Elements of a Good Kindergarten Classroom:
Kindergarten is a time for children to expand their
love of learning, their general knowledge, their
ability to get along with others, and their interest
in reaching out to the world. While kindergarten
marks an important transition from preschool to the
primary grades, it is important that children still
get to be children -- getting kindergartners ready
for elementary school does not mean substituting
academics for play time, forcing children to master
first grade "skills," or relying on standardized
tests to assess children's success. Kindergarten
"curriculum" actually includes such events as snack
time, recess, and individual and group activities in
addition to those activities we think of as
traditionally educational. Developmentally
appropriate kindergarten classrooms encourage the
growth of children's self-esteem, their cultural
identities, their independence and their individual
strengths. Kindergarten children will continue to
develop control of their own behavior through the
guidance and support of warm, caring adults. At this
stage, children are already eager to learn and
possess an innate curiosity. Teachers with a strong
background in early childhood education and child
development can best provide for children what they
need to grow physically, emotionally, and
10 signs of a good kindergarten classroom:
are playing and working with materials or other
children. They are not aimlessly wandering or forced
to sit quietly for long periods of time.
have access to various activities throughout the
day, such as block building, pretend play, picture
books, paints and other art materials, and table
toys such as legos, pegboards, and puzzles. Children
are not all doing the same things at the same time.
work with individual children, small groups, and the
whole group at different times during the day. They
do not spend time only with the entire group.
classroom is decorated with children s original
artwork, their own writing with invented spelling,
and dictated stories.
learn numbers and the alphabet in the context of
their everyday experiences. Exploring the natural
world of plants and animals, cooking, taking
attendance, and serving snack are all meaningful
activities to children.
work on projects and have long periods of time (at
least one hour) to play and explore. Filling out
worksheets should not be their primary activity.
have an opportunity to play outside every day that
weather permits. This play is never sacrificed for
more instructional time.
read books to children throughout the day, not just
at group story time.
9.Curriculum is adapted for those who are ahead as
well as those who need additional help. Because
children differ in experiences and background, they
do not learn the same things at the same time in the
and their parents look forward to school. Parents
feel safe sending their child to kindergarten.
Children are happy; they are not crying or regularly
11.Individual kindergarten classrooms will vary, and
curriculum will vary according to the interests and
backgrounds of the children. But all developmentally
appropriate kindergarten classrooms will have one
thing in common: the focus will be on the
development of the child as a whole.
for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)
Copyright 1996 by National Association for the
Education of Young Children. Reproduction of this
material is freely granted, provided credit is given
to the NAEYC