The Rookie’s Guide to Running a Kindergarten Classroom

The Rookie’s Guide to Running a Kindergarten Classroom
games-at-home

Ellie Bouttell shares two years of experience teaching early English learners.

May 6, 2020 | Education

The Rookie’s Guide to Running a Kindergarten Classroom

When I was first dumped in front of a class of toddlers, armed only with a paper lesson plan, I was terrified. 

Over two years, I’ve learned the simple tricks to controlling and engaging these tiny humans who ricochet between laughter, boredom and tears in the blink of an eye. Read on for a crash course guide on how to minimise stress and get the most out of English classes with 5-year olds.

1. PLAN
You’d think this was obvious, but you’d be amazed how many kindergarten teachers don’t do it, thinking that teaching young children will be a piece of cake because their level is basic. If you don’t plan, your lesson will be full of fumbling moments that make kids automatically zone out.

Instead, plan and fully prepare games and videos to whip out when you need them. You will need to plan a different activity for every five to ten minutes of class, because young children have very short attention spans.

If you’re doing a cut and stick, have glue, scissors and papers ready to go in the classroom. Test songs and videos before class to make sure they play. And finally, write your plan out somewhere that’s easy to glance at while you’re in class to make sure you’re sticking to it.

2. …AND PLAN FLEXIBLY
Every class has students of varying tastes and abilities; some kids hate colouring or dancing, while others struggle more than average with spelling. Kids will quickly become bored if an activity is too easy, too hard or too slow, so jot down some simple ways to adjust difficulty, such as spelling a whole word instead of just the beginning letter, or starting to write letters out if just reciting them is too easy. It’s also a good idea to have an activity on hand that you can switch to if a class really doesn’t like the one you’ve chosen.

sock hockey

3. PROPS, PROPS, PROPS……
Small kids love practical things, and the best teachers know how to wield and participate in this enjoyment.

Physical things they can play with or touch, such as toy versions of the vocabulary you are learning (think finger puppets for family members or miniature zoos for animals) will hold their attention magnetically. Dangling the reward of being able to play with whatever toy you’re using also makes kids ten times more likely to listen to you and work hard at the vocabulary. “What’s this?” “It’s an elephant.” “Good job, Suzy – here, you can touch the elephant.” And so on. Prepare great props like puppets, videos, giant games, show-and-tell or experiments and your lessons will fly by.

obsticle course

4. NOTHING MAKES LITTLE KIDS CONCENTRATE HARDER THAN CRAFTS

In a similar vein, kids as a rule absolutely love making things. One of the best lessons I ever had was making a mini aquarium using blue and green tissue paper, cut-and-stick sea animals and a shoebox.

A simple craftwork will easily keep kids occupied for 20 or 30 minutes, and once they’re finished, I like to have them describe what they have made to the class to flex their new vocabulary and sentences. Search online for ideas if you’re struggling – Pinterest is a great source.

Related Articles

Related

Education

Tips and Tricks for Online Classes

COVID-19 has put a huge number of teachers in the strange situation of teaching kids through their phone screens. Though bemoaned by many, online classes aren’t all bad. Read on for Ellie Bouttell’s tips and tricks for managing the virtual classroom.   Background...

tv shows

Tips and Tricks for Online Classes

COVID-19 has put a huge number of teachers in the strange situation of teaching kids through their phone screens. Though bemoaned by many, online classes aren’t all bad. Read on for Ellie Bouttell’s tips and tricks for managing the virtual classroom.   Background...

read more

Education in Quarantine 

  Who would say 2020 was going to be the beginning of a new wave of modernisation in the most important aspects of life, such as education?   Daniela Gutiérrez M.When COVID-19 started, I wasn’t sure I would be able to keep up with the studies I had already...

read more

Other posts

About The Author

THIS MONTH’S MAGAZINE

AUTUMN OFFERS!

It’s been a difficult few months for businesses in Hangzhou – Let REDSTAR help you promote your opening hours! your food and drinks specials, your upcoming events and anything else you want our readers to hear about!

We can even come and write a review (and take photos or video) – let’s work together to spread the word! 

CLICK ‘HERE‘ FOR SPECIAL OFFERS & TO GET IN TOUCH!

UPCOMING EVENTS

october, 2020

Filter Events

No Events

BE IN THE NEXT ISSUE!

Win a prize!

Wade’s Bar and Grill

X