Springtime for kindergarten is a special time of year. The children are much more mature and independent and have built a strong foundation of academic skills. They are ready to take the foundational skills they have learned and apply them to deeper learning. Additionally, the weather is getting nicer, and Mother Nature has a lot of natural learning happening right outside. In springtime in kindergarten, I like to give my students experiences for living things, offer them deeper level math and literacy opportunities, and reengage them in their play.
Observing and Growing Living Things
Springtime for kindergarten is when I do most of my science units because the children are just more ready for the independent investigations and the reading and writing about the science they are learning about. Spring is also when plants and many animals are growing/hatching naturally, so it’s a perfect connection to the natural world.
I start these units with a week on Living and Non-living things so that students can have a deeper understanding of the living things we will be studying. Then, we do a few weeks on planting. The children love watching their seeds grow. After planting, we get to hatch chicks from eggs in our incubator. The chick life cycle is always a unit that students remember for years to come. I also get tadpoles from a local pond and we watch them grow into frogs. Some teachers also love growing butterflies! These experiences can be done anytime of the year, but they are definitely best done in the spring when the living things are naturally hatching and growing. Plus, the children are in a much better place to appreciate these experiences.
Springtime for Kindergarten: Deeper Math
Once children have the foundational skills of counting, number relationships and have started to learn addition and subtraction, they are ready for some deeper math understandings. In May, I teach my students place value. You can read all about the different place value activities I do here. The other deeper math they are ready for is learning about 3D Shapes. Kindergarteners in the spring are ready for more independent and complex investigations and that is what the 3D shape unit is all about!
Don’t forget the spring dice games for March, April, and May! They are perfect for a math center or to leave for a substitute! They also are perfect for the spring themes of butterflies, flowers, trees, ducks, rainbows, clovers, and books!
Springtime for Kindergarten: Deeper Literacy
Once students have the foundational skills of reading and writing, they are ready to start learning more about different genres. I love teaching non-fiction reading and writing in the spring. We also do a few weeks on reading and writing poetry. Additionally, some of my students are ready for more challenging reading groups and can be more independent with them. I love to do book clubs with these students and eventually all the students in the class. The end of the year is also a fun time to do Reader’s Theatre where students can act out a story or poem. They love the acting out the story (and coming up with the costumes and props) and I love how it helps students practice fluency.
Reengaging Student Play
By the time springtime for kindergarten rolls around, the children might be getting bored with the same play materials and set ups. I love to change up my dramatic play center to match more of the deeper learning they are doing at other parts of the day. My favorite springtime dramatic play centers are Explore Your World, a Movie Theater, and an Ice Cream shop. The children are also ready to help you set up your dramatic play centers and decide on which play spaces they want to use. They are ready to engage in cooperative play with their peers and so lessons and activities that promote cooperation are helpful at this time of year.
Springtime for kindergarten is a truly magical time of year when students are able to be independent and engage more deeply in their learning. Once students have the more foundational skills of learning in place, they are ready to start applying what they’ve learned to more complex learning. It’s also a nice time of year when the children can be observing and exploring with the natural world outside them and all the wonderful changes that spring brings.
What is your favorite time of year to teach? Let me know in the comments!