In my 8 years of teaching, these are the basic principles I've adopted. By no means do I consider myself the perfect teacher ( I have a long way to go ), but following this philosophy has allowed my classroom to become one where you'll always find children who are happy and actively engaged.

I haven't heard "I'm bored" or "Why do we have to do this?" in at least 2 years. Learning should always be fun! And fun doesn't have to equal less learning. Actually, the more fun I incorporate into my classroom, the bigger academic gains I've seen, year after year.

The Project Approach is effective.
  • I've found that this approach is the best way to grab and hold attention, build vocabulary, and promote higher level thinking skills and autonomy.
  • I'm still working on turning my integrated themes into authentic projects, and am always trying to make the topics more relevant to my kids' everyday lives.
 Kindergartners are active, social learners.
  • Young children aren't made to sit still for very long. Their brains are wired to learn through interacting with others and with their environment.
  • I use small groups, partner work, and independent work where children are encouraged to socialize and collaborate. Lecture usually doesn't have a place in my classroom. This is a main factor in minimizing behavior problems.

Young children and the arts were made for each other. 
  • The arts are naturally engaging and when you integrate them with the standards, the kids get a multi-sensory approach to learning, have fun, and get to hone their fine motor, direction following, and visual discrimination skills as well. The arts promote higher-level thinking and problem solving skills, as well as build confidence as there is usually no "right way" to do something.
  • In my class, we use dramatic storytelling, painting, drawing, music, collage, etc., integrated with our current topic of study and the standards, on a regular basis.

Building relationships is key.
  • When I take time to get to know students, I get attached and care about them a whole lot more. When this happens, it makes it easier to be patient, and motivates me to give them extra help and attention when they need it.  In turn, my kids listen better, work harder, and it makes school more enjoyable and less stressful for both of us.

Know your goals.
  • Finally, in order to make sure I'm meeting all the standards, I mapped out my curriculum for the year and created pacing guides. This has helped a lot in planning.

No comments:

Post a Comment