Hi,new to Pk-4 need advice please.

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by gllanes, Jul 28, 2007.

  1. gllanes

    gllanes Rookie

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    Jul 28, 2007

    Hi, last year I taught Kindergarten, this year they moved me to Prek4 so it´s very very new to me. Ive never taught this level before, and I was just wondering if any of you have any advice and tips for me?
    Also, if you have a good effective discipline plan for this age level that you can share with me that would be great, cause I don´t really know where to start on this.
    Are there any books you recommend for me to read? Thanks in advance for the help. I´m excited and yet scared at the same time. Kindergarten is different bc it´s a lot more structured, there´s less play and more learning and the children are more mature. I know it´s only 1 year difference but I feel it´s a big difference, at this age children change a lot in just one year. Thanks again I really need help.
     
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  3. katrinkakat

    katrinkakat Connoisseur

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    Jul 30, 2007

    It is a big difference! I am looking to teach Kinder after teaching preschool for 8+ years. The children are great at this age. There is a lot of learning rules, how to play together and even table manners if you share meals. You will hear a lot "she doesn't want to be my friend" so we stress a lot that we are all friends and are really family being in the same class together. We shake hands to make up after saying sorry. When I need to discipline a child I remove him or her from the situation until they tell me they are ready to rejoin the group without hitting or fighting or whatever they were doing. Sometimes I give them three chances and if they use up all their chances, they sit in the class during recess for 10 or 15 min. I always let them come out and play eventually. Nothing is so bad that they dont get any recess. We have letters of the week and a curriculuum that is language based, so there is a lot of story time. We talk about the parts of a book and reading left to right. We do shared reading. We copy letters and shapes on the board. We do the calendar. We have a lot of classroom helpers. My lesson plans are weekly and are theme based. If the theme, for example is community helpers, all the activities tie into that theme. There is also a color and letter of the week, so you can tie them all together.
    Since you taught Kinder you are just preparing the pre-K kids for what they will be learning in Kinder. And you know what that will be so you should be well prepared to teach them. They have shorter attention spans so I keep my circle times short 10 min or so, and have a few of them, spaced out during the day. Any more questions just ask. Good luck and Have fun!!
     
  4. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Jul 30, 2007

    I would suggest you find out what the curriculum and/or philosophy of the school is. That will drive your lesson plan. We use Creative Curriculum, and are not allowed to force children to say they are sorry, and do not use time out. You need to know the expectations of the school before you do any curriculum or discipline planning.
     
  5. nu2teach

    nu2teach Rookie

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    Jul 30, 2007

    I taught pre-k for two years. This is the age level where "friends are becoming important". I suggest you do friendship theme the first month. You need to be consistent with your daily routine as well. They love to be a part of a group and love to do show and share. I agree on everything katrinkatkat suggested.

    Goodluck!
     
  6. MsMar

    MsMar Fanatic

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    For discipline I pretty much use logical consequences. So for example if a child throws blocks in the block area I tell him he needs to come out (and of course explain that the blocks are for building and not for throwing). The child can play anywhere else in the room after being removed. After 5 minutes if the child asks to come back I ask "Are you ready to BUILD in the block area? I need to know if you are done throwing the blocks." The child always says Yes and then he goes back in. If the child forgets the rule again that day he's done with the blocks for the rest of the day and gets to try again the next day. During the day they're done anytime they ask to go back in I politely remind them that they told me they were done throwing blocks but they weren't and that shows me they need a break from blocks and may try again the next day.

    I have never put a child in time out, but I will exclude them from parts of the room that they show me they can't follow the rules in. I have also seperated two children to different parts of the room. So for example if Joey and Bobby are wresting then Joey is sent to play in the art area and Bobby in the fine motor area, and they aren't together. Once seperated from one child this way, most kids don't start fighting with someone else (not all, but most!). They learn that once they do they just get fewer and fewer choices as far as where they can play and who they can play with. I've had boys seperated daily for wresting/fighting for 2 weeks straight and then maybe once every other week after that. They're old enough to "get" it at this age especially if you're consisten with whatever rules you establish.

    And I agree what others have said about friendship. We have a "everybody may play" rule at our school which means just that - you can't exclude anyone from your playing. If someone wants to join in with friends playing, they may. A great book about this topic is You Can't Say You Can't Play by Vivian Payley (I might be spelling her name wrong). Her book is based on a Kindergarten class I think, but it can all be applied to Pre-K as well.

    I think you'll enjoys being with the 4s. I sure do!
     
  7. vannapk

    vannapk Groupie

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    Jul 30, 2007

    My best suggestion to any teacher new to pre-k is use lots of music. Use music to hold their attention and stretch their attention spans. I use music for everything in the beginning of the year, it's like magic, they really respond well to it.

    Here is a link to my page for teachers new to Pre-K: vanna's pre-k bootcamp and a link to my discipline page: vanna's discipline page

    I have taught kindergarten and there are both similarities and differences between the two. I used the same behavior management strategies with both age groups, it worked fine. You'll see the biggest differences in the beginning of the year when their attention spans are super short and they have separation anxiety. Here's a link to my "welcome to school" theme for ideas for the very beginning of the year.
     
  8. gllanes

    gllanes Rookie

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    Thank you for all the wonderful advice. I think I will do great, I just feel a little nervous and excited though. Today I got to start decorating the class, I started working on the centers, where they´ll go, etc, our classrooms are small so we don´t have much space to work with. Anyway, thanks for the great advice I´ll take it all into consideration.

    Anymore advice, please keep it coming! TIA:)
     
  9. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    2nd that emotion! Before you do anything, find out the game plan. You may start posting alphabets on the wall, and it could be forbidden!!
     
  10. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Here is a thought gllanes,

    Close your eyes, walk into your room, relax. Now open them.

    You just slowed your heart rate, your mind stopped racing, and your kids are still having fun and learning!

    Welcome to Pre-K!!!

    Besides losing a desk! :eek:(fact #1, most pre-k teachers do not have desks-you have a cabinet or closet=maybe!) You can probably lose that 45 minute language arts and 30 minute math lesson. You can add some nap time, or snack time, or more play time. Let me re-phrase that, free time or work time...depending on your location!

    If you are not already a member, considering joining the NAEYC. You will get a monthly subscription to Young Child Magazine. As a member, you will have discounts to all their publications. You can become an affillate member, and go to workshops and conferences.

    Two words for you: Developmentally appropriate. Remember these words and you will be fine! Let's say you have a boy who is almost 4 feet tall, and can ride a bike! He is 4 years 2 months. Would you expect him to write his first and last name? The answer is yes, and no! Just because he looks like a 3rd grader doesn't mean he is cognitively ready for letter recognition and fine motor skills. He may be able to ride a bike, because his gross motor skills are rapidly developing. But if he has attending a pre-k class last year, chances are he has been practicing some letters in his name, and may do a good job writing! Don't assume anything! But don't water down everything to the point that you treat them like toddlers either!!!

    Have an even mixture of active play and quiet learning. They need this. Focus on small groups, 2 to 6 kids. You may be lucky enough to have an assistant. You will need her/him, because you need a lot more energy, and extra hands.

    Find a mentor. Tag along with a veteran pre-k teacher. Have lunch and visit her room before school starts. Most pre-k classes are already set up. If you are new, you may have to start from scratch! Hey scout around AtoZ, a teacher has a beautiful set up, and live pics of her room!!!

    So think about room arrangement too. Open flo, closed areas...no wide spaces for running! Not much seat work. IMO. this is not acceptable. If you are housed in an elementary school, you may toss everything I say, because your program might just mirror kindgergarten! :confused:

    Get some facts, and a mentor. And then come back and tell us what you found out!
     
  11. vannapk

    vannapk Groupie

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    As master pre-k pointed out, not every pre-k program is the same. Every state that has public pre-k has different rules and regulations, like the New Jersey Abbott schools, Georgia's Pre-K Program, Florida's VPK, then there are all the Head Start programs etc. Each one operates differently so you always have to take that into consideration when reading posts on A-Z.

    I teach public school Pre-K in a large, urban district in Dallas and our program is very academic; having a word/name wall up is mandatory in my district, we would be written up for not having one. While it is very academic I have worked extremely hard to make it Fun with a capital F and as developmentally appropriate as possible, it can be done.

    Every pre-k teacher in our district also has a teacher desk as does every teacher K-12, there are over 50 pre-k teachers in our district. If we didn't have our teacher desk where would we put our teacher computer? The computer takes up most of the desk. We also have student computers on computer tables in every classroom.
     
  12. 2BCharged

    2BCharged Rookie

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    I agree with Master Pre-K. Find out what you will be working with first. I am in a small Christian environment that uses Abeka and it is sooo different. But this is year two and now I hae both K-3 and K-4. The K-4 curriculum is more demanding and I am trying to figure out how wo do a schedule and teach both classes what they need all by 11:30. But I said with Abeka, I will use the phonics, reading, and writing and add some of my own for the rest and see what will happen.
     
  13. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    State Pre-k is much different from Head Start, which is way different from public school preschool!

    Desks, computers?? Our teachers are lucky if they get a coat rack! The computers are usually in the office. Or, they must share them with the kids! The room is designed for the kids. There may be a teacher work room, but those are hard to find too. Usually, their stuff is sprawled out, and spread out all over the tops of cubbies. I hate this!!! It is my job to come in, and make the teachers clean this up!!! You name it, I have seen it.. Lotion, hot sauce, lip gloss! All kinds of stuff I find up there! :eek:

    Usually, they have a closet, and that is it. No desks out here...
     
  14. gllanes

    gllanes Rookie

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    Aug 1, 2007

    Hello Ladies and thank you all for the replies, I´m taking everything into consideration. At the moment I feel overwhelmed, school starts on Tuesday and I really don´t even have a plan yet. Help! :(
     
  15. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    :confused:

    Have you sat down with your director/principal yet to determine what is your curriculum, progress report, assessment requirement? Also, have you asked about room decorations, what can be posted, what needs to be posted. You also need to know about scheduling, free breakfast? lunch? Outdoor time-shared with others, or do you have your own play lot?? Principal is not being helpful if they have not offered to tell you these things.

    Stick your head in the office, ask if he/she has a minute, tell them you have a few questions, and when would be a good time.

    If he blows you off....you may have to wing this alone...find a partner..mentor, somebody else who has this grade level NOW!!

    If he says sure, come back after lunch...this is a good sign. Ask all your questions, take notes, and be sure to say, "Thanks, this will help me get on the right start, anything else I need to know?"

    Trust me, if you start your day, doing what you know best, I can assure you this nincompoop when stick his head in your classroom, and call you in later, and THEN tell you all the things you should have known!! I hate that!! :confused:

    Geez, for all we know, you may have Open Court Reading :eek: , and need to be in your classroom opening boxes, assembling mini-books, and cutting out pieces for Saxon Math lessons!!!

    This principal or director is dragging his feet! :naughty: This is not a good way to start the year!!!
     

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