One of the most important, yet time consuming areas of the classroom to set up in preschool is the carpet time/calendar area. This will be the main meeting area for the class throughout the year. The children will learn to follow routines and rules, learn how to be a kind friend, listen to stories, sing and learn what school is all about. Follow these simple steps and you will have the most amazing carpet time area.
- proximity to the door or cubby
I like to greet the children from the carpet in order to allow them to independently complete our morning routine, so I like the carpet area to be close to the entrance of the room or close to where they hang their backpacks. That way I am able to keep an eye on them while chatting with the students on the carpet. This will also limit the distractions.
- plenty of wall space for a calendar and other fun calendar time activities
- access to a plug in or could safely run an extension cord to a plug in from the location
Whether you can run an extension cord will be up to your center or school, so keep this is mind when you are looking for a location!
2. Have a Plan
Several items to include in your carpet area are a calendar, direction icons, alphabet and skill of the day activities.
- Set up the calendar on the floor first. This will help you determine how much space/paper you will need.
- Always cut the paper a little longer than needed.
To be on the safe side I like to place a little more paper then needed. It is easy to cut off any extra when I have added the items. I love this fo wood paper. I found this at Lakeshore.
- Mix up patterned borders
I love these cute forest themed borders. Students will love looking at these cute little guys everyday!
- Staple the top corner over the side border
One thing I always include is a calendar. For the first few months of preschool and kindergarten we focus on one week.
I like the boys and girls to start to recognize that there are 7 days in a week and we attend school 5 of those days. The boys and girls take turns pointing to the calendar as we sing out “Days of the Week” songs by Dr. Jean and other youtube artists. There are so many ways to change up calendar time to make it fun and exciting.
Our theme this year was forest animals. I tried to make our calendar as interactive as possible.
I used a laminated Calendar and added cute forest library pocket charts.
I take cute popsicle sticks and cut them in a little over a half to fit into each of the pockets. I add the numbers 1-30 to the stickers to use for the day of the week. During the first few weeks I put an X at the top for the days we do not have school (weekends). We switch over to the number system by October in Kindergarten and November in Preschool.
Get the fabric patterned sticks (here) (affl)
- Shape of the Day and or any Skill of the Day Activity
The boys and girls will search and compare shapes circling the shape of the day.
- Visual Directions
I always include visual directions in our calendar area. As I give directions to projects and activities I place the visual direction in order from 1-4. If the children become confused they know where to go for help.
Repetition is key for any concept in preschool. When a child is the calendar helper they take a turn pointing to each letter as we sing or say the alphabet song. As the year progresses I have the students try to spell there name, look for what letter comes next and a few of the kids will look for sounds. Depending on the levels in the classroom.