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Saturday, March 22, 2008

10 Signs of a Good Kindergarten Classroom

Here are 10 signs of a good kindergarten classroom, courtesy of the National
Association for the Education of Young Children:
1.. Children are playing and working with materials or other children.
They are not aimlessly wandering or forced to sit quietly for long periods
of time.
2.. Children have access to various activities throughout the day, such as
block building, pretend play, picture books, paints and other art materials,
and table toys such as legos, pegboards, and puzzles. Children are not all
doing the same things at the same time.
3.. Teachers work with individual children, small groups, and the whole
group at different times during the day. They do not spend time only with
the entire group.
4.. The classroom is decorated with children's original artwork, their own
writing with invented spelling, and dictated stories.
5.. Children learn numbers and the alphabet in the context of their
everyday experiences. Exploring the natural world of plants and animals,
cooking, taking attendance, and serving snack are all meaningful activities
to children.
6.. Children work on projects and have long periods of time (at least one
hour) to play and explore. Filling out worksheets should not be their
primary activity.
7.. Children have an opportunity to play outside every day that weather
permits. This play is never sacrificed for more instructional time.
8.. Teachers read books to children throughout the day, not just at group
story time.
9.. Curriculum is adapted for those who are ahead as well as those who
need additional help. Because children differ in experiences and background,
they do not learn the same things at the same time in the same way.
10.. Children and their parents look forward to school. Parents feel safe
sending their child to kindergarten. Children are happy; they are not crying
or regularly sick.

Individual kindergarten classrooms will vary, and curriculum will vary
according to the interests and backgrounds of the children. But all
developmentally appropriate kindergarten classrooms will have one thing in
common: the focus will be on the development of the child as a whole.

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