I have spent a ton of time adjusting my routines to fit the group that I am teaching. Sometimes that means removing certain aspects of the day to make it run smoothly. Mother Goose Time gives you a frame in which to follow for your classroom but you are by no means stuck with that frame. The most important part of any curriculum you pick for your classroom is to make sure that it can be made to fit your classroom.
At the preschool age a curriculum that is fixed is not always the best idea because preschool children are not fixed in their reactions to certain information and the way it is delivered. Some times they can have the information delivered in small group and sometimes it needs to be one on one. So making sure you are paying attention to how children are absorbing the information and how they are reacting to the routine being set up is very important.
My classroom routine:
We follow the circle time routine set up by Mother Goose time . Morning greeting, weather, calendar, discussion of the theme and the schedule and a song or finger play for the day.
I set up centers according to what Mother goose time has set up for the day. I have six children so I have 2-3 centers a day. One of the centers will be Art, unless the art activity involves some one on one time rather than small group. An example would be Day 16 of the Baby Animals Monthly theme.
Art was Caterpillar for invitation to create.
Math was I am Big. This activity was using paper to measure and trace hands feet and then outlining the child.
Writing was Now and Then Postcard. This is when the child would draw a picture of themselves as a baby and what they look like now.
After snack we would then have story and go into free play/ individual time. Individual time would involve having the children come and work with me on skills they are being introduced to or something they need to work on. For Day 16 Block Measuring from the steam station is what is worked on during individual time. This helped them understand better what they did at the math center and why.
Closing Time is usually something done when it's almost pick up time but I decided to move it around and we now do reflection through out the day. I find they are able to retain the information if it is being discussed and more information is being given throughout the day as oppose to waiting until the very end of the day. Instead of a dance we read a story of their choosing at the end of the day.
This is the way I run my classroom and while there is so much research out there for why a classroom should be run a certain way, my main reason is because this is what works for the children and I. They are the reason why I am here and it helps no one if I am not doing what is in their best interest. When choosing a curriculum make sure that it is something you can bend and mold to fit the children of the class. Not only that but it something that will keep them engaged.
Science. Now I have a designated day for certain subjects I want to introduce to the classroom. I go though the Teacher's Guide and I pull out projects that have to do with science and cooking and put them in my own lesson plan book for science days during the month. Our Dance days we do Dance n' Beats.
Dance n'beats is easy to add to the routine because the dance class is already mapped out in different 45 minute sections. Or you can break it up anyway that works. I do not do all of the art activities in Dance n' Beats because they maybe time consuming or it may cost too much to do the project. It is easy to modify the project though or to remove things if needed. Makes it easy to do the Dance lesson!
I know it seems like busy work, but I promise once you see all the fun they have learning and understanding the routine it is much easier to run the classroom. You may find little tricks you had to your curriculum that I didn't even thing to add!