Literacy, Math, and Science games and Materials.
Creating a system to keep track of these rotational items that are not in your Theme Boxes is an important part to you staying organized as well.
Keeping track of what you have
Remembering all of the books, toys, and resources you own can be a challenge. You'll want a system to keep track of what you have. Grab a copy of my Free lesson planning pages so that you can keep track of all of your Thematic materials. If you are looking for a pre-printed planner-this Daily Plan Book for Preschool is excellent!
I recommend putting your lesson planning pages in a binder so that you can take them with you. I found that it was helpful for me to take my theme planning binder with me when I went shopping so that I could see which themes I still needed items for, and what I already had. I also used my planner as a guide to remember which items I needed to "pull out" each week.
Don't be afraid to use technology to help keep you organized. Consider creating "Themed Photo" Albums that you can access via your mobile device- that contain photos of all of your themed items.
Putting in the effort in the beginning to keep your materials organized will pay off end.
Items I used to help me organize
Looking to save time finding thematic activities?
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Circle Time Binder-Digital Download
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This 21- page printable includes the following pages:
Circle Time Skills
Who's at home?
Who is here today?
How are you feeling?
Months of the Year x2
Calendar date Pieces x2
Days of the week x2
Yesterday was, Today is, Tomorrow will be
Today's Weather is
Uppercase Letters Poster
Lowercase Letters Poster
Check out this post for a closer look inside this pack, and assembly directions:
Dramatic Play Pie Stand Set
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This 59-Page Pie Stand Dramatic Play set includes everything you'll need for your Pie Stand. From all of your pie fixings, to Pie Stand Accessories. Use this set to create laminated paper pie making pieces, felt pies, or even Play Dough Pie Making Mats.
Choose to print from the following 3 sizes of Pies: Small (4 pies to a sheet), Medium (2 pies to a sheet), and Large (one pie to a sheet).
The following pie fixings are included for each size:
Pre-made Crust (Tin & Bottom Crust Combined)
3-Top Crusts: Regular, Lattice, and Whipped
Also Includes the following Pie Stand Accessories:
Pie Order Form
"Pie Stand" Sign
"Apple Pie Stand" Sign
"Pumpkin Pie Stand" Sign
Pie Stand Open & Closed Signs
Pie Flavors Sign
6 Recipe Cards
Pie Making Recipe Book Binder Cover
11 Ingredient Cards + 1 Blank
4-Pie Making Word Wall Cards
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Veterinarian Dramatic Play Pack-Digital Download
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This 17-page Dramatic Play pack is perfect to compliment your Veterinarian themed dramatic play area. This Pet Clinic Pack includes the following printables:
*Welcome to the Pet Clinic Sign
*Pet Clinic Form
*Waiting Area/X-Ray Signs
*Exam Area/Surgery Area Signs
*Supply Labels: Bandages, X-Rays, Medical Supplies & Medicine
*A "Veterinarians hard at work" Poster showing real images of Veterinarians
* 7-Xray Images: (Bird, Fish, Guinea Pig, Turtle, Rabbit, Dog Paws, and a Cat Head)
*Resource Page with links to additional resources
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