Classroom Challenges

This blog post focuses on one of the biggest challenges I have found this year.  I would like to hear about challenges that you are encountering.  We might be able to help each other out.  If it is related to lack of resources; this is something I would certainly like to hear about because I am always looking to add new resources that will better assist educators.

 

MY CHALLENGES

This year my school division has decided to offer both a half-day and full-day Kindergarten program for parents.  The full-day program has become a very popular choice.  This is the program that I am teaching.  The problem with the program is that I only see the students on an average of nine days in a month.  This makes it difficult to offer the continuous review that is necessary for students to master the skills to prepare them to be successful in grade one.

 

HOW HAS THIS CHALLENGE BEEN ADDRESSED?

In order for the program to be successful it is necessary for parents to provide additional support at home to assist with this continuous review.  Guided reading books are sent home and parents have access to the games and activities offered in class.  The problem I am facing, is that not all parents are actively involved in their child’s learning.  I only suggest fifteen minutes a day (including reading to their child) and this is still not manageable for some families.  Unfortunately, their child suffers as a consequence.

 

COMPETITIVE GAMES

I was never been fond of using competitive games and rewards but I am finding this is necessary for some students.  I usually pair a stronger student with a weaker student when playing games and this pushes the weaker student to practice more.

Example

In playing the alphabet partner card game, the student must identify the letter name and related sound that they drew.  If they can identify both, they place the card on a ring.  The object of the game is to see who can collect the most cards on their ring.  This has pushed some of my weaker students to get their parents to use the cards at home so they can get better at playing the game.  In most cases, it is a matter of practice and exposure.

 

I find it frustrating that parents do not understand the importance of their involvement in their child’s education.

What Challenges Do You Face? Always Enjoy Reading Your Comments!

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7 Responses

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  1. We also have the choice of 3 day and 5 day program. On the Tuesday and Thursdays we have the opportunity to catch up with the five day children and also give individualized attention to each child since the group in smaller.

    On Monday, Wednesday and Fridays when the full class is in, we either work with the 3 day children to catch them up to the five day children or we sent home the work for the parents to work with their child. Each of these options is not satisfying to me. We have one classroom that houses both 3 day and 5 day children.

    A better set up would be 2 classrooms, 2 teachers etc. This has been my biggest challenge.

  2. It sounds like you must do a juggling act. We can only try and do our best.

    Elaine

  3. My biggest challenge is being a new mom and traveling between 2 buildings everyday with an hour between each session. The drive is 8-10 minutes with good weather. I’m supposed to get a 30 minute duty free lunch per contract. With clean up at the morning building, walking to the car, loading the car, driving to my pm building, walking in, and prepping the room (which has been my classroom for 2 previos years, is shared with a bilingual class now) I get 10-15 minutes for lunch and I’m always playing catch up in pm building because I have less time there.

    And let me add that all ths started 15 or 16 days into the school year, plus I only had 2.5 hours to set up the classroom at the morning school.

  4. The teacher I job shared with had a similar experience. I taught the morning class and she taught the afternoon class. She was at a different school in the morning and at my school in the afternoon. The following year she did find a full-time position within my school and no longer had to travel. I hope this will change for you next year.

    Elaine

  5. I teach the full day T/Th program and I agree – only seeing them 8 or 9 times a month is NOT ENOUGH. So much of what they learn each week gets lost or forgotten by the time they return the following Tuesday…and if there is an extra long weekend or bus cancellation thrown in there, then it is even worse. Having taught the half day program also, I feel the half day students have a much more balanced kindergarten year. I feel the majority of students benefit more from the routine of coming to school every single day and being exposed to the concepts every single day. Even though I have a full day with my kids, I feel like I am constantly trying to “cram everything in”…I also have a very young class so by about 1:00 my students are done learning and just want to play so I feel I don’t get much accomplished in those afternoons sometimes.

  6. Another challenge for me is having interesting and engaging discovery centers that go with my theme. I have very little money in my budget and minimal resources in my classroom to work with so it is very difficult to rotate out centers and add new ones in – I have nothing to rotate with.

  7. Thanks for your feedback. The full day pogram works well with students who are more mature and their parents are involved in their learning. The child’s progress is extremely slow if this extra support is not given. I do find the students do tire of the play centers quickly, however, this can be a positive if you introduce a more structured activity but change these regularly. I have been amazed at how my students can be drawn to a simple “how to draw activity, connect the dots, printing, game or even a new puzzle” just because it is new. Elaine

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