I have been working at Waitsfield Elementary School since 2000, in a variety of positions across grade levels. I have been teaching kindergarten since 2010.
Like most kindergartens throughout the state, our kindergarten program is designed to offer a balance of intentional instruction, open exploration, and choice times. While there are specific skills that are part of the kindergarten curriculum, much of children's learning at this age, particularly the development of social skills, takes place through exploration and play.
A Typical Day in Kindergarten
7:30-8:00 Arrival and choice time
As children arrive they sign up for hot or cold lunch and "read" the morning message, which has an interactive component that provides students with an opportunity to sign in on the white board (later in the year they will sign in more formally on paper). Because children's arrivals tend to be staggered, this is an opportunity for me to greet each child individually and check in with them. Choice time is also a wonderful way for students to ease into the day, connect with peers, and explore areas of specific interest.
8:00-8:20 Morning Meeting
We begin each day with Morning Meeting, which sets a positive tone for our day and helps build a strong classroom community. Meeting begins with a greeting, which is passed around the circle. At the beginning of the year this helps students learn each other's names and become comfortable interacting with children they may not already know. During this time we also learn and follow routines such as calendar, weather, number of days in school, and reading the morning message. These routines lend predictability to the start of our day and help reinforce important skills in the Kindergarten curriculum.
8:20-9:10 Investigations Math
During math in kindergarten we explore multiple topics including counting and comparing, patterns, and measurement. This often involves exploration with manipulatives and games.
Along with providing an opportunity for students to refuel, snack is a wonderful social opportunity as well. Some of the best student to student conversations take place during snack!
9:30-10:00 Recess 1
10:00-10:35 Writer's Workshop
During Writer's Workshop, children engaged in writing at all levels, beginning by creating stories through pictures, eventually adding labels, and perhaps even writing sentences. Children are encouraged to experiment with different genres and writing styles, but ultimately they choose what they will write about each day.
10:35- 11:05 Reading
11:05- 11:30 Choice Time
This time will include instruction in phonemic awareness and letter formation through the Fundations curriculum, as well as independent and partner reading, and small group instruction.
11:30-11:45 Read Aloud
While I often read to children throughout the day, I find it beneficial to have a time set aside that is designated for read aloud. We will explore a variety of texts and genres during this time and as the year progresses children often request books for me to share with the class.
Kindergarteners will eat with the first and second graders.
12:15 Quiet Time
After lunch children will all go to their own space for an opportunity to quietly relax. They will have the option of looking at books or drawing quietly during this time.
We have at least one special each day. These include gym twice a week, library, music, and art. We will also have health and guidance for one trimester each.
1:15 Science/ Social Studies or Project time
This will be a great time to explore science and social studies topics through observations, experiments, and projects. It is also a perfect time for me to work individually with students a few minutes at a time while others enjoy free choice time. Children will also have an opportunity for a quick snack during this time.
1:50 Clean Up/ Pack Up/ Closing Circle