1.Take some masking tape with you and a stack of half-sheets of 8-1/2 x 11" paper. Have each student print his/her own name LARGE on bottom half of paper and attach it to front of desk with masking tape, or you can write the names yourself with Magic Marker. Make sure that you can see every child's name from the front of the classroom.
2. I suggest that you be quite demanding as to neatness when you dictate the paragraph - slapdash work should be done over again.
Students should draw a margin down both sides of paper with a ruler. Student's name should be written in a specific place that you specify plus date.
Whole-class lesson in following your directions is a good idea - have students rule margins and write name and date and then tell them, for example, to measure 3" (or three finger widths) down from top edge of paper and 2" across from left edge and make a small circle. 2" up from bottom edge and 3" across from right edge and make an "X," etc. Tell them it's a lesson in following directions. Students get the idea that they need to follow your directions and that you are particular.
3. When a student pesters you with questions, tell him/her to ask a pupil that you've identified as capable from the dictated paragraph. Student helpers/teachers can be very useful.
Any student who is misbehaving or wasting time should be asked a history/geography/... question he/she doesn't know the answer to and then be reminded that he/she has a lot to learn.
4. Children in kindergarten can profitably spend a lot of time playing with blocks, sand, etc., pretty much on their own.
5.You can give lessons in making pictures with crayons. Students can be taught to make dense colors, large figures, place figures behind one another, don't have figures stand on bottom edge of paper, etc. You and class can discuss a theme for the pictures - I and my pet, my back yard, my friends and I playing our favorite game, etc. When art work begins, confused pupils can be directed to student helper/teacher for assistance.
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