Where to begin in Kindergarten (Primary)?

Questions or discussion about Kagan theory, research, or implementing Kagan in your classroom.
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Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2011 12:29 pm

Where to begin in Kindergarten (Primary)?

Post by melissasw » Sat Jun 07, 2014 6:21 am

At a recent workshop I had a kindergarten teacher who was really excited about starting to use Kagan in her classroom but very unsure about how to make it work in a Kindergarten classroom, where to begin to insure success. I thought with the wealth of knowledge here, we could share what we've seen, what we've done. Thank you all in advance!
For me, success began with procedures, routine, and management. The first days of school were spent introducing and practicing the quiet signal, seat positions (if they don't know numbers assign colors) and shoulder and face partners (A/B partners - if they don't know letters using theme based symbols/animals). I started with RallyRobin Day 1 with fun topics; ice cream flavors, cartoons, toys, candy, etc. with both face partners and shoulder partners using a talking ball so they learn how to take turns. I also added active listening, randomly calling on 2-3 to share what their partner said. Modeling is extremely important, it gives students the visual and auditory expectations. I ended the day with a RallyRobin challenge, could they remember the 5 things they did when they came in the classroom in the morning; hang up backpack, put red folder in red basket, planner in blue basket, puzzle piece to find team table, begin wake up work. It took them all week to remember them all.
After they know RallyRobin, I taught Inside/Outside Circle because it allowed me to teach every social skill I wanted in place; greeting, praise, coaching, and parting gambits, so that they became ingrained, a habit in mind to be kind and considerate to their classmates. The best part, I was driving the bus. I could monitor social skills, eavesdrop to make sure they were on task. I then added Timed Pair Share and Quiz, Quiz, Trade. I did Inside/Outside Circle on my carpet area and my students sat and scooted to their next partner. I stamped their right hands with a washable bingo dobber so they knew which way to move. It's all about management tips! Good luck!!


Re: Where to begin in Kindergarten (Primary)?

Post by T2TUK » Fri Jun 27, 2014 6:33 am

Thanks Melissa, I find all your management ideas and tips for working with Kindergarten/Nursery students incredibly useful. What else can you share? I have your book Cooperative Learning for Primary and would highly recommend it to all early years educators!

Carol Lohkamp
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Joined: Fri Mar 08, 2013 7:38 am

Re: Where to begin in Kindergarten (Primary)?

Post by Carol Lohkamp » Wed Aug 06, 2014 5:26 pm

Hey, Melissa!
I love your Cooperative Learning book for Primary. It has become one of my go-to recommendations when working with preK and Kinder teachers. Can't wait to see your next title in print!!

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Re: Where to begin in Kindergarten (Primary)?

Post by rept123 » Sat Sep 16, 2017 1:36 pm

Hello there,
Kindergarten teachers have a lot of the same responsibilities as other teachers but also have to take into account that most of their students will be experiencing school for the first time. They must teach students basic skills in reading and write in addition to showing them how to behave in the classroom and play nicely with others, whether it's in a group setting or doing artwork quietly on their own. The teacher’s methods of educating will have to be changed to meet the needs of each individual student.


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Location: USA

Re: Where to begin in Kindergarten (Primary)?

Post by maclinaduglas » Sun Jan 19, 2020 10:02 pm

Thanks Melissa! For sharing some amazing tips and ideas for starting a kindergarten. I want you to share some more helpful ideas with us.

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Joined: Fri Feb 07, 2020 10:38 pm

Re: Where to begin in Kindergarten (Primary)?

Post by sanaviroham » Fri Feb 07, 2020 10:39 pm

Great Post!!