Kindergarten can be an extremely challenging level to teach as students are likely to come in with a wide range of preparation and soft skills.
Here are some best practices to incorporate when teaching kindergarten:
Since this may be children’s first time at the school – start with an “adventure” to ensure they’re oriented as far as where everything is located. They also need to understand basics such as standing in a line for lunch, etc. You can make it into a scavenger hunt where they collect small trinkets to add even more fun to the activity.
Help them understand the routine for each day – this structure will be comforting to them.
Be ready to adapt lesson plans for kids at every stage – those who are familiar with letters and sounds, and those who have never been introduced to them. As well, some will be able to sit still and listen while others may not have mastered this skill yet. Centers are a great way to adapt lessons to students at different levels. Here are some resources from Playdough to Plato for that. Don’t be afraid to rely on tried and true resources from other teachers – it will save you time and the stress of coming up with creative ways to teach all the concepts you’ll need to get through.
Vary the day as far as locations – desks, circle time, outdoor classroom activities (weather permitting) as well as activity level such as games that incorporate learning.
Since the primary focus is reading prep – ensure there is a fun special reading nook and that reading alone or together is an enjoyable experience.
Incorporate STEM activities to help them start to understand how the world works.
Make math fun with games and hands-on activities.
Incorporate music into as much as possible.
Don’t underestimate the value of play and lessons on making friends and being kind.