How to Plan and Organize Your Classroom Themes
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How to Plan and Organize Your Classroom Themes


Hey everyone, it’s Sheryl from Teaching 2
and 3 Year Olds. I am often asked, how do I plan for a new
theme? And you know, I have kind of kept a similar
approach since- for the last 19 years, tweaking it here and there, but I thought I would kind
of walk you through how I start planning all the way until setting it up in the classroom. So, our storage room is actually downstairs. So when I need to get things in my storage
room, I come down here. So this is our storage room, we share it with
all of the preschool classrooms, so it gets used a lot. There’s a lot of teachers that come and go
in this storage room every day. Now, I will tell you, I know that we are really
lucky to have this. A lot of teachers don’t have the luxury of
having a big storage room to put their things in, and so I get that. And I know that we’re lucky. So let me just show you, a couple years ago
we decided to box up all of our themed- all of our materials by theme so that we could
reuse them year after year, because everything was getting lost and mixed up, we couldn’t
find anything. So we decided to- we have these nice big containers,
these are from The Container Store, and we have- for most themes we have two bins: one
for the younger children, and one for the older children, because obviously we use different
types of materials depending on if they’re younger or if they’re older. And then they are labelled, like this one
says juniors, which are the younger children, apples pumpkins Halloween. And then Pre-K has one. So I’m going to look through here, and what
I do is I find what we are going to be working on next week, so I have found ours here, our
snowman bin, and then I find my books. Now, this is not a fancy book organization
system, but it works for us, and when I first started teaching here 19 years ago, we had
no books. So I joined Scholastic, and we started getting
bonus points, and look at- we’ve got two shelves, two bays- three! Filled with books. We are really lucky. This is how many we have accumulated in the
last 19 years, so what I’m going to do now is I’m gonna go down and I am going to find
some books. Snow… and then I’m just gonna pull some,
like I’ll just kinda go pull them, and I’m gonna take them up with me so that I can go
through them and decide which ones I want to read to the children. So, let’s take this back up to my classroom. So, once we get back in the classroom, I have
my planner, my little binder, where I keep my planning sheets, and I have one of these
for each week, it’s just a real simple planner, I like to give this out in my newsletters,
so if you are not subscribed yet to my newsletter, the link is below, make sure to, because I
often will share this free printable with my subscribers. So basically, what it has is it has- it has
a place for me to put my theme, and then I have broken it up by category: art, easel,
sensory, playdough, blocks, science, light table, dramatic play, books, songs, and fingerplays. And anything else, I just make note down here. So then what I do is I start going through
the bin that I pulled from downstairs and looking to see what will work for each of
these areas. And then as I do so, I will then start filling
out my planner. So I’m noting down- I’m making note that the
theme is snowflakes and snowmen, and we’re going to be painting snowflakes, and we’re
going to be making sugar cookies, so I’m just kind of going through and I’m jotting down
what we’re going to do. When I have all of this figured out, around
the corner we are so lucky to have a shelf. This is not pretty, but it’s behind the scenes,
but we put it on our shelf. So actually you can see here I have my circle
time basket here with stuff we’re going to do for circle time, I have our tray activities
that we’ll be doing at the table. I will then stack these up on my shelf. That way, they’re all there when I need them. Everything’s ready to go, I start doing this
a week prior, I work on it little by little all week, and then on the morning of that
week, it’s so easy because I just take all my bins out, and I just place everything where
it needs to go in the classroom. And so I hope these tips help you, and I’d
love to hear how you- how do you plan for the week? I’d love to- drop me an email, because I’d
love to hear, I love to hear about how other people do it, I’m always inspired and I’ll
learn something new too! Thanks for watching!

About James Carlton

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4 thoughts on “How to Plan and Organize Your Classroom Themes

  1. Thank you for sharing this great video filled with lots of good ideas !!!! Love your storage room and how you get ready for each week by boxing items – very smart!!!! Please keep on making these awesome videos, I always find them very useful and inspiring!!!!

  2. Can you do a video on how you organize yourself for a new school year? I am in my first year of teaching, and I am completely lost on how to get my curriculum ready for my new kids in a few weeks.

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