When I first starting teaching Yellow J, who are the newest 5-year-old students and are 3- and 4-years-old in the rest of the world, it took awhile to figure out the right routine for them. I am with them from 9:50 am until 11:00. They have a 20-minute snack break and then I am back with them until noon. We only have two, well three, things to do in class: storybook, storybook workbook, and Rainbow Bridge. If you are wondering what Rainbow Bridge is, well it basically teaches them the alphabet, numbers, basic math, vocabulary, and there is a lot of coloring and cutting.
In the beginning, I would do everything at once. We would start with our welcome song, our song for the week, and maybe the songs from Rainbow Bridge if there was one for the lessons that week. We usually finished pretty fast. Sometimes all before snack time. Then they would just play the rest of the time. I was at a lost. My original kindergarten class was a lot easier to do, routine wise, because they were older and had a lot more to do in Rainbow Bridge. I also was only with them from 10:20 until snack time and then 11:20 until noon. Those 30 minutes make a lot of difference.
Well, since I didn’t want to have Yellow J always playing for 40 minutes, I had to figure out what to do. With some trial and error, this is now their schedule and the one they have gotten used to and know:
9:50-10:15 Song Time
10:15-10:20 Bathroom Break
10:20-10:55 Drinking Water, Story Time, Storybook Workbook, Song Time
10:55-11:00 Bathroom Break
11:00 – 11:20 Snack Time
11:20-12:00 Rainbow Bridge, Play Time (If there is time)
At noon, they go on their bathroom break and then I head on to my supplementary kindergarten class.
This system has started to work really well. The kids really enjoy song time and the songs have helped them learn a lot of English really quickly. That is the reason it went from a five-minute part of the day to 25-minutes. I always tried to supplement relevant songs to the lessons and will even play songs while they play. Some just like to sit and watch the song videos instead of actually playing. I’m hoping to continue this routine. Sometimes I replace play time with supplemental worksheets for reading and writing practice. But I try to do that maybe once or twice a week.
If you are a new teacher and are wondering how to set up a routine, I hope this helps! It is a lot of trial and error, but gets easier once you get to know your students. If you are a veteran teacher, what has worked for you? What hasn’t?
Until next time!