George Lucas Educational Foundation

A New Challenge; Full Day K/1 class.....Yikes!

A New Challenge; Full Day K/1 class.....Yikes!

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Our district has recently decided to implement full day kindergarten. Originally they were not going to have any K/1 splits but that changed! So here I am facing a new teaching challenge after 19 years in the classroom. Many of our early primary teachers have pulled together to face this challenge through networking with one another. I have taught a K/1 class before but the K's went home before lunch!! Any tips or tricks appreciated here!!

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Noelle's picture
Elementary teacher

Hi Debbie! I taught a K/1 with all day kinders my first year teaching. I know it seems impossible to have full day kindergarteners, but they adjust! Yes, they get tired, but eventually they acclimate to the schedule. I found that keeping my lessons interactive and engaging in the afternoon really helped. Keep them moving! I utilized a lot of TPR, drama, art, and music after lunch-anything kinesthetic ?
I'm sure you've experienced this, but I love how the first graders can guide your kinders, especially with all those little things like lining up and how to sit in circle. This is a great opportunity to utilize peers for lessons. It's so exciting to watch your first graders helping your kinders write their name or sound out a letter. I truly enjoyed this combo!

Kindergarten Teacher's picture

Hi Debbie,

Full Day K is terrific! I am in my 3rd year teaching it and love it. I'll never go back! We keep our program appropriate for Kindergarten -- it isn't mini 1st grade. You'll be giving your students the gift of time, since you won't be rushing them as much from workshop to workshop, etc... They have room to breathe, and so will you!

Good luck!

TARA-MOM's picture

What truly is the 1st grade expectations for all subjects in public school?

natasha bradley's picture

Hi, Debbie
I know it might seem exhausting, but it's not. I work at a charter school and they have always had full days for k-1. The kinder teacher starts with morning work, free play, reading, free play, lunch, recess, rest time, math, and finishes with free play. Sometimes she complains she does not have enough time to do the skills she would like to incorporate for the small ones. Most do not sleep at rest time, because their so pumped they want to continue working. It will be adjustment, but it is worth it. With all the testing the children have to do after second grade, they need all the school hours to prepare them.

PlayfulWisdom's picture
Out of the Box Thinker in a Merry Go Round World

I'm going to probably teach K/1 this year again. My class was the only one in our school. Now all K and a Grade ones will be blended. Needless to say, 4 teachers are in a panic.
Would it be possible if you could send me a sample day plan for the week? I'd like to share it with our teachers. In my case, we only had 8 Ks and they were chosen for our class because they were higher academically so we ran the class like a grade 1. What I'd like to do is do a lot of outdoor Ed. Any thoughts? Help!

Samer Rabadi's picture
Samer Rabadi
Online Community Engagement Manager

Hi PlayfulWisdom, you responded to an older conversation thread and the folks originally participating may no longer be following. It sounds like you could use some help though, so I'll point some of our more-engaged Edutopians here to see if they have any relevant resources/advice.

John S. Thomas's picture
John S. Thomas
First & Second Grade Teacher/Adjunct Faculty Antioch University New England, former Elementary Principal


Welcome to Edutopia. Do you have full day K? What is the reason to combine grades for all K and 1 rooms? The first comment in this thread by Noelle does point out some of the benefits of a K/1 but it can really prove challenging at times too. I teach in a small multiage K-6 school. We used to have a K-1 grouping until we recently switched to have a stand alone K. I used to teach 2-3, but now teach the 1-2 class. I asked our K teacher for some of her past schedules. I hope they help your colleagues.

Samer Rabadi's picture
Samer Rabadi
Online Community Engagement Manager

Thanks for reaching out to your colleagues for those schedules, John. Much appreciated.

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