These are a Few of My Favorite Things: Online Teaching Resources
Fall is fast approaching, and with it comes back to school planning and, for those of us who had a quiet summer with teaching signing classes, a chance to power up and make this our best season so far.
There are almost limitless resources for teaching out there. The SigningTime Academy has provided us with three great ones to start: The Instructor’s Manual, The Classroom Edition, and The Preschool and Childcare Program (PCP). If you are a part of the Signing Time Academy, you get the Instructor’s Manual when you sign on. The Classroom Edition comes with the Advanced Level, and the PCP can be purchased (I highly recommend it!).
Any one of these resources, or maybe a combination from each, can help you create a great class. However, if you’re anything like me, you tend to go out of the box and find your own way too. In addition, you may find you want some “fillers”, or activities to do when you find you have a few minutes to kill, or an activity isn’t going quite as planned and you need a switch. (If this happens to you, take heart, it happens to the best and most seasoned teachers. A good bag of tricks will help you see success no matter how a class is going.)
So how do you build this bag of tricks and alternate activities? I get Google happy. I take my theme (let’s say it is “bugs”) and Google in “preschool activities bugs”. That phrase gets over a million results! Alternately, try using the phrase but subbing out the word “activities” for “poems”, “songs”, or “crafts” and see what you get.
With so many options out there, it’s helpful to have a few go-to favorite sites too. Here are a few of my favorites to explore:
http://www.babycenter.com/baby-games-activities: A huge list of games and activities to do with babies.
http://www.whattoexpect.com/playroom/infant-activities/landing.aspx: A very comprehensive list, with a great focus on sensory development.
PRESCHOOL AND UP
www.atozteacherstuff.com: Thematic units, pintables, and lessons galore!
www.123child.com: Preschool activities galore, all searchable by a huge number of different themes, seasons, etc.
www.scholastic.com: Search out their free lesson plans or check their teacher store, which includes digitally downloadable lesson plan books. Last spring I took advantage of a sale and scored several books for only a few dollars each, books that would have cost me $10 and up if I had bought the hard copy.
How about you? What are some of your favorite online teaching resources? Tell us in the comments section!
(If you are already a Signing Time Instructor, we also have a training on class fillers. You can find these in the Instructor Library with the training videos. Just look for “STA Class Time Fillers” with AD Robin Williams.)