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What are you guys teaching your kindy students?
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Joined: 15 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2003 3:24 pm    Post subject: What are you guys teaching your kindy students? Reply with quote

What are you guys teaching your kindy kids? By that, I mean my students are age 5 in Korean age.

Are your kids just learning the alphabet? Are they learning to write letters yet? Are they learning verbs and nouns? Are they reading?

I'm just trying to get an idea of how far I need to take these little critters this year, and what is realistic. We have gone through the "Let's Go 1" book, however the writing parts were a bit much for some of them. Depends on the student, of course. The songs were great, and they learned a lot of the basic concepts in the chapters, but I don't feel they are ready to move on to "Let's Go 2", given the different levels of the students. I'm sort of searching for new materials to feed them.

I'm going to keep up with the letter practice, and increasing vocabulary of Nouns and Verbs. Also, I'm getting into some basics using these words in sentences: "I can run. I am running. He is running...."

What is realistic, and where should I be concentrating from here? Thanks.
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Joined: 13 May 2003
Location: cowtown

PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2003 4:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


If your kids are five Korean age, that would make them three or four years old. I don't know many early childhood professionals that would recommend using text books and doing a lot of sit down desk work. That being said, I know what it can be like to work in Korean hagwons and that may be what is expected of you. I had to use Let's Go myself my first year teaching kindergaten and I found it less and less useful as the students progressed, because it is not designed for that age group.

The best methods I found for teaching young children language is thematic units. Ideas like animals, seasons, community helpers, transportation, holidays, family can be made into a curriculum which includes games, songs, poems, chants, crafts, and other activities. Phonics and letter recognition can be integrated or additional part of the overall curriculum.

The last class of 3 year old I had learned all of their letters, almost all had learned the basic sounds of the consonants and short vowels, most had learned to read simple words,and a number were reading simple sentences and stories. I did do some writing practice to learn letter formation, but care needs to be taken because some kids this young may not have the small motor skills necessary and may become quite frustrated. Those that were ready to write were encouraged to do so and some learned to compose their own simple sentences. They had good grasp of everyday child conversations - ask permission, describe wants and needs, describe objects and events, retell simple stories, etc. They were using past, simple present, present progressive and future tenses. The thematic units and daily structure of calendar, sharing, games, crafts, storytime, etc. gave them a wide vocabulary of nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs.

My teaching involved mostly naturalistic situations. I tried to teach language through learning about things in which they were interested, through play, and through daily activities. With children of that age, I tend to stay away from memorizing sentence patterns, vocabulary, and grammatical terms. Since I had them almost five hours each day, most of the language was learned just through repetition and their natural desire to learn to express themselves.

Your situation may greatly vary with the availability of time with the kids, materials, and how open your director is to developmentally appropriate teaching. If you can provide more details, it might be easier to give you a better idea what are realistic goals.

If you want specific ideas about games, songs, activities, or themes, feel free to PM me. If I can't have my own class, perhaps this early childhood degree can be useful for someone Evil or Very Mad
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Joined: 15 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2003 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for all the great info...

I should have mentioned that some of the kids are age 6. The 5 year-olds (I have two 4 year-olds in korean age!) are mostly doing vocabulary work with me, and learning simple stuff with pronouncing vowels, etc.

My school is a really great one. Actually, the English I teach is only a part of what they are learning overall. As a school, we do the "theme" oriented stuff on a monthly basis (sometimes weekly, depending). It really is set up like a western school, and the students all come from upper-crust families. I'm learning a lot about teaching kids from being around here. It's my first year teaching kindy though, so I am sort of learning a lot as I go.

The classes have about 24 students in them (I only have 2 classes now -- awesome). Each class also has 3 Korean teachers in addition to me. At the beginning of the day, I teach them all as a group for 20 minutes. Then, we rotate the kids in groups of 6 through for different areas -- each area with an activity run by a different teacher. Activities are learning/fun oriented (not English). My area is English. I teach each group for about 20 minutes, then my class is over for me and I move on.

It sounds like I need to work away from getting too intense with paperwork. They totally love flashcards though. I've developed a program on computer that they use to practice their 10 words for the week -- parents love it. Most of the kids pass the test weekly.
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Joined: 13 May 2003
Location: cowtown

PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2003 7:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


Is there any way you could get in on the thematic stuff? That sounds like an excellent opportunity. The kids already have a firm grounding of the concepts in their own language from the other centres, all you have to do is introduce the English.

Twenty minutes at a time is not much time to be too ambitious with the language goals. I can see where a naturalist approach is going to be tough without the necessary time to let language unfold. My last school, we had forty minute periods for each activity - library, storytime, sharing, music, language arts etc.

I would say that basic kindergarten vocab. of things such as numbers, calendar, weather, seasons, clothing, food, colours, feelings, family, community people, actions, animals, body parts will be the core from which you can build. I agree that flash card games and activities can be fun ways for them to practice vocab. in such a short time span.

Games will also be helpful to practice certain key sentence patterns that you are already working on. Make sure they have a firm grasp before introducing too many, but if you can see them needing to express a certain tense - by all means teach it right then! As for how to practice - You can always adopt old childhood favorites to fit your purpose. For example, I found chardes can be adapted to handle many a basic sentence type. What is she doing? She is swimming. Hide and Seek team can be adopted to work on prepositions - where did the teacher hide the ruler? Mother May I? also has endless possibilities.

Songs will also help to reinforce the basic sentence patterns. Let's Go has some pretty catchy tunes, but don't forget to look at old childhood songs as well. She'll be Coming Around the Mountain, The Bear Went Over the Mountain, The Wheels on the Bus all work for practicing different tenses. Writing them out on chart paper with key words or phrases highlighted in different colours can be helpful as the year develops. Eventually some kids will be reading some words and will make the connections. I knew a teacher who used the song Bingo to work with consonant sounds. That dog had some crazy names - kingo, dingo, wingo...

I also strongly recommend reading to kids simplified fairy tales. They repeat sentence patterns, so children can comprehend easily and books are a wonderful way to introduce vocab. The Learn to Read, Read to Learn series is excellent for beginner English. They use lots of everyday vocab. and repeat the sentence patterns. I personally really enjoyed using Who Will Help, a simplified version of The Little Red Hen. The kids loved chanting the sentences as we read and eventually we made our own play based on the book with homemade props. We put on the play at our school's yearly concert. Parents love to see their little ones up on stage!

As for the paperwork, I know that parents sometimes can expect it and even demand it. Try to keep a balance if you can, perhaps rotate learning activites so that writing is once a week or whatever works for you. You can get around some of the fine motor skill issues by working with the gross muscles first.

Here are some ideas off the top of my head:
Use their bodies to make letter shapes, trace letters in the air with big arm movements, use the white board (easier position for little kids) and board markers (easier to grip), use small sand boxes to trace letters in the sand, use the tops of margarine lids with white board markers and kleenexes as mini white boards.

Don't be afraid to write in front of the kids. Have them tell you a story about what they did on the weekend and write it on the board. Have them give you advice on how to make letters, how to spell their names, and later on how to write words. The more personal meaning it has for them, the more likely they are to learn from it and remember it.

Drawing pictures and writing words and phrases can also be a way to do developmentally appropriate writing. It can also help kids to tell stories. Who is this? What is she doing? How is the weather? How is she feeling? Who is with her? Kids also have a better chance of remembering the vocabulary and the tale when talking to their parents because it has meaning for them.

I hope I haven't told you too much of what you already know Embarassed Let me know if I can be more specific.
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Joined: 15 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2003 7:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nope, it's all appreciated! Thanks!

Actually, my school has TONS of resources for "show and tell" type learning, but it's all in Korean. Sad

If you are curious to see my school, check out my website and see the "Chusok Video":

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Joined: 21 Apr 2003
Location: Dont have a clue

PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2003 3:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I taught my kids to not eat their boggers. Ive made some progress in the 'not eating your crayons,' but there is still work to be done there.
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Joined: 15 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2003 5:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

whatthefunk wrote:
I taught my kids to not eat their boggers. Ive made some progress in the 'not eating your crayons,' but there is still work to be done there.

I seem to have gotten the 6 year-olds off of the boogers....

The 4 year-olds are a different story!
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Joined: 07 Jun 2003
Location: new zealand via daejeon

PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2003 9:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i agree with whatthefunk! it took me at least 6 weeks to get my three yera olds to say "teacher bathroom!" but lets go 1?? thats a bit of a joke eh. these kids can barely read thier own names! haha, not dissing you at all, as you are probably asked to at least give this book a go but they have to be realistic. the extent of my teaching was, uppercase letters versus lowercase, colors, a few numbers etc. having fun was the main emphasis during my classes, so learning was secondary, in theory anway. as long as the kids were happy, my boss was happy. of course they learned, but it was games games games. thats what i did at kindy when i was at young, so why not eh? bye for now
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Joined: 15 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2003 2:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My school is more of a learning institution than the typical Hagwon. Also, they don't force me to do anything -- at least, not yet. I think they are happy with the way things are going (at least, I hope). The parents are all upper-crust types, (a few movie/TV Star kids, etc.). They appreciate their kids learning, and I like this job a lot, and want to stay. And many of the parents know English, so they have help at home.

Let's Go 1 is kind of hard for them, but I just stick to the main themes and concepts. The songs have been good. Of course, they're not going to get everything, but a lot of them have picked up on it.
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Joined: 20 Jan 2003
Location: Shakedown Street

PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2003 3:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I remember at my first hagwon we used books with 5 year olds as well. I was using a book called Go-Go's English (nothing special) and we went to the Sesame street series later (dialogues way to fast on tape). It seemed a little ridiculous at times to be using written materials but it did have some positive results. These kids had already finished the Tiny Talk seies first so they had some speaking ability.
I had one boy who never paid attention but he could read entire sentences that he hadn't seen before like 'The tiger is sitting on the purple chair'.(Amazing for this age) None of the other kids were at this level of reading. I used to use 3 letter nonsense word flashcards 'bat, cat, dat, fat .....". I had one girl who was middle of the class in terms of ability. She would stay and play in the teachers room after kindy so she could go home with her brother later. One day when I was at my desk studying Korean and she was at my desk, I asked her to read some simple words in Korean out of my book and she couldn't do it. I was amazed. She could read in English better than Korean. (I tried this a few times so it wasn't just a bad day thing). It made me wonder whether we should really be pushing the reading at that age.
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William Beckerson

PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2003 1:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I got my kids reading and writing their "names" now.

I'm a proud daddy.
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Joined: 23 Mar 2003
Location: almost there...

PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2003 1:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My kids say the dardenest things 'you are a monkey,' 'teacher can I hug alvin?,' 'I'm full' 'this stamp'

Due to some appalling texts that I have to go through my kids aren't learning as much I was want. However I devote most of my lesson to going through a 'hidden cirrculum through games like 'teacher says.' We make movements for new concepts which is good because they're learning new vocab but also not sitting on their butts.

Sometimes we get out some of my 60s songs and make dances up to words. Ain't no mountain high, ain't no valley low etc.

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Joined: 01 Feb 2003

PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2003 4:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do as I used to do long ago when I taught them. Pass out coloring book copies and have them color for 20 minutes. Write in your journal or read the newspaper that you have secretly placed in your "education materials" folder. Then make them cut out what they colored (this takes a long time)...then have them glue their cutouts to construction paper. Glue is messy so they will have to wash up, which takes time. Then have clean-up time in the classroom.

Last edited by shawner88 on Thu Nov 06, 2003 4:31 am; edited 1 time in total
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Joined: 30 Oct 2003
Location: British Columbia, Canada

PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2003 4:09 am    Post subject: Year end concert Reply with quote

I was wondering if anyone has any advice on getting kindergartens ready for the year-end concert?? It's coming up fast and I know the expectations from the parents and the school are pretty high (probably higher than they should be, considering how young these kids are). They want a song or story that is un-boring, but at the same time you have to be realistic about what these kids can learn. I'm trying to teach them some very short songs and rhymes right now.

I find that the very young kids (4-5) are a little easier to cajole and manipulate than the older kindys (6-7). My older class consists of three girls who are very resistant to doing anything but colouring and drawing, plus one boy who's usually in his own world.

I know that this post speaks to my inexperience as an early childhood educator, but I don't have time to get experienced! The concert is coming up soon and I'd like to know if anyone knows the best way to teach songs, etc. to very young children.

I'd appreciate any help on this.
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Clutch Cargo

Joined: 28 Feb 2003
Location: Sim City 2005

PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2003 4:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

With teaching songs you should incorporate movements into the song. These help them to remember the words, especially as the movements relate to the words. Get different recordings of the same songs that they are learning and play them when they are doing other quieter activities. You'll find them singing along while doing an unrelated thing. Try writing the song on the whiteboard (or large piece of paper) and replace as many words as possible with simple pictures of the words. Go through it rote style, in small groups, individually, go to other classrooms in the school and practice in front of their fellow students, give candy as a reward for a good rehearsal, teach one verse or line at a time and build on it.
Good luck.

Derreck, this was cut and pasted from a previous related topic, so please excuse the slant toward offering advice to a newcomer.

If you have kinder you could you could work yourself out a pretty simple program covering themes, such feelings, weather, the body, the sea, animals, transport, community helpers, buildings, food etc.

Just kick off each lesson with some daily conversation ("How are you today?" "I'm fine thankyou" "How's the weather?" "It's sunny" "What day is it?" "It's Tuesday"). Knock out some flashcards with relevant pictures and words, days of the week, shapes and numbers, get youself a big calendar and start each lesson with at least 10 mins of talking about these things using simple questions and answers.

You could also make flashcards with individual words that comprise a sentence and play around with arranging them back into sentences. It helps if some of the words are represented by picture flashcards before going into full word sentences.

Get a few songs happening, such as The Wheels on the Bus, Open Shut Them, the ABC song, Walking Hopping Running Stopping, Head Shoulders Knees and Toes. Try doing these during the the first part of the lesson, or wherever they fit in. Can be downloaded from kazza etc.

It's worth going through the alphabet in an organised way, rather than haphazardly. Try introducing 5 letters per week (more or less depending on how they lap it up) and make flashcards to show things beginning with that letter. Go through these every day in different ways. Try the normal rote learning method, then try placing them on the table and asking them to find the apple etc. Or stick them on the walls around the room before they come in and ask them to help you find the 'B'.

Ordinal and cardinal numbers can be taught in a similar way, and the calendar makes it more relevant to them, Try having some sort of race and giving them a place afterwards (1st, 4th etc).

Stick decent sized lables on things around the room such as the windows, doors, walls, whiteboard, light, etc.

Read a new story a few times each week if possible. These can be found on the net if the school lacks them. Don't worry too much if it seems too complicated, but simpler is probably better.

Teach prepositions using simple diagrams and getting them to mimic them ("Stand on/next to/behind/in front of your chair").

Most of this I also apply to my elementary students, but they have a curriculum to adhere to, so it's a matter of squeezing it in when time permits.

Last edited by Clutch Cargo on Wed Nov 05, 2003 4:44 am; edited 1 time in total
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