The most important thing I will bring to school next week is effective classroom management. Kindergarten is a blast and we definitely have our share of fun, but without order and focus, learning cannot happen.
In addition to raising their hands if they have a question or a comment, I expect three things from my class at circle time; 1- that they sit with their bottoms flat on the floor, 2- that they sit with their feet in front of their bodies (either straight out, “criss-cross apple sauce”, or knees hugged to chest), and 3- that they keep their hands in their laps (or around their knees if they choose the third “feet in front” option). This minimizes squirming, fidgeting, twisting, getting in other people’s line of sight, and getting in other people’s space. It helps keep them grounded, which keeps me relaxed! I remind students of these three things by holding up three fingers to the person who needs the reminder. I can easily do it even if I’m in the middle of a sentence. It’s a way to reinforce the rule without interrupting the lesson. I might also refer to these three things before a lesson (“I’ll start reading the story when everyone is showing me three things.”).
While we’re on the topic of three things, I also expect three things from my students whenever someone “has the floor”; 1- that they look at the person talking, 2- that they are silent, and 3- that their hands are down so they can focus on what the speaker is saying rather than thinking about what they want to say when it’s their turn to talk! For this reminder I simply point to the sign (below) featuring an eye (look at the speaker), lips crossed out (be silent), and a hand with a down arrow on it (keep your hands down). Small efforts. Big difference!