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Naptime in Kindergarten

When I first started kindergarten, I attended a Catholic school in Long Island, New York. There were eight students in my class and we all wore uniforms. Half way through kindergarten, my family moved to Florida where I attended a public school. There was close to 30 students in my class and there were no uniforms. I had two completely different kindergarten experiences. One of the similarities was each school did have naptime.

This is my third year teaching kindergarten, but when I started my internships four years ago, one of my questions was about naptime. I was quickly told that naptime does not exist anymore because it cuts into the academic day. Thinking back to when I was in kindergarten, I dreaded naptime. I never slept, but I do remember my classmates needing that time to sleep.

The first few weeks of school, I have had parents tell me that their child can barely stay awake through dinner. I started thinking this year whether or not any schools still allow naptime. I thought this could be a great discussion. Below, please post a comment regarding the status of naptime in your school. Please included where you teach as well. I am very interested to see the results. 

Physical Education

Last year a law was passed in Florida that mandated students to have 150 minutes of physical education per week. Changes were made at my elementary school to meet this requirement. Physical Education (P.E.) classes have become larger. Our P.E. coaches teach three kindergarten classes at one time. We have two full time P.E. coaches and one P.E. assistant.

My students attend P.E. three times a week totaling the minutes to 120. That leaves 30 minutes for me to fill in. At this time, I am required to bring my students outside. My school has given us options like running our track or doing different exercises with our students.

My students like to do the "countdown" run. I line my students up and have them count down from ten. Once they count down to zero, they sprint out to the playground. We don't always count down from ten. Sometimes we count by tens or fives to one hundred. We also count by ones to ten or twenty. Sometimes I have the students race or do relay races.

I think this is a great time for the students to get exercise expecially on days when the students are hyper. It does get hard for teachers though. We have to record our minutes in our lesson plans and come up with activities for our students. For the most part I don't mind it. It's nice to get out of the classroom and be outside for 30 minutes.   

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in Early Childhood Teacher are strictly those of the author and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Scholastic, Inc.