Saturday, July 23, 2011

Kindergarten is the new...FIRST!

While most kiddos get it…some are just not developmentally ready for it!

Spontaneous play…building with blocks, building puzzles, make-believe play in the house area, finger paint, etc... are fundamental to a kindergarteners long-term academic success. 
The most effective way to teach students (I believe) is through thematic centers and free academic choice areas.  WOW…social skills are just as important, too!
Center time is hands-on and helps students become more independent.  I want the students to be actively engaged and if a theme attracts the student to work/play there – I will build it!  This will provide the time I need to work one-on-one with the students to meet the needs of each student. 

Changing out centers weekly is just too much work.  I have decided to do 2 center themes a month, instead of 4.  Here are the themes I think I will do this school year. 
September – Names / Colors shapes
October – Apples / Monsters
November – Pumpkins / Scarecrows
December – Gingerbread Man / Reindeer
January – Snowman / Penguins
February – Dr. Seuss / Friendship
March – Leprechauns / Space
April – Rainbows / Flowers
May – Insects / Farm
June - Ocean
What do you think?  Am I missing an important theme? It was hard to pick just 2 themes. What are your thoughts about this?  Some of my teacher friends have given up theme centers altogether to “FIT” all the reading and math in.  I hope I am never forced to do this because integrating math, reading, science, & social studies into themes may be just the ticket to kindergarten success! 


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Love the NEW LoOk! This blog is ReAlLy "Rockin'" now! LOVE IT!!! LuAnn

  3. I think you have done a great job with the themes. I agree, that K is the old 1st. I have parents every year a little sad to hear we have such demands on these little ones to learn. It's not like we don't want to encourage these kiddos to learn more but we also know the importance of "play".
    Great post!

  4. so do you focus on one theme for two weeks?? :)

  5. Yes...that is the plan to have one theme for two weeks. I will probably put together 7 different themed centers in the 10 days. I say "Themed" centers because I have literacy centers at a different time. My themed centers usually have a listening story, writing activity, art activity, pocket chart activity, math activity, and reading activity to go with the theme. The other 3 days we will be reading books on the theme/subject, making classroom-made books, making predictable charts, and/or making KWL charts. Does this help?

  6. We need some Kinder lovin' over here at Teachers Ask, Teachers Tell! A teacher needs help with ideas for Kinder Round Up!

    Teachers Ask, Teachers Tell

  7. Hi, Amber! I found you on Pinterest :-)

    I teach social studies and science with themes, and I integrate language arts and math into theme work. I miss the block center! There is much to be learned through "play".



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