Saturday, November 12, 2011

The New Face of Kindergarten!

Hi Everyone!  My name is Jennifer Kadar and I am very excited to be a part of the journey with Debbie and my other blogging friends!  Let me start by telling you a little bit about myself and then I jump right in with some great activities for you to do in your kindergarten classrooms!

ButtonSimply CentersI have taught for almost 10 years with 7 of those being in kindergarten. I have taught at the National I Teach Kindergarten Convention in Las Vegas with SDE in 2011 and am hoping make that a yearly event for me!  I am the author of a little blog called Empowering Little Learners and recently started a collaborative blog called Simply Centers where you can easily search for great centers!

So I titled this post... "The New Face of Kindergarten" because I feel that is really what I represent.  I am known for being data crazy and keeping checklists and actually using them to drive my instruction daily.  I am known for having great engagement, utilizing a lot of Cooperative Learning and always striving to have students talk instead of me.  And I am also known for being able to keep what my new district calls a 'perky pace' proving that you can have high expectations and still be developmentally appropriate.  So, I think that I will be able to give you some practical strategies that your administrators (and kids) will love! 

So I want to start by talking about testing because it is a topic that is VERY heated among early childhood educators.  I myself see value in assessments and would almost rather spend my time assessing students than working in small groups.  Now, before you get all in a tiffy over me saying that let me explain.  I feel that when I give an assessment one-on-one it sets the tone to the kids that I expect you to be able to do this, you can do this, and we are going to set some goals so you can do this.  Without this there is really no direct accountability for learning!  When assessing my students I am able to work with students at their individual levels, encourage them from where they are at, and differentiate support.  I use the data I collect then to individualize times of the day for students.  For example, I can quickly pick up a checklist and put a small group of students at the listening center to practice the letter and sound Rr. 

So with that... here are some practice pages that I use for letter naming fluency.  Again - to justify why I feel it is appropriate, practicing quickly and out of order ensures students can do it automatically and are not thinking about the letters - they just know them. 

Letter Naming Fluency Practice Pages

I look forward to sharing more of my crazy kindergarten ideas!  Please feel free to always sound off (because I know sometimes I take things too far academically) because I need YOU to help keep me creative and cute in kindergarten!  =)  More to come for sure!  I am excited to be here!



  1. I look forward to seeing all of your "crazy" ideas! I feel the same about assessment and am a little OCD about my checklists :)

  2. Oh great Amanda! =) Sometimes I annoy people with my willingness to change with this whole swing to rigor and high expectations! =)

  3. I'm excited, Jennifer! I already followed and loved Empowering Little Learners, and I just started following Simply Centers! As a Montessori teacher, I always had checklists for the children's lessons to keep track of what they had already been introduced to and mastered as well. Even though Montessori doesn't use grades or testing, it's always important to know what the children know! Deb @

  4. I love Empowering Little Learners and Simply Centers. I look forward to reading more about your assessments. I love checklists too. They give me an idea about where students are and help me set individual goals:) -Lidia R. Barbosa


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