Kindergarten Know-How: Knowing Your Children

The best way to show God’s love is by getting to know your children individually. While every child is unique, the information below provides a framework for understanding the development of five- and six-year-olds.

Kindergartners Can…

  • Assemble complex puzzles (of 24 pieces or fewer)
  • Write some numbers
  • Write some letters
  • Read a few simple words
  • Follow simple directions
  • Retell stories in their own words
  • Dramatize stories
  • Interact socially
  • Share toys
  • Work in a group

Characteristics of Five and Six-Year-Olds

  • They learn by listening, planning, repeating, and through trial and error.
  • They eagerly seek adult approval, especially from their teacher.
  • They love to help by holding the illustration at story time, passing out supplies, and cleaning up after activities.
  • They benefit from using a predictable sequence of activities and the same routine from lesson to lesson.
  • They enjoy expressing themselves verbally by talking and asking questions.
  • They interact with friends—who are becoming more important to them.

How to Speak to Kindergartners

If you give these children your focused attention, they will talk. When speaking together, maintain eye contact. If you need a child’s undivided attention, bend down or crouch so you are at the child’s eye-level when you talk.

Individuality

God made every child in your class uniquely for His glory. Expect variety. Discover how to bring out the best in every student!

Discipline

Reward good classroom behavior with focused attention. If you are consistent with discipline, your students will understand the classroom rules. Remember—“discipline” and “disciple” come from the same root word. The following steps are excellent guidelines for classroom discipline.

  1. Anticipate possible issues. Remind children of your expectations before each segment of the lesson. Most children are happy to follow guidelines.
  1. When issues start to arise, use positive redirection to correct the behavior first. Here are some examples:
  • Feet belong on the floor.
  • Chairs are for sitting.
  • Hands are in our laps at Bible time.
  • We use nice words in class.
  • God is happy when we share.
  • Let’s use our inside voices.
  • When we use our voices to praise and sing, we honor God.
  1. If inappropriate behavior continues, try these ideas.
  • Ask for a behavior to stop, and make sure the child knows what is inappropriate about his or her actions.
  • If the child still does not stop, explain that the child must sit in a specific chair for few minutes.
  • If the child does not go to the chair, and inappropriate behavior continues, do not warn the child again. Merely escort him to the chair. Continue doing this until the child responds.
  • After a child has sat in the chair and has said that he or she is sorry, comfort and affirm him or her. The make an effort to reconnect the child to the classroom activity.
  • If a child is out of control, it is not your responsibility to handle the situation alone. Involve the child’s parents in the process. Follow your church’s guidelines.
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