Kindergarten Teacher Tips

Instructor: Derek Hughes
Teaching kindergarten is often a very different experience from teaching 1st-12th grade. The tips contained in this lesson will help you manage your classroom and ensure that your lessons are reaching every student.

From Play to Work

Starting kindergarten marks a big transition for the students in your classroom. Whether they are coming from a pre-school program or from home, your students are going to be used to spending most of their time playing. Play is the way children learn new things for the first five years of their lives. The transition to kindergarten, where students will be learning through direct instruction from a teacher, can be challenging for some students. However, the tips in this lesson will help you structure your kindergarten classroom to make that transition less jarring and help your students make the adjustment from learning through play to learning in the classroom.

Design Lessons that Feel Like Play

Play has been your students' primary form of learning for the past five years of their lives. In order to smooth the transition and get students used to working within the confines of a classroom, create your lessons while keeping in mind that they should contain an element of play. It might be helpful to keep in mind the the importance of game-based learning while writing your lesson plans. By gamifying your lessons, your students will be more interested in learning and be more engaged in your lessons.

Keep Your Students Moving

Have you ever seen a six-year-old sit still for longer than five minutes? Probably not, and if so, it was probably because you were watching them sleep. Your kindergarten students have not yet gotten the chance to develop the self-control that is necessary for sitting still in a classroom and learning. Especially in the beginning of the year, you are going to need to keep your students moving. Students will learn better the less they are expected to sit down and listen to someone speak.

You can achieve this by moving students around the room throughout the day or engaging them in various manual activities while at their seat. This can be done by creating several spaces that students are continually moving to, either as a whole class, in small groups, or alone. While students are expected to be sitting for longer periods of time, the activities they are doing at their seats should include a variety of different movements, such as cutting, gluing, coloring, drawing, and writing. Your students will get bored if they are expected to do the same thing for an extended period of time, which will make your lessons less effective and interfere with their learning.

Keeping students moving throughout the day is helpful for keeping them engaged

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