1st year teacher, moving to Kindergarten...need advice

Discussion in 'Early Childhood Education Archives' started by MisterG, Oct 2, 2004.

  1. MisterG

    MisterG Comrade

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    Oct 2, 2004

    Hello all,
    This is my first post here, I hope to post and reply alot.

    I am a first year teacher, having moved to Las Vegas becase it was the only place that offered me a position. I have been teaching for about a month...only to find that the schools enrollment fell below expectations and that my class was going to be disbanded. I could stay only if a teacher volunteered to take my spot and find a job for themselves elsewhere in the district. Only problem is....someone did volunteer to leave, a Kindergarten teacher. I start on Monday and will most likely be there all weekend long moving in and planning. My only problem is...I have no idea whatsoever on what to do. its half-day K, with me working all day, two classes.

    I student taught in second grade, and have taught so far this year in fourth grade. But I have no experience / observation at all in anything below. I did sit in, in a first grade classroom for about five hours before deciding that I would not teach 1st or younger. I have been into this Kindergarten classroom and I think I might enjoy it...but I really need some help as far as: procedures, routines, what to do, homework...etc.

    Does anyone have some advice for me? I really appreciate it!
    Thanks!,
    Ryan
     
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  3. Lanie

    Lanie Cohort

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    Oct 2, 2004

    I sent you an e-mail. Great luck with your new transition.
     
  4. Jeri Dawn M

    Jeri Dawn M Rookie

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    Oct 4, 2004

    Wow! I did my student teaching in kindergarten and then taught preschool after I graduated. They are great kids, but require a lot of attention and you have very little down time. Here are a few ideas of things you can do:
    1. Have the children practice writing their name when they come into class. Use their names that they have written to take roll.
    2. Use an upholstery needle to sew thread lines into your carpet where you want the kids to sit or line up.
    3. When reviewing letters or words or numbers or whatever as a class play this simple game. Tell the students that you are going to play a game. In this game it is the class against the teacher. You, as the teacher, will write a letter (or whatever) on the board. When you point to the class they get to say the letter out loud. If they get it rignt they get a point (display the points on the board too). If they get it wrong, you get a point. Also, if they talk out of turn, you get a point. Or if everyone does not participate you get a point. The purpose of the game is to give the children repitition. Rarely will they get the letter wrong as a whole group. And the purpose is to really let them win. Laugh it up and have fun with it.

    How is it going anyway? Good luck.
     
  5. MisterG

    MisterG Comrade

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    Oct 4, 2004

    Thanks for the advice. Hmm...I guess I was looking for more of procedures and routines...all that jazz. I've told some people that I dont know what Im doing and it doesnt really hit them. I mean seriously...I have no idea at all what to do. I dont know where that at academically, if they can read a little, or write...their alphabet knowledge...number sense...etc. I dont know where they are in school either as the teacher didnt really leave helpful lesson plans, and from those plans, I can't really even tell what she did each day...so I dont even know where she left off. Like for many things...she just wrote down one word in the plans.

    Anywho...I start today. I am planning on just doing routines and procedures, but I cant think of enough to fill up a 2.5 hour block of time either. I got depressed yesterday as I spent much of my time this weekend there at school, and the classroom doesnt look any different which really actually surprised me.

    Hmm...hope it all goes well.
     
  6. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Oct 4, 2004

    No training in Early childhood? Well, you need to get a good curriculum book...some are so complete you can follow them exactly... most local libraries have some ... honestly, it isn't going to be that hard if you have a great book to follow! There is no end to the songs and ideas on the internet. Most Kindergarteners recognize some letters and numbers, know their colors and can write their names. So, what are you doing? Do you have a plan yet?
     
  7. Amanda

    Amanda Administrator Staff Member

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    Oct 4, 2004

    MisterG, I know there are a lot of posts here about kindergarten procedures. I taught kindergarten for several years, and I know I posted several myself. I'll see if I can get some direct links to those threads for you. :)
     
  8. Amanda

    Amanda Administrator Staff Member

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    Oct 4, 2004

    Kindergarten Songs (songs are a must w/ kindergarten): http://forums.atozteacherstuff.com/showthread.php?t=7006

    If you don't have a good singing voice, they don't care, but I found it helpful to have fun CDs... Dr. Jean and Frog Street Press make some good ones.

    General Suggestions Procedures, rules, etc: http://forums.atozteacherstuff.com/showthread.php?t=7109

    Academics:
    http://forums.atozteacherstuff.com/showthread.php?t=5994

    First year K teacher:
    http://forums.atozteacherstuff.com/showthread.php?t=6260

    Kindergarten driving me bonkers (classroom mgt):
    http://forums.atozteacherstuff.com/showthread.php?t=3665

    More ideas for first time K teacher:
    http://forums.atozteacherstuff.com/showthread.php?t=3506

    Reading/writing ideas:
    http://forums.atozteacherstuff.com/showthread.php?t=2236
     
  9. Amanda

    Amanda Administrator Staff Member

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    Oct 4, 2004

    By the way, I think MOST of the threads pertain to full-day kindergarten. Half day isn't very common... I'll post some links if I can find any sites with half-day kinder schedules/info.
     
  10. Amanda

    Amanda Administrator Staff Member

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    Oct 4, 2004

  11. KinderKel

    KinderKel Rookie

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    Oct 10, 2004

    Hi Ryan!

    Wow! Kindergarten is a wonderful grade level and I'm sure that you'll really enjoy it! :) There were so many suggestions already offered in this thread, but I just wanted to introduce myself (I am a second year Kindergarten teacher in Allentown, PA) and offer some Kindergarten websites that really inspire me during my teaching career and that offer TONS of great information, thematic ideas, etc. that could be helpful to you as you begin this new journey:

    Mrs. Pohlmeyer's Kinderpage
    www.mrspohlmeyerskinderpage.com

    The Learning Leap (currently offline...hopefully back online soon!!)

    The Virtual Vine
    www.thevirtualvine.com


    Hope that helps! Good luck and keep us posted on how you're doing!! :D

    ~ Kelly

    P.S. I also have a Kindergarten teacher resource website with lots more info!

    Bee Happy Teaching
    <edit: no longer online>
     
  12. MisterG

    MisterG Comrade

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    Oct 10, 2004

    Hello all,
    I thought I checked more often than I have been, obviously not...five new replies. I have tons of training in Early Childhood...one thing that actually I didn't like at my college. Lots of focus on Early childhood and not so much on other stages. I didn't expect to go into Kindergarten when I was going through college....if I had, well maybe I'd be better prepared now. But either way...training, no matter how extensive, is not a substitute for actual hands on experience in the kindergarten setting. My college has a policy where you need to have experience in all areas of what you are licensed for. For example...I am licensed for K-8 (although to teach K back from where I am from...I need a K certificate). They had me student teach or observe in 2, 4, and 6 & 7. During my last week of student teaching, I went into a 1st grade classroom for a day and then decided (already had pretty much made up my mind anyways) to apply for 2nd and up. Well thats what I applied for down here and I got 4th which I loved...but then the whole surplus thing happened and I had to go to K. Anywho...Im rambling.

    I do like it so far...last week was my first week with them and it was stressful as on Monday I had, in 45 minutes, gone over everything I wanted to cover in 2 hours. Tuesday was a little better, but still bumpy as I read alot and the kids got antsy. Wednesday was actually worse as I was running out of things to do already. Thursday and Friday, I set up my new centers which I will be using from now on. This weekend, I am working on the centers which will take up about an hour each day. So I am getting better...now I just need to find some worksheets for students to practice on (letters, numbers...etc) and some books for our listening station.)

    It does seem like there is alot of music and while i love to sing..I dont really know how to incorporate music into the day. My mom I think just ordered a bunch of Dr. Jean CD's and is sending them down here.

    Thanks everyone for the help so far...I will have to look at all those links later tonight when I get home...at school now.

    Ryan
     
  13. debbie

    debbie Rookie

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    Oct 14, 2004

    Agree with getting books on setting up your classroom . Consider setting up classroom stations in an ECE sort of way (book centre, science centre, art centre, drama centre, etc. according to what you prefer rotate or allow children to choose and move from centre to centre. Keeps them focused and you can do more cognitive and teacher directed activities with a small group while the other children are involved in the centres. Kindergartens are extremely amenable to group activities and probably know more than you would guess. Set your sights high in terms of what you think they can do. (abilities will range of course--as usual it will run the gamut. Some can read some cannot but don't underestimate them.)
     

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