Last Thursday I went to observe a Transitional Kindergarten model about on hour from my school. This district was selected to pilot the program and has done a great job of promoting it. They received a grant from Packard to fund it. I arrived with several other teachers from a district near mine and we were led through a formal meeting and observation complete with handouts and a question - answer session. I was mainly interested in comparing the TK classroom with the regular Kindergarten next door. The TK I observed had 18 nicely behaved students. I noticed there were wayyyyy more boys than girls. The teacher had come out of retirement to head up this class. What an angel. No doubt she was excited about teaching Kindergarten in a way she was most familiar with - developmentally!
Here are some highlights of the room:
This simple reading corner did not see any action during my visit. They had some wireless headsets for listening. Jealous.
Here's the daily schedule. I like how she has used actual pictures of the class for each section of the day. Lots of visuals in this room.
Super simple word wall with just pictures of the kids holding their own names. Notice: no words! The teacher did do some shared writing while I was there and the focus was mainly on beginning sounds. She also did Dr. Jean's "Who Let the Letters Out?" and it reminded me to do it with my class the next day... they loved it.
Building Center with lots of blocks etc. I've got these in my room too (though not so nicely labeled) It seems this teacher had to post expectations and explanations next to everything. That must have been exhausting! And frustrating when you would have rather been doing other more creative things.
I played this game with a couple of the kids. They were so sweet and friendly. Several of them had chosen this activity for Centers which were very loose; I didn't see any formal kind of chart, they just knew what their choices were and wandered over to where they wanted to be in pairs. Computers were the most popular of course.
I liked this My Family project that was hanging over the Dramatic Play area. Under the faces there were actual pictures of each family, so cute and I'm sure made these little students feel at home.
Sand and water play! Out of this picture to the left were troughs for water and eye droppers, funnels etc. Enough to give my Big Boss a heart attack right here.
Elaborate hands - on Science table! I wish.
Books, all nicely organized by theme. Far out of reach of the children I noticed.
Well that wraps up the Open House. Tomorrow I'll show you a little of the regular Kindergarten room and do a little compare / contrast.
Does the Transitional Kindergarten look anything like your room? What do you see the same / different?