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Preschool Newsletter for March 2014
February 25, 2014
Hi There!

March 2014 Preschool Primer Newsletter

Welcome to the twenty-seventh issue of the Preschool Plan-It Primer, a free newsletter from .

My hope is that you find information in each newsletter that is helpful to you- the Early Childhood Educator- as you work with this wonderful group called Preschoolers! This is the mini-newsletter that focuses on theme suggestions and new additions to the website.

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March 2014, Issue # 27

In This Issue:

Article: I.P.O.P. Planning A Theme From Scratch

Tips & Timesavers: Keeping Track of Projects

Theme Suggestions for March

What’s New? Search It, Find It, Plan It!

I.P.O.P. Planning a Theme From Scratch

Sometimes we limit our planning by starting out with a theme name in our heads and then try to come up with ideas for each interest center but become stalled for ideas.

You need to plan a theme. Perhaps you have a great idea for a theme to write up for preschool, but where and how do you begin?

I.P.O.P. is the acronym to remember!

Interesting theme.




Let's review each step:

I- Interesting theme

The first step is to choose a theme. But rather than choose one that is interesting to just YOU, take some time to really listen to your students.

What are THEY showing interest in? Perhaps trucks and construction because of a road project happening nearby? Or babies because a few of your preschoolers have new babies at home?

Brainstorm a list of things and events your children just can't talk enough about!

Take a look at all the theme ideas you have! Now.........choose ONE!

P- Print

Once you've chosen ONE theme, print every single idea that comes to mind. Don't limit your thinking by trying to write down activities that go with each interest center.

What I mean is don't think "What art activities can I do with this theme? What can I add to the blocks area?".

Instead, think of the theme word and print everything that comes to your mind even if you can't think of where you would use that idea!

O- Organize

This step is where you decide where to place all the ideas! I color code this step. I assign a color (or highlighter) for each interest center and then circle the word with the assigned color.

For example, let's say my kids are fascinated with bugs, so I have chosen that theme. Perhaps I've listed the words "sand", "wings", and "poke/sting" on my list.

I might circle the word "sand" in orange and have orange to mean Sensory (water and sand) table. I'll add sand to my table during this theme.

I might circle the word "wings" in green (for science) and pink (for drama). I want to add some winged bugs to my science center or perhaps pictures of winged bugs. And, I want to add the large butterfly wings that the children can wear to the drama center.

I might circle the word "sting/poke" in red (circle time) as well as in blue (music/movement) because I'm thinking that in circle time, we can do a puppet show about poking/hurting our friends and in music/movement we can do the Hokey POKEy (or Bee sting Pokey)!

P- Plan

Here is where I look at my very colorful list of words/activities and write up lesson plans for each area.

That is I.P.O.P.!

For a more detailed description of each step, go to my Plan A Theme article series on the website that begins on this page:

Plan A Theme Series Page

Working Together as a Team

Ericka, a PreK teacher from Texas, shared a quote with me. It was one that her former principal used to say,

"Great teachers aren't made; they're borrowed from the teacher next door!"

So share your knowledge and ideas with each other! Accept each others' ideas and ways to teach!

Co-workers don't let co-workers plan alone!

Tips and Timesavers

Who Did What?

Most projects in our classrooms are choices. EVERY child does not HAVE to do an art project every day, or participate in the writing center every day.

There are times, however, that we DO want every child to participate. These are for projects such as making a Christmas present for parents, or a Mother's or Father's day gift, or end of the year gift, or signing a card for someone.

Forgetting one child because they were out sick or on vacation could prove to be a sad event!

Keep track with a names list.

Keep a list on a clipboard with all of your students' names listed in a column on the left and side.

As you have projects that each child needs to do, print the name of the project on the next column.

Check off when each child does the project.

You now can keep track of Who Did What!

This is also a great tip for keeping track of portfolio items or for artwork that you are saving for conferences or for an upcoming Art Show!

Theme Suggestions for March


Nutrition Theme March is National Nutrition Month!

Dr. Seuss Theme Dr. Seuss' birthday and Read Across America Day is Sunday, March 2nd. Celebrate the first week of March!

Mardi Gras Theme Mardi Gras begins Tuesday, March 4th!

Quilts Theme National Quilting Day is Saturday, March 15!

St. Patrick's Day Theme St. Patrick's Day is Monday, March 17!

Spring Theme First Day of Spring is Thursday, March 20th!

Doctor Theme National Doctors' Day is Sunday, March 30th


Kite and Wind Theme

Mud Theme

Planting Seeds Theme

Worms Theme

What's New?

The following pages were added to the website since the last newsletter:

New Theme Pages Added

David and Goliath Theme

Quilts Theme

Articles and Information Pages Added

Plan A Theme Introduction Article

Plan A Theme Step 1 Article

Plan A Theme Step 2 Article

Plan A Theme Step 3 Article

Inclement Weather- A General Planning Article to Help in Bad Weather

36 Indoor Gross Motor Activities to help in Inclement Weather

In-Service Workshops

Looking to get some in-service hours in this month? This workshop might qualify in your state/province (check with your Director or Licensing Regulations to be sure):

Science in the Preschool Classroom Online Workshop

Themes now available for your E-Readers!

More themes have been added as e-books for purchase.

You can find the list of E-Books here! There is a small fee for each theme to help offset the time it takes to format and publish them. I will be formatting and publishing the remaining themes throught the fall so that they are all available by the end of the year.

Other Available Resources on the Website:

Preschool Plan-It Amazon Store (Recommended Preschool Items)

My Store (Personal Books and Items for sale)

Product Review Page A page to find honest reviews on books and products I have personally read or used in the classroom.

Comments? Ideas for future newsletters? Feedback? This newsletter is written FOR you, so I'd love to hear from you. Just reply to this zine and tell me what you think!

Until Next Time,


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