what are some of your classroom techniques for fast learners or finishers

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by TeacherCuriousExplore, Dec 1, 2016.

  1. TeacherCuriousExplore

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    Anyone on this thread that teaches Preschool-K I need some ideas. I teach Pre-K and have a problem with finding other activities for my students that finish with activities in their small group early. For instance, today I had a group doing a journal writing activity. They were done before time was up so I decided to have them draw more pictures into their journals of different pictures related to the prompt that was given.


    Sometimes when they finish early I have them to go grab a book or explore in the science area, but in one of my training or perhaps from doing research that is not developmentally appropriate. Children should be learning into their groups until time is up.



    What are some ideas?


    Also, I was told from a previous job that I need to stand up most of the time in the classroom. However, with Pre-K children being at eye level is what grasp their attention more. I stand up during circle time or sometimes in large group literacy if an activity we are doing requires me to. The only time I stand up is during non-instructed center play. During that time of the day I stand and walk around for a few minutes or so, but I sit and watch because I do not want to intervene on their center play time and start to teach.


    I sit during small group instruction or rotation with the group that is doing teacher instructed activities for the day.


    Am I doing this right?


    I have this one student that has a terrible problem of being still. He is always jumping off the walls or hitting the other students. I know isolation is from the class is not a good thing, but I must do it with this kid because is always putting his on the other children.


    I found this idea on Pinterest I may use for him. It is a bottle with glitter, glue, and water and teachers use it for kids in their classroom that can’t sit still. I may make a few to put in the science are for sensory bottles as well.


    What are some things to do? I have parent teacher conferences coming up soon and I must explain to his mom that maybe he needs to be screened or put on some form of medicine. I do not agree with doctors placing children on medication, but hopefully I can find other resources besides medication to give to his mom that would explain and help his behavior.
     
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  3. ChildWhisperer

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    Whaaaat? Where did you learn all this?
    I'm either sitting or at their level most of the time. In fact, I find child sized chairs way more comfortable than adult chairs because I'm so used to being at that level. I'm crouched or on my knees a lot as well. During circle time, I sit in a low chair. At my last school, I sat on the floor with them during circle time.
    As for early finishers, I always had them go to centers as soon as they finished their work. And the kids knew they couldn't go to centers until their small group work was finished. It worked really well. If you're not allowed to do that, then I would think getting a book or exploring the science area would be perfectly fine. I mean, they're DONE with their work! What else are they supposed to learn just by sitting there and waiting for everyone else?
    Is it just me? Am I wrong?
    Also, I agree that center time is THEIR time, but this year I'm in Head Start and we're required to interact with them during center time. At my last school, I let the kids do their own thing during center time (as long as they cleaned up, they could go to any center they wanted.). I enjoyed that job so much better. The kids were better behaved and quite advanced. I LOVED my last class that at that school. I'm pretty burnt out at my current job due to all the things we HAVE to do!
     
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  4. TeacherCuriousExplore

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    Hey there!

    I was teaching PreK at a job I quit where the director told me to stand up all the time. I told her that is not acceptable for children their age. It is best to be at eye level so that their attention will not wander to something else.

    With small groups, I wanted to make sure was I doing this time of the say correct. I have heard so many teachers discuss different things that they do. I guess I will keep doing what I am doing.

    In play centers, I get a lot of learning documentation done as well as in small groups.

    I have heard a lot of teachers complain about Headstart. I am more of a Prek-2nd grade type of person.
     
  5. ChildWhisperer

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    Too much paperwork and requirements and just a total lack of freedom. Even the wording on my lesson plans or things I send home have to be a specific way (although that could be just my boss, but even so). And I'm still not sure what to do with my 3-year-olds. Even my 4-5yo (the age group I'm used to) is so behind. I'd probably enjoy it more if I had some freedom.
    I'm going to shoot for a K or 1st position next year
     
  6. TeacherCuriousExplore

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    Many headstart programs are becoming a complete joke. The one in my local area does not require the teachers to teach! They require teachers to just watch them while they play. They do not do any learning whatsoever. In Pre K, we learn through play and hands on activities.

    Many children that attend headstart are economically disadvantaged and lack structure. I feel that because they are economically distress children they should be given a fair opportunity at learning and headstart does not push that.

    Pre K pushes early learning foundation
     
  7. ChildWhisperer

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    Our Head Start program does require us to teach BECAUSE they are so behind, but compared to previous jobs, I don't feel like I'm really teaching anything.
    I'm used to teaching "real" concepts, but here, I'm going over colors, shapes, letters and numbers every day, day after day. The same stuff that 2-year-Olds in my hometown have mastered.
    Don't want to complain because I know these kids need the "head start" in education, but it's just not for me! I'm used to teaching kids who could read & write before Kindergarten (nobody better start on how that's not developmentally appropriate. I don't actively teach them to read, but I'm not going to stop them if they pick it up themselves)
     
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  8. TeacherCuriousExplore

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    From experience, Letter Recognition, Counting, number recognition, emergent reading and wrinting, and more other early math and reading concepts should be the focus of the headstart or Pre K age.

    During my circle time, I still go over shapes and colors even if the students already mastered them. That is because their brains are still young and although it soaks up materials like sponges, their brains also forget simple concepts.

    I think you are teaching appropriately and they are not behind for their age. They are just behind from the groups that you use to teach.

    Behind in headstart or Prek would be not knowing how to hold a writing tool or how to socialize without biting.

    On the first day of school at my previous job, the students did not know how to hold a crayon. However through constant practice, they now surpass that stage. They are writing their names and doing rhyme words.
     
  9. ChildWhisperer

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    Yup. I know this. I'm used to teaching a higher level of the same age group, that's why these kids seem so behind when I know they're not. In fact, the area I live in has a high poverty level so all the Kindergarten teachers teach the same stuff we do since most of the kids do not attend preschool. We only have room for so many, which is sad. When I found out that they'd be learning the same stuff in Kindergarten, I relaxed a lot more! It was easier to get them ready since I knew they'd already be ahead of their classmates (also sad)
     
  10. TeacherCuriousExplore

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    Yea the same here. many kindergarten teachers are teaching letter recognition they really do not start on reading until second school term
     

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