Am I Doing Enough?? Please read and respond...

Discussion in 'Kindergarten' started by Kinder Preppie, Sep 29, 2008.

  1. Kinder Preppie

    Kinder Preppie Rookie

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    Sep 29, 2008

    Are my students learning enough? Am I doing enough?
    We are a 1/2 day kindergarten from 8:30 to 1 p.m. (including lunch)
    My children have learned rhyming and we will be moving into syllables and alliteration.
    So far my students are learning four sight words a week and writing them 5 x each.
    My students are learning a new cvc word each day along with the pronunciation and definition of the word, as well as copying a sentence which contains the word.
    Although we have not done this yet, invented spelling is high on my list of things for the children to do.
    My students are doing a 30 + problem math drill daily. My students are doing a math worksheet (they are currently learning symetry) The students are also doing a phonics worksheet (currently containing three words with a picture - and they are trying to determine which word is the correct word)
    They are doing practice penmanship (HWT).
    My class has 9 students. Five are reading with SRI/SRC with lexiles between under 100 and over 500. The other four students have learned approximately 60 CVC words.
    We are doing Weekly Reader, Scholastic Magazine, health and history.
    They have a weekly science lesson outside - it is sometimes planned, and sometimes it is just hands on.
    They also have computer once a week, art class once a week, music class once a week, PE once a week and violin class once a week.
    Can someone tell me what I may be missing? I probably left a few things that I am doing out, but I just want to be sure all is covered.
    Thank you to anyone who assists me.
     
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  3. harbodin

    harbodin Companion

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    Sep 29, 2008

    Wait, that was a misprint, right? There is no way you teach kindergarten, let alone half day and get all that done! I teach full day, and most of my kids went to prek and barely know any sounds at all, can hardly rhyme, and some can't count past ten let alone complete 30 math problems daily!

    In our state, we work on the state standards, and they cover things like oral language, writing, phonemic awareness/letters, math, science and social studies. We learn things usually surrounding what seasons, holidays, or themes we are working on.

    If you could find time to fit anything else in, good luck!
     
  4. little317

    little317 Groupie

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    Sep 29, 2008

    wow!! Do your kids do any centers? If so, I'd love to know how in the world you fit all of that into your already short day!
     
  5. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Sep 29, 2008

    Do your kids write everyday? That is one of the best authentic work that kids are doing in school. They are taking skills that they are learning and applying them. 30 + math problems? Wow, that seems like a lot for a kinder kid. That's so neat that your kids get violin lessons and computers and art. It sounds like they are getting a nice well rounded education.
     
  6. trayums

    trayums Enthusiast

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    Sep 29, 2008

    Wow- sounds like they are doing more than my first graders...
     
  7. Kinder Preppie

    Kinder Preppie Rookie

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    Sep 30, 2008

    Thank you for the responses. We do centers when we get a chance... mostly when the weather is poor, and we substitute centers for our 30 minute recess.
    As far as how we get this done, below is my schedule. My students are on timed (with a timer) assignment completions.
    Please understand that my students are advanced already and there are only 9 of them. (Private school)
    We have violin once a week instead of some of our school work, and we take a shorter recess.
    As far as themes, I introduce those from 11:50 to 12:00 - the theme depends on the day. The themes are daily, not weekly, and the coincide with whatever I am teaching that day.
    I also bring in additional information when I read to them in the morning - yesterday the children learned about gravity... including gravity on the moon (or lack of) and gravity on earth. In the afternoon, I read books brought by them from home.

    Schedule:

    8:30 to 8:35 Writing full name, date and four sight words 5 X each
    8:35 to 8:40 Math Drill (Approximately 30 simple math problems)
    8:40 to 8:50 I read a book to them
    8:50 to 9:00 Restroom Break
    9:00 to 9:30 Daily Flag Ceremony (school wide)
    9:30 to 10:00 Resource (Computer, Music, Art, Spanish, PE - one daily)
    10:00 to 10:45 Restroom, Snack and Recess
    10:45 to 11:15 Math Work Book (Front and back pages of a first grade math workbook - currently learning symmetry)
    11:15 to 11:20 Penmanship (copying from paperwork)
    11:20 to 11:30 Phonics Work Book (and trade papers to grade and correct)
    11:30 to 11:35 Penmanship (copying from board - including word of the day)
    11:35 to 11:50 Reading Class (Individual reading for SRI/SRC students, group teaching for my four new readers)
    11:50 to 12:00 History or Science or Weekly Reader or Scholastic or Art Project
    12:00 to 12:10 I read a book to them
    12:10 to 12:15 Cleaning up and preparing for lunch
    12:30 Lunch and Home
     
  8. punchinello

    punchinello Comrade

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    Sep 30, 2008

    To answer your original question, I think you are doing more than enough paper/pencil activities. I see a need for more open-ended activities. Take some of those skills from the workbooks and apply them in fun/creative ways with the child leading the way sometimes.
     
  9. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Sep 30, 2008

    EEEK!:eek:I'm exhausted just reading your post.
     
  10. little317

    little317 Groupie

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    Sep 30, 2008

    kinder preppie, just be sure that you also give your students chances for oral language development, creative/independent writing, and group work/centers. You've covered a lot of skills within one day, but they need some chances to show you what they know in other ways than paper/pencil tasks. What about word building with letter cards? They will love that. Reader's theatre would also be a fun way for your students to practice reading and taking on different roles.
     
  11. cosmoteach

    cosmoteach Rookie

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    Sep 30, 2008

    YES...I think that you are doing enough!
     
  12. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Oct 3, 2008

    I agree. It sounds like they are doing a lot, and it's great that they are advanced, but make sure they have time for fun 5-year-old stuff, like singing, games, playing, etc.
     
  13. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    Oct 3, 2008

    I also agree with the others you need more play in the schedule. My students love sink the letter/word.
     
  14. little317

    little317 Groupie

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    Oct 3, 2008

    That game sounds interesting. Can you explain it?
     
  15. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    Oct 3, 2008

    I have a punch of yogurt covers, sour cream covers that I write words on, float them in a large crate with short sides. The kids toss pennies on what ever word we are working on for the week, or letter (since haven't started words yet). They love it. And they have to call out what they sunk.
     
  16. MissB

    MissB Companion

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    Oct 4, 2008

    Yikes, I'm in full day and I don't even do that much!
     
  17. Kinder Preppie

    Kinder Preppie Rookie

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    Oct 4, 2008

    Thank you for all the kind words and suggestions.

    We are doing some songs and games at transitional times... we have done days of the week, months of the year, counting to 100, skip counting by 10's, 5's, 2's and have attempted 3's... we have done tuti ta and some other favorites similar to this. Our classroom is very tiny, and not very mobile....but I do try to fit these in at times.

    Right now, by Thanksgiving, our children have to be able to skip count to 100 by 10's and 5's and 2's by themselves as well as be able to recognize 25 sight words... so I kind of have my hands full with this project also...

    I have decided to break my reading groups into three... I have two children that read independently, three children that are in a reading group, and four children that are in a very beginning reading group.

    I will be expanding the time to 20 minutes for this - 10 minutes for each group.

    To keep my children busy while I work with the reading group, I have decided to add in 9 centers (one for each child) and rotate the centers daily until each child has done them twice... then pick 9 more.

    The children will use tubs with their names on them, and I will just rotate their tub lids daily. (I am trying to bring a bit more "fun" into the day... and still maintain the standards expected within the classroom).

    These are my 9 centers... any suggestions are greatly appreciated... (these would be individual centers, where the children are working independently, without a partner)...

    The nine centers are: color by number with colored pencils...

    shape cards with many geometric shapes on them so they can lie the shapes on the card in the correct spots.....

    boggle cubes with words (without timer) - then write the words down as they complete them.....

    writing sight words on a chalk board....

    rolling two dice and writing an addition problem out of them with a correct answer....

    writing sight words with magnetic letters on a magnetized board...

    making a math equation (addition) with dominoes and also coming up with a solution and writing it down (one domino per math problem)....

    and finally providing them with a coloring page of a pig, draw a line down the middle of the page, and using dominoes and pennies, look at the number of dots on the dominioes, match it on each side with the pennies and then get a correct solution that is written down.

    Any improvements? New suggestions? I was a pre-k teacher last year, and this is only my second year teaching... so any help is greatly appreciated...
     
  18. diggerdeb

    diggerdeb Comrade

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    Oct 4, 2008

    I teach Pre-K and I am thinking about my students in June-there is NO WAY some of them could write/copy words 5x each.

    Some things you allot 5 min to complete. They can't even sit down as a group within 5 min!!!!
     
  19. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Oct 4, 2008

    Kinder Preppie, it has been almost 20 years since I taught kindergarten (and I could not do it now!), but I get tired every time I read your posts! Thinking back to my own kids in kindergarten there is no way they did even a fraction of what you are doing with your group!
     
  20. dizzykates

    dizzykates Habitué

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    How do they check work when they trade papers? I'm not sure I would ask kindergarteners to spend time doing that, first of all due to the need to accurately grade things and second because I think as the teacher I want to see how they are doing.

    Most read alouds (particularly for kids as advanced as yours) should take longer than 10 minutes if done properly. I would examine how you are reading the book. Do you read it once for fun and then return to it to disect the lessons it teaches, make predictions or clarify more difficult words/concepts? Rereading provides young readers with the opportunity to hear a fluent reader and the inflection they use without worrying about how the story ends. I would think about doing that. In addition, I saw two times during the day (at least) when you are focusing on "penmenship" could those be combined to provide a longer period to work on this concept in a variety of ways without losing time in a transition?

    I am amazed that you get all that done and that the children and really learning. I would love to hear more from you.
     
  21. Kinder Preppie

    Kinder Preppie Rookie

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    Oct 5, 2008

    Hello, thank you for your responses. I am here to learn more, and I appreciate all of your imput.

    When the children exchange papers, we are going over the paperwork, and the children are marking the answers correct or incorrect. So far, the majority of our paperwork has been correct as the children are quite advanced, so correcting the paperwork is just giving them the opportunity to re-read the work and have a little fun with colored pencils.

    They seem to really love doing it, and it doesn't really take very long. I only let them do it if we have a few extra minutes... I look at everyone's paper as I walk around the classroom (while they are doing it)... if someone seems to be having a problem, I work with them at the time that the paper is being done. I also look at everyone's papers either during a resource period or while I am eating lunch as my papers go home daily.

    As far as the read alouds, I am not exactly sure what you mean. I do read to them, and we discuss different things about the story.

    I am taking deep consideration into what you are saying about longer reading and more in-depth... and I am also taking into consideration your information regarding combining penmanship. We are actually at a point where the penmanship skills (pretty writing... not necessarily invented spelling...) are going along quite well, and bringing in more reading aloud skills would be great... Please tell me more about the read aloud information...

    We are moving quickly and the children are learning. I think something I have in my favor that most teachers do not have are three things... number one - already well advanced students who went to pre-k at this advanced school... number two - only 9 students in my class... and number 3 - because we are a 1/2 day kindergarten program, my children have mom's who are home to improvise daily on what they learned.

    My parents receive a daily newsletter from me assisting them in making their children more productive each and every day.... When you have 100% parental participation and only 9 children - this is probably not as difficult as you are thinking....

    Thank you for the advice... and I look forward to hearing more about the read aloud time... I want to provide these above average children with all I can....

    Many thanks...
     
  22. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Oct 5, 2008

    Kinderpreppie, as you explalined, you do have an unusual class. Only 9 students who all attended preschool and have great family invovlement. That's great!

    For read aloud ideas, focus on teaching skils such as:
    Predicting
    summarizing
    connecting story to own life experience
    concepts about print (left to right, top to bottom, where to begin reading, etc)
    who an author is and what do they do
    who the illustrator is and what do they do
    what the title page is
    identifying front of the book
    identifying the spine of the book
    what the table of contents is and how to use it
    what the dedication page is

    There's more, but that's what I came up with for now
     
  23. DHE

    DHE Connoisseur

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    Oct 5, 2008

    I am going to add a few ideas since your students are advanced.
    identify the beginning, middle, & end of the story
    making inferences
    identify characters & setting
    use a story map
    let the students change the ending to the story
     
  24. Kinder Preppie

    Kinder Preppie Rookie

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    Oct 6, 2008

    Thank you so much for the advice. I am documenting all of this to implement into the classroom !! Many thanks to everyone !!
     

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