Recycling and Re-Using your Planning in Kindergarten

Let’s talk about a super underused strategy in kindergarten that majorly decreases your workload and burnout: Repetition. And I’m not talking about repeating instructions and expectations (although… let’s be honest that is inevitable and super helpful too in kinder land), I’m talking about repeating activities throughout the year and repeating lesson plans by recycling and re-using your planning in kindergarten.

Since the dawn of time, or at least the dawn of social media teachergram and pinterest, educators have been putting this pressure on themselves to constantly be thinking “new new new” and starting from scratch every single week. Brand new centres, brand new circles, brand new small groups. There is this fear of being boring or being seen as lazy. 

 But who is putting this on us? If we are super honest with ourselves this pressure is internal. In truth, there is actually a lot of benefit to repeating and recycling in kindergarten. 

For example: 

>>>  Using the same lesson format week after week creates familiarity which allows our students to become more and more independent 

>>> Presenting the same centre a few weeks later invites our students to look at it in a new perspective and demonstrate growth in their learning

>>> Evaluating similar pages month after month shows direct growth and progression 

>>> Using the same materials in new ways (or letting our littles decide how to use them) pushes our creative thinking, problem solving and innovation

I could go on and on but really the number one thing I have noticed is that using predictable, cyclical and highly routine based planning in kindergarten drastically decreased chaos and negative behaviour which of course, drastically reduced my stress. 

So….. what does this mean? 

Well. It means I am giving you WRITTEN permission (lol) to use the same centres this week as you did 5 weeks ago. Did you have foam letters in your water table with bubbles? Pull it out again. Played search and find during outdoor learning? Use the same sheet today. Read a book yesterday they loved? Read it again today with a new focus. Have flowers on a table as your art invitation? Rock it again. 

 It’s been weeks since your littles last did these activity which is truly a lifetime in kindergarten. You won’t need to give the same lengthy instructions, you’ll get to see their growth AND you don’t need to spend your precious time planning. 

Speaking of your precious time. 

Did you know that this highly routined and cyclical method that truly changed my life is the basis for my flagship program Kinder Planned ✔️? It’s based on using “workshop style teaching” which is my way of wording focused whole-group instruction. Each day of the week features it’s own workshop and the structure, expectations and schedule repeats week after week. The beauty of this is you know exactly what you are doing and when, which makes having a supply teacher sooo easy, and your littles know exactly what to expect as well. 

 Here’s the workshop schedule that I send you monthly lesson plans for: 

> Monday – Writing

> Tuesday – Math

> Wednesday – STEM

> Thursday – Gross or Fine Motor

> Friday – Art

In Kinder Planned ✔️ I send you the plans for these daily workshops, plus printable centres for math and literacy PLUS extra learning ideas directly to your inbox. The packages are all over 65+ pages and all the ideas have been tested and loved in kinder classes.

Ps. you can use the code podcastbff for 15% off your registration in the program! Click here to check it out.

LOOKING FOR MORE? Check out these episodes I am sure you are going to love.

>> STOP overplanning your kindergarten lessons
>> Systems and Routines to Prevent Burnout

And make sure to check out this episode of Kindergarten Kept Simple to hear more about how to recycle and re-use your planning in kindergarten

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Kindergarten specialist turned curriculum writer. Mom, wannabe baker and lover of early 2000s Disney Channel (hello, Lizzie McGuire and HSM). Enthusiast of ponytails, pancakes and helping Canadian kindergarten teachers stress less by simplifying their planning and re-igniting their love of play-based learning. Here to help you take back your weekends and love teaching on week days.

Or, send me an email at mariah@aplayfulpurpose.com