Is it ok to allow kids a free day

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by TeacherCuriousExplore, Dec 7, 2016.

  1. GemStone

    GemStone Habitué

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    Dec 8, 2016

    Still, 12:30-3 is non productive things they could do at home.
     
  2. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    I wouldn't assume the time is nonproductive! They are learning to follow directions, rest quietly, use self-control, etc. Also, I know when I taught pre-K we played soothing, but educational music during rest time. Also, many students chose to sit on their cots and quietly read books instead. Then, when they woke up, they played with table toys or read until time for snack.

    Most of our pre-K students were at school because their parents worked. I've always wondered where students in half-day programs go if they have parents who work? To a daycare? To nap and eat snack? Why not just have the consistency of having the same teachers all day? It seems like it would also be less expensive.

    We had half-day students, or those who only came MWF or TR. They had parents who stayed at home and used the time to run errands, play tennis, etc. But that is not the reality for most parents.

    Why must every moment at school be productive? Why not let students have a break? Even my high school students need a break! Certainly a small child would!
     
  3. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

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    I have a wishy-washy comment on this. Pre-K (and really all kids and even adults) but especially Pre-K kids thrive on and even learn from consistency. That's why Mr. Rogers entered his studio house the same way everyday, walking by the window, always wearing a business suit, hanging his sport coat up, putting on his sweater and sneakers. But then again, he also would add a few pleasant surprises, perhaps waving through the window before entering or visiting a special guest. A lot of it depends on the students, what kind of schedule interruptions they might appreciate.

    I have a concern, brought out in several of the posts. I'm not saying this is occurring in your situation nor in the above mentioned schools, but I fear it is in some Pre-K, Kindergarten, first and second grade classrooms. I'm writing this from a 3rd grade teacher's perspective. 3rd grade (somehow) has become the major benchmark in U.S. education. The differences I see in 3rd grade do not seem to stem from a lack of knowledge at the lower end of a taxonomy but a lack of fundamental concept development. These concepts can only be developed through activities and exploration in the earlier years, not through specific teach and test lessons--not that those should be shunned, either; they are also important, but I do believe that the proper emphasis should be on normal, natural developmental acquisition of concepts and skills. It seems we're pushing kids to do more but with the same or less accomplishment. (My third grade standards even include stuff I didn't learn until high school). I'm not in favor of holding back student progress, either, but at an early childhood level, I fear legislated standards and testing are stressing some learning and inhibiting other learning, and I question if they are indeed increasing development. With respect to differing viewpoints which are also based on validated research, in my opinion, a holistic learning environment produces not only a balanced educational experience but an enriched experience.
     
  4. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    I didn't find this wishy-washy as well. With no disrespect to the prek-through-1st teachers beneath me, I've noticed that the focus on pushing stuff earlier and earlier has actually lowered the skills my 2nd graders can perform. I've noticed this for a few years. PreK and Kindergarten are taking these standards to teach... and yet kids never really master them. I've spent the last couple of years teaching concepts that six years ago were generally mastered by the middle of first grade.

    Again, don't want to blame anyone, just pointing out my experience that pushing academics earlier and earlier isn't working as I see it.
     
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  5. TeacherCuriousExplore

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    I love your comment and whole heartily agree!

    I believe in structure and routine. Those skills are very imperative at the Prek age. I do not implement free play often and as of January I am going to a structured schedule that will only require free play an hour everyday while doing teaching practices in blocks. Many people (Mostly Parents of 4 and 5 year olds) are taken aback by the amout of learning that are requried to take place in PreK classrooms. Being teachers, we are always kept up to date on the ever changing practices of education.The material that the state requries for PreK age children is kindergarten material that I learned almost 20 years ago. I believe this is because Early Childhood will become mandatory in the future. People still do not believe that PreK builds structure and routine. Children that attended Prek will often perform ahead than most students. Many argue that by the time they reach third grade level they begin to show a downward progression in learning. In my opinon this is not because if teachers in lower grades, but home ennvironment as well. For instance, a young boy I taught a few years ago left my PreK classroom reading, but due to his behavior and his mom's poor discipline he is in the third grade and struggles with reading
     
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  6. TeacherCuriousExplore

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    I do not think this comes from pushing academics early. This comes from children that does not get any learning at home. In PreK, we are taught to teach through play. Small groups usually do activities that are hands on as well as activities that practice social and emotional growth. I can recall one year that I had a Prek group that could not hold a crayon. Some could write their names but could not identify the letters in their names.
     
  7. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I'm still not understanding your rationale for a full length movie.
     
  8. TeacherCuriousExplore

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    That's just every once and awhile. we do not watch movies all the time. in fact, the only television we are allowed to show is Barney of Seaseme street.
     
  9. ChildWhisperer

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    We used to be half day with 17 in AM and 17 in PM, but we got the grant to go full-day this year. The kids learn so much more even with "the entire afternoon dedicated to bathroom, nap, snack, & dismissal". We only have one bathroom for 20 children. By the time the last child is going to the bathroom, the first child is done with snack and is already on the rug reading a book or "conversing nicely" with friends (Some days I have them read a book to themselves, other days I tell them to practice talking nicely & quietly to their friends, whatever I feel like that day! :D :D ) When we were half day, they kids only had 3 hours of school, which included Breakfast OR Lunch, Circle Time, Center Time, Toothbrushing, Story Time, Snack, Gross Motor Time, Dismissal. There was no time to get anything done. Field trips were non-existent, "fun"/extra activities were rushed, Center Time got cut out a lot of time because other things had to get done as well, so they missed out on play time that day.
    With full-day, the kids are there for 6 hours. If we have any fun/extra/off-schedule stuff, it gets cut into naptime. If something doesn't get done in the morning, I can do it with them in the afternoon.
    ALSOOO, to qualify for full-day (we still do have half-day programs at another school), the parent(s) must be working 30+ hours a week or in school full-time. The population we work with can not afford daycare.
    I already see a huge difference between my full-day class this year compared to my 2 half-day classes last year.
     
  10. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    And I question why you are watching Barney...sounds like baby sitting, not quality early childhood education.
     
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  11. TeacherCuriousExplore

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    We don't watch t.v. in my class just on free days. free days only on the last day and during holidays. I was just stating that seaseme street and Barney are the only television programs allowed.
    Do not think too much into it
     
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  12. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    You've mentioned movies several times. There are better ways to plan for meaningful engagement with your young learners.
     
  13. ChildWhisperer

    ChildWhisperer Devotee

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    This school year, we've only watched one movie. How many have you watched?
    Also, why do they let you watch TV shows? Even daycares don't watch TV.
     
  14. Obadiah

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    Concerning what happens at home, I agree! It is important for parents to read to their children, expose them to books (even if they can't afford them, they could possibly use a library), limit TV and especially video games, allow their children plenty of play time outside and with indoor games, and most importantly, communicate, communicate, communicate with their children.
     
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  15. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    And because we have no control over home environments, early childhood educators especially need to provide enriching language and literacy environments in school.
     
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  16. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    I hadn't heard of a downward spiral. I had heard learning advances above other students faded out by third grade, which is different. But I also saw a study refuting that...
     
  17. readingrules12

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    If you sense more time needed for play--then I'd give them a little more time. Going to the extreme and giving them an entire day or 1/2 day for play won't work well. After so long, there will be a few students who will get bored and the play won't be so positive. Mix up play with fun (and somewhat educational) activities that you create that might be focused on the time of the year. Giving pre-K over an hour for free time is going to lead to trouble. Most likely an hour is far too long.
     
  18. ChildWhisperer

    ChildWhisperer Devotee

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    So true. When things need to get done, I always cut into center time or outside time first, and then a little into naptime, but I never cut into circle time or story time!
     
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  19. TeacherCuriousExplore

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    How can someone not have control over home environment?
     
  20. TeacherCuriousExplore

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    Actually this is the first time
     

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