A blog about all things Kindergarten. Especially the crazy stuff. Great crafts and lots of great academic projects! It give my students the opportunity to practice what we have learned and keeps them busy so I can do my Guided Reading groups!
The truth is, there is not one right way to do things. Every teacher has to find what works best in his or her individual classroom, based on personality, teaching style, volunteers, space available, administrative restrictions, specials schedules, and a host of other variables.
Sometimes even a certain group of children thrive kindergarten beginning of the year writing activities with a different set up. Over the years I tried lots of different ways to organize the day, but I am going to share what worked best for me.
One of my readers, Debbie asked for some information about how I used small groups and volunteers — this is for you! As a teacher I understood that my primary responsibility was to teach the district curriculum, which was based on State Benchmarks, and developed from National Standards.
During my last few years of teaching my district had adopted several programs that we were required or expected to incorporate into our schedules: Each of these fine programs comes with specific lesson plans, sometimes even encouraging teachers to use scripted dialog to teach. But as a Kindergarten Teacher I felt a huge responsibility to honor who the individual children are in our classrooms, and to use what I know about how children learn best.
When I switched from teaching half day Kindergarten to Full Day I was so excited because I felt like I had more time to teach the fundamental requirements in a way that worked well for me. For the most part those programs should be tools to teach the curriculum that is required. I know that children learn best when they are actively engaged with multisensory activities in a safe, fun environment.
I also know that it is easiest to learn when children can make connections and relate new learning to what they already know.
For those reasons I loosely organized my school year into thematic units, incorporating holidays and seasonal changes along with the study of units like: ME — 5 senses, families, homes, feelings, etc. Using units like this allowed me to easily incorporate Science and Social Studies objectives, expose the children to rich literature and non fiction books, and it also gave lots of opportunities for hands on fun.
Oh, I do fully realize the ever-increasing pressure for reading and writing. I also know that some districts are requiring 2 hour blocks of time set apart strictly for literacy activities.
I think you can do it all, and still use topics of learning that engage and motivate the children. The most important thing I tried to keep in mind was that everything we did in my classroom had to be directed by the curriculum.
Whether we were acting out the Three Little Pigs, trying to sink paper boats by filling them with metal washers, or investigating how the tree outside our window looked when the leaves were changing color, we were always covering curriculum benchmarks. When I first came around to this realization I had to look carefully at all the activities I introduced.
Some things were fun and cute, but really not connected to the curriculum. I know that language development and fine motor skills can be enhanced during any activity where children are supported, encouraged and scaffolded by a caring adult. But with the increased demands for reading and writing I became much more selective about the lessons and activities in my room.
I felt that the children in my class did their best work and were most ready for learning in the morning. Many children were very tired in the afternoon, especially in the beginning of the school year. So I structured my morning differently than the afternoon.
The afternoon was usually more low key, especially for the first half of the school year. I always tried to get as many parent volunteers as possible and I scheduled them to come in the morning when the children had the most energy and focus.
I asked for volunteers who could commit to coming every week or every other week. I often had parents who wanted to come once in awhile, or once a month, and they were always welcome, but I found out that those parents sometimes came along on a field trip, attended a program or class party, or some special event instead of helping in the room.
Also, parents who commit to coming regularly get to know the children and routines and really contribute a lot to working with small groups of children.The beginning of kindergarten is so busy!
We pack in so much in 15 minute increments that I know it can be hard to make lesson planning easy. Here is my cheat sheet of 5 activities I’d totally make sure get into my first week of kindergarten lesson plans..
What to do the First Week of Kindergarten. Kindergarteners are often enthusiastic writers and they will weave writing activities into their play. Provide budding writers with experiences that give them something to write about. Invented spelling is normal at this age, as children are translating the sounds of spoken words into writing.
Morrow's Kindergarten: Beginning of the Year Fun! - shape posters with real objects Tales of a Teacherista: July Beginning of year writing minilesson Use this Free Back to School Parent Packet to let families know what we learn in kindergarten and to get them activities .
Kindergarten Beginning of the Year. Pins Kindergarten Classroom Classroom Ideas Kindergarten Sight Words Kindergarten Writing Activities Word Work Activities Spelling Activities Writing Center Kindergarten Kindergarten Literacy Activities Spelling Centers.
We’ve been on an ocean adventure for the last 2 weeks in our classroom and we’ve had a blast! We’ve researched, written about, labeled, created and watched different ocean animals.. The engagement and excitement about each animal has been amazing. Kindergarten is a pivotal year for young writers. Kindergarteners learn the alphabet and use it to form their first short words. Our kindergarten writing worksheets allow your young scholar to practice writing letters, sight words, and short sentences. Visual tracing and writing exercises will. Expert advice on children's books & reading, arts & crafts, activities & school achievement. View the parent's newsletter, articles, & weekly picks for Preschool, Grade School, & Middle School.
Easy and fun! Write sight words on piece of paper, crumple up and put into. Curriculum-Based Preschool and Kindergarten Lesson Plans, Activities, Crafts and Worksheets. Whether you're a teacher for kindergarten or pre-k, or a parent looking to develop early literacy, math, science and social skills in your child, my lesson plans can help you meet your teaching goals, Each lesson plan is thorough and outlined in an easy to use way.
I love incorporating silly picture prompts near the beginning of the year, to really reel my kids in. I was start teaching at the word level (vocab), and move toward paragraph writing (with parts of speech and sentences in between).