Best Practices for Using Classworks in a Kindergarten Classroom

August 14, 2020

Classworks is a valuable tool for kindergarteners as they develop a relationship with technology that will be foundational for the rest of their lives. Using Classworks in the kindergarten classroom enhances students’ comfort level with computers and tablets. Where most grade levels focus Classworks use on individualized lessons for each student and have a required usage time, kindergarten classrooms should look a little different. 


Introduce Technology

If your students are not familiar with technology, introduce Classworks as you would everything else in the classroom!  Start small. Make sure students have the technical skill-set to log in, use a mouse or touchpad and navigate activities. Keep in mind, all content should be introduced, modeled, then experienced. Model basic exercises for students on your interactive white board using the “I do, we do, you do” pedagogy. You might spend a week working with students on how to log into their device. That’s ok! Focus on what your particular students need! 


Model

Select specific instructional activities to practice; clicking, typing and drag and drop. Mini lesson screens have multiple clickable elements. Plus, your students will be receiving relevant instruction as they practice this technical skill. 

For more practice with drag and drop, pull up a game on your interactive smart board and show students how to drag and drop images. After you model with students, allow students time to practice with the whole group and then with partners so every child gets more comfortable with the process.  

Having students all working on the same activities works well in a Kindergarten classroom. Select activities that match teaching objectives. Model the activity with the group and then assign it to students to work on in a center. This  builds student independence and confidence.


Use Classworks with your high-flyers! 

Students who are performing above grade level work especially well with Classworks Individualized Learning. Assessment data will inform a student’s learning path and make sure they are working on the skills they are ready to learn and apply on their own. Kindergarten teachers know that their high-flyers can be particularly tricky to keep engaged. Classworks units provide a mix of all types of games and activities that allow the students to apply the skill in creative new ways.


Target Students

Many Kindergarten, and even First Grade classrooms, juggle different required technology programs. Computer time may include time in a basal reading program or even administering testing. If you feel you are having trouble making time to use Classworks with all students, target students who might most benefit from extra skill practice. Classworks activities are the perfect reinforcement of skills taught in class. Pick a group of students who need reteaching or review of skills to make sure students are meeting classroom objectives. This is a great way to use Classworks! 


Independence

We know that as the year goes on, kindergarten students become more independent! Make sure to add more independent time on the computer as well! If students are ready for individualized assignments, have them take a Classworks assessment to assign skills each student needs. Then designate a time for students to use Classworks in a small group setting or as a class. Build in conference time for students to discuss their scores with you and ask questions. 


For Administration

Working with younger students brings a variety of classroom challenges that can often be overwhelming for teachers. When teachers have the autonomy to use tools in a variety of ways, they are empowered to meet the needs of students creatively. Planning, monitoring and reflecting on data plays a major role in instructional decision-making. When organizing teacher professional learning consider grouping sessions by grade level; the unique learning environment early childhood educators create demands specific discussion. Classworks training, specific to kindergarten teachers, allows them to understand how best to use Classworks, share ideas and plan for classroom implementation.


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