Team Teaching Kindergarten-In Separate Classrooms

sightwordsThe Question:
This year I will be teaching reading and writing to kindergartners in one classroom, and my partner will teach Math, Science and Social Studies In another room. 

I will teach to two different classes daily.

Has anybody done this in Kindergarten before and, if so, any advice?

The Answers:

Karen

I’ve done this — only I taught Math/Science while my suite mate taught Reading/Writing. I’ve also taught Writing for both while she taught Math, and we did the rest on our own. It worked really well! Just be flexible and establish a good relationship with your team teacher. The kids loved it too — made them feel “big” and it helped giving them two teachers to bond with, in addition to how it helped with parental communication.

Lissie

Ugh. That doesn’t sound fun. Good luck!

Mandy

That’s not developmentally appropriate for kindergarten.

Karen

That is so wrong to do to those little kids … I have taught kinder for 16 years and that was never an option here. Where are you?

Erin

We have done it before and it works well. Though you think kinders can’t handle transitions, they adapt very well. It makes you the master of your subject area, and makes the day go by fast! As long as you & your partner set the expectations from the get go and have agreed on a behavior plan, it’ll be fine.

Sarah

I have done it as well and LOVED it. We try to keep it at 1-2 transitions, but the kids do really well with it!

Daryl

I have learned that kinders are more flexible than we give them credit for. Approach it with a positive attitude, develop common expectations with your partner teacher, and roll with it.

Jennifer

I wish my school/district/principal would allow us to do it.

Tracy

We tried that last year. It was absolutely horrible. We managed, but it was so difficult on the children. It was not developmentally appropriate for kindergarten. Thankfully, we are getting a new principal that agrees with us. I applaud those that made it work!

Amy

Embrace it! Have not done it myself, but love the idea! I would enjoy having a partner! And think, fewer lesson plans!!!

Denita

That sounds awful to do to 5/6 year old babies. I wish you all the luck.

Kyndal

 I’m doing the same thing this school year. I will be teaching k-1 reading, science, & English. My co- worker is teaching k-1 math, s.s., & writing. This will be my 4th year teaching & my first 3 were k. I’m really looking forward to it & I hope it’s a successful as I think it will be.

Sarah

Regarding the transition: it’s really hard to end exactly at a certain time, and K kids can’t hang out for 2 minutes waiting to switch back to the other class. Hopefully it can end at recess or another natural transition time.

Cheryl

 It is just criminal what supposedly educated people are doing to little kids these days! This is the absolute dumbest idea ever! Why do we keep funding brain research if we are going to completely ignore it?

Paula

So sorry

Catherine

 Oh you are so lucky!  I would love to do that at my school! You can make it work!

Karen

Kids adapt. Teachers…not always. They will be fine. They are NOT babies and the movement and change of pace will be great for them. I’d love a chance to do this!

Marcy

Went to this just this year. I teach math/science and my teammate Language Arts.

It was an AWESOME year, my kids got further than ever before. Many kids were even working on skills above grade level, according to common core.

Susie

It is So inappropriate!

Denise

Not with K! That’s too much for them. Shouldn’t switch like that until third or fourth grade.

Marrissa

 We did it for 4 years across all grade levels and I loved it in kinder. It was amazing! Our new principal just ended it for this year and I’m dying inside. We had a great schedule, so ending at our scheduled blocks worked since it was a transition to another place (ie, lunch, FA, dance). They started in one room, transitioned throughout the day and ended in their first room. That way all of their personal things were in one room. Good luck!

Ellen

Dedicated teachers by nature will move heaven and earth to “make something work!” but why should they have to? Children will adapt, but why should they be made to? Where is the research that shows this approach will benefit the child? I am afraid our Kindergartens are no longer Children’s Gardens where they can explore the world they live in and be nurtured to love learning! Maybe we should throw in the towel and install lockers in every elementary school! Why wait for Middle School? I am so grateful I had my 38 years of teaching my First Graders at a time when children were allowed to be children! I still substitute in my home district and I love the new technology and have learned so much from working with our amazing younger teachers! However, this approach to teaching Kindergarten is, in my opinion very, very sad!

Joan

Kinders ARE still babies ! They are not ready for this! They need consistency. Some may do fine with this, but others may not do so well. Little ones are made to grow up too fast!

Sheri I teach half day while my teaching partner is full day. This would not work with our schedule. Interesting how teachers are so divided on this topic.

Lynn

 This has been done at my school several times (with kindergarten). We have stopped doing it, as most teachers feel that kindergartners are too young for this method. None of our teachers have tried it more than one year and have been glad to go back to a self contained classroom. My apologies for sounding so negative. I hope it will be a positive experience for you and your students.

Cheryl

 We are going to try this with some kiddos. We are teaching the CORE skills and moving the kids at their pace. If I have a group working at a level and my teaching partners have kids ready we will group according to their readiness. Some kids will go to other rooms and others won’t. The switching will be dictated by what skills the kids are working on. Proficiency Based Education is what it is called. We are not sure exactly what it will look like in the end but we want ALL of our children to be successful, and are hoping that grouping them according to their current skill level, and re- grouping every few weeks will allow us to move them further. We are cognizant of their developmental needs and will keep this in mind as we progress through the year. It will be a learning year for all of us.

Kimbra

 It works very well as long as you and your partner communicate. The children will benefit from this style because the teacher can plan more effectively for his/her part. When I did it we both taught reading, but then I taught the rest of language arts and she taught math and science. This style also helps with parent contacts. There are two of you observing the child! Don’t decide you don’t like team teacher the first few weeks, it takes time, just like anything else. Good luck!

Carrie

Thank you all for the comments!!!!! I am really trying to stay POSITIVE but I’m just hoping I can get it all done with the time schedule. We have a great K team so communication won’t be a problem, we all work well together. Thanks again!!!

Sarah

Which teacher is in charge of the core skills: choice time, play dough, sharing, exploring, blocks, scissor work, observing? The children’s garden is out the door. All kinder children are now expected to read conventionally and write with spaces, proper capitals and some punctuation or they are behind. As a 1st grade teacher, I think it is a disaster. It is very upsetting.

Susanne

Seems like a lot of structure for K, but having a TEAM may make all the difference in the world.

Jennifer

Having done the same…. remember to make well documented student files for each child so that when report card time comes, you have many back up resources to justify (not that we should need to) any inquiries!! Many parents who won’t have you as the “main teacher/homeroom teacher” will question. Especially if they are not familiar with you and do not get a lot of face time with you specifically.

Christine

 Any chance you could team plan, help, and support but keep your kids? I think this would be difficult for the Kinder kids.

Erin

I have never taught like this, but think I would like to try it. I remember switching rooms when I was in Kindergarden and it was fine. I would like it would make differentiation and meeting the needs of all students easier. Best of luck!

Joan

I personally would not want to do this, literacy, math, science and social studies are integrated throughout the day. I can’t imagine compartmentalizing any subject in K. Hopefully you work with a great team who are like minded in their philosophies and approaches. I do not think it is developmentally appropriate to 5 and 6 year olds, but that does not appear to be something that is considered in the new climate of test, test, test. Communication will be the key!

Heather

A number of years ago, before my school system went to 5-full day K, we were 3-full day K. This (as opposed to AM/PM classes) eliminated the cost of the mid-day bus which was huge and gave teachers longer blocks of time with kids. Students either went to school on M,W,F or M,T,TH. This worked well for teachers who worked part time. But for full time teachers it was crazy. Each Monday I had one class for the morning and the other class for the afternoon. A teacher was hired for Monday only to teach the social studies, science and health curriculum to each class. What I didn’t like was that the kids moved between classrooms and the expectations for behavior didn’t always match to mine. The second year I did it I worked with a part-time teacher who took on the Mondays and worked four days per week. She was great and there were lots of opportunities for us to talk about curriculum connections, etc. I would just hope to have a relationship with someone you could really connect with like we did. Otherwise, if given the opportunity I would have liked my students for all subject areas.

Crystal

When I taught kindergarten we switched classes for literacy. I team taught with the title I and special ed teachers. It was great and even though I was admittedly skeptical at first, the kids made progress by leaps and bounds. Good luck!

Arnold

This year we are going to small learning communities. Every teacher changed classrooms and hallways. Special Ed was always in one hallway, math in another, science and so on. Now we will have math class, a science class, a English class, a SS class and A Special Ed class in each hallway.

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