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Half Day Kindergarten

Administrator Issue 

Lanieob

Junior Member
Is there anyone out there who STILL teaches half day kindergarten? I was moved to half day kindergarten this year after teaching full day for years. We have about 2 1/2 hours plus specials for Gym, Music, Guidance and Technology. It is an impossible schedule- there is absolutely minimal learning time for me to teach. I don't know how the administration can expect me to cover the same curriculum as full day Kindergarten. Any thoughts?
 
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Sbkangas5

Senior Member
I don't now, but taught half day for many years (it seems a lifetime ago). I actually petitioned our school board to let me try out a full day, which they did for one year. That said, there's no way you can cover the same curriculum that is now required in K, not to mention give them the social and creative experiences that they need.

I would pick out what the essential standards are and go from there. Off the top of my head I'd say phonemic awareness, letter names and sounds, and blending cvc words for ELA. Number sense would be #1 for math. And I would absolutely carve out time for art and play (Fun Friday?). It's so important to their growth and their enjoyment of school.

It's so surprising that with the standards required any school still offers half day.
 

iteachk2010

Senior Member
I taught half day for many years. We moved to full day about ten or so years ago. I agree with Sbkangas5 that you can't cover today's expectations in a half day. It is unrealistic. You will have the most success and see the most growth in your students if you can stick with what is developmentally appropriate. This age group learns through play.

I agree with PP's suggestions for what to focus on. In kindergarten, we are building the foundation. Administration needs to remember that.

Our little ones have spent too much time in front of a screen the past few years. I was surprised that so many of my students have poor pencil grasps and struggle to color this year. I found that I needed to incorporate more fine motor activities into our day.

Do you have any help in your classroom? Do you use centers? We don't have any paraprofessionals in our gen ed kindergarten classrooms. We do have centers during ELA, and math and a free choice center time. We meet with individual students and small groups while the rest of our students are at centers. We do not meet with all students every day.
 

sevenplus

Senior Member
I taught full day K for 17 of the past 22 years. That is all my district offers. However, both of my children attended half-day K in our home district. Families can lottery into full day K but I chose half day for them.

When my older son was in K, the teacher leaned heavily on the parents to do extra practice at home. I can't remember their daily schedule exactly but they did not go out to recess every day and the only "special" class they had was music once a week. I don't know how or if she fit everything in, but the majority of the students had great readiness skills and the expectations for end-of-year performance were a bit lower than my district.

My younger son did kindergarten online during the pandemic. He had a RIDICULOUS amount of work. He was on the computer for well more than half the day every day. I actually emailed someone at the district level about it, explaining that I had enrolled him in half day K. They explained that there was no difference in curriculum in full and half day and the other half of the full day K was used for lunch, recess, and special classes. As a K teacher, I simply don't believe that's true. Those things don't take another 2 1/2 hours, even with transitions. But they insisted that full day and half day students get the same amount of instructional time in the core subjects.

All that to say, I have absolutely no idea how you do that!
 

Lanieob

Junior Member
Thank you for your thoughts! Yes, half day K is very challenging to teach with so little time. In addition we have added standardized online testing this year- so much of my little ones day spent on screen time-yikes!
 
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