The schedule for the day will vary from program to program depending on your needs and those of your learners. Beginning the day by reading the storybook, however, sets the tone for the day and reminds the children of the concepts and how the activities of the day are related to the events or ideas in the story. Dramatization of the story and the center activities logically evolve out of the story reading. Each implementation team will determine the amount of time devoted to the centers, the number of centers, and the staffing of the centers for each module.
A Typical Half-Day Program
For a typical half-day program (with bathroom time fit in as needed), the schedule might look similar to the following:
8:00 A.M. - 8:30 A.M.
Arrival and greetings
8:30 A.M. - 9:00 A.M.
Reading the Story
Read or reread the storybook as a group with the involvement of the children.
9:00 A.M. - 10:30 A.M.
Centers or choice time
At the beginning of a 2-week module, before the centers begin, the team members may demonstrate acting out the story for the group for the first few days. This allows the children who choose the Dramatic Play: Theme Area to have a model and a plan with which to experiment and to modify as they become more familiar with the story. Children are free to move from center to center; but the facilitators in the room are responsible for seeing that
- The children remain interested and actively involved at the chosen centers.
- The children are able to make the transition from one center to another so that everyone can be involved in a variety of activities and the needed developmental experiences.
- The concepts, skills, and processes needed across all four domains (cognitive, communication and language, sensorimotor, and social-emotional) as well as emerging literacy skills are addressed each day.
- Individualization takes place within each center for each child.
Children are also engaged in the cleanup at the end of this center time. If certain centers necessitate a limited number of children, you can allocate tickets, bracelets, or a specified number of materials or toys for the maximum number of children. For highly desirable yet space-limited centers, a timer may be used to enable all of the children to have an opportunity to participate.
10:30 A.M. - 11:00 A.M.
Oral-motor play and snack
This time should involve the children in the preparation and serving of the snack. (Preparation of the snack is sometimes part of the Science and Math Center, as cooking involves measuring, classifying, observing change, and so forth.) Songs and oral-motor activities are suggested in the modules. This is also a good time for conversations about the children's morning activities and experiences, news from home, and general dialogue.
11:00 A.M. - 11:30 A.M.
This time will be dependent on the weather, of course; it may involve individual or small-group play and can be related to the story. If playground equipment is available, supervision is critical and adaptations should be considered for children with sensory impairments or physical disabilities.
11:30 A.M. - 12:00 P.M.
This time is not included as a center in the modules, but you and other team members will want to plan for a daily book time. Children individually, in pairs, or in small groups "read" books related to the theme and interact with peers and facilitators around reading at their own level of development. Having time for children to look at many books in addition to the particular storybook on which the module is based is critical. Picture books, predictable books, simple stories, and more complex books related to the module theme may be available for the children at this time. Consider using this time to read to the children; to have the children "read" their own stories or predictable books to you, another adult, or other children; and to assist the children in enhancing and generalizing their emerging literacy skills.
Modifying the Schedule
Programs that do not meet for a full half-day would adjust this sample schedule accordingly. Likewise, programs that meet all day may include a rest period and an afternoon center time, snack, book time, and/or outdoor play time.