Kinders...the new FIRST grade

Discussion in 'Kindergarten' started by brejohnson88, Sep 5, 2010.

  1. brejohnson88

    brejohnson88 Comrade

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    Sep 5, 2010

    I live in Central IL and I am up north visiting my family who gets the chicago tribune. This was an interesting article in todays paper about how kindergarten is the new first grade with educators, parents, and admins, along with our nation pushing kids even harder in kindergarten to learn how to read and write.

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/features/family/sc-fam-0905-kindergarten-20100904,0,5315308.story

    If kindergarten is being done like this now, how can us pre-k teachers help prepare our students? I posted a few days ago about teaching kids to write their names. I also was told by another teacher that circle time is "not age appropriate" since 3-5 years old dont understand. What do you all think?
     
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  3. Miss84

    Miss84 Comrade

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    Sep 5, 2010

    I agree Kindergarten has turned into first grade in most places.
    My case for example, my K students are to write/recognize letters in CURSIVE!
     
  4. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    I think I totally feel your pain. Yes, the kinder is the new first grade, yes the teachers and admin think the children need to be doing x, y, and z by the end of the year. No x, y, and z were not what we were doing in Kinder. There is a great national movement on this topic. Yes, there are teachers that say that these things are not age appropriate for us (or for kinder by the way) but the tests that the teachers and admin need to pass do not take this into account.

    Other than validating your worries, I have no tips. I will admit I rob from DAP to pacify the testing.....but not for long. I also extended my day so that we could have long periods of age appropriate time and short periods of prep time....and no hurry.
     
  5. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    Wow cursive! I knew that more was expected of K nationally. I knew that pre K was to be working in a more aligned manner, and that both parties were hoping to improve communication Nationally. I didn't know that K was to recognize cursive.......I am glad that isn't in my states plan! Wow!
     
  6. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Sep 5, 2010

    I like how this article discusses the fact that many children are capable of doing more in kindergarten. I think some schools push kids too much, but most children are ready to read and write at this age. The problem is, of course, what do we do with those children who just aren't ready when many of their peers are?

    I think a balance should be found between academics and play, and the academic activities should be developmentally appropriate for each individual child.
     
  7. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Absolutely, some are ready-but it shouldn't be the standard. Kids shouldn't be worried about "failing" a test in Kinder (in my humble opinion). I remember reading an article that said 20 years ago 20% of beginning of the year 1st Graders could read. Now the standard for us is ALL Kinders must be reading and reading fluently by the end of the year. It's a tall order when they start with no skills. And have the kids really changed that much in 20 years?

    I feel like we are pushing too much into those 9 months. They should be given more time with the basic skills-I see it particularly in math. They want them adding and subtracting when the kids don't really have a basis in number sense. I sneak the play in during workstations, or having them write about the tower they built with blocks.
     
  8. treysmom

    treysmom Comrade

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    I agree and mourn the demise of kindergarten. It no longer exists. Our problem here is that we do not have public preschool so many of our students literally are attending school for the first time when they walk through our doors. Couple that with those who come in reading and already adding and subtracting...
     
  9. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    My district must be very different from some...We don't have testing in kindergarten. We assess the kids, of course, but the assessments are one-on-one and appropriate for kindergarten. I don't feel like we "push" kids, other than the few who aren't ready to read...If they aren't quite ready I just do small-group phonics activities with them instead of guided reading, so it's not like I'm putting books in their hands and yelling, "READ!"

    I guess I don't really see the "push" where I am. The kids love school!
     
  10. Miss84

    Miss84 Comrade

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    The curriculum we use calls for K students to begin the year writing/recognizing cursive letters....:|. I will not introduce cursive until the second semester because some kids don't even recognize all of the alphabet in print! My students have about 8 textbooks each; I was just shocked to see all this work for these little people. I definitely don't remember Kindergarten being so much work! Of course I am going to integrate some hands on/centers, because I simply don't agree with 4/5 year olds doing worksheets ALL day.
    Oh and our K students are tested as well in the spring.
     
  11. MzMooreTeaches

    MzMooreTeaches Cohort

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    Yes Kinder is not what I remember it being. And to think I turned out all right from play centers. I certainly feel that we have to push them past what is developmentally appropriate. I'm off today and workshop tomorrow so I'm spending my time brainstorming ways to integrate more fun/engaging activities into the classroom. This is my 1st year and 1 parent told me that her son said school was boring.

    So I'm working on the idea that if we have a successful week of hard work then on Friday we can pull out some fun learning games. I have color and shape bingo for my prek's and site work bingo for my kinders...
     
  12. halpey1

    halpey1 Groupie

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    I feel lucky my school has a full day program and I'm able to strike a balance. Lots of academics, but also plenty of time for play and discovery. :)
     
  13. ecsmom

    ecsmom Habitué

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    Thankfully, we do not test in K-2. We are full day and try to strike a balance between age appropriate academics and developmental play. There were no Kindergartens here when I started school. It didn't become mandatory until 1984. I think my first year, 1st grade teacher must have been a miracle worker to take 32 6 yr olds and teach them to read and do math with no aid, no planning time not even duty free lunch. She went on to teach for over 30 yrs. Times have certainly changed.
     
  14. MorahMe

    MorahMe Habitué

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    Ugh. I can't imagine teaching so much! I do have to use the program described in the article, but it's actually much more appropriate than the way it's described. It's multi-sensory, and a smart teacher will use more than just the workbook part, instead using the ENTIRE curriculum, which includes games, songs, stories, and movement activities.
     
  15. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    Sep 7, 2010

    We are a full day full year program, and I love the amount of time that gives us to revel in what we learn. I am all for challenging them, I just worry when I read articles like the one mentioned. I am so pleased nmk that you are making your program so wonderful! Really........that is the difference between crazy expectations and achievable results.
     
  16. MorahMe

    MorahMe Habitué

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    I certainly hope so! I'm only one day in, so we'll have to see how well it works out...
     

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