Background of the Study
These modern times have undeniably posed some dramatic changes in our educational system. Because of this paradigm shift, teachers across the country are working hard to equip children with the skills needed for their success in the 21st century. In addition to teaching the students to be able to readily adapt to evolving technologies, teachers must create learning environments that cultivate the children’s critical thinking, creativity, problem-solving, communication and collaboration skills, global awareness and social responsibility.
As early as five-years-old, children should be provided with positive experiences that nurture them to ascertain school preparedness. So the Department of Education believes that Kindergarten is a critical transition period from informal to formal literacy. Teachers, parents, caregivers and adults should be guided to facilitate explorations for our young learners in an engaging, creative and child-centered curriculum that is developmentally appropriate and which immerses them to meaningful experiences (K to 12 Kindergarten Teacher’s Guide Framework 2017) and make them adapt to the challenges of the 21st century.
There are varied activities given to the Kindergarten learners throughout the day. As part of the routine, learners are made to work from one task to another, hence the need for transition. Transition is a short period of time that occurs when moving from one activity to another. Transitions can take a great deal of time, and often learners spend much time waiting until everyone is ready for the next activity. Some learners find transitions stressful and frustrating as they do not want to stop what they are doing, they do not like the next activity, and they do not know how to clean up and may exhibit behavioral problems as a result (Dulay, 2016).
Teaching kindergarten is challenging yet inspiring when the teacher knows how to manage the class. Classroom management is an important skill in teaching. It includes the operation and control of activities. Normally, the failure of the teaching-learning process is traced to the inability of the teacher to impose discipline when needed. In addition to classroom discipline, the teacher should also concern himself with a structural routine to facilitate learning. A good classroom atmosphere that accrues from effective classroom management almost makes learning an enjoyable and productive experience. There is no waste of time and energy for both teacher and pupils because of careful planning (Aceroet al., 2007).
Creating an atmosphere in which pupils know and follow the rules is part of classroom management. The objective is to manage and control class through routinizing class activities and using the teacher’s and the pupils’ time effectively (Leviste,2010).
Routines and procedures structure a well-managed classroom. The procedures and routines organize the classroom so that the myriad of activities that take place there, function smoothly and stress-free. Procedures are simply methods or processes for getting things done in the classroom. A procedure becomes routine when it is done automatically, without prompting or supervision. Thus, a routine becomes a habit, practice, or custom for the student (Wong et al., 2001).
Routines are the day-to-day activities engaged in by the teachers and students. They include how processes evolve and how people interact. This is done to minimize pressure on classroom life to prevent disorder and enhance classroom order (Aceroet al., 2007).
According to the study of Apnoyan(2017), daily planning of activities and class routines permits a sense of confidence tothe 21st-century teachers. If the teachers are very skillful and effective in planning variety of activities then quality education is given to the pupils.
Based on one of the researches on the implementation of the kindergarten programs, the administrators and kindergarten teachers should master the theories of learning applied in the Kindergarten program towards fully implementing the Kindergarten program. It highly recommends the teachers to continue to implement the blocks of time otherwise known as classroom programs (Gomuad, 2013).
Successful instructions depend on the effective ordering of a series of learning tasks. One is sequence through a logical succession of blocks of content (Acero et al., 2007). Learning activities should be organized into thematic units or teaching themes. These themes are followed in the class program. Thus, the sequence of activities flows smoothly.
In a kindergarten class, they follow a class program known as the Blocks of Time therefore kindergarten learners go through several blocks of time throughout their school day. It is important then that their teachers are able to help them in the transition or manage the change, from one activity to the next.
Though kindergarten learners undergo different learning tasks, they learn to take risks and work cooperatively with others when they are used to the daily routine and transitions.
During one of the District Learning Action Cell (LAC) sessions of Besao Kindergarten Teachers last year, they pointed out that transition activities should not be taken for granted. They should be managed carefully because as stated in the Kindergarten Teachers Guide 2017, making transitions is an essential skill that learners should acquire, as it has strong implications on their socio-economic development. As kindergarten learners master the classroom routine and are taught what they should be doing during transition times, they would be developing an increased sense of competence and self-confidence which enables them to be independent in doing tasks, display appropriate behavior, practice self-discipline, value a sense of order, and have a positive self-concept. Some of the teachers then inquired about the strategies that their co-teachers are using to help make successful transitions between activities.
It is then a challenge to a Kindergarten teacher how to impose transition activities through the blocks of time. The teacher finds ways on making a shift of activities meaningful and enjoyable so that the interests of the Kindergarten learners are maintained throughout the learning time.
Transitions can motivate the learners at the beginning of the new task if administered properly. It guides the students’ actions and participation in class activities. The use of transition as motivation can promote a more active interaction involving both personal and social dimensions of classroom life. This may encourage learners to listen attentively and attend to the lesson (Acero et al.,2007).
The objective of this study was to look into the effective transition activities that promote smooth continuity of teaching and learning in the kindergarten class.
The result then can be utilized by teachers to create a smooth and effective flow of the teaching-learning process in their own classrooms. This is to maximize the time allotted for each block of time without spending so much time waiting for the tasks to be done, passing of papers, cleaning the mess, and preparing for the next activity. Moreover, it can help the school heads to easily monitor the activities of the learners in class. It aids them in supervising the teachers during their classroom observations. Finally, the result of the research can be of help in implementing the goal of the K to 12 Kindergarten Curriculum towards holistically developed learners (Gomuad, 2013).
Theoretical and Conceptual Framework of the Study
Understanding child development is very critical to the conceptualization of transitional activities to young children. Ifteacherswanttoprovidea a learning environment to children that allows a maximized wholesome development, then teachers need to study and understand how children grow, learn and change. By then we can learn to fully appreciate the cognitive, emotional, physical, social, and educational growth that children go through from the day they were born into early childhood. Developmental stage theories for many decades had been the dominant framework for understanding children’s transitions, especially among progressive child-centered educationists. But, Jean Piaget’s theory has gotten the greatest attention as it proves to be the most comprehensive theory on child development. A pioneer in studying child development, Piaget developed the Theory of Cognitive Development which created the base for curriculum planners.
In his theory, he proposed that there are 4 developmental stages for all children. (as cited by Woolfolk, 2010)
First istheSensorimotor Stage. This is the period from the child’s birth until age 2. He says that during this time, the infant’s knowledge of the world is limited to his sensory perceptions and motor activities.The Preoperational Stage comes next.Aperiodbetweenages2to6, children begin to think symbolically and learn to use words and pictures to represent objects while also getting better with language and thinking. However, children at this stage tend to be egocentric and struggle to see things from the perspective of others. They still tend to think about things in very concrete terms. Next is the Concrete Operational Stage. This is the period between ages 7 to 11. This is where children begin to think logically about concrete events but have difficulty understanding abstract or hypothetical concepts. Last, is the Formal Operational Stage. This is the period between age 12 to adulthood when people develop their ability to think about abstract concepts. Skills such as logical thought, deductive reasoning and systematic planning also emerge during this stage.
Kindergarten learners fall into the preoperational stage in which young children can think about things symbolically. This is the ability to make one thing - a word or an object - stand for something other than itself. In connection to the study, transitional activities are used as symbols or signals for the start or execution of class activities. They know when and where to do tasks when the symbol, signs or activities are imposed to them. They can easily manifest the instructions and implementations of lessons when the transitional activities are done repeatedly.
With this, educators can only agree with Piaget that one’s childhood plays a vital role in a person’s development. He believed that children construct an understanding of the world around them (schemata), experience discrepancies between what they already know and what they discover, and then adjust their ideas accordingly in a process of assimilation. The implication of seeing child development as a series of progressive psychological transformations, from one stage to the next, from infancy to maturity, is that these stages become crucial reference points for discussing optimal timing for transitions, e.g., from home to preschool or from more informal to more formal curriculum.
During the 20th century, Piaget’s early writing, as well as partial readings of his work, were popularized and globalized. This diffused version of Piagetian theory was often stripped of the subtleties and complexities of his original work. Yet, it is the simplifications of the theory that have fed into the predominant framework for welfare and education programs, as well as child legislation (Woolfolk, 2010).
Moreover, many parents and educators have been encouraged to provide a rich, supportive environment for children to grow and learn. Child-centered classrooms and “open education’ are direct applications of Piaget’s views.
The concept of the study was strengthened by the schematic relationships of the input, process, and output as reflected in the operational paradigm of the study. The variables are interconnected by each other by an arrowhead. The first box consists of the input which consists of transition activities for kindergarten learners in Besao District. The second box contains the process: descriptive design, descriptive survey method, administration of the ECC Development, the conduct of the transition activities, teacher’s observations, statistical treatment of data and
Input Process Output
Figure 1. The paradigm of the Study analysis and interpretation. The third box contains effective transition activities for kindergarten learners.
Statement of the Problem
The study aimed to find out the level of development of the learning competencies of kindergarten learners using transition activities in Besao, Mountain Province.
Specifically, the study sought to answer the following questions:
- 1. What is the level of development of the learning competencies of kindergarten learners using transition activities along the following domains?
- 1.1. Literacy, Language, and Communication;
- 1.2. Mathematics;
- 1.3 Physical and Natural Environment
- 1.4 Values Development; and,
- 1.5 Physical Education and Motor Development
The following are the assumptions:
The learning competencies of kindergarten learners are moderately developed using transition activities along the following domains:
- Literacy, Language, and Communication;
- Physical and Natural Environment
- Values Development; and,
- Physical Education and Motor Development