Full Day Kindergarten, Oh, How We Love You!

preschoolers

The Question:

How many people do all day K?  With all the curriculum I have to cover in kindergarten, half day isn’t enough any more!!! I’m going to the school board with a proposal for all day K. What do you think?

 The Answers:
Diana
Love it… number 1 reason, you go from 50 kids to 25…
Diane
To be honest, even with a full day I always fall short!
Dana
Didn’t know there were still half day programs out there! We have been full day for 8 years now.
Sara
Full day is tough on the kids first semester, but it is a lot less paperwork!
Shannon
I still run out of time with full day but I’m so glad we switched to it!!
Elaine
I have been all day 8 years now. Can’t even imagine my former 3 hour program.
Karen
I taught full day for 39 years, and it made so much sense. With all that kindergarteners are supposed to learn during the year, half day wouldn’t have been nearly enough. The only problem was that they got tired or restless. A quick 10 minute recess in the afternoon would have helped a lot, but admin didn’t want us losing any instructional time…
Lisa
We are still 2 1/2 hours a day. Our whole state, OR, is supposed  to go full day next school year. I will be surprised if it happens. I can’t wait to go full day so we can go back to all the developmental stuff I have given up to get all academics in. And, yes I still get in as much important developmental stuff as I can.
Diane
Many of the public schools in PA only offer half day kindergarten. They have full day for kids with needs. The Catholic schools, which is where I teach, offer full day. Definitely can’t teach what needs to be taught in half day program.
Elizabeth
Full day is awesome for the kids, I love it too! 12 years, and going strong
April
Full day is amazing. You will need to show the school board how they can afford the full day program. They only see dollar signs and only understand dollar signs.
Tonya
They cram more than you can do into a full day too!
Christine
Full day is doable….you’ll be surprised how much learning takes place in a full day! I love my full day kindergarten!
Carol
I’ve taught full day for 23 years. I love it; there’s enough time to get in the curriculum as well as “educational play” that’s still an important factor in a successful program. 
Jamie
I’m all day and I STILL don’t feel like I get it all done and we move non stop!
Sharon
I’ve been teaching full day K for 10 years. I cannot imagine trying to get everything in that needs to be done. I still don’t have time to get the developmental stuff in I would like to. The beginning of the school year is hard for the little ones. They are very tired by the end of the day!
Cecilia
Full Day for the past 5 years..love it!
Jennifer
All Day Kindergarten is hard for the little ones. But I could not imagine trying to fit all this information into a half day. They are tired but adjust in time.
Catherine
Full day, when done in a developmentally appropriate way, is awesome. I’m in my third year of full day after 16 years of teaching half day. As long as you make it fun and engaging with recess, centers and opportunities for free play there is nothing better! You will be amazed at what you can cover. I actually did some research a few years ago on the benefits of full. I’d be happy to share it with you if you’d like.
Lizzy
We are full day and I love it. The only thing I wish we could add in is snack time. At the beginning of the year its rough, but the kids adjust by Halloween.
Bridget
In my experience, they will just add more curriculum once you are full day so it won’t make a lot of difference… at least in my district.
Sarah
Five hours is perfect, in my opinion. We are full day which is six hours. During conference week the school gets out one hour early. That is the perfect length!
Darla
I taught it for years! Afternoons are lighter with a short rest time. It was a success!
Cindy
I love full day!! It’s not as rushed and hectic, so kids are really less tired than they are with half day.
Gwen
All day for sure! I couldn’t imagine half day.
Ryan
I do full day but keep rest time, am & pm recess, and snack time, 40 minute lunch, NO Planning (no art, music, gym, library teachers).
Katharine
I have the best of both worlds, “Extended Day” We go an hour longer than half day, which is an hour shorter than 1st grade. Gives me time for review & fun & enrichment, but still gives me prep time.
Camey
Just started this year! So much better!!!!
Marcie
We do all day K. Minnesota just made it free to all public schools.
Anne
I love full day for K. Much easier to fit it all in. With TK it’s really long in the afternoon, but the kids are getting used to it. We have 15 minutes of rest on blankets after lunch recess.
Melissa
We have done all day K in West Virginia for many years. I think it is over 20 years now. I can’t imagine trying to do it all in a half day.
Meridith
Love it and wouldn’t want it any other way!!
Denise
Full day is essential, but hard on the kids for the first month. Ryan…You need planning! Kids need to run that’s for sure.
Randy
I was against it at first, but it does not seem to be a big deal to the kids at all now. Most have already been out and about at preschool or to sitters, they are sleepy at first and when they do any outside things, like baseball etc…We are really just first grade now!
Lynne
That’s what i did when it got to where I felt like we didn’t have enough time to have a relaxed play based program. I also have 30 min rest, morning and afternoon playtime and specials.
Jean
I love, love full day! All the heavy “stuff” in the morning (with a recess break) rest time, a special (gym, music, computers), snack and choice time in the p.m…I think it is very balanced. This is my 22nd year teaching it.
Jennifer
I do not think all day kinder is developmentally appropriate.
Heather
I’ve been full day for 11 yrs with 150 min reading/writing block, 60 min math block, 30 min science & social studies, and 20 min academic centers (plus lunch and resource classes). Still feel like I don’t get to everything that’s required. I don’t understand how 1/2 day is still around with everything we’re required to teach these days.
Susan
We just started full day this year. Too early to tell if it makes a big difference.
Kirsten
I do let kids sleep if they fall asleep during quiet time. If it is chronic, I talk with parents after first month about earlier bedtimes. Hands on math and science in the afternoon helps.
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2 thoughts on “Full Day Kindergarten, Oh, How We Love You!

  1. Be careful what you wish for – when we went from half day to full day we were told our class sizes & curriculum would not increase, so that the extra time would be for developmentally appropriate activities. Within a year our class sizes nearly doubled, we lost our paras, and our academic curriculum has gotten out of control. We went from a 1:8 ratio of adults to kids to a 1:28. Our reading, writing and math expectations went up to what I had taught previously in second grade. Having recently attended an international early childhood educator conference in Europe with over 40 countries represented, I can say that comparatively we are taking academics to the extreme and falling severely short on social, emotional, and physical needs of our littlest learners. And because we are pushing skills that the kids are not yet ready for, it seems we are doing more harm than good in the long run… We need to be advocates for early childhood. Kids need to play, they need movement & encouragement to be creative.

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