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Old 01-12-2014, 07:50 AM
ms.pekkle ms.pekkle is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 51
Kindergarten Teacher
Teaching kindergarten

I've mentioned before that this is my first year teaching and I am teaching kindergarten. To be honest, kindergarten would not have been my first choice. I want to love kindergarten, I do, but at this point it comes down to my not-so-great lesson planning and weak classroom management.

For lesson planning, I feel like I lose their interest quickly. The subjects I have big concerns with are reading, math, and ESL (I teach bilingual kindergarten). For those who you use Reading Street, Tesoros (for Spanish reading), Reach (for ESL) - what do your daily lesson plans look like? I feel like I have very little/or no time for centers time during my reading block, because I take a looong time reading the big book and doing independent practice.

It is so vital that I get to centers time though, because there are kids who are in dire need of small group with me.

What are some tips/strategies/etc. that I MUST include in my lesson plans to have variety to keep my kids attention. When my kids lose interest, that's when they don't get what I'm teaching.

As for classroom management, this semester I started an individual and a whole group rewards system. I've been using the color chart all year, and will continue to do so (I've added a new color, purple, to encourage students to get purple)

It's mid year, and these are still my concerns.
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  #2  
Old 01-12-2014, 01:00 PM
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txmomteacher2 txmomteacher2 is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 1,400
Out west somewhere!
This is my first year teaching kinder, sort of. I taught kinder about 6 years ago for a year and then I taught first grade the next 5 years. A lot has changed since then and the most important part is I moved to another district and the curriculum has changed dramatically in the few years so it's like a brand new beginning for me. My advice for classroom management and getting the kids engaged is take some breaks along the way. I also use classdojo, which is on line management tool. Since I do a lot of teaching from my smartboard and my computer it is easy to use. I dont have to stop and move to another part of the room to move a clip or whatever other chart thing I am using. Take some brain breaks. I do at least one every morning, sometimes two just depending on my kids. We stop and dance, or we play Simon Says. But there are other ideas for brain breaks out there. As far as centers, my center time is at the end of the day, not during my reading time. I want to spend all my time during my reading time giving whole group instruction so that when we get to center time I can break it down for my reading groups. On the classdojo, I have it set up so that we have individual accountability, and I also have table groups. It's just set up as two different classes. Works great for my kids knowing that their parents can look at this at anytime during the day. I have even had parents email in the middle of the day and ask what it going on with their child if they are getting a lot of negative points during the day.
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  #3  
Old 01-15-2014, 04:44 AM
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KinderCowgirl KinderCowgirl is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 4,820
Texas
Kindergarten Teacher
Kinder is not for the faint of heart, that's for sure! I've known several people along the way who found out it was very different from what they expected. They are still very much babies maturity-wise, but are being asked to learn like the older kids.

I only use certain components of the Reading Street program. Each part is in 5-10 minute increments. For example, we'll sing a song for phonics and then do our word of the day for vocabulary, then they will watch a video clip for fluency. I absolutely second the brain breaks. Sometimes I will even find a digital version of the story I'm using on Tumblebooks or Discovery, they are all engaged when it's animated.

Hang in there. February/March is where especially reading/writing kicks in and you see some great gains that make it all worth it!
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