Advice on Teaching K

Discussion in 'Kindergarten' started by wcj, Dec 19, 2008.

  1. wcj

    wcj Rookie

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    Dec 19, 2008

    Hello everyone and Happy Holidays,

    Very good news... I have been hired to teach kindergarten in January and I am so excited. Right now, I feel a bit of panic because I want to create the best environment I can for my students. This class in particular is all boys and it's a change for me. Every class I have taught has been mixed gendered. With that being said, I am a little worried about providing the best atmosphere for the students. I have been told that my students are bright and read above level. The teacher before me taught the students at a much higher level than K. I would really like any advice on initial assessments,setting up a K classroom, ideas about teaching writing and reading, management ideas, and teaching K students in general. Thanks so much in advance...:hugs:
     
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  3. vannapk

    vannapk Groupie

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    Dec 20, 2008

    Congratulations on your new job! Here are some links to the areas you asked for help with:

    Setting up a classroom
    Literacy
    Tips for new teachers
    Classroom organization tips
    Classroom Management
     
  4. Mrs.Z.

    Mrs.Z. Companion

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    Dec 20, 2008

    Over winter break, read "Joyful Learning in Kindergarten" by Bobbi Fisher. Or at least skim it. I read it before my first year teaching K and felt like it gave me amazing advice and confidence to begin with. Not to mention some great ideas that practically run themselves and allow the kids to take ownership of their own learning from the get-go! Good luck!!!:thumb::thumb::thumb:
     
  5. Chicagotchr

    Chicagotchr New Member

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    Dec 21, 2008

    Look at their dibels, if your state uses those. There are also good assessments you can download from the state board of ed sites (try cps.k12.il.us and look under assessments then kindergarten). I think first of all you should relax and get the lay of the land. Get to know the kids and establish your rules and routines. It will be hard for them at first b/c they are used to the old rules. I would follow their lead for some things so as not to rock the boat too much. Get your calendar math down, do lots of rug work (morning meetings from responsive classroom) and check out Power Teaching if you haven't already...that will ease your mind as far as getting their attention. It's going to take a few wks for them to get used to you, so by then you'll have a better handle on where to go academic-wise. Look at the kindergarten sites online for ideas. Teachervision is really good, and Scholastic has great ideas. Get your routines and rules down first. I would suggest the morning meeting hickelty pickelty bumblebee etc. Good luck.
     
  6. MsBee

    MsBee Devotee

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    Dec 21, 2008

    VannPk I LOVE those links you posted. Exactly what I needed.
     
  7. wcj

    wcj Rookie

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    Dec 24, 2008

    Update

    Hello everyone...

    Thank you for all of your suggestions and feedback. I had a conversation with the teacher's aide that has been with the class since October and she let me in on a lot of developments. The teacher before me did not administer assessments and also she did not provide concrete instruction. Many of my students have experienced K twice because their parents felt that they needed another year before first grade. Also, they are very bright and enjoy learning. There are some students that are experiencing K for the first time and that's ok. I personally want to establish a suitable schedule with my students and also provide some early assessments to provide suitable instruction. Does anyone have any ideas for establishing reading workshop with K and free reading assessments? DIBELS is not used. I am have a difficult time trying to organize a time frame that covers all of the literacy elements (phonics, comprehension, phonemic awareness, etc.) I would appreciate any assistance with this. Thanks in advance. I will also check out some of the books. :D
     
  8. Chicagotchr

    Chicagotchr New Member

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    Dec 30, 2008

    I don't know what district you're with, but you can look up most district's sites (mine is chicago public schools...you can look there) and then under instruction and assessments, and you will get Kindergarten assessments for free.
     
  9. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Dec 30, 2008

    wcj - congratulations - how exciting!

    Are you certain that the school does not employ any kind of reading program? I just ask because that could definitely help you plan.

    I usually make my own assessments - you want to know if they know the letters/sounds/consonant blends, if they are able to rhyme. If they are advanced I would put some nonsense words on there to see if they are blending and some of the sight words. Usually in the beginning we do assessments one on one. It's a shame this previous teacher didn't give you anything to go on. I had some computer issues but if you pm me your e-mail I'd be glad to forward you the ones I made when I can get into the school on Monday.

    You asked about getting in all the reading components: you can do that in the whole group setting with a story (comprehension strategies) or pocket chart poem written on sentence strips. There are all kinds of games/songs you can do for phonemic awareness as well as whatever sound or blend you are introducing and then I usually have them do some sort of written phonics work at their seats before small group reading and there you can emphasize whatever their particular need is reading-wise while the others work in workstations. You can do the assessments during that time in the beginning.

    Take the advice from Vanna's website - she is awesome!

    This is also one I have found helpful for workstation activities:

    http://www.fcrr.org/forTeachers.htm
    Good luck and don't be nervous, you'll be fine! :)
     
  10. pinktoque

    pinktoque New Member

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    Dec 30, 2008

    Congrats on your Kindergarten position, wcj! I, too just was hired on to a Kindergarten teaching contract starting in January after the holiday break. Thanks for this thread... it's given me some tips and advice to get going, too!

    I taught grade 4 for four years in the states, and this is my first teaching position on contract here in Canada. Things are a bit different, and the age gap will be a bit different but I think I'll be okay! Good luck to you on your endeavor :)
     

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