Kindergarten demo lesson?

Discussion in 'Kindergarten' started by bella84, Mar 26, 2016.

  1. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Mar 26, 2016

    I received an offer to interview for and do a demo lesson for wealthy private school senior kindergarten class. I have 20 minutes. It can be whole group, teacher-led or done in stations, and it can be any content area. Hands-on activities seem preferable but not required. Most of these students have attended junior kindergarten. There are usually two teachers in the class, with about 20 students, but I will be doing this lesson by myself.

    I only have experience working with kindergarten students in small groups for special ed resource. Frankly I'm a bit frightened by the idea of teaching kindergarten. I never intended to apply for kindergarten - only 1st-4th, but the position I desired was miscommunicated between two administrators. I didn't realize the position up for grabs was kindergarten until 15 minutes into our spontaneous phone interview, which was going very well. Although I've already accepted the interview/demo lesson, I'm considering backing out. It does seem like a good opportunity though, so I thought I'd ask for advice from you all before shutting the door.

    Should I go on the interview/demo lesson? If so, please share some ideas for a demo lesson... I've become comfortable doing them with 2nd-3rd grade, but I'm not even sure where to begin with K.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2016
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  3. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    Mar 26, 2016

    I would do the demo, especially if you are interested in this school for other grades. I have no experience that low so I do understand your hesitation!
     
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  4. phillyteacher

    phillyteacher Comrade

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    Mar 26, 2016

    I would do the demo and also mention in the course of the interview interest in higher grade levels if there are positions available.

    As far as kinder, have you looked through the standards for your state at all? That may give you a jumping off point. When I think of 20 minutes in kindergarten, my thoughts go to something like a read-aloud plus writing/ drawing activity. Or, some kind of counting/ math exploration that they then draw their "findings."

    I haven't taught anything that young in quite a lot of years, so I'm having trouble being more specific... Good luck!
     
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  5. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

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    Mar 26, 2016

    I agree; if the school is a good fit for you, I'd recommend trying for the K position with thoughts of moving to a higher grade; but of course, you might find that Kindergarten is a fun and interesting grade to teach. I did some of my student observing and student teaching in Kindergarten. Since then, Kindergarten has become somewhat like first grade, especially in some private schools. Probably the students are accustomed to hands on activities and some group work, but not knowing the students and the atmosphere, it might be advisable to have everything as ready to go as possible. That way you can concentrate on ensuring every student is aware of her/his task. If classroom photos are on the Internet, investigating them might make you feel more comfortable with what to expect in the room. I'm racking my brain, but that was too long ago to remember any specific lessons that might serve as a demo; I think if I were preparing something, I might choose something easy to set up. A thought that comes to my mind is some kind of math lesson with base ten blocks, perhaps trading (regrouping) but not necessarily writing anything down, just sticking with the concept development of equality among units and rods (and perhaps flats). To be honest, I'm not sure though where today's K students are in math, but I'm guessing that would be an appropriate lesson for this late in the year.
     
  6. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    Mar 27, 2016

    I've never done a demo where they haven't given me a topic. Do you think it would be weird to ask what the students are covering right now? I think stations are great, especially in K, but I wouldn't do them a demo since they would require so much modeling and practicing procedures with the kids. If they do a post-meeting/review the lesson with you, I'd take that opportunity to explain how you could expand the lesson to include stations as the next activity and explain what that would look like in your room.

    I never thought I'd be capable of teaching K but I've worked with K a lot more over the past couple of years and now I actually think I could do it. I find that even my really low students are so successful in K because it's a lot easier to do interventions for basic skills like letter names/sounds. I work in a very low income title 1 school and a majority of our K students end the year on or very close to grade level, which is very rewarding (of course, unfortunately that drops off as they get to mid-1st and are expected to be putting everything together to read fluently). The hardest part for me would be being that "on" all day- K really needs that really high energy, cheery type and that would be hard for me. I'm not sure what types of schools you've been working in, but I would think that as far as school readiness, wealthy private school entering K students would be more like the 1st graders we see at my school. I would definitely go for it!
     
  7. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Apr 2, 2016

    Thanks everyone! The interview/demo lesson is coming up this Friday... With your encouragement, I've decided to go through with it. I'm so nervous about kindergarten, but I agree with what waterfall said: these kids will likely be similar to the first grade students who I've worked with in the past, given that they come from a wealthy background and are in "senior" kindergarten (and presumably attended "junior" kindergarten at this school last year).

    The director told me that I could contact the current teacher to see what they are learning but that they were on spring break and to wait. My plan is to email her Monday. However, I want to have an idea ready to go as a backup or to suggest to her in my email.

    So, I've been scouring the internet trying to come up with a lesson that will work. I want something that is general enough that it doesn't have to fit a particular theme or require a lot of specific background knowledge, something that allows for students with various ability levels and learning styles to participate, something that allows me to teach the whole group but also gives the students something to DO, and something that can be done in approximately 20 minutes... I decided to go with a reading comprehension lesson. I figured that visualizing is an important skill that is applicable to all grade levels and is something that should be "easy" enough to teach to a group of kids who I don't know in a setting that I don't know. What do you think about this?

    http://www.deannajump.com/2012/03/mental-images-and-zoo.html
    http://www.deannajump.com/2011/03/creating-mental-images_28.html
    http://oneextradegreeteaching.com/launching-our-poetry-uni/

    It's a lesson with a poem that allows for a lot of mental imagery (either My Neighbor's Dog is Purple or Green Giant - Which one should I go with???). I figure I will write out the poem on chart paper or sentence strips ahead of time and bring it in with me. I will read it out loud several times while encouraging students to create mental images - likely with some sharing and discussion. If I go with My Neighbor's Dog is Purple, then I can have a graphic organizer where they illustrate their image from the first two stanzas (a purple dog), then I read the last stanza, then they illustrate their new image (a crocodile), as seen in third link above. Then I can close with a discussion on how the image changed. If I go with Green Giant, I can start with a brief discussion on visualizing/imaging, then read the poem aloud and have them describe what they are visualizing, and then have them illustrate the giant. I can have them cut it out and glue it onto construction paper, along with the text of the poem, also as seen in the third link above.

    What do you think? Is this appropriate for a senior kindergarten class at a private school? Do you think it's feasible to do in a class with which I am unfamiliar? Do you think it makes a good demo? Do you think it can be done in approximately 20 minutes? Any advice? Which poem?

    Thanks!!
     
  8. mobreek-8

    mobreek-8 Guest

    Aug 11, 2016

    How did this lesson go? I have a demo lesson for 4K and I found this while searching for "My neighbor's dog is purple." I wanted to do something similar and was wondering if you had any tips and feedback.
    Thanks!
     
  9. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Aug 11, 2016

    The lesson went well. I used "My Neighbor's Dog is Purple" and came prepared with the poem written on chart paper. I brought a graphic organizer where they visualized before and after reading the last stanza of the poem. The kids enjoyed it and so did the interview team!

    In the end, I didn't get the job, but the interview team really enjoyed my lesson. They didn't get back to me with an answer until over a month after the interview. However, when the principal/head of school called me to tell me that I didn't get the job, he explained how they loved meeting me and enjoyed my lesson but that they found someone who was just a better fit for that particular position. He said that they really liked me though and that's part of the reason it took them so long to get back to me with an answer after originally telling me that I would hear from them in 1-2 weeks... I interpreted all of this to mean that they really did like me and my visualizing lesson, but I assumed that they found someone with more kindergarten or early childhood experience. In all honestly, I liked them and their school a lot, but I, too, didn't think that kindergarten and I were the best fit for one another. I imagine that I might have received an offer if they had had a second, third, or fourth grade opening.
     
  10. HowardCox

    HowardCox New Member

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    Aug 23, 2016

    I would do the demo it will be of full of fun. It is a more difficult to teach kindergarten students rather than teaching 1st-4th. In this grade children are tasked with building an understanding of basic math and simple writing with the help of comprehensive learning materials like mentioned over here .
     
  11. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    Aug 23, 2016

    Replied to the wrong thread, can't figure out how to delete!:oops:
     

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