Thursday, May 7, 2009

Hints and Tips for Teaching Ages 4-5

Preschoolers are fun and full of energy! And they have a short attention span! Here are some hints, tips, and ideas for teaching your 4- and 5-year-olds. More tips can be found on our website.

Threading Activities Made Easy
Before using yarn for threading activities, dip the ends of the yarn in glue, twist them, and let them dry overnight. Or tape the ends with a small amount of clear tape. This will give the yarn a firm point to work with. For smaller threading projects, use chenille wire.

Preschool Vocation Guidance
Preschoolers are always wondering what kind of person they will grow up to be. They test possible vocations, consider future goals, and learn what it is like to be grown up by pretending to play the role. All of this is important to their future development. Help your preschoolers begin to discover what kind of person God has planned them to be by providing props, dress-up clothes, and opportunities for them to imitate and role play a variety of vocations.
Special Delivery. Send letters to your children. Be sure to include a stick of sugarless gum or a plastic bag of raisins. The parents will appreciate the letter and the child will remember the gift. Sending letters to absentees is always a good idea, but don't forget to send letters to your faithful members, too.

Taming Tempera Paint
When mixing powdered tempera paints, add a small amount of powdered detergent. This will give the paint body and will also make it wash out of smocks and clothes more easily. Adding a pinch of salt will keep the paint from souring.
Well done, good and faithful preschooler. Self-respect is an essential building block for healthy personalities. You can help your preschoolers lay a solid foundation of self-respect. Teach them the satisfaction of achievement by praising them for good work. Teach them that their accomplishments are significant. Give them small tasks they can do for the good of the group.
Language Explosion. At ages four and five, a preschooler's vocabulary increases tenfold, from 150 words to 1500 words! You can help them manage this explosion of words by doing two things. First, teach preschoolers how to use their new words correctly by speaking to them in complete, literal sentences. Second, let them practice using their new words by asking them to retell a story.

Jesus (Stop talking, Brian!) loves youAs a teacher, you talk about love, you read Bible passages about love, and you sing songs with your children about love. But do you give your children opportunities to practice loving one another? A Bible class that talks and sings about love but doesn't let the children talk to each other long enough to become friends is a contradiction in terms.
Let your fingers do the story telling, Try using finger puppets if you are telling a story with many characters. Finger puppets can be made from strips of construction paper that are decorated with crayons and then taped around your fingers. Finger puppets can also be quite elaborate creations made from felt and yarn. Fingers of gloves can be decorated so each finger becomes a different story character. Keep fingers bent when those characters are offstage, and raise your fingers as the story characters appear.

What's in a name?If it's a child's name, plenty! The sum of a child's existence is packaged in that name. And most children hear their name only when they're in trouble. They hear, Stephanie! How many times do I have to tell you to stop hitting Chris? Children need to hear their names spoken in positive sentences. When each child arrives for class, greet him or her by name. Say Jason! I'm glad you come today! When a child does something well, use his or her name with a compliment. Say, Philip, you did an excellent job cleaning your work place! When a child does something commendable, include his or her name in the recognition. Say, Andrea, letting Matthew borrow your crayon was a kind thing to do! Saying the child's name at the beginning of the sentence helps capture their attention so they are more likely to hear the rest of what you have to say.

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