KHA Articles

Our Roles and duties as a Kindergarten teacher.

Our daily role as a kindergarten teacher is of great importance, it is always good to remind ourselves exactly why we are here most importantly that we are doing the best we can. We are responsible for building the foundation of a child’s education and it is important that each child has positive learning experiences at this stage as this will shape their attitude towards learning and education for the rest of their lives.

We are not just teachers we also serve a surrogate parent for our little ones.it is also a privilege looking after these little ones and it is important we take our responsibilities seriously:

Here are just a few of what our duties and responsibilities should be:

  • It is up to us to develop fun and creative ways in which to teach the children various concepts, as well as assessing their level of understanding of the various concepts and re-teach when necessary.
  • Lesson materials and resources should always be prepared; they should be age appropriate interesting and assist in the learning process.
  • Adapt your teaching methods to meet the different needs and standards of the children in your class.
  • Have clear classroom guidelines for the children in your class and make clear to them what acceptable and unacceptable behaviour is.
  • We are responsible for our children’s safety, hence be watchful at all times.
  • Observe children in different environments, playground, and classroom and during activity times. Listen carefully to your children.
  • Any work that you give the children to do should be marked daily and corrections done with the child, this is a crucial way of monitoring their progress and understanding.
  • Working alongside other staff members will ensure a happy, stable environment for the children.
  • Ensure our classroom is safe and clean for our children. Regular equipment checks are important.
  • Teach our children to follow correct bathroom and hygiene practices and teach them to look after themselves properly.
  • Have a good open line of communication with your parents. Do not discuss a child’s progress or an issue in front of the child. Keep your parents well informed on daily activities.
  • As teachers we are watched closely by both parents and the children hence. Follow and uphold school rules and timings and dress appropriately and most importantly be happy.

                           

 

Remember we wear many different hats as a teacher. Let’s wear those hats well and always put our children’s needs first.

 

By Michele Barlow

First Day of Kindergarten: 8 Survival Skills

The first day of kindergarten is busy, busy, busy! Learning the names, faces, parents and personalities of all of the students on the class list is essential. You must teach routines and procedures. You need to hold the attention of a roomful of active, excited little minds. New faces will show up that you'll have to add to the class list.

Be prepared for kinks in the plans. Bus numbers will change. Duty assignments will be modified -- now you have morning and afternoon duties for the first few weeks. Lesson plans are due -- and the principal wants lessons plans for the entire week. And no, there is no nap time for the students (or the teacher)! Oh, and don't forget open house -- teachers will need to stay into the evening (I hate it when people think teachers get off at 3:00 every afternoon), but still be at work on time the following morning to receive students.

What does a kindergarten teacher need to do to survive? Here are eight handy survival skills.

  1. Nametags

Some kindergarteners may be new to the "school experience." Moving to the cafeteria, going to the bathroom, and working in their classroom may be brand new concepts to them. Have students wear nametags with their name, their school, and their teacher's name for the first week or two. Not only will this help teachers and other support staff learn their names, but it will also help ensure their safety during transition and dismissal time. (And have spare nametags -- a couple of students will mysteriously lose theirs.)

  1. Lunch Plan

If your school provides kindergarteners with lunch, know how each student will eat lunch. Find out how much students need for lunch. Have this information ahead of time so that you can answer parents' questions. Make sure you have a procedure in place to collect money and pay for lunches.

  1. Going Home

Make it your business to know how each student will get home from school. Find out if he or she is riding the bus or being picked up. Make sure the students are being released to the proper guardian or caretaker. Know this information ahead of time and communicate with each parent to find out if there are any changes. Write down each student’s method of transportation on his or her nametag to help ensure smooth dismissal -- for example, "bus # 100" or "car rider."

  1. Transition Times

Twenty kindergarteners will not sit still at their desks or stand perfectly in line the first day -- or any day -- if it's for a long period of time with no structured activity. Minimize transition times as much as possible. For example, once students have put up their pencils, they may continue to independently work on their coloring activity while the other students put up their pencils.

  1. Lines

Keep the lunch line moving (money is out and ready), or keep the water fountain line moving (each student has ten seconds to drink water then back to line). Stop the line every so often to check that it remains straight and students are quiet. If a student loses a shoe (someone always will), have that student step out of line to fix the shoe while the line continues. When the line comes to a stop, the student may walk back to his or her place or remain at the end.

  1. Keep Students Busy

Whole group instruction may include calendar or story time. Small group activities should be structured. For example:

  • Show the kids how to build patterns with blocks, and give visible examples so they'll know what is expected.
  • Show them how to match lowercase and uppercase letters. For the first few weeks, set up a model showing what the lower- and uppercase letters look like.
  1. Behavior

Show interest in all of your students. Make each one feel wanted. Do not assume they know how to do anything. Give clear directions, and have students demonstrate back the expected behavior to ensure understanding.

  1. Be Prepared

Elementary teachers are expected to have pencils, papers, colors, construction paper and glue, but kindergarten teachers should be even more prepared with:

  • A spare change of clothing in case a student forgot his or hers and has an accident
  • Some non-latex bandages in case students have latex allergies
  • A belt in case a student shows up without properly fitting pants
  • A large bottle of water stashed for yourself, because you will break a sweat at some point and get very thirsty
  • A squishy ball, which sometimes helps a student who is extremely fidgety

Kindergarten teachers have one of the most challenging but rewarding jobs. When something goes wrong, just breathe and stay calm. When the day is over, think of a plan to better handle the situation next time. The first days are very challenging, but stand firm, stay committed and have a great year.

Ideas for Posters and Notices for your Kindergarten

Ideas and thoughts for posters on early childhood.

Taken from the book: Posters and thoughts on early childhood By: Jenifer Hallett, Sylvia Osborne and Sylvia Suckerman

Learning:

Play

The growing child.

Home attitudes.

NB:  Your poster or notice must attract the person or people it is intended for.

All posters and notices must be:

-Bright and clearly written with the correct font that is uniform in size and use the correct spacing.

-Written neatly in a straight line and finished off with a border or illustration.

-Language should be suitable, relevant and thought provoking.

-Plan your poster carefully; design it on a rough piece of paper and then sketch in soft pencil on your paper or card before using permanent markers or crayons.

-Store them correctly for future use.

Reference: Posters and thoughts on early childhood. By: Jenifer Hallett, Sylvia Osborne and Sylvia Suckerman.

By Michele Barlow

LET’S TEACH OUR CHILDREN TO TRAVEL SAFELY!

Children are our future and our wealth

The quality of tomorrow’s world,

Even if it’s survival will be determined by the well-being, safety and development of our children today (i.y.c. Jhb)

 

I hope many of you will read these few words and stop and think for a while.  I would like to concentrate on the safety of our children.  We live in a country where car traffic accidents are an every day occurrence and   safety of children in the car or walking to school is not enforced. 

Children are allowed to stand on front and back seats of the car while travelling, should your car/bus, even if going slowly have to apply brakes suddenly, children who are not strapped in could suffer life altering consequences. Even in a minor crash, children could be thrown about inside the vehicle or be thrown out one of the windows injuring themselves and others.

HOW CAN WE AS TEACHERS MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

  • We can start a road safety campaign and start with basic rules on how to walk on a road, Always with an adult and holding the adults hand at all times. Crossing the road with an Adult where it is safe to cross. (Practice looking left, right and left again)
  • For those children who go to school on a bus or public transport the importance of them wearing a seatbelt at all times.
  • Involve the parents by sending a letter home explaining that you will be discussing car and road safety with the children and giving ways that can help to keep their children safe while on the road. The importance of seatbelts and car seats should be discussed and ask them to follow through and join in with the campaign so that their children arrive at school safe each day.

 USEFULL INFORMATION FOR TEACHERS AND PARENTS.

  • For their safety Children under the age of 12 years or less than 135 cm tall should use an appropriate child restraint for their age.
  • Appropriate child restraints consist of front or rear facing car seats or booster seats once the children get older. PLEASE NOTE A CAR SEAT CAN BE DAMAGED IF INVOLVED IN A COLLISION.
  • Alternatively a child can wear a seat belt although it will not be as effective as it is designed for Adults.
  • Children should not sit in the front seat, most cars have passenger airbags and these once deployed can seriously injure a young child.
  • Children should only be allowed to travel in a bus that has fitted seatbelts.
  • Children walking to school should only be allowed to do so with a responsible adult who knows how to keep them safe on the roads.
  • “A CAR CRASH AT A SPEED OF 50KM/H WILL PRODUCE AN IMPACT ON YOUR BODY EQUIVALENT TO A FALLING 3 STOREY BUILDING” So if the car you are traveling in brakes suddenly, your body will be thrown forward onto the steering wheel, dashboard or windscreen. Then your internal organs will collide with the insides of your body. Three crashes in one. That’s why wearing a seatbelt is so important. ( from the Red cross road safety toolkit)

 

 LET’S TEACH OUR CHILDREN TO TRAVEL SAFELY AND ARRIVE ALIVE!!

 Written by Michele Barlow

 

 

Story Telling for Kindergarten Teachers.

Story Telling for Kindergarten Teachers.

“The great difference between telling a story and of reading one is that the teller is free; the reader is bound to her book and the words in it. The story teller is bound by nothing but her own imagination. She can watch her listerners’ expressions mirroring hers, their changing moods, keeping in constant eye contact with them. She is free to use body, eyes, face, hands as aids in expression. Free to add a little bit here and there to suit her audience and their reactions.

A “told” story is never exactly the same each time it is told!

(Taken from an article written by Sthoreen Smith)

Stories for kindergarten teachers should be accompanied by Story Aids.

What stories should a teacher choose to tell ?

Ages 2 to 4 year olds: simple , everyday life stories are always a good choice.eg: going to the zoo, a holiday story , having a birthday party. Keep the story short ( 10 to 15 Minutes). Lots of pictures and story aids need to be used.

Ages 5 to 6 year olds: Stories can now be longer as their attention span is good.( 20 to 30 minutes ). This group will now enjoy a fantasy story as well as stories about the world around them and about how things work.

 

All age groups appreciate humorous stories.

How to tell a story.

  • Know your story, it does not need to be memorised ,however know what happens in the story and tell it in your own words.( except when telling traditonal stories such as the 3 lilltle pigs, or Goldilocks and the 3 bears)
  • The children should all be seated comfortably and have eye contact with you. Use a low chair when telling a story and all the children should be able to see the story aids you are using.
  • Make sure you have the childrens attention before beginnig the story, you can recite a short poem, play a game, or sing a song to get their attention.
  • Tell the story simply using descriptive words and short sentences.
  • Tell the story dramatically. Use facial expression and voice tone as well as hand and body movements when telling the story.
  • Enjoy telling the story.
  • Use Direct speech .
  • Allow time for asking questions after the story. Open questions allow the children to think and answer freely.

 

Story Aids;

Story aids can be pictures ,cut outs, moving figures, real objects and puppets.

The younger child needs story aids to understand the story where as the older child is capable of making their own mental image.

Use large, clear bright pictures and cut outs as story aids.

We have included an example of a story and story aids which you can cut out, colour and use when telling the story.

  

Refference for the article is from: TREE:Stories for Pre-school children written by Sthoreen Smith