I LOVE Kindergarten!

I'm linking up this post with Alex over at The Kindergarten Connection - seriously check out her blog because she has some AMAZING ideas!!
This is my 11th year teaching and my 10th year teaching kindergarten.  Here are some of the truths about teaching kindergarten that I have learned along the way:

Teaching Kindergarten is...
Kindergarteners come to school with a variety of background knowledge.  For many this is the first time they have been in a full day structured school environment.  The growth from the beginning of the year to the end of the year is absolutely unbelievable!  My favorite is when students get that "aha moment" and something just clicks for them.  I love seeing how proud they are of themselves when this happens and it often times can make me tear up because I am so excited for them.
*Hands on
This is pretty much a requirement!  Five and six year old kids NEED hands on materials to help them with their learning!  We are constantly finding unifix cubes, heart gems, dice, counters, dinosaurs, etc. around the room.  All of these manipulatives help my students understand math concepts.  6+3=9 is nothing but numbers and symbols at first, but having kindergarteners count out 6 cubes and 3 more shows them what it really means.
*Filled with Academic Learning
Kindergarten isn't what it used to be!  Long gone are the days of naps and coloring pages.  We are learning ALL day long!  Our day is packed with academics - math, reading, writing, science, social studies.  In fact our centers are all literacy based.  All of my literacy centers are age and developmentally appropriate, but they all include some sort of literacy based component.  My centers are: message, word work, writing, library, book baskets, be the teacher, pocket chart, letter magnets, computer, and poetry.  One of my favorites is the "Be the Teacher" center because I usually get a little glimpse of how they think that I sound - it's the cutest!  I only have to intervene when I hear one of them tell another friend to "change their clip." :) 
Kindergarteners are learning so much!  I can't tell you how many times parents have told me that they can't believe what their child is learning!!  
Yes it most certainly is fun!  We have a lot of fun in kindergarten and do a lot of fun activities.  They are 5 and 6 years old...fun is manditory!  We sing, dance, and act crazy (both me and the kids!).  We dress like snowmen, wear clothes to make us look like we are 100 years old, have pajama days, have crazy hair day, etc.  Thank you Dr. Jean for your fun, fabulous songs that my students absolutely adore and thank you GoNoodle for your fun videos (and for teaching my students the word "adios" - thank you Maximo!). 
I LOVE KINDERGARTEN!! (said in my most loudest voice from the rooftops!)
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