Psssstttt…want to know a secret? THE big secret to mastering Kindergarten? Great! You are in the right place to learn! Welcome to the 4th day of #31daysofkindergarten, which is all about the secret. What’s the secret? I’m so glad you asked. The secret to mastering how to teach Kindergarten is all about mastering classroom management.
Every teacher wants a seamlessly working classroom. Am I right? We want to be able to have stations and teach small groups. We want our students to learn what we teach and have fun while doing it. We want our procedures to be smooth and not feel like the classroom is one big hot mess. But all of that is nearly impossible without teaching rules and procedures. In my opinion, the secret to mastering Kindergarten is learning how to teach the rules and procedures of the classroom. If the students don’t understand what you expect, it’s going to be craziness.
One of the keys to my success in Kindergarten, has been my classroom management. Of course every teacher has their own style and beliefs, but making sure you explicitly teach rules and procedures is a MUST for every classroom.
Many years ago, my former principal and I were having a conversation about education. Honestly I can’t recall the topic. But during the course of our chat, my principal made a statement that has stuck with me ever since and has become a pillar of my classroom management.
I have never forgotten that statement. That is the truth! How can you consequence a student, if they never knew the expectation? And this is so true in Kindergarten. Most incoming Kindergarten students know very little about being in a school setting and EVERYTHING needs to be explicitly taught! Do NOT assume that they know. I can tell you with confidence that they do NOT know. 😉
I am a firm believer that using books is an exceptional way to teach children. Students are coming into Kindergarten with less and less experience to printed literature. Many students have had less than 100 books read to them since they were born. Using books to teach, allows me to not only introduce a concept or skill in a fun way, but it also gives the students more exposure to a variety of text and the text features. A few years ago I made an extensive list of books to help teach rules and procedures. You can find that list in this post, Books to Teach Rules & Procedures.
I love anchor charts. Anchor charts are visual tools that when created WITH students, teach a concept or skill. I have found that one of the BEST ways to teach rules and procedures in Kindergarten is to create an anchor chart for each rule, procedure and expectation. This gives each student an explicit instruction on what is okay and what is not okay. I create anchor charts for how to use every school supply, as well as how to trace, how to make a self-portrait, and tons of other rules and procedures. Here are some of the anchor charts that we make in my classroom. (Everything listed on these example anchor charts were ideas from the students. It’s important for their ideas to be validated, even if they are silly.)
If you are interested in creating anchor charts for all of the school supplies, check out How to Use School Supplies. It is what I used every year to introduce school tools!
Here are some related blog posts that I have written that you may like.
- What Rules & Procedures to Teach in Kindergarten
- First Day of Kindergarten
- First Week of Kindergarten
- Must Make Anchor Charts for the Kindergarten Classroom
- Teaching Fire Drill Procedures
- 10 MUST Reads for the First Week of School
But I am not the only teacher with ideas on rules and procedures. Go check out some of these other posts for more info and inspiration!
More Ideas For Teaching Rules In Kindergarten
What To Think About Before Making Classroom Rules from A Day In First Grade
Setting Up A Classroom & Home Reading Program from Proud To Primary
Why I Never Post Rules In My Classroom from Kelly Teaching Fourth
Teaching Rules and Procedures from Mrs. Kadeen Teaches
Classroom Room Printable Poster from Melonheadz Illustrating
What I Do on the First Day Of School from WBT For Me
Super Cute Classroom Rules from Mrs. Jones’ Creation Station
Free Printable Diagram of a Good Listener from MPM School Supplies
Behavior Charts from Inspired By Kindergarten
10 Things Teachers Must Do On The 1st Day of School from The Owl Teacher
Class Rules Mini Posters from Primarily Speaking
Final Thoughts on Rules & Procedures
Rules and procedure are everywhere, especially in the day of COVID-19! Rules and procedures are a part of school and the classroom and without them, there is no order. I highly recommend being very specific and explicit when teaching whatever rules and procedures you have for YOUR classroom. My 3 keys to successful teaching of rules and procedures (or anything really) are to teach (using books, anchor charts, music and videos), model, model, model, and to keep practicing. I can promise that if you use this model, you will see progress and be able to have those stations up and running, along with your small groups!
Thanks for coming to the day 4 of #31daysofkindergarten here on my blog! In case you missed the previous posts in this series…
- Kindergarten Daily Academic Schedule
- Best Assessments for Kindergarten
- Preparing for the 2020 School Year
Abigail is a Kindergarten Teacher, Curriculum Writer, National Speaker and author of the website, Kindergarten Chaos, LLC. She lives in Las Vegas, NV with her husband and 3 kids. She provides professional development to schools and districts all over the country. If your school or district is in need of professional development for everything Kindergarten, please email her at firstname.lastname@example.org