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OCTOBER CRAZIES

The energy of the classroom seems to be accelerated in the month of October and it is imperative to have a plan in place. Students are inundated with advertisements, commercialization in stores and decorations in most public places.


Not only do some of these items bring excitement and anticipation for festivities, they may bring moments of fear and anxiety. The role of parents and teachers can steer the course of how children handle this season with confidence and understanding of fantasy versus reality.


The role of parents and teachers can steer the course of how children handle this season with confidence and understanding of fantasy versus reality.


CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT


By the time October arrives, students are comfortable in how the classroom is running and know how and when they can wiggle in mischievousness and test the boundaries that have been set. Even though comfortable, the students are aware of what is expected and this is the perfect time to remind them of the rules and routines for a successful day. Transitions, daily schedules and lesson plans must be prepared and executed with purpose each day.


Transitions are often the easiest time for students to take a chance at bending the rules. A simple song or chant may help with these instances. While the children are lining up or waiting for the next activity, encourage them to sing a familiar song from circle time or one about the season. Preschoolers, kindergarteners and elementary students still love to play, especially during a boring time of the daily schedule. When it is time to transition back to the large group area, give them directions on how to get there. “Roar like a lion on your way to the carpet.” “Crawl like a spider to your table.” are a few examples to use.


Sticking to your daily schedule as much as possible is crucial when the energy level of the classroom is high.


Sticking to your daily schedule as much as possible is crucial when the energy level of the classroom is high. The students know what is coming next when they have a routine that they can depend on. If there are special activities for the season, fit them in your schedule when it makes sense. If you plan to carve a pumpkin at the time of day the children are used to being outside, then bring a tarp to school and take the activity outdoors. Are the children constantly talking about costumes and other activities that happen outside of school hours? Provide paper and writing tools in your Writing Center and ask them to draw a picture of their interests during Free Play. Redirect the conversation to the lessons of the day or a future activity that they are looking forward to.


Classroom management relies on detailed lesson plans. Often times, we depend on our experience to fill in the gaps that naturally occur during the academic day. Lesson plans should be comprehensive with all activities and lessons should include estimated time for teaching and implementing, learning outcome, learning domain standard and differential options. When the estimated time for teaching and implementation are included, the day can be planned more efficiently and prevent transition gaps between activities. Incorporating the learning outcome and domain standards give purpose to each lesson and ensures that the students are on track with developmentally appropriate activities. Many seasonal projects can fill time without purpose. Coloring sheets and worksheets often give parents the appearance of learning without reason. Consider turning these worksheets into a teaching moment by making a file folder activity or having a small group lesson of mixing colors and allow the children to paint the coloring sheet instead of scribbling on it with crayons.


FANTASY VERSES REALITY


Fun does not have to be avoided when God’s creations can be celebrated.


Commercialization infiltrates the minds of children during October. In public, the stores are filled with costumes and decorations. Social media, apps and programs contain ideas and fantasies that need to be clarified with children. Separating fantasy from reality is a perfect lesson for this season as the students see masks, costumes and experience festivities. Many Christian families do not celebrate this season while others minimize the effect with fall festivals and church events. Teaching children about pumpkins, spiders, bats and cats are an option to keep the theme of October in the classroom without celebrating Halloween. Fun does not have to be avoided when God’s creations can be celebrated. Teaching the Life Cycle of a Pumpkin, fun facts about nocturnal animals and counting the legs of creepy crawly spiders are just a few ideas to get your lesson plans started for this season. Adding Bible stories about God’s faithfulness in fearful situations teach students to rely on Him when they feel anxious or afraid. Ephesians 4:27 tells us not to give foothold to the devil. There are many opportunities to celebrate our Lord during this season without giving Satan a place in our classrooms. Even though most children costumes and activities seem harmless, memories are being made and can be eternally impressionable. It is vital to teach that God needs to be part of our lives every day and in every season.


Pre-K God’s Way provides a comprehensive curriculum that can be used completely or as a supplement to your existing curriculum for October that includes activities and lessons for each learning domain with Biblical Integration. Lesson plans are easily made by choosing which activities are best for your students and their appropriate developmental level. While teaching the Love of the Lord during this season of fear, your students will enjoy fun activities full of academic rigor. It is possible for the October Crazies to become October testimonies! Supply your classroom with these resources today!




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