I can't believe we only have 3 weeks until school starts. This is my first year in the lab and I'm getting a little nervous especially about the K-1 kiddos. I went to school today and found out rather than having the classes twice a week for 30 minutes, I'm only getting them once a week and for 40 minutes. What do I do with Kindergarteners for 40 minutes!!! Especially in the beginning of the year. I sure wish our Admin would let the teachers have some input in our schedule. Argggg.
I'd like some feedback. Am I stressing for nothing. Is 40 minutes a reasonable amount of time to teach K in the lab?
Hi Ruth, Actually it may work out well as you spend a considerable amount of that time just getting them into their chairs and settled so you can cross that time off of the list each week. That will give you a full 30 minutes to teach.
I know you already know this but I will mention it in passing. Kindergarten kids are the best and they can learn anything but it will take a lot of the first part of your term just teaching them the proper procedures for coming into the lab etc. I wouldn't expect a lot of IT learning to go on for a while as you will be teaching them social and lab behaviour which is all part of it. I would lower your expectations as far as what they will learn IT wise but raise them as far as your lab behaviour expectation etc. Remember, what they get a strong foundation in in Kindergarten will mean you don't have to reteach it in Grade One, just review and remind. :)
I taught Kindergarten for 10 years and they were the best.
Thank you for your input. I've taught 2nd grade for the past 9 years and I'm very comfortable with that age group and older. Even though K is only 2 grades lower - it's a big change. The principal that was making the schedule is resigning at the end of the month and a new principal was named last night. Perhaps there is still a chance to get the schedule changed.
Kinder students are capable of quite a bit, but it all comes down to modeling and practice. Like the first reply to discussion, plan on taking a great deal of time just getting procedures down: how to enter the lab, how to find your seat, how to login, how to sit in your chair properly, how to freeze when you need to instruct, etc. Break everything down in 5 to 7 minute chunks of time. You can make a game out of just about anything...make a game for the class to earn points on mastering the various skills I outlined above (you can graph the time it takes for all students to be ready with a simple excel sheet...this will motivate students to make improvements). As students begin to use the computer you will want to share the keyboard and mouse with them...showing what they do and allowing them to practice. Just opening up Word and pratice typing their name will be a great activity. They can make their own name tags...then you can laminate them and put them by the computer they will use that day. You can mix this up by teaching students how to change fonts, size, style and color.
There are also countless educational sites (starfall.com) to help students practice mouse use with educational skills practice too.
I could go on and on...I love working with primary students.
I think you'll be amazed by what today's little ones have to offer. Last Christmas we donated two computers that I refurbished to my son's 4K class and have had some terrific results. His teacher focused on respecting the hardware, using the mouse and general keyboard navigation. I took a little time poking around and found a freeware application that kept the kids busy for an hour at a time (rotating 11 kids through the two seats, anyway :). The program is Sebran's ABC 1.45 and can be downloaded from Downloads.com. There were a couple of freeware coloring book applications on the site that the kids love as well. Have fun!!
Just because they are in the lab doesn't mean they each have to be at a computer. The speech teacher in my school would take the kindergarten kiddos to the lab, they would sit on the floor and she would "drive" Starfall. They seemed to enjoy it...you might try it as an option, especially at the beginning of the year.