As many of you know, I have the pleasure of teaching a dual classroom this year.
I have decided to make a short list of things I wish I had known before I started the lovely adventure that is teaching Kindergarten (musings of a first grade teacher may make an appearance as well, since I do both!).
- You have to teach children how to do everything. Some may come to school already knowing how to hold a pencil, or use scissors, or have the whole alphabet down pat— but most often than not, many of them do not have these skills (I mean, this is after all, why they come to school!). Still, I was shocked -utterly shocked- when I had to give lessons on how to hold and use scissors. I think it was my brain still in second-grade mode, and having to be over-ridden, for the millionth time already this year!
- When creating any type of worksheet (I have to make a lot of supplemental material) or when using flashcards, USE THE SAME FONT (or similar font). This may seem so silly, or simple, or both… but I never thought about it. Kindergarten students are learning their letters. Now is not the time to introduce D-Nealian font.
- Planning is obviously VITAL, but being flexible with your schedule really helps create an environment for those “teachable moments” you are always taught about during your undergrad studies. I feel like teachable moments happen so much more in Kindergarten than any other grade I have taught. Students are so curious about everything, and they ask questions about everything. Then, I almost always see/hear them use the new vocabulary or knowledge they have learned in their free play time, and it is so cool to see!
- Repetition is KEY. They may not get it the first or second or third time, but then all of a sudden you are asking them to do something for the fifth time and SNAP, they get it. Yes, young children soak things up quickly, but they still need to be told how to do the same thing over and over and over again. It is not as boring for them as it may get for you, really, repetition is key.
- PATIENCE… I think I already had a small idea of the amount of patience I would need teaching five-year-olds… but, only a small idea. IT REQUIRES SO MUCH PATIENCE.
There are so many other things I am learning, and I am sure they will end up on this blog. But for now, there is my list for now. Who wants to add to it? What are some keys to success you have for kindergarten or first grade, and all the way up to second grade that you can share with our readers/me (because I really want to know!)?
Good Kindergarten flash card:
NOT a good kindergarten flash card: