effective teaching methods for kindergarten
Kindergarten is the first time most children are exposed to a classroom environment that's less about playing and more about sitting still, listening to the teacher and completing classwork. Teachers in kindergarten classrooms use several teaching methods to ensure that each student is learning what she needs to know. The same teaching methods are designed to help students who excel remain challenged, as well as to help students who are lagging behind catch up, because they incorporate a wide range of instructional strategies.
Whole Group Instruction
Whole group instruction, often called direct instruction, is the umbrella term for any time a kindergarten teacher is teaching the entire class something at the same time. This occurs through a variety of activities, such as read aloud and demonstration. Most kindergarten teachers use whole group instruction when introducing new concepts, such as letter sounds, a new math concept or a science experiment. Class discussions and question and answer sessions usually fall under whole group instruction, as well. Whole group instruction also includes student-led demonstration, such as show and tell or the sharing of an individual project.
Small Group Instruction
Many kindergarten teachers assign a whole group activity, such as coloring a map, completing a workbook page or doing an art project, and then call small groups to come do a more in-depth activity with her. This is often done with reading since kindergarten students can range in reading ability from not being able to read at all to being an accelerated reader. Small group instruction allows a teacher to meet the needs of students who are performing at the same level in terms of academic ability. Kindergarten teachers might use math or reading flashcards or do complex projects, such as planting a seed, as part of small group instruction. Many kindergarten teachers have aides or volunteers who help with small group instruction, as well.