My Experience and Reflection on Teaching Kindergarten Social Studies

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1. Instructional Context-My class includes 25 five and six year old kindergartners; 24 African-American students and 1 Caucasian student. I have 11 girls and 14 boys in my full-day kindergarten class where I teach language arts, math, science, social studies, and health. My class is a typical kindergarten group, in that they are very active and learn best by doing. They are a very talkative group and are in constant competition to share their ideas and to have "their turn" to participate. I have some particularly active boys, one of which is on medication for ADHD, another who has autism, but is currently not receiving special services, and a 3rd who came to me from another district's developmentally delayed kindergarten…show more content…
I divided my students into 6 groups, making sure to split up the 5 boys who have difficulty focusing. I also enlisted a 5th grade student to serve as a "shadow" for my autistic student, so that he was able to follow instructions and fully participate in all of our activities. These stations were set up in areas of my classroom, which was a familiar and comfortable setting for all my students. 2. ¬Planning and Instruction- The social skills addressed (taken from my state's Readiness Assessment) during this period of instruction were:  following rules/routines,  respecting others,  getting along in a group, sharing/taking turns, and  asking for help when needed. Although, not all 5 and 6 year olds will master all of these social skills in kindergarten, these skills are within the "widely held expectations" of children this age (NAEYC, 1997). Through 20 years of teaching experience, I know that 5 and 6 year olds are becoming increasingly independent, but they still enjoy working in small groups. In addition, 5 and 6 year olds often behave in a warm and empathetic manner, yet, they can be bossy with others and at times, have difficulty sharing, and taking turns. Also, interacting with other children in small groups provides situations for children to extend their knowledge, thinking, and skills through input from their peers. The overall theme for this unit of social studies was "America's Past and
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