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Are all Kindy classes like this?

Moderator: Tempo Gain

Are all Kindy classes like this?

Postby Milkybar_Kid » 04 Aug 2012, 09:54


I have just started a new morning kindy position. The kids run around like crazy and I can't get them to sit down to listen to a story or anything. The kids all have text books and reading books but I have no idea how I am supposed to teach them anything from the books. The kids are all typical 4/5 year old kids who just want to run around and wipe their nose on my trousers etc.

We spend most of the time singing, dancing and coloring. They are not learning anything.

I have also had some feedback from the other foreigners and taiwanese bosses that I am not acting crazily enough even though I feel that I am singing and dancing my little heart out.

My previous kindy position was similar to this. Is this basically what a Kindy position is all about?

The other foreigners who are there, well, one is a nice guy who Is good at hashing it up for the parents and their cameras. The other foreign teacher is clearly a head-case.

I don't like teaching Kindy, I feel that I don't have the personality for it. However I am the sole bread winner in our family so we are dependant on this money, no matter how much I want to say FUck it.

Its sole destroying stuff.
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Re: Are all Kindy classes like this?

Postby Battery9 » 04 Aug 2012, 10:09

Believe me, it's worse for the kids. Imagine spending your childhood in a classroom!

How I manage kids that won't sit nicely, is by placing lines on the floor with colored tape. 3 lines, like a rectangle missing the bottom line (that's where the whiteboard is). That way I can control kids better. You can say red line, go and get your pencils, blue line, get your books, green line, go to line up. Don't let kids sit on the same line every day because it's not fair to always have the best spot (the long line across from the teacher)

Don't make three lines in a row because kids get distracted by kids in front of them.

Divide the class into colors too.(different from the lines) Blue team, Yellow team etc. Make a poster with their names on it, so they can remember in which team they are. This is good for reviewing etc. You can say, red team, read this line, blue team, clap hands etc.

Kids love musical instruments. If they have to read a reader, use a bell or tambourine when they need to turn the page. If you review numbers, say 12 and let each kid have a turn to slam whichever instrument you have, 12 times.

Kids are bored to death sitting down. You don't have to go crazy, but getting them to stand up to recite something helps. Or even, every 15 mins, get them all to stand up and exercise. Follow actions you're doing.
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Re: Are all Kindy classes like this?

Postby TheGingerMan » 04 Aug 2012, 23:26

I second all what Battery9 mentioned.
I would only add being a clown with plenty of challenging games & activities helps a lot.
The main thing is stimuli. Get the kids doing what their parents are too lazy or too square to even attempt.
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Re: Are all Kindy classes like this?

Postby WolvesMon » 07 Aug 2012, 08:26

Children should play.
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Re: Are all Kindy classes like this?

Postby lostfool » 10 Aug 2012, 18:42

I also agree what battery said, also always remember that kindergarten is more babysitting than teaching. I often find my kids can't do the bookwork at all but it doesn't matter, print off some colourable words, make sure they know the a-z and can count to 50 and teach phrases like: "teacher may I go to the bathroom", "teacher I need help" and most importantly "thankyou teacher" "please" parents love manners.

I have experience with a K1 class, its 19 students aged 3-5 so it's pretty intense. Discipline is key but if you try to have them sitting down listening for too long it's not going to work. Try to include physical movement, e.g. teaching words write the words on the board, have them in a line or two depending on class size and when you say the word have them run and wipe it off in 5 seconds.

You may feel like you're not teaching anything, I felt like that till they gave me 4 new students and I suddenly realised the vast difference in understanding between the kids I'd had for 6 months and the new guys.
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Re: Are all Kindy classes like this?

Postby ehophi » 16 Aug 2012, 05:03

Milkybar_Kid wrote:We spend most of the time singing, dancing and coloring. They are not learning anything.

Who says that anymore? Little kids don't actively go out and learn stuff. Most data that I know about children and language acquisition states that children are passive acquirers of tricks/heuristics for communication. If you just engage them in the target language while they do something that they like, they'll pick up at least a few key terms and phrases. It's not like you're going to turn some booger-eater into F. Scott Fitzgerald over a semester unless the kid has a 210 IQ.

I don't teach kindergartens, though. I definitely don't have the personality for it!
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Re: Are all Kindy classes like this?

Postby asiababy » 16 Aug 2012, 08:13

How long do you have the kids each day? Do you have full flexibility on how you set up the class and run it? What activities do you HAVE to do with them (group reading/teach a particular pattern or letter each day...?) What kind of English level are they at right now?

Here some fairly random ideas.

You have to go in believing 100% you can have the kids under your spell, and that you have a well-planned, well-balanced class/day prepared. You need have real strategies for getting the kids to sit where you want them, to be calm when you need them to be, and so on. And you need to find enriching things for them to do. Battery9's ideas for dividing up the class into smaller groups is necessary to get things done quickly. It stops chaos when you want to hand out scissors, paper, etc. Have a weekly leader for each group and make them responsible for having all the kids say a pattern such as "Thank you for the scissors," when they hand the others the items. Little things for reading time like, letting the back row sit on chairs so they can see, using big books, asking lots of questions about the book before you read it to let the kids get what they want to say off their chests, and sitting quietly yourself when it's reading time rather than shouting "Sit down, reading time!" help a lot. If you are using a reader, photocopy it to A3 size so all the kids can see it. If you have a projector, take photos of each page of the book without the text and project it on the board. Ask all your target questions before presenting the real book with text. After you read it, have them put the story in order. If it's a rhyming book, play a game with hula hoops where if two words rhyme, they jump in the hoop, if they don't, they sit on the floor. Keep each individual activity to no more than around 7 minutes at first. You might be doing "rhyming" for thirty minutes, but do at least four related activities. Make sure you model very clearly or kids will blank out if they don't understand.

Are there activities prepared for when the kids have down-time such as waiting for slower finishers? You can get heaps of ideas by searching for "Homeschool activity bags" or "Toddler activity bags" online. These are little ziplock bags of things kids can get themselves and play with while they wait. Maybe a set of toy animals and beginning letters so they have to match the animal (horse) with H and so on, or a number card and little blocks so they can see the "1" or "one" and they put one block on it. Present them as a reward they get for working nicely and cleaning up their space.

If kids are giving you the "I have to go to the bathroom" trick, just make one bathroom pass for boys, one for girls. They have to take it when they go to the bathroom. That way, only one boy and one girl can be out of the room at a time and you don't have to spend lots of time discussing or arguing with the kids.

Is any of that helpful? I'm sure others have great ideas, but I think you need to narrow down your questions a little bit to get help relevant to what you are doing.
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Re: Are all Kindy classes like this?

Postby louisfriend » 16 Aug 2012, 08:50

Do you have a Taiwanese co-teacher helping you handle them? If not, you're screwed :lol: From what I've heard it takes a certain amount of yelling and meanness to manage a young classroom (having a co-teacher that scares them helps in this regard). Maybe pay attention to how you use your voice. Display compassion and joy in the face of hysteria and calmness and control in the face of anarchy, switching over to anger from time to time as needed when things really get out of hand. Teach them how to play dodge ball during their outside play time, they'll love it and if one or two of them really irks you you can join in and tag'em hard.
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Re: Are all Kindy classes like this?

Postby Milkybar_Kid » 22 Aug 2012, 08:58

Thanks for all of the replies.

However in the end I quit.

The kids were 2 - 3 years old and I just felt that I could not teach them. That one 20 minute class was making me unhappy for the rest of the day.

I need a break from Kindy so I have packed it all in.

Once again thanks for all of the input guys. I am sure it will be a good reference point for others on the board.
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Re: Are all Kindy classes like this?

Postby bismarck » 22 Aug 2012, 14:20

Milkybar_Kid wrote:I don't like teaching Kindy, I feel that I don't have the personality for it. However I am the sole bread winner in our family so we are dependant on this money, no matter how much I want to say FUck it.

Its sole destroying stuff.

Well, along with your post, and the legality issues you're probably aware of, I really think you should look at other options, mate. Maybe even look into some elementary and junior highs? :2cents:
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