Like so many of you, I will be tackling a new challenge this fall, remote teaching. Teaching preschool remotely is extra challenging because preschool is all about in-person learning, emergent curriculum, and teachable moments. This year is going to be very different, but we are professionals, and we can do this! This is one of my planned remote preschool lessons for September, and I wanted to share it with you. I will be sending my students links to two recorded read alouds with mini lessons a week, as well as hosting two live zoom calls that will be interactive and fun. Here is a remote lesson plan that covers the read-aloud, mini-lesson, and at-home activities parents can do with their child to build on the recorded lesson.
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Apple Farmer Annie by Monica Wellington is an excellent book about apples, where they come from, and how farms work. On the page about sorting and classifying, there are apples ready to count and sort by colors. Annie shows us all different things apples can be used for, as well as how she travels to the city to sell her produce at the farmer’s market. Through the whole book, it’s just Annie and her apples, which is pretty unusual for a picture book about a farm where women are usually the wives. I love that!
Remote Lesson Plan for Preschool – Apple Farmer Annie
Before we can get into the details of this remote learning lesson plan for preschool, Find a place where the background isn’t too busy. In the fall, I will be shooting my remote learning video lessons from my classroom, but for now, I’ll be preparing from home. At school, I have a huge magnet wall that I will be using, but any small magnetic surface like the cookie sheet I am using to demonstrate works perfectly. For this lesson, you will need the free printable of the apple tree and apples, a cookie sheet, scissors, and self-adhesive magnets. I won’t be sharing full videos because of copyright rules for the books; please make sure you contact publishers to find out what the rules are. The publishers I have contacted have said as long as the videos aren’t public, I can use their picture books for recorded lessons.
- I start my preschool video lesson with my Good Morning song with photos of my students. As I say their names in the song, I point to their photos I have attached to a cookie sheet. This is one way to include my students in a lesson that is not live.
- Next, it’s time to read the book! I always introduce the book reading the names of the author and illustrator and asking the students, “What do you think this book might be about? Let’s look at the cover.”
As I read, I stop to ask questions as I would in traditional storytime, giving my students time to answer me and responding as if they have. Turns out the many hours of watching Dora The Explorer with my kids as toddlers have paid off.
- After the book, it’s time for a quick lesson. This lesson is all about counting. My remote class is multi-age, so I try to have a lot of scaffolds in place. Some of my students are starting to recognize the amount of dots on the die without counting ( that skill is called subitizing), but many aren’t there yet.
So After we roll the die, I show it to the camera and give my students who can subitize time to yell out at the screen that I rolled a 4, but then wait for a beat and count to find out with the students that aren’t there yet. Add the apples!
- Finally, its time to sing! I always end my recorded lessons with a song, this one being a little rhyme about apples.
At-Home Activities For This Remote Preschool Lesson
For each recorded remote preschool lesson, I include at-home activities. Here are some that match this recorded remote preschool lesson. I include printables that make executing these activities as simple as possible for the families. For all these at-home activities, I try to make them flexible to meet the unique abilities of each student. All the printables used in this remote preschool lesson plan can be downloaded here for free.
Roll and Paint Apple Tree
Grab a die, q-tip, red paint, and this printable. Roll and add that many “apples,” roll again! This simple art activity builds on the mini-lesson in my recorded video. If parents do not have time to help their child with this activity or for younger children that aren’t ready for this math activity, families can choose to use this printable in any way that works for them! You could also send apple stickers like these home if that’s easier than paint.
Apple Color Matching or Letter Match
Add Pom poms to make this a color matching activity. You can add tongs to make it more of a challenge. For PreK students, you can write letters on the apples and include small letter cards for letter matching.
If you have a beginner who needs a little more support, write the letters with colored markers that match the apple color to provide more of a scaffold.
If you have a master of letter matching, try matching upper and lowercase letters.
I love this process art, and since I have six apple trees in my yard, I will be providing apples to all my students for this. If using food is uncomfortable for you or inappropriate for your students, some alternatives to real apples are to use a toilet roll or apple cookie cutters to make apple prints.
Ripped Paper Apple Craft
This simple craft isn’t just easy for parents to do at home; the process of ripping paper is a wonderful fine motor exercise. All you need to send home are some strips of paper, a paper plate, glue, and if you want a stem and leaf. Feel free to copy and paste these instructions into an email/letter for your families.
Help your child rips the paper strips into smaller pieces. Ripping is harder than you think, you may have to get it started for your child. Make a big pile.
Add glue to your paper plate.
Add the ripped pieces.
Add the stem and leaf. While doing this, ask your child where the stem and leaf should go. Let them decide. This is their art.
Additional Resources Preschool Lessons
Remember to choose activities that won’t overwhelm parents. Some parents are eager and enjoy this role of teaching at home, and others are trying to balance working at home full time and caring for young children. It’s tough, know your audience. My thematic units have been super helpful for me as I plan because they have printable materials that are easy to send home ( don’t worry, these aren’t worksheets). Directions for activities are already written out so I can easily share them with families.
Check out my library of affordable thematic units here.
If you have decided to keep your preschooler home and need the SIMPLEST learning activities you can do without any special materials, check out my newest ebook, EVERYDAY PRESCHOOL. Hundreds of parents have already bought it, and the reviews are glowing. This book is perfect for you if you don’t know where to start and have no desire or time to teach your child all day. Learn more about this great book here.