We all know that learning begins at home and that parents are our first teachers, but I believe that actual learning begins when a child gets enrolled in kindergarten Kindergarten is like a garden of different flowers where each flower needs to be cared for and nurtured. Teachers use various teaching methods in kindergarten so that each student learns essential social, emotional, and problem-solving skills . They learn through playing, singing, drawing, and other self-directing activities. Students also get the opportunity to observe and interact with other children and by seeing or observing their friends or classmate, they learn a lot.
Teaching kindergarten students is an art. It is not just performing the tasks in a given routine. It involves a lot of thought in dealing with every child keeping in mind the student’s individuality and understanding how the child will grow and evolve. Thus, Kindergarten teachers use different teaching methods along with various instructions designed based on the activities. The most commonly used teaching methods are:
The play-way method is the activity-based method of learning by doing and practicing. This method is a popular method of teaching and is accepted by kindergarten schools widely. Using the play-way method, children get many opportunities to learn while playing. Learning thus becomes more effective, and physical activity influences physical development. The play-way method also encourages children to play and work with their peers. They learn to share, coordinate and help each other. This method helps in developing social and emotional values in children.
Reggio Emilia method
Another widely accepted method of teaching is Reggio Emilia. The essential part of the Reggio-Emilia method is the environment. Children are placed to work in an environment with thought-provoking materials so that they get motivated to explore. This method believes that every child is unique and expresses their interest in many different ways. Painting, drawing, drama, singing, or dancing are seen as their languages to express themselves. This approach encourages children to explore, interpret, question, and learn through experiences like listening, moving, touching, and observing. Thus, creating a strong foundation of experiences in early years and helping the child to reach their full potential.
This Montessori method of education is based on self-directed activities, hands-on learning, and collaborative play. In Montessori, children explore and discover knowledge by working individually, in pairs, and in groups inside and outside. They learn through self-experiences at their own pace. This method helps them in developing to their maximum potential.
Montessori classrooms are beautifully-designed and crafted to meet the needs of children of specific age ranges. Classrooms and materials or objects used for learning are bright, colorful, attractive, and fascinating. Interesting pictures on the wall and the attractive objects in and outside the classroom offers children sensory and intellectual experiences. Children move freely and choose activities that interest them. Learning in the such environment leads to a thorough understanding of language, science, mathematics, music, social interactions, and much more.
A kindergarten teacher implements the above-mentioned-teaching methods using the following strategies which include instructions designed based on the activities:
- Direct instruction: The teacher gives instructions to children conveying information and developing skills in children.
- Indirect instructions: This strategy considers the learner’s interests in a topic. Thus, children are highly involved in the investigation, observation, and hypothesis formation.
- Interactive instruction: this strategy involves discussion to facilitate learning. Students learn not only from their teacher but also from their peers by observing, listening, and communicating.
- Independent Learning: It includes different teaching methods emphasizing personal development such as self-reliance and desire for self-development.
- Experiential learning: This strategy uses real-world or hands-on experiences.