While in a state of near constant development and learning, toddler lessons can be difficult to plan because each child progresses at a unique pace. This skill 'disparity' can seem daunting when choosing projects, lessons, and activities for the classroom. Deborah Stewart provides a new way of looking at lesson plans on her blog Excellence in Early Childhood Education.
First, she encourages teachers to look at broad developmental areas. For toddlers Stewart broke each day's lesson down into six meaningful categories. These included "sensory, speech and vocabulary, creative art, music and movement, large and fine motor skills, and daily life skills". Next, she highlights the importance of approaching lessons with a theme. Because toddlers aren't able to make a connection with abstract ideas like 'friendship' or 'peace', Stewart suggests basing daily or weekly themes on tangible objects that students can connect with physically and verbally.
Stewart provides a few sample themes for use in the toddler classroom, formatting advice for lesson plans and activity information pages, as well as, guidance for creating consistency in the classroom. Be sure to check out this great resource!