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calumetteach calumetteach is offline
 
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this is really really hard
Old 09-05-2018, 03:38 PM
 
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The first day I know is hard, but kindergarten just seems altogether so hard. I am used to bigger kids. I so want to do well, but it didn't seem to go terrifically.
Any activities or advice you can give me is appreciated. Thanks so much.


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Old 09-05-2018, 03:53 PM
 
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I'm new to K as well, and been having a hard time as well! The other teachers seem to be having similar struggles (even those who've taught it many years). I've heard it does get better. Sorry I don't have any advice (I'll be checking back here myself), but know you're not alone!
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Old 09-05-2018, 04:05 PM
 
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It doesn't matter if you've been teaching one year or twenty, the first 6 weeks (or so) of kindergarten are brutal! And so so exhausting. But it does get better, and by the end you will forget how hard it was to start because they will be so independent and will have come so incredibly far.



My best advice is to take it slow. Don't get rushed into starting curriculum or centers or whatever. You need to get them trained on routines and procedures before tackling any of that. And they need a TON of practice to learn them! Don't assume they know anything - teach them the big stuff as well as the little.


Also, make it fun for both you and the kids. Whatever that means for you. Sing some silly songs, read a fun book, play a game, sit on the floor and play with them. Find or create a part of the day to look forward to and enjoy. We start the day with a half hour of play and I look forward to it every day. It's my time to connect with them, and hear about their morning or weekend, to ask them questions and just enjoy their interactions and imaginations.


Good luck!
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SBKanga5 so I have some silly questions
Old 09-05-2018, 04:13 PM
 
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Thank you for the words of encouragement!! At the moment I feel like a deer in the headlights and it was so so very hot today. Do you limit how many are at a play area?

Also if you aren't doing any math writing or reading what are you doing? I think what I need to do is back up and rethink what we're(I'm) doing.

Thanks so much for helping me. I think I am probably going to fast. I am trying to keep them moving from one area: rug, tables etc. so they don't get tired.

I so appreciate your help. I am also behind due to my not being able to get into my room or get it organized. And, truthfully, I felt frozen not knowing what to do or expect.

Thank you so much

Last edited by calumetteach; 09-05-2018 at 04:35 PM..
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Old 09-05-2018, 05:01 PM
 
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Quote:
But it does get better, and by the end you will forget how hard it was to start because they will be so independent and will have come so incredibly far.
Yup! And every August (or September if you start then) is like childbirth: you forget how excruciating it is until you do it again.


Quote:
My best advice is to take it slow. Don't get rushed into starting curriculum or centers or whatever. You need to get them trained on routines and procedures before tackling any of that. And they need a TON of practice to learn them!
I spend the first 6 weeks making them love/trust me. Once that happens, it is smooth sailing. You can't teach (and most of them can't learn) until you have routines and classroom management in place.


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Don't assume they know anything - teach them the big stuff as well as the little.
I taught them today what to do with boogers.


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We start the day with a half hour of play
I am FOREVER in your debt, Sbkangas, for this. It transformed the entire dynamic of the whole day!


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Do you limit how many are at a play area?
I don't and here's why: part of their socialization is learning negotiation and compromise. If there are too many kids in the blocks, well, now they have a chance to problem solve! Removing those opportunities doesn't help them develop those skills.


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Also if you aren't doing any math writing or reading what are you doing? I think what I need to do is back up and rethink what we're(I'm) doing.
I do a ton of whole group stuff in the beginning. Dancing, songs, finger play, read alouds, fine motor projects, etc.


calumet, hang in there. The start is always rough. Stock up on wine and know that each day is a new chance.


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tommorow can't come soon enough lol
Old 09-06-2018, 02:23 AM
 
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I'm up and ready to go. It is a looooong afternoon today. Wish me strength. Thank you thank you thank you for your words of encouragement. With you and my husband backing me I'm sure to make it...and make it good for the kids.
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Old 09-06-2018, 09:13 AM
 
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Quote:
Do you limit how many are at a play area?


I don't, and for two reasons. First, like Zia said, they need to learn how to negotiate and compromise. I feel like these are some of the most important skills I teach! Also, it's just more work for me.


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Also if you aren't doing any math writing or reading what are you doing? I think what I need to do is back up and rethink what we're(I'm) doing.

It's not that I'm not doing any reading or writing, but it's very very basic, and more of a way to train them on different procedures and assess where they are at. Here's a snapshot of my day right now:


8-8:40ish - play
8:40-8:55 - attendance and morning meeting
8:55-9:15 - centers - these are VERY basic and we only do one per day (no rotating) - for example, this week we have five centers

1. playdough

2. gluing letters onto a sentence strip

3. decorating their initial with stickers and markers

4. my center ("reading" a poem we have been doing together and drawing themselves)
5. name practice
If they finish early they can choose to read a book, draw on a white board, or do a puzzle.
9:15-9:30 - story
9:30-9:50 - recess
9:50-10:10 - name activities

10:10-10:55 - p.e. or dance
10:55-11:10 - drawing in journals
11:10-11:25 - wash up and get ready for lunch
11:30-12:15 - lunch
12:15-12:30 - quiet time (either rest or I've been showing them a little bit of The Letter Factory video)
12:30-12:40 - calendar
12:40-1:10 - math; right now we are doing a number a week, so math consists of doing lots of physical activities to go with the number (do 3 jumping jacks, clap 2x, etc), singing a few number songs, showing the number in different ways on the board (rekenrek, 10's frame, etc), and then a quick activity in their math notebook to get them trained on how those work
1:10-1:15 - song or story
1:15 - pack up
1:30 - go home


If I have an extra few minutes I read a story, sing a song, or do go noodle. And interspersed in all of these activities is reinforcing and practicing the routines that we are establishing.


After next week we go to a 2:30 dismissal. When that happens I will start by adding another 40 minutes of play to the end of the day, until they build up some stamina for the extra hour.


Hang in there! It will get better!
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Old 09-06-2018, 12:53 PM
 
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Kindergarten is so exhausting and so much repeating the same basic things over and over again. If they don't follow the routine I ask them to go back and show me the right way, sometimes I model the right way again before getting them to try again. I also use a lot of phrases like "you are doing the right thing if you are...." "I'm looking for boys and girls who are ...."

I have some groups that have a lot of trouble negotiating numbers in play centres if that is the case I do limit it, I use dot stickers on a card to show how many and they get a clothes pin to stick on when the dots are full the centre is full, as the year goes on you can wean them off it. Some groups can handle it right away some aren't ready for that (last year I had a group that hit, kicked, punched, pushed, bit.... if someone was too close, in their way, not moving, looked at them...)

Keep activities really basic because the point of the first weeks is to teach and practice routines and procedures. Create anchor charts together (how to sit on the mats, what to do in the morning, good choices, poor choices, what to do when _____ happens...)

Good luck, most groups start to come around in 6 weeks, I have had groups that take 4 much longer though.
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Thank you for the encouragement.
Old 09-06-2018, 03:38 PM
 
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We go from 8:00-3:00 with some afternoons going from 11:30-3:00 with no breaks. It's been excruciatingly hot and they are so done. After recess I have them watch some tumblebooks to cool down and settle down, but it is still very long.

Thank you again. I appreciate all of your suggestions and positive help.
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Old 09-07-2018, 04:18 AM
 
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It's Friday, calumet! You've got the weekend to re-charge and reflect. I hope today goes well. I am thinking of you.


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calumetteach calumetteach is offline
 
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Thank you so much
Old 09-07-2018, 03:58 PM
 
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............................... ..

Last edited by calumetteach; 09-07-2018 at 06:14 PM.. Reason: .
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I have been going through the kindergarten
Old 09-08-2018, 05:21 AM
 
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board this morning...and it's reassuring me. I guess I'm feeling way out of my comfort zone and I have 1/3 of my class new to our school. We have a pre-k but some a few of them are soooo challenging and with me trying to get my "kindergarten" legs (versus sea legs) the first few days was hard. Then I have support services coming in and I'm not sure what is normal and what is pushing the limits.

I thank you all for your kindness. Also...loving the salamander song and others posted. I can't wait to use them. Yesterday I sang at the end of the day. I did Soldier, Soldier, Won't You Marry Me? It was silly and fun and they love love love music. I also love that the songs posted are not contemporary songs but kids songs. Have a good weekend.
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Old 09-08-2018, 05:51 AM
 
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Salamander...is not a number...it's an AMPHIBIAN!


I don't even mind that earworm, it makes me laugh so much.


Everything on Scratch Garden is awesome.


Hang in there, there is a huge learning curve to K --for kids and teachers! Be kind to yourself and don't expect unreasonable things from yourself.
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