Free Downloadable Preschool Schedule with Detailed Routines & Procedures | Detailed Routines & Procedures | PreK Toolbox (2023)

As the holidays have drawn to a close and the we’ve had a couple months with our schedules in place, some of us might feel a change in the preschool schedule is in order. Sometimes it could be beneficial to curb behavior problems and improve productivity within the classroom.

I’ve outlined my detailed schedule in this downloadable PDF.

Detailed Daily Preschool ScheduleDownload

The number one thing I love about my schedule is that my circle times are very short. I teach better and my students learn better when their lessons are in small bursts. Lessons lasting longer than 10-15 minutes tend to go over their heads, as they don’t have the attention span for it yet. And I don’t expect them to.

That being said, I do allow wiggle room for lessons that they do find particularly interesting.But when I’m doing a lesson and I notice them wandering off into la la land, I do brain breaks. Brain breaks can be anything from stretching to a short game of Simon Says. The brain breaks I use are usually 2 to 3 minutes and involve gross motor movements. Another great way to add brain breaks, is incorporating simple songs and finger plays within your lesson.

(Video) Visual Schedule for Preschool (free printable)

Morning Schedule Breakdown

My children can stroll in the door anytime between 7:30AM and 9:30AM. I don’t walk in until around 8:30AM so all the time before that is free play. From 8:30AM on, it is still free play but with a focus on fine motor skills. This means that I have multiple toys or games out for developing fine motor muscles (such as these simple games).

As part of our daily routine, my students also have a sign-in sheet and a name card that they use for attendance. Here they practice writing their names with my one-on-one instruction and then add their card to our pocket chart (pictured below). At morning meeting we will count our friends and talk about who’s missing.

Free Downloadable Preschool Schedule with Detailed Routines & Procedures | Detailed Routines & Procedures | PreK Toolbox (1)
Free Downloadable Preschool Schedule with Detailed Routines & Procedures | Detailed Routines & Procedures | PreK Toolbox (2)

After clean-up, we sit for out first circle time meeting. This is where we review our job list, do our calendar, weather chart, classroom leader board and morning greeting. The entire time spent at this meeting is no more than 15 minutes.

Classroom Leader Board

The classroom leader board is one of the best things I’ve implemented in my classroom. It’s a great way to implement letter recognition and sounds in our daily routines. Essentially the board has the same two sentences on the board every day with the exception of two or three words.

We spell the common words together and I write EXACTLY what letters they tell me, even if I know it’s wrong. Most of the time, once it’s on the board they’re able to identify if it’s wrong or right and then we can fix our mistakes. Our classroom leader then uses a pointer to read each word in both sentences.

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To expand on what we’ve learned, we now find the syllables to some words and write that number on the board OR we find a word that rhymes with it. For my older students, I’ll have them identify certain sight words. Here’s what it end’s up looking like:

Sarah is the leader today.
She loves pineapples. (3)

The words underlined are the ones that can change daily. Everything else remains the same. The number 3 is for the syllable count. As we get more used to seeing these words and the process quickens up, I’ll add an extra sentence at the bottom relating to the days lesson, holidays, birthdays etc. For example, it might read:

Sarah is the leader today.
She loves pineapples. (3)
Today is Michael’s birthday.
He is 4 years old.

This morning activity is great as a demo for writing letters, words and sentences; for identifying letters, names and sight words; and for introducing concepts like letter and word spacing, upper and lower case letters and punctuation marks.

Morning Greeting

Our morning greeting is one of my favorite parts of the day. It builds relationships, teaches manners and teaches children consent.

The Morning Greeter gets to choose each student one at a time. When the student comes up, they pick how they want the greeter to say good morning to them (i.e. hug, handshake, wave etc.). The Morning Greeter may not do something other than what the student has picked and they’re usually very respectful of this. At the end, they look each other in the eyes and say “good morning” or “hello”. Whatever they’re comfortable with.

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I always praise eye contact because for a lot of students eye contact can be a problem when communicating with others. I also make sure that when we’re hugging or fist bumping, that we are being gentle with our friends because it’s a calm greeting. Emphasizing calm and praising appropriate social behavior is really what makes a morning greeting chart work.

Here’s a link to the chart I use that I found on teachers pay teachers. It’s a free download, so just print and laminate!

Large Group

Our large group circle is right after outdoor time. This is how I like to split my schedule up. Unstructured and/or gross motor play between my lessons that require more focus and concentration. This way they get all their wiggles out!

This large group usually consists of a book, a song and/or a learning game. This large group is usually relevant to either my small group activity or the play/art activity I have planned. This lesson is somewhere between 10 to 20 minutes depending on the length of the book and the engagement of my students. I may also use those brain breaks I was referring to above here as well.

This large group is where I discuss the planned activities for the day and where I assign my small groups. After our lesson we split to small group, art or free play. Art is a part of free play but my kids all love art so I have to separate them into groups.

Transitions

All of my transitions are planned. I have planned games/songs that I use over and over again during transitions. For more tips on optimizing your transitional times, read my Top 10 Tips for Transitions.

Afternoon Schedule

There’s a lot of wiggle room in the schedule after nap. Most of my children stay at school until 5PM, with some leaving at 6PM. This gives me plenty of time to catch up on things I may have missed during the morning. It also allows me some time to work on skills that particular students need help with.

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I always try add some more writing activities in the afternoon by suggesting it as play. For instance, I’ll say “You know what could be fun? What if we wrote our own recipe/story/card”. If I think it’s a cool thing to do, a lot of the time at least one of them will agree (and then pack mentality comes to play and I can round up 3 or 4 of them). Depending on their level, I’ll dictate their illustrations or spell/write words that they can then copy.

Some days I’ll work on math skills instead of extra writing in the afternoon. I’ll set out number cards and counters, puzzles, measuring tools etc. The activities I choose in the afternoon are a direct representation of what we could use extra work on and what my students are interested in in that moment.

If they want to spend the afternoon doing puzzles, drawing, constructing with blocks or playing teacher (their new favorite game), I always allow it. In fact, it’s a perfect time for me to engage in their play alongside them and develop those critical thinking skills.

Conclusion

At the end of the day, my schedule may not work for you or your students. Schedules sometimes need to be altered multiple times before you find the ones that work for you and your students. And if you’re a first year teacher, it’s going to take some trial and error before you figure out what works best.

Your schedule is so important so work on it and really identify what times of day you’re struggling with. This will help narrow down where you need to make changes. A great preschool schedule can be the difference between having students that are ready and eager to learn versus students who are frustrated and exhibiting behaviors because of it.

Work on your schedules and make changes where need be! If you have tips from your own schedules, comment below! I’d love to hear about them and maybe implement them in my own classroom.

For a complete guide to setting your classroom up for success this year, download this Back to School 101 Guide by clicking the image below:

(Video) UFLI Foundations Implementation Overview

Free Downloadable Preschool Schedule with Detailed Routines & Procedures | Detailed Routines & Procedures | PreK Toolbox (3)

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Related

FAQs

How do I create a preschool schedule? ›

Preschool daily schedule example
  1. 7:00 to 8:30 a.m. — Welcome / Free play.
  2. 8:30 to 9:00 a.m. — Breakfast.
  3. 9:00 to 9:30 a.m. — Clean up.
  4. 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. — Circle time.
  5. 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. — Learning centers.
  6. 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. — Lunch.
  7. 1:00 to 1:30 p.m. — Clean up.
  8. 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. — Nap time.
Aug 4, 2022

What should a preschool schedule look like? ›

There are lots of important components to a daily preschool schedule but common activities include outside time, free center time, circle time(s) and other group activities, storytime, music, nap time, time in small groups, and meals (breakfast, lunch, and/or snack).

How do you make a visual schedule for preschoolers? ›

Tips for Creating a Visual Schedule

Identify the skill/routine you want to focus on. Breakdown the activity into steps. Choose a suitable visual format. Photographs may be helpful for children to understand as they can easily associate the picture of an object to routine activity.

How do I set a routine for my 4 year old? ›

What Goes Into the Ideal Daily Routine for 4-Year-Olds?
  1. Make Bed. While your child is in the bedroom, have her practice making her bed. ...
  2. Play Time. Individual play is important for children. ...
  3. Lunch. Lunchtime is so important. ...
  4. Quiet Time/ Nap. ...
  5. Dinner & Family Time.
Aug 26, 2019

How can I make my own school schedule? ›

How to Make a Daily Schedule for Students
  1. List To-Do Items. Start by listing everything you need to do. ...
  2. Balance Activities. With your list written, you can start to schedule what you have to do by the days of the week. ...
  3. Set a Designated Space. ...
  4. Take Breaks. ...
  5. Trade Time. ...
  6. Use Tools.

How do I create a schedule of activities? ›

Strategies for Creating Your Weekly Schedule
  1. Plan for real life. Be realistic about what you can accomplish each day. ...
  2. Give yourself enough time. Budget at least 1 hour of homework for every hour of class time.
  3. Plan study time. ...
  4. Plan time for fun. ...
  5. Don't over commit. ...
  6. Spread things out.
Nov 24, 2022

How many days a week should preschool be? ›

There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to deciding how many days your child should attend preschool. Whether your child attends three, four, or five mornings per week is ultimately a personal decision based on the particular needs of the child and family.

What is the most important item in a preschool? ›

Active Learning

Lots of reading time, arts and crafts, music, dance, exploring the natural world, outdoor play—these are all critically important to young children.

How many hours of sleep should a preschool child be getting every night? ›

How Much Sleep Do Preschoolers Need? Preschoolers need about 10 to 13 hours of sleep each day, including naps. Set regular bedtimes, wake-up times, and nap times for your child.

What is a visual schedule in preschool? ›

Visual schedules are used to show a clear beginning, middle and end. Visuals empower children to become independent and encourage participation. At school, visual schedules can be used to show a daily routine, a sequence of activities to be completed or the steps in an activity.

How do you make a daily routine time table for kids? ›

5 Tips for Creating a Daily Schedule for Kids
  1. Get kids involved. Some to-dos are non-negotiable (like tidying up her toys or doing his math homework). ...
  2. Use pictures for younger children. ...
  3. Don't worry about extra screen time. ...
  4. Have a couple of back-up activities ready to go. ...
  5. Be flexible.
Apr 24, 2020

What materials are needed for visual schedule? ›

Gather Materials such as scissors, glue stick, poster board, clear contact paper, Velcro, pictures (photographs, pictures from magazines, computer programs, food labels, etc.). 2. Choose pictures for the schedule you wish to create.

How do you structure a preschool classroom? ›

Preschool classrooms are usually organized around interest areas or learning centers. These defined areas allow children to play and explore materials with the guidance of the teacher either individually or in small groups. Low dividers often separate the centers, but children move freely among them.

How do I organize my preschool classroom? ›

11 Classroom management tips worth trying
  1. Organize your room strategically. ...
  2. Emanate comfort and reassurance. ...
  3. Give them tools to express their feelings. ...
  4. Make a plan for transitions. ...
  5. Follow the kids from time to time. ...
  6. Use child-friendly labels. ...
  7. Refer to the routine. ...
  8. Create integrated learning environments.
Oct 21, 2019

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