Helpful Hints From Kindergarten Teachers (For Families of Four-Year-Olds)
The following hints have been collected from kindergarten teachers in order to help families and children successfully meet the challenges of transitions from preschool environments to the kindergarten environment.
Kindergarten teachers stated that they would like parents/families to take the following more seriously:
- Updating emergency contact records
- Checking the child's backpack for notes
- Asking their children about their school day
Help children develop listening skills and increase attention by:
- Gradually increasing the length or number of stories you read to your child.
- Turning off the television and talking with your child. TV does not help your child develop listening skills.
- Asking questions about what you have read.
- Ask factual questions such as, "What was the name of the dog?"
- Ask prediction questions such as, "What do you think will happen when...?"
- Ask personal opinion questions such as, "What would you have done if you were in that situation?"
Share with your child the differences in curriculum and environment they might experience in the new setting, such as:
- More structured time and more teacher-directed activities.
- More group projects and less free play.
- More inside activities, less outside time.
- More schoolwide rules.
- Lunch in the cafeteria.
- More children in their class.
Help your child develop social skills by:
- Modeling decision making and fairness.
- Providing social experiences for your child to be with other adults and children by joining play groups, going to storytime at the library, playing on a team, and taking group lessons.
- Modeling how to share and take turns.
- Modeling how to get attention appropriately.
- Allowing your child to become more independent.
- Modeling problem-solving behavior by "thinking out loud."
- Modeling persistence through trial and error.
- Modeling good manners by using such words as "please", "thank you" and "excuse me".
Help your child develop self-help skills by:
- Giving your child small responsibilities or chores such as:
- Making the bed.
- Picking up the toys.
- Feeding/watering the pets.
- Helping with yard work and/or housework.
- Teaching your child personal hygiene skills such as:
- Toilet habits- proper wiping.
- Hand washing.
- Brushing teeth.
- Giving your child opportunities to make choices about:
- Clothing to wear.
- Food to eat.
- Games to play.
- Timing of chores.
You can help your child develop self-control by:
- Having realistic expectations of your child's abilities. Children become frustrated and angry just like adults do when a task is too difficult.
- Modeling how to problem solve. Talk out loud while you think of solutions to your own challenges.
Reprinted with the permission of the National Head Start Association. © 2000–2007 National Head Start Association. All rights reserved.
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