Wednesday, July 20, 2016

"Teaching Kindergarten in September is like Herding Cats!"

If you teach kindergarten, you have to watch this!!!!!!!!!!! This video is absolutely adorable! I am helping teach the incoming kindergarten class for VBS at my church this week! Haha...getting them into their small groups looks JUST LIKE THIS!!! It takes forever and somehow we still end up with some in the wrong place! "We have a situation!!!" 

I thought I would just post a few quick things that I do to keep my little September munchkins in  place! These are my top 5 tips for keeping kinders in their place! :)

1. Duct Tape!!!! I reread that, it made me laugh! is not for their little motor mouths! ;) Anyway, I do not have a fancy carpet with those cute, colorful squares, but what I do have is a roll of duct tape! I use it to make my own squares on the carpet. The awesome thing about making your own squares is that you can make the boxes as big as you want! It holds up remarkably well too! I did have to re-tape it mid-year last year because I had a lot of "pickers!" It's so cheap, easy to fix, and there are so many cute colors and designs now! 

2. Line Up Stars- I tape down some line up stars by our door. This really does help to eliminate crowding and pushing. We walk in two lines instead of one. We have a boy line and a girl line. This makes it easier to travel. I feel like they stick together much better this way. It also helps when you go around corners! Two shorter lines are way better than one giant line! The stars don't hold up all year, but usually by the time they are a complete hot mess, the kids get the general idea of leaving some space in between each person! 

3. Nametags, Nametags, Nametags!!!! I put a nametag on my munchkins the minute I pick them up. I write their name, my name, and their bus number. This way, in case they get lost throughout the day or at crazy bus time, someone can help them get where they need to be! Haha....because the little cuties seriously forget their own names in times of crisis, let alone remember yours! I have my kids wear their nametags all day, each and every day until the end of September.

4. One Group at a time! Whenever I call my munchkins to move anywhere, I call one group at a time. This definitely helps with the kitten syndrome! The more kids that are up and moving at the same time, the more wanderers and stragglers you will have! When transitioning from the carpet to the tables, I call out only one table color at a time to move. When they are set, I call the next. This also gives me opportunities to have the students model for each other. I say things like, "Wow, look at the way each kid at the purple table is using their walking feet!!!" Then like magic, the next table I call will use their walking feet! Remember that Kindergarteners are like little sponges for praise!!! When lining up at the door, I usually just call the girls first, and then the boys. Sometimes I mix it up by calling the kids with sneakers on to line up, or by colors they are wearing, eye color, etc. 

5. Table Garbage Containers! I picked up this idea from visiting at another school a few years ago, and it is BRILLIANT! Whenever students are working on an activity that will result in table scraps (this could be paper or food!), I put out mini garbage cans on each table. This gets rid of the problem of 20+ kids needing to get out of their seats. Remember nothing good comes from 20+ children being out of their seats every time they snip off a piece of paper! I found my cute little garbage cans from the Dollar Tree. They have these cute colored ones this year!

Thanks for reading! I would love to hear some of your favorite tips for managing stray munchkins!!!

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