First grade ROCKS! Kindergarten...

Discussion in 'Kindergarten' started by Em_Catz, Apr 5, 2013.

  1. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    ...I have an interview with a new school next week. God willing it's a good place where I feel comfortable. The P said they have K, 1st and 2nd available. I'm hoping for 1st but I know a lot of people in this area aren't certified for K and when i mentioned i am K certified, she seemed excited.

    I've worked with K on occasion and it seems really hard

    What are some pros and cons? From what I've seen K students seems very needy and a lot less mature than 1st graders
     
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  3. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    I have otbtaught K but I don't think I could teach it. Mopar teaches K so maybe she can shed some light on the issue. Good luck and please let us know how the interview goes.
     
  4. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    Thank you Tami. I'll send her a PM. I'm hoping they don't ask me about K at this school. I really want to move but I am not sure i have it in me to teach K with all these new standards and requirements. It's very hard to get the first graders where they need to be to pass these Common Core assessments. I can't imagine what that'll look like in K...:(
     
  5. bison

    bison Habitué

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    I haven't taught it but I spent a semester doing field work in a K class. The teacher had just moved to K from a higher grade. Yes, they are very needy and little. The up side is that their growth is absolutely tremendous. It's awesome to watch. Here's a blog I like by a K teacher: http://lookatmyhappyrainbow.com/
    I can't stand the layout but the content is very inspiring and helpful to me. To be honest, I prefer the upper elementary grades, but things like this make me feel like I'd still survive if I found a job in K. :)
     
  6. minnie

    minnie Cohort

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    This is my sixth year teaching kindergarten and this is what I have learned (this is just me though...it could be different for other K teachers).

    1. They are very needy the first couple of months. They are not used to being gone all day, everyday at the "big" school. You have to be very patient with them. Be very consistent in your routine and let them know what's coming up next.

    2. Give simple 1-2 step directions the first few months. Also, model what you want to see from them. Then, model what you don't want to see from them. They do so much better when they see you do it first.

    3. Be prepared for them to talk about things that have nothing to do with what they are learning about. Such as a students telling you that their dog likes to jump on people when you are teaching about the sound of the letter B.

    4. Let them have free time! This is important! K's learn through play also and they need to socialize and interact with each other. Sometimes, I have also had to model how to play because some kids come in not having a lot of exposure to playing with kids their own age.

    5. They tell you that you are the best teachers they have ever had and they love to give hugs :wub:

    6. Everything is new to them so you get to experience all of their "firsts" at their new school. This is what is so awesome about K!
    You get to see a lot of them read for the first time, write a sentence for the first time, count to 100 for the first time, get on a bus for the first time, eat in a cafeteria for the first time...the list goes on and on.

    7. Before Christmas break, I get them used to kindergarten and routines and being a student. After Christmas break, I start getting them ready for first grade.

    8. They will never forget you as their Kindergarten teacher! I still haven't forgotten mine!

    Kindergarten is unique!! Like it was mentioned before, the growth the go through is awesome! They change so much and it's so awesome to see and be apart of!
     
  7. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    If they offer you the job and you end up with K, perhaps you can observe some K classes at your current schedule. That might help you get some ideas.
     
  8. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    When I took my current job there were other older grades available and the P wanted me in first (it's actually called pre-first since they have an extra year in between K and first but they are the same age as first graders in the states). So I know first hand that sometimes the school might trynto push you into a certain grade if more than one is available.
     
  9. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    I moved to K this year. I was so nervous about the experience, but I love it! My husband will tell you just how happy I've been all year.

    My students are needy in some ways, but they can be taught procedures and routines. We just got back from spring break, and three teachers walked in on Monday and commented on how the students knew exactly what to do and got right to work.

    The students are so excited about everything! They encourage each other and love to share what they can do! The passion in the classroom is contagious.

    The assessment piece is a nightmare, but it probably is at first as well. Most assessments must be done orally, so that means independently. It's hard to find the time, but so worth it.

    First, is your K full day or half day? There are definitely differences. Second, does your K get the same specials, lunch, recess, assemblies, etc as the other students? Sometimes we get a little slighted because our students are not ready for such long events (40-60 minutes is just too long, especially in the beginning of the year). Third, what support will you have with assessments? (This is important especially because they are all oral).
     
  10. mkbren88

    mkbren88 Cohort

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    I taught 1st grade for 3 years and moved to Kindergarten this year. I was really apprehensive and wasn't quite sure what I was getting myself into, but I am really loving it! It was a hard adjustment in the beginning, but that was more due to a student I had that disrupted our learning environment constantly and we couldn't get anything done. They were really needy in the beginning, but they are more independent now. In the beginning of the year they were my kindergarteners, but I now refer to them as my "almost first graders" and I'm trying to prepare them for next year.

    Our assessments are also done orally and 1x1, so they take a lot of time but the results are worth it. Their growth is amazing, and it really makes everything you do so worth it. I always thought that there was a lot of growth in 1st grade, and there is, but it doesn't compare to Kinder. Some kids come in with NO letter/sound knowledge, number sense, and by the end they are counting to 100 and reading. It's awesome.
     
  11. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    I love teaching kindergarten! The first few weeks is tough, but it pays off! The biggest challenge is that you know nothing about them and there is a huge range of knowledge. A few may come in reading and a few will literally not know a single letter! However, they want to please the teacher and generally fall into routines easily. Their behaviors have not been established and they respond to routine and consequenses like no other grade I've seen. Another hard part, you can frequently be the first person to tell a parent that their child is struggling or has a delay of some type. You can really set kids and parents up for a successful school experience from kindergarten.
     
  12. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    I agree, one of the hardest parts is having literally no knowledge on most of the students in your class.
     
  13. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    I will also agree with Tasha that a challenge (for me anyway) is differentiation. You have kids on so many different levels-which I know every has in their grade level, but you will have some who are literally blank slates when it comes to reading and math. They don't know what an A is, they don't know what a 4 is. And then you have those that are already reading and adding, etc. So it's hard to design, for example a whole group lesson that will challenge everyone.

    But the rewards are definitely worth it. I do digital portfolios and I pulled up the website yesterday to show the kids their writing the 1st week of school (where letters were all over the page, just a,b,c) and their writing now-which is nowhere near perfect, but most are writing sentences, spelling phonetically so I can read them. It's definitely rewarding to see that huge growth-I'm not sure there's another grade level where you can see that much progress in one year! ;)
     
  14. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    Thank you everyone for the oodles of advice! I am still considering if I would take K should she offer it to me, but you make a really good argument in it's favor. :)
     
  15. RedStripey

    RedStripey Comrade

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    I love teaching kindergarten :) I was placed there for my student teaching and I honestly thought I wouldn't like it because I was used to working with older children but I fell in love with it. And watching them grow has been amazing. I can't believe that I only have four weeks left.

    That being said, teaching K is not for everyone. It does require a tremendous amount of patience.
     
  16. RedStripey

    RedStripey Comrade

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    I think my favorite thing ever is when I was reading them Cat in the Hat and I asked them who the author of the book was, and one little boy raised his hand and asked "Does Santa Claus really live in the North Pole?" This was during D.E.A.R. week, mind you...
     
  17. mkbren88

    mkbren88 Cohort

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    They really are all over the place! After reading a story, one of my quiet students raised her hand and was like "Ms. B, why didn't you tell us you were married?". I'm assuming she had just noticed the ring on my finger lol It was too cute. They have SO much to share.
     
  18. sjnkate

    sjnkate Rookie

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    I moved from first to K this year. I've loved it. They really aren't that much more needy than first graders. I do find myself talking a lot more though. One thing I love is that you see so much growth.
     
  19. Em_Catz

    Em_Catz Devotee

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    Thank you everyone for the advice. I went on my interview and it seemed to go well. She said that she would let me know in a few weeks...I'm not sure if that is a good or bad sign.
     
  20. txmomteacher2

    txmomteacher2 Connoisseur

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    Apr 14, 2013

    I have taught kinder for one year and for the last four I have taught first grade. Next year I am going back to kinder. I'm really excited. I do have some apprehension though. For the most part I think it mainly stems from the past kinder teaching experience. It was at another school with a not so nice principal. Also I'm not sure how I am going to fit in to this new group. The teachers that I will be working with all have years and years of experience. It's a little scary. I also think it will take me awhile to get out of first grade mode. I get frustrated with the kinder teachers because several of them still call them babies. Um hello no they aren't! They are almost first graders and they need to begin to think that way. We will see how the next year goes.
     

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