Our daily schedule in preschool

I always find it interesting to learn how others run their classroom day. I suppose you could say that our daily preschool is fairly typical but perhaps it is typical to me because it is what I have always implemented.  I wanted to share it with you but I hope you will share your schedule with me too so I can compare what we do with how others approach a typical day in preschool…

Our daily schedule in preschool by Teach Preschool

First, it is important to note that my students come two to three days a week and three hours on each day. We have two classrooms that we use throughout the school year which includes an outdoor and an indoor classroom. The outdoor classroom is closed during the really cold months of winter because it has no heat or windows to help protect the kids from the really cold days of winter.  When our outdoor classroom is back up and running our daily schedule will be modified just a bit to allow us time for the outdoor classroom…

Our daily schedule in preschool by Teach Preschool

This is a general overview of our daily schedule just to give you an idea of how our days are structured. I won’t go into every detail because this would be a very long blog post if I did but I will link up to some parts of our day that I have written about in detail as I go along.  We start our day by coming into the classroom, putting coats and back packs in our cubbies, then signing in on our sign-in sheet

Our daily schedule in preschool by Teach Preschool

Then we head over to begin our morning circle time.  My students now tell me it is called “square time” because we are sitting on a square rug and not on a circle.  Our morning circle time includes our helper and weather routine and then highlighting any concept we may be focusing on like a letter, shape, color, or number…

Our daily schedule in preschool by Teach Preschool

And then we dive into our morning story, music, and whatever else is going to be the central focus of our circletime experience

Our daily schedule in preschool by Teach Preschool

After circle time (or square time) we spend a few minutes talking about any thing we have prepared for the children to explore at our tables and then the children are free to choose what they would like to do in all of our centers.  We call this our morning center time – I will show you a few of our everyday indoor centers in action here…

Art Table

We set out different materials and tools everyday for creative art experiences. We also have a creative art shelf with markers and paint and glue and paper and scissors and yarn and so on for the children to use in their own way as they wish…

Our daily schedule in preschool by Teach Preschool

Block Center

We change the kinds of blocks and materials throughout the year but always have it set up next to our largest carpeted area on the floor for play…

Our daily schedule in preschool by Teach Preschool

Our daily schedule in preschool by Teach Preschool

Water Play or Sensory Play Tub

Our large water and sand play areas are out in our outdoor classroom so we set out a tub in the indoor classroom for this kind of play during the cold days of winter time…

Our daily schedule in preschool by Teach Preschool

Writing Center

We have different materials available all the time to promote writing in the classroom including clip boards, paper, pencils, crayons, stamps, stickers, envelopes and so on. We rotate the materials by listening to what the children would like us to add or observing what they seem to have lost interest in…

Our daily schedule in preschool by Teach Preschool

Other Centers

We can’t possibly fit everything into our small classroom environment at once that we would like so we rotate this shelf from being a light table center to a music center to a puzzle center throughout the year and you will notice that our books are kept just above this shelf....

Our daily schedule in preschool by Teach Preschool

We rotate other materials through the classroom centers  as we go along. When the materials are not in use, I keep them in my storage room or garage.

After Center Time

After our morning center time which lasts as long as the children seem to be staying interested in things then we clean up, wash hands and sit down for snack time…

Our daily schedule in preschool by Teach Preschool

After snack time, the children clear their own table then pick out a book to read or look through while the others finish up…

Our daily schedule in preschool by Teach Preschool

And then we get on coats, hats, mittens, scarves and head outdoors for play.  We may stay outside for five minutes or 45 minutes depending on the weather and what the children have going on outside. Often times, if a few children are ready to head inside before the others, then they can come back inside with me and help set up for the last part of our day and Mr. Hayden will bring the rest in shortly after…

Our daily schedule in preschool by Teach Preschool

You will notice that I didn’t put any times down for our daily schedule for you. This is because we have a general idea of the order of our day but we genuinely try to keep the schedule open for change but the order the same. By the time we head back inside, we can have about 30 to 40 minutes left to finish up our day. This last part of our day changes almost daily. So we might use it for large group math bag time

Our daily schedule in preschool by Teach Preschool

Or for our Scholastic Magazines

Our daily schedule in preschool by Teach Preschool

Or a special science or sensory play activity…

http://www.teachpreschool.org/2011/09/our-take-home-math-bags-in-preschool/

Or journals…

http://www.teachpreschool.org/2011/09/our-take-home-math-bags-in-preschool/

But almost always, the last part of the day includes some kind of large group experience…

http://www.teachpreschool.org/2011/09/our-take-home-math-bags-in-preschool/

Or the children come up with some new experiment they want to try like making pyramids…

Our daily schedule in preschool by Teach Preschool

And then the children head off to gather their things, put on coats and gloves, and it is time to head home…

Our daily schedule in preschool by Teach Preschool

Does your schedule look anything like ours? Totally different?  I’d love to learn about it so please share in the comments below…

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Comments

  1. Sarah says

    My schedule is fairly similar during the curriculum part of the day (we have full-day preschool and childcare, but do main curriculum 9-1 including food)

    We start off with circle time, where I pick a line leader/helper for that day who helps lead morning prayer. I then do “planning” time where the class and I will discuss lessons/art activities for that day, followed by “daily review”, which includes the alphabet, shapes, calendar, numbers, etc. Lastly, children do attendance (which is sentence strips on the wall with numbers, they turn their number over to reveal their name)

    Next is free play in centers, followed by am snack and then gross motor play in a large indoor room. We then do story/music and movement, lesson and art activities, followed by outside play or a walk (weather permitting), then lunch, and nap starts at 1.

  2. Sarah Mullins says

    I have two sessions of 3 1/2 hours each, public pre k. We are off her e in west Virginia, too, today. We take care of belongings, sign in, wash hands, table toys for about 15 minutes, breakfast, center time for an hour consisting of blocks, dramatic play, sand and water, art, computer, writing, etc., then circle time with calendar, morning message, story, then 14 kids are split into two groups and do thematic literacy, math, art, or science activity, then go outside, weather permitting, or indoor gross motor, eat lunch and go home. Afternoon is the same except they eat lunch first and snack last. I am eagerly reading your posts because we are going full day (7 hours) next year. Yikes ! Can’t say how much I appreciate your blog!

  3. Melati Djunaedi says

    For the last 16 years I and some friends volunteering in working with young children (age 3-6 years), and to date we also have programs for them who still loves being with us and our program (age 7-17 years).
    For each age group we do have the routines, they meet twice a week for 3 hours, they come from the less fortunate families, so the children from this community realy enjoying and appreciate the routines and ofcourse the field trips which currently only twice a year due to our non profit activities. Thank you for sharing and I am certain that the sharing through this page will deliver lots of ideas for us in continuing improvements that will benefit our early age kids and the community.
    warmest regards,
    Melati

  4. Mrs. Young says

    Wow my day is so much Like Mrs. V it is unreal, we start with 40 min of free play I ring a tambourine and we gather at circle time, flag salutes, calendar and bible time, then off to the bathrooms getting ready for snack, they pour their own drinks after snack they read a book, do a puzzle or color while waiting for the others to finish, then out to recess for 30 min, gather again at circle time to do a center activities, some on floor with activities I have laid out others at the tables with me or my aide 1-4 kids at a time working on projects or fine motor skills, crafts. end of day we do sticker charts rewards for behavior and sing songs. I work in a Christian school,

  5. Shelli says

    Hi! I have a small, private preschool very near you in Kokomo. We have a mixed-age grouping of 3.5 to 5 yrs. Our day looks like this:
    9:30 – arrival, morning routine (hang up belongings, find name tag & place in pocket chart, place home-school communication folder in basket), workboxes (each student has a box each day containing fine motor activities, etc. that are tailored for their unique needs)
    9:40 – Morning Meeting (student jobs: calendar, weather reporter, flag holder, mail carrier) Students will write that day’s number on the calendar, choose clothing for our weather friend (bear in fall, gingerbread man in winter and bunny in spring – I have a whole story/scenario for this), hold the flag for the two pledges we use, get the mail and help with whatever that entails (finding a letter, passing around the tactile abc cards, guess the riddle, etc.). We also work as a group to choose weather words for the day then sing our days of the week song (love Greg & Steve) and months of the year song.
    9:55 – Learning Centers and Free Play Time

    10:40 – Clean up

    10:45 – Art Time

    11:00 – Snack Time

    11:15 – Large Motor Play (my kids like to call it “recess time” just like their older sibs 😉

    11:25 – Music, Story and Large Group Time – this is when we introduce our alphabet friends (paper bag puppets), participate in Math Labs, and play group games.

    11:45 – Dismissal

    All the times are approximate since I try to be sensitive to my kidlets’ needs and interests. If we don’t get to something, oh well – we can try a different day or a different way to get to that concept!

  6. Whitney M says

    Thank you for this post! This is my first year teaching Pre-K so I am very interested in what others do as I tweak my schedule for next year. I enjoyed hearing about your day and reading the comments.

    I teach a morning and afternoon Pre-K class which meets four days a week. Our class is 2.5 hours long. These are general times for the morning as a reference for others. The afternoon follows the same schedule, just later.

    8:30-9 Circle time–Includes hello song, name recognition with simple math using name cards, calendar, weather, show and tell and stretching. I try to pull some science in here also. The biggest chunk of this time is devoted to our letter of the week. We have 3 different curriculums that we reference and also add stories, songs, and brainstorm words together.

    9-10:15 Snack, Art, Free Play–We do three art projects each day for our fine motor work. I try to rotate the art mediums we use. I explain all 3 projects and then the kids eat their snack. When they are finished, they start their projects and rotate independently to complete them. I help when needed. They can play when they are finished. We have bins of many different types of toys, a kitchen, dress up, corn meal table, science center, art center, water table, puppet theater, play dough, and a sensory bin. I change items in the water table, play dough, and sensory bin regularly.

    10:15-10:30 Music–I incorporate a lot of movement and props (scarves, beanbags, etc.) as well as instruments into music time.

    10:30-10:45 Large Motor–If the weather is nice, we head out to the play ground. Otherwise we go to the gym (preschool is at a church) and run relays or set up an obstacle course

    10:45-11 Story and Dismissal

    I am interested in how some of the others incorporate yoga in their class and would love to do more large group activities like you mentioned. How many students do you have in your classes? Thank you for the inspiration!

  7. Liz says

    I just have to say I love your blog and ideas.
    I don’t think there is a better site so full of information.
    I run my daily schedule a little different, but similar. We start off the day with centers. I put out materials in our science center
    And put other material to manipulate out on our tables. I love making
    The classroom different every week, this way when we go to circle time the kids have warmed up to each other, got wiggles and social hour out of their systems and those running behind dong miss out at circle time. Then we do story time to introduce the theme or what we will be learning for the day/week and then we are sitting and we start our circle time. Here we do helper of the day, calendar, weather, letters, sounds, numbers, and practice writing our letters and sorting items that begin with that letter. Next we do a math and or science activity. Then it’s snack time. Next we go outside. After that we do creative art and then independent reading and lastly music and creative movement. I’m with you that there is no time frame, but kids like to know what is coming next in their day and is that what really counts. Thanks for sharing your day with us.

  8. Veronica says

    Thank you for sharing your schedule.I have a small Montessori preschool in Ireland with 10 children ages 2 and a half to 5 years old. Our day officially starts at 9.30 am but some children arrive at 9.00. We begin our day with free play and the children like to dress up or play with the sand tray or with the trains or toy cars. At about 10.00 we do P.E., nothing fancy, just running on the spot, jumping jacks that sort of thing. We then shake ourselves out to get rid of the wiggles!!!. It is then time for calendar time. We sit in a semi circle and take the roll call, discuss the weather, our letter and number of the week. Also any particular topic we are focussing on that week. I usually have a book relating to whatever topic that I will read to the children at this time and sometimes we have a song or poem to learn. This can take for 15 to 30 minutes depending on how long I can hold their attention!!!. We then have a snack, the children bring in their own. Depending on the weather the children go outside to play or look after or plant something, we have artifical grass so we have planted lots of thing in pots including peas, potatoes and various flowers. I like to be able to spend about 30 minutes outside.If it is raining the children stay inside. Once we come inside the children are free to work with any of the items on the shelves, various practical life activities, sensorial activites, language, maths and culture materials. I also have a book corner where they can sit and look at books. I have a large easel for painting and three children can paint at any one time. During this time I will work with each child on a one to one basis, demonstrating various activities. If we have some special event we will work on a project together. At 12.00 we have tidy up time where all the children help to put everything back in place. When everything is tidy we sit in a circle again and I will read a story and discuss it. We usually finish the day with a song or some dancing. The children go home at 12.30