Kin­der­gart­ners Learn So­cial Skills, More

McDonald County Press - - FRONT PAGE - Rachel Dick­er­son

Kinder­garten is a time for learn­ing to be a stu­dent, ac­cord­ing to teach­ers at Noel Pri­mary School.

“In kinder­garten, you’re kind of learn­ing to be a per­son — like how to act with your friends, what’s ap­pro­pri­ate,” ex­plained kinder­garten teacher Tonya Showah. “They’re learn­ing anything from man­ners to what’s ap­pro­pri­ate when you’re walk­ing down the hall­way. They’re learn­ing to take turns and have pa­tience.”

Sev­eral kin­der­gart­ners shared what they have learned so far this year and why they like school.

Im­ran Has­san said he has learned his numbers and “I know how to write my name.”

Elyxia Bur­den said she has learned her let­ters and her numbers. “I love school. I can count to 100,” she said.

Em­ma­lyn Woods said she learned to write her name and she likes school be­cause it’s fun.

Rayleigh Gil­liam said she en­joys art, re­cess, coloring, play­ing with her friends and get­ting to wear her back­pack.

Jay­dus Flores said, “I love cen­ters the most.”

Natalie Me­d­ina added, “I love play­ing on the tablets.”

No Rah said she likes to color and play out­side with her friends.

“They’re work­ing on so­cial skills with them. A lot of them have not had any school­ing,” said Dr. Deb­o­rah Pear­son, prin­ci­pal of

“In kinder­garten, you’re kind of learn­ing to be a per­son — like how to act with your friends, what’s ap­pro­pri­ate. They’re learn­ing anything from man­ners to what’s ap­pro­pri­ate when you’re walk­ing down the hall­way. They’re learn­ing to take turns and have pa­tience.”

Tonya Showah Kinder­garten teacher

Noel Pri­mary School. “They have to do things more or­derly. They’re learn­ing the foun­da­tional skills of math­e­mat­ics and writ­ing. So we do a lot of things re­peat­edly. We’re teach­ing them to be in­de­pen­dent, some­what. They have to be re­spon­si­ble for their coats and their back­packs. Some of those in­de­pen­dent things where they’re just grow­ing up. Also we’re do­ing a lot of struc­tured play so they can prac­tice aca­demics. Time be­comes a part of their learn­ing. When the kids talk about their cen­ters, that’s some­what like struc­tured play. Get­ting along and shar­ing. They’re get­ting ex­posed to PE, mu­sic and art each week. We’re de­vel­op­ing their gross and fine mo­tor skills. They also

have com­puter and li­brary they do, and just ex­po­sure to be­com­ing a stu­dent.”

Teacher Shan­non Matthews said that ad­di­tion to learn­ing to read, kinder­garten­ers learn to co­op­er­ate with each other.

“We learn lots of vo­cab­u­lary words. Shar­ing, char­ac­ter traits in gen­eral, re­spon­si­bil­ity, work­ing to­gether, be­ing a good friend — that’s a tricky one,” Matthews said. “Tak­ing turns, ba­sic so­cial skills, lis­ten­ing, fol­low­ing in­struc­tions, learn­ing how to prob­lem solve, stay­ing on task. Prob­lem solv­ing is the big­gest.”

Teacher Brett Wary said, “They learn em­pa­thy for oth­ers. They learn how to co­op­er­ate and fol­low in­struc­tions. They’re very phys­i­cal, so they have to learn to con­trol them­selves, con­trol their hands, gen­er­ally be where they need to be and keep con­trol of them­selves.

“For our kids, it’s a chal­lenge to over­come the lan­guage bar­rier. A lot of them are just learn­ing English. It’s amaz­ing how fast they learn. And how quickly they pick up on what’s ex­pected of them. There’s so much learn­ing in kinder­garten. A lot of them, it’s their first time away from their parents.”

RACHEL DICK­ER­SON/MCDON­ALD COUNTY PRESS

Ali­may Johnny col­ors with her kinder­garten class at Noel Pri­mary School.

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