It has probably been a while since many parents have been in a Kindergarten. If you have not visited this year then the following might assist you understand what students do after they are dropped off in the morning or afternoon. First I have an overview, then I have included more details about what happens throughout the day and the purpose for each time learning time.
Entry; Independent Reading Time; Announcements-O Canada-Welcome; Music and Movement; Learning Time; Activity Time/ Snack Time; Learning Time; Lunch, Outdoor Activities, Indoor Learning Time, Activity Time, Story/Sharing Time Dismissal
Students take off their outdoor clothing and unpack their backpacks, which helps them develop a sense of independence and organization with their personal items. The children then sign in, by picking up their name card from the pocket chart. They may at this time engage in some kind of class survey, whose data we will discuss during a Mathematics lesson.
Independent Reading Time
Students select books to look at from a variety of choices. These might include letter or pattern books we have read together as a class that help reinforce phonics and high frequency knowledge (is, a, the, big). Children may review some of our songs, poems or sentence patterns that we have learned, practicing them with a peer. There are also browsing books, too difficult for students to read, including stories, seasonal books or non-fiction materials. Children who have already begun to read may have some selections put aside for them to practice each day. Some children may even “Read Around the Room,” or look at poems, songs and sentences on chart paper that we have learned in class.
Students greet each other with songs each morning and then we discuss the schedule of events for the day. Sometimes one child will be responsible for the task or the whole class may share together. If there is a special event, such as a birthday or other celebration we will also address it at this time. Afterwards students will continue reading independently for a short period of time.
Music and Movement
Students at a young age cannot sustain their attention on one task for a prolonged period of time. Therefore we try to energize their bodies and fuel their brain with physical activity and increased oxygen intake by engaging in music and movement activities. These may be songs and games we have already learned, new materials that they are working on in class or perhaps dancing and drama accompanied by a CD.
Carpet Time/Learning Time
Students will engage in some kind of literacy, mathematics or science lesson, perhaps starting with a story telling. They may review a shared reading piece, whether a poem, song or sentence pattern, accompanied by some short phonics books to support their learning for the week. After a short lesson students may again break out into a music and movement activity.
Activity Time/Snack Time
Students will individually select activities to engage in within the classroom, that support the learning they have experienced at carpet time. The classroom is set up with a variety of centres which change throughout the year according to student development and the learning focus. For more detailed information on the individual centres see the Kindergarten Centres page. We may begin this activity time by examining a new centre, roll-playing how students might engage at the centre and discuss expectations for behaviour and cleaning up. Students can flow freely through the centres during this time, sometimes engaging in various activities and sharing their learning with peers or teachers in the classroom.
During Activity Time, students have the opportunity to visit the classroom snack table, where they can eat some of the school provided snack. This allows students a chance to follow some classroom generated expectations regarding routines and appropriate social behaviour while eating. It allows time for students to socialize and discuss their foods, make individual choices and learn self-regulation skills. Later in the day, students might also choose to eat some of their remaining lunch. Students might also have time for a community snack later in the day. Then, they can discuss the importance of nutritious eating, observing, commenting on and tasting new or favourite snacks.
Students might engage in a short language/mathematics or science lesson, or follow-up something that was started earlier in the day. Children may listen to a read aloud story or listen to some music, while finishing their snack. As a community, the class might also discuss any social concerns that arose during Activity time. They might share things they had learned with their classmates.
Lunch Time/Quiet Time
Students have an opportunity to eat lunch together in the classroom as a large group, then have some quiet time to digest, reading a book or listening to a read aloud on the computer before going outside.
Students have an opportunity to use and enjoy gross motor activities, such as play equipment, explore our outdoor play space with peers and sometimes use the playscape.
Students engage in some short learning times in the afternoon, working on Mathematics/Science topics before working with other teachers in the school.
Some time during the school day, students visit other teachers in the school who are supporting their learning. They might visit these teachers in their classrooms for Health and Wellness, Visual Arts, Music or Physical Education.
At the end of the day, students get dressed, pack their backpacks and are picked up by their caregivers.