Kindergarten is a monumental part of a child’s life. While it may seem normal and ordinary to adults, children view the world differently. They might not be used to the feeling of being with other children and other persons of authority. They might not be use to an environment outside of the home. Therefore, teachers and parents must work together to help get kindergarten children in a more comfortable state, such that he doesn’t panic from the transition to kindergarten and changes in his environment.
Expectations. The first thing you need to do is to talk to the child about what to expect whenever there are changes and transitions. This is especially useful if the children will be moving up in their level (say, junior kindergarten to senior kindergarten, or even off to a big school). While children have a different way of understanding the world, they can be extremely perceptive and observant. They like to understand what is happening around them.
Routines. As for small transitions, like everyday activities, setting up established routines can help smoothen transitions between these activities. For example, for a kindergarten class in the morning, you can set up a routine that repeats every day with no, or very little, change. This can include a singing-together time in the morning, followed by some structured play, then snacks, then a nap, and then more activities before they finally say their goodbyes at the end of class.
Symbols or signals. While you follow the activities in the class routine, it will be a good idea to establish signs or symbols that will indicate a change in activity. For example, ringing a bell will help remind children that they can expect a change in activity soon. Or, bringing out crayons, pencils and paper might signal that they are expected to start their drawing and writing activities.
Structured events. Apart from having a set routine for the day, each activity and event that a kindergarten class will undertake should have some structure. Have some class rules. Simple ones will do, such as “no shouting,” “no running,” “no grabbing of toys,” and the like. It’s usually best to be positive, like encouraging children to share their toys instead of asking them not to grab others’ toys.
Music. Music can be a great way of establishing routine in a kindergarten class. Most kinder classes have a “circle time” at the start of the day, when songs are used to liven up the morning. The teacher can use this time to get the attendance, such as by singing a “morning song” or a “hello song.” You can also help impart the concept of weather and days of the week through songs. Music can also help signal the end of a school day, with a “goodbye” song. Songs are not only for entertainment, as they also help instill some lessons, and these are easier to learn once the children learn to sing the songs by heart.
Creating smooth transitions in a kindergarten setting involves routine, signals and structure. These will help children get used to changes and shifts in activities throughout the day.