Kindergarten distance learning can be quite an adjustment for teachers, parents, and most importantly, children. We have come up with a few tips for kindergarten distance learning to try and help make the transition easier for everyone.
Kindergarten Distance Learning Schedule
Keeping a routine is important for kindergarteners. Routines provide children with organization and predictability. They allow children to feel in control, safe and secure. This doesn’t have to be complex. Parents, keep your routine simple and similar to what it was when your child was attending in person learning by making sure your child wakes up at the same time every day, brushes their teeth, eats breakfast and dresses for “school”. Schedule in times for movement activities, and allow for free play or “recess” by having your child play in the backyard, go for a walk, visit a park, or just play with their toys in the playroom. Keep in mind, even in the classroom, kindergartners only sit still for about 15-30 minutes, so keep activities short. Here is a sample of a possible kindergarten distance learning schedule. We have included lots of teacher approved links to helpful resources.
- 8:30 Morning Meeting: Start School by singing a good morning song and check in by asking questions such as: How are you feeling today? How can we take care of ourselves, our family, our friends, our house? End the morning meeting with a quick yoga activity to help focus and prepare ourselves for the day. If you have a calendar, sing a days of the week song, discuss the day, month, year, weather, etc.
- 8:45 Reading: Read and discuss a book. (For help on how to make read alouds great, read our blog, 3 Steps to a Meaningful Read Aloud Experience.) For an engaging online read aloud resource, use Storyline Online. Be sure to ask text dependent questions.
- 9:00 Writing: This is a good time to work on letter names and sounds if students have not mastered letter/sound correspondence. You can easily do this by playing this short abc phonics video. Then have students tell a story and draw a picture to match. It is important for students to tell a detailed story with connected events and transitional words. (ie One day I saw a butterfly in my backyard. The butterfly was black and orange. I watched the butterfly fly from flower to flower. It was beautiful.) You can also practice writing words together. For example, teacher draws a picture of a butterfly and has students help sound out the word butterfly together.
- 9:30 Movement Activity: Jack Hartman has the BEST virtual academic/movement activities.
- 9:45 Math: Sing a math song or watch a counting video as a quick and fun intro, then do a math activity. This can be as simple as having students find 5 or 10 toys to count. Then take turns telling number stories with the toys (ie Jack has 5 toys. He gave 1 to his mom. How many toys does Jack have left?)
- 10:15 Movement Activity: Go Noodle is another fun movement website that is FREE and kids love it.
- 10:30 Science/ Social Studies: This can be as simple as reading and discussing a book on a science or social studies topic. Whether you are learning about the 5 senses for science or the meaning of Thanksgiving for social studies, there is always a good book to help. You can find many of these books or short educational videos online with a quick Google search. Just be sure to watch every video completely before showing it to your students.
- 11:00 recess or another movement activity (for parents-free play outside if possible)
- 11:30 Closing Meeting: End the day with some questions such as: How did your day go? Which activities did you enjoy the most? What would you like to do more of? What are you looking forward to? Tell me something you learned today? Then sing a good bye song.
Keep in mind...
Every school will have a different kindergarten distance learning schedule. This is just one example and is meant to be used as a guide and adapted as needed. The important thing is to include regular movement breaks, do not have children staring at a screen or working on one activity for a long period of time, include a morning meeting, reading activity, writing (or phonics) activity, some math and social studies OR science on a daily basis, and stick to a routine. If your child is having trouble focusing, that may be a good sign that it is time for a quick movement activity or a little cosmic kids yoga.
Kindergarten Distance Learning Ideas
Here are some FREE online resources for kindergarten distance learning that are teacher and student approved!
- Jack Hartman: These videos are fun and reinforce reading skills, math skills and much much more!
- Have Fun Teaching: These songs are a great way to reinforce letter names/sounds, sight words, numbers, counting and more.
- Cosmic Kids Yoga: These videos make yoga fun and easy for kids of all ages.
- Storyline online: Watch these books come alive with animated illustrations and dynamic readings by celebrated actors and actresses.
- GoNoodle: These super silly movement videos are a favorite with children.
- Starfall: Starfall offers many free fun and interactive activities for kindergarten.
Kindergarten Distance Learning Lessons
We have created some adorable and engaging digital resources that are perfect for kindergarten distance learning! We took our Alphabet Animals Reading Skills Curriculum and added 4 complete digital resources: Digital Alphabet Chants, Digital Handwriting, Digital Beginning Sounds, Digital Letter and Sight Word Books. Each resource contains 26 complete lessons and printables. We also have some adorable digital social studies lessons for preschool, kindergarten and first grade. Some of these digital lessons include: Thanksgiving Unit, Veterans Day Lessons, and Democracy for Kids Unit. We are creating more digital lessons every day! Visit our TpT Store, 4 Kinder Teachers, to check our products, and let us know in the comment section if there is a specific kindergarten topic you would like us to create. Our goal is to help YOU!
Kindergarten Distance Learning Activities
As kindergarten teachers, we all know that hands on activities are best when teaching our kids. Although we may have to get more creative, this can still be done while on remote learning. Like we said before, keep it simple! Have children use what they have at home. For example, have students gather 10 objects. Then have them sort them and explain what attribute they used to sort their objects. Use those same objects to tell number stories (ie Jane had 5 toys. She found 1 more toy. How many toys does she have now?) Have each child pick 1 toy and make up a story using it as the main character, or have them tell you a story that happened to them (ie going to a playground or eating breakfast, or one thing they did over the weekend…). Model what good storytelling looks and sounds like (the use of prepositional phrases, transitional words, details, emotions…) Be creative and have fun!
Kindergarten Distance Learning Packet
We have created a great kindergarten distance learning packet to help your child with a variety of literacy skills. This packet includes 20 pages of standards based literacy skills worksheets! Every page is different! Choose from beginning sounds, middle sounds, ending sounds, CVC words, word families, digraphs, long vowels… Each page has easy to follow instructions and can be done at home or in the classroom.
We know distance learning for kindergarten is not ideal for anyone. We hope that this helps. Leave us a comment if you have any other kindergarten distance learning ideas or resources.