Preschool teaching strategies for bilingual classrooms
Preschool teaching strategies emerge from designing lessons and curriculum. More importantly, these techniques developed by what you want to teach in the preschool classroom. Imagine a preschool classroom utterly blank with only the bare walls and a floor. How would you fill up the room?
Perhaps, you might think you need chairs, tables, rugs, desks, and books. However, you might be surprised that one of the first aspects of setting up a preschool classroom is taking inventory of your teaching strategies.
Traditional preschool teaching strategies
Aside from knowing the basic foundation of collecting books and games for your classroom, you might consider other teaching strategies that can help you. Of course, one of the fundamental areas to focus is the book nook or classroom library. You know that you need books for children to learn all different subjects. Many books may come from the school or academy. You can also collect them from year to year by going to garage sales, discount public library book sales or hold a book fundraiser in your school.
Another preschool teaching idea is to designate areas of dramatic play, writing, science exploration, and reading time. Separating your preschool classroom into sections benefits your students to assimilate different areas of learning. Movement from learning station to another also encourages to practice the transition from one activity to another in future upper grades. While a group of students focuses on writing with various types of tools, another group can learn about problem-solving with puzzles and games.
Other traditional preschool teaching strategies to consider are general areas with building blocks, manipulative objects to enhance fine-motor skills and science centers. While these preschool teaching strategies help in all areas of learning, build your teacher’s toolbox with professional development workshop to continue learning.
Tools in preschool teaching strategies
Technology settled not just in preschool classrooms but in all areas of K-12 education. So creating strategies on how to implement technology in the school is worthy to learn. While there are so many interactive games and videos that you can play from your desktop computer, you need to seek the ones that supplement learning the most.
For instance, look for interactive activities that build on previous concepts to expand the learning of children. Most likely you will need computers to complete interactive activities. If you have enough computers in the classroom to use web-based software, plan to have at least technology class two or three times a week as part of your preschool teaching. Depending on your school curriculum, you might have to adjust your technology teaching goals.
Most definitely talk with other preschool teachers to see how they use technology in the classroom. Let’s face it. Technology is part of the lives of preschoolers at school and home. So incorporating different ways to use technology is a vital part of any preschool teaching strategy. More necessary than technology is establishing literacy skills in the classroom.
Reinforcement of literacy in preschool teaching
Apparently, a reading program is an inevitable part of preschool teaching. From using various types of reading materials to writing tools, reading is the foundation for any preschoolers. When you are designing lessons for reading as part of preschool teaching strategies, look for books of different sizes, cultural components, and vocabulary.
Especially for a bilingual classroom teaching Spanish, you want various literary works. For instance, consult with your local librarian for titles in both English and Spanish that helps young readers learn new stories and vocabulary. Examples of literary works are poetry, nursery rhymes, bilingual short stories, picture books, soft and hardcover books, Pura Belpre award-winning stories, audiobooks, and magazines.
Including reading aloud sessions in your preschool teaching, encourage young readers also to create booklets, drawings based on reading the material, write stories with unexpected endings, or crafts using the story. The possibilities are endless when it comes to encouraging reading. As you know, children learn new vocabulary in many different ways. So don’t stop at reading aloud time.
Take that opportunity to build on new Spanish and English words and open up the discussion. One example is to use felt boards and finger puppet play to simulate the story or perhaps even create new ones. You can also encourage parents to further the learning at home. When you greet parents or caregivers, support them by sending newsletters with tips to promote reading at home.
Preschool teaching strategies to use at home
Offering tips and news of the happenings in your classroom doesn’t have to be a long piece of text. There are many templates you can use to write your newsletter every month. Merely use a standard format every time to stay consistent with your news. More importantly, reinforce ideas of reading at home or practicing writing.
The more you can encourage parents to be part of the preschoolers’ education; the more families will connect with their children. For instance, you might want to help parents to look up local story time sessions at a public library. Are there any local museums or art centers for preschoolers to encourage dramatic play or artwork?
If not, you can suggest gathering watercolors, crayons, color pencils, and modeling clay. Once they have those art tools, motivate preschoolers to draw or write a set of words they learned in class. Other tips are to visit a local zoo or aquarium, if available. Encourage them to bring a favorite book about animals and suggest ways to discuss what they observe at the zoo or aquarium.
Seeking ways to sharpen your preschool teaching strategies is part of knowing what you need in your classroom. Perhaps, you need ideas about how to section your classroom or technology implementation ideas. More importantly, focus on setting goals for your strategies that are attainable. That way, you can measure whether those strategies are working for you or not. Later, you can change them in ways that help you and the learning of preschoolers.