Kindergarteners are let's say.... one of a kind? It takes a special type of teacher to go into the Kindergarten field and I give them tons of credit. I just assumed during my first two years it was a little crazy because I had less experience. It hit me on my third year that Kindergarteners really are different.
They, too, have less experience in a structured setting. For some it may even be their first time. Sharing items, sharing attention, learning all new information, it's actually quite exciting watching them grow all year.
My take this year though is: get ready! This year we will be expecting 20 Kindergarteners in one class, which is a lot for our school. We will also be having a new Kindergarten teacher which always spices things up. When they come into my room, I want them to be prepared.
Reflecting on last year (which was by far the most overwhelming- I had students pushing in, being pulled out, 5 teacher aids, 1/4 of the class coming in and leaving early, it was crazy), I realized you can never assume Kinders have had as much practice with cutting and gluing as you think. I thought they'd have some experience either at home or at pre-school, but we all know what assuming does....
My first day with the Kinders usually goes like this: Introductions, summer stories, rules, I read them a story and the remaining time is for them to decorate a folder which contains their artwork throughout the year. Pretty standard.
As for the next day, I plan on doing worksheets. Eep! How un-fun is that?. I really need to get these students at the cutting and gluing level I'd expect them to be when they enter my room, and these will definitely help me understand where they are and how I need to get them caught up. I'm not expecting masterpieces or anything, just basic, basic cutting and gluing.
I can't stress how many glue bottles I had last year that were left a mess. My Kinders, specifically, always wanted to make art till the last second and never cleaned up till their teacher arrived at the door. (I ordered these no-drip glue bottle caps for this coming year and am pretty excited to try them out. Anyone have any experience with those?) I know, I know... you're thinking... I should leave plenty of time for clean up and make sure everyone listens... but the Kinders last year were tough! They just refused to stop working- some honestly even stayed in the room even when their classmates left, leaving us to literally pick them up and bring them down the hall.
After all this, of course, my un-fun prep work will be followed up with a Matisse cutting and gluing project.
Anywho, I've shared the worksheets if anyone was interested. You can see, they are very basic, and some of you have been much more brilliant than I and have already been doing this! Although it took my three years, I still give myself a little credit for even considering how to adjust the madness, ha.
The first few pages are cutting along lines, and then shapes and then practicing our "Lil' dab'll do ya's." I plan on using the last page to glue/tape to the back of their glued shapes.