Struggling Kindergartners.......where

Discussion in 'Kindergarten' started by Ashtrey, Sep 25, 2008.

  1. Ashtrey

    Ashtrey Companion

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    Sep 25, 2008

    Hello all,

    I have a new job as a children's librarian....and part of my job is a Ready to Ready program. Apparently 1/3 of Ohio's kindergartners enter school behind. I was wondering, where and what specifically you notice these children are lacking.....esp in the area of literacy.

    Thanks so much!!
     
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  3. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    Rhyming, phonemic awareness........
     
  4. AMK

    AMK Aficionado

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    My students lack prior knowledge and vocab.
     
  5. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    Rhyming is a big focus all through the year. Some can already do it, some will pick it up as we make lists when we make words and a few finally get it when we focus on word families in the second semester. A few don't get it at all, and it makes life much more difficult all around. I also would find out if they recognize and write their own name. It would be great to start with that if they can't read/write their own name.
     
  6. tracykaliski

    tracykaliski Connoisseur

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    I would say vocabulary and just plain old access to books and prior knowledge.
     
  7. AMK

    AMK Aficionado

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    My kids can't rhyme b.c the dont have any vocabulary.
     
  8. ecsmom

    ecsmom Habitué

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    I treat them all like blank slates until they prove otherwise.

    What are the 1/3 in Ohio behind in?
     
  9. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Out of idle curiosity...how can a child enter school behind?
     
  10. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    No early intervention maybe mm?
     
  11. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    It just seems that the presumption upon entering school would be, well, not much of anything. This idea that kids should have all these skills before they even get to their formal education seem ludicrous to me.
     
  12. Ashtrey

    Ashtrey Companion

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    Sep 26, 2008

    Thanks so much for all the great input. Here is a link to the website I was talking about.

    http://www.ohreadytoread.org/aboutreadytoread.htm

    From what I gathered from the area teachers, rhyming and lack of nursery rhymes....along with just lack of imagination
     
  13. Ashtrey

    Ashtrey Companion

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    and I guess, I should have said unprepared rather than behind...
     
  14. WannaTeach

    WannaTeach Companion

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    You know, this makes me wonder as I have taught kindergarten. Are the children really "behind" or is it that they are expected to know so much more today than in previous years...five year olds are still five year olds. I think the expectations are too high in some areas for kindergartners...JIMO. Some of the kiddos can rise to those higher expectations and others are where they would be normally...academically, socially, emotionally...It bothers me at times...
     
  15. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    :2up::2up::2up::2up::thumb::thumb::thumb::2up::2up::2up::2up:
    :yeahthat::agreed:
     
  16. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    In my area there aren't toys or centers that involve more than moving laminated cards type games. It is all seat work and 10min specials. What can you do in a 10 min special anyway? The assesments to constantly determine who is "behind" so you can "intervine" is hard on the children too. Desks, paper, tests ---at five?

    This is when I am glad I am a private school. As long as I can pass that entrance assesment no one really bothers me about how I got there. We still have toys, centers and free time. I hope never to have to give it up-but the pressure is rolling down hill and soon it will be in my early childhood program I fear.:dizzy::dizzy:
     
  17. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    What happened to developmentally appropriate activites? The more we push them and don't allow them to be kids, the farther behind they will fall and the worse the attitudes will become. I'm praying desperately for the pendulum to swing in the other direction and we can finally allow kids to be kids again.
     
  18. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    In my classroom we have between 45 min to an hour a day of free play (blocks, dramtic play, painting, art center, marbles, gears, trains, trucks). Our principal wants us to have this free play time with the children. Of course by the end of K I have cut it down to a half hour or so a day. And some days we don't get to it at all.

    MM when I said early intervention I was talking about OT, PT and speech issues.
     
  19. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Jaime...that sort of thing I can understand, but this idea that kindergarten is the new first grade really bothers me. In my opinion, this trend is actually hurting the kids in the long run by not allowing them to develop in an age appropriate setting.
     
  20. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Oh, and your P is in slowly shrinking group of administrators who still encourage learning through play.
     
  21. jeweledpoet

    jeweledpoet Rookie

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    I disagree.
    kids do come into kindergarten "behind." They are the students who have irresponsible parents. Most parents teach their children the abc's and how to identify their name before they enter formal education. We must remember that the parents should always be their child's #1 teacher. Unfortunately, I see too many children enter kindergarten who do not know colors, how to count, or their abc's. I find it sad that some parents do not have any pride in educating their own child. Because these students lack so much prior knowledge, they require severe intervention when they enter school and run the risk of always being behind.
     
  22. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    From infancy to school age, young children are 'pre-wired' to learn language. If talked to, read to, interacted with on a regular and loving basis children should meet the following milestones by kindergarten:


    Early childhood language development:
    6 Months
    Vocalization with intonation
    Responds to his name
    Responds to human voices without visual cues by turning his head and eyes
    Responds appropriately to friendly and angry tones
    12 Months
    Uses one or more words with meaning (this may be a fragment of a word)
    Understands simple instructions, especially if vocal or physical cues are given
    Practices inflection
    Is aware of the social value of speech
    18 Months
    Has vocabulary of approximately 5-20 words
    Vocabulary made up chiefly of nouns
    Some echolalia (repeating a word or phrase over and over)
    Much jargon with emotional content
    Is able to follow simple commands
    24 months
    Can name a number of objects common to his surroundings
    Is able to use at least two prepositions, usually chosen from the following: in, on, under
    Combines words into a short sentence-largely noun-verb combinations (mean) length of sentences is given as 1.2 words
    Approximately 2/3 of what child says should be intelligible
    Vocabulary of approximately 150-300 words
    Rhythm and fluency often poor
    Volume and pitch of voice not yet well-controlled
    Can use two pronouns correctly: I, me, you, although me and I are often confused
    My and mine are beginning to emerge
    Responds to such commands as "show me your eyes (nose, mouth, hair)"
    36 Months
    Use pronouns I, you, me correctly
    Is using some plurals and past tenses
    Knows at least three prepositions, usually in, on, under
    Knows chief parts of body and should be able to indicate these if not name
    Handles three word sentences easily
    Has in the neighborhood of 900-1000 words
    About 90% of what child says should be intelligible
    Verbs begin to predominate
    Understands most simple questions dealing with his environment and activities
    Relates his experiences so that they can be followed with reason
    Able to reason out such questions as "what must you do when you are sleepy, hungry, cool, or thirsty?"
    Should be able to give his sex, name, age
    Should not be expected to answer all questions even though he understands what is expected
    48 Months
    Knows names of familiar animals
    Can use at least four prepositions or can demonstrate his understanding of their meaning when given commands
    Names common objects in picture books or magazines
    Knows one or more colors
    Can repeat 4 digits when they are given slowly
    Can usually repeat words of four syllables
    Demonstrates understanding of over and under
    Has most vowels and diphthongs and the consonants p, b, m, w, n well established
    Often indulges in make-believe
    Extensive verbalization as he carries out activities
    Understands such concepts as longer, larger, when a contrast is presented
    Readily follows simple commands even thought the stimulus objects are not in sight
    Much repetition of words, phrases, syllables, and even sounds
    60 Months
    Can use many descriptive words spontaneously-both adjectives and adverbs
    Knows common opposites: big-little, hard-soft, heave-light, etc
    Has number concepts of 4 or more
    Can count to ten
    Speech should be completely intelligible, in spite of articulation problems
    Should have all vowels and the consonants, m,p,b,h,w,k,g,t,d,n,ng,y (yellow)
    Should be able to repeat sentences as long as nine words
    Should be able to define common objects in terms of use (hat, shoe, chair)
    Should be able to follow three commands given without interruptions
    Should know his age
    Should have simple time concepts: morning, afternoon, night, day, later, after, while
    Tomorrow, yesterday, today
    Should be using fairly long sentences and should use some compound and some complex sentences
    Speech on the whole should be grammatically correct

    So how do they ENTER school behind? Unstimulating early childhood environments, lack of interaction, lack of early language experiences...Sad, but it happens... and unfortunately by the time they start school, the 'language learning window of opportunity' is beginning to close a bit, making it harder (but not impossible) to meet the 'normal' benchmarks...
     
  23. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    I have a few kids each year that don't know a single nursery rhyme! There are one or two each year that can't answer when you ask them what their name is (or any other question). Kids that are 5 and don't know colors. That is what I call entering kindergarten behind. Also, they should be able to ask to use the restroom when they need to go instead of their parents telling me that they have to be reminded every hour or they have accidents.
     
  24. WannaTeach

    WannaTeach Companion

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    The new first grade?



    mmswm, I agree completely. In the school where I taught k, these children who some did not even know the alphabet, had to be writing a full page story by the end of the year. I did have 3-4 students who could, but......it really stretched me as teacher to pull in those interventions and differientiated stuff. What this meant though was the student was pulled out of my room to go with another teacher for a 30 minute lesson but actually only got about 10 minutes by the time she picked up all the kids she was to work with. Then, a literacy facilitator came in to work with them, only to one day look at me as she went out the door and said she wasn't doing this anymore, she was going to stick with the upper grades 3-5. The thing is she left the next year and so did I, she got the job I wanted at my favorite school for first grade. I was highly upset. Anyway...I dirgress. I agree with this nonsense of K being the new first grade. Developmental learning now seems to actually mean we have to push them to meet someone else's definition of developmentally appropriate. Drives me nuts. The students get upset and the parents too. :dizzy:
     
  25. tracykaliski

    tracykaliski Connoisseur

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    And the ones who are really missing out in all of this is the children, unfortunately. :(
     
  26. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    CzaCza...I think you missed my point. You posted a list of developmentally appropriate things, and the fact that some kids come without such basics is sad, but this is not the definition many schools are using. Schools are telling us entering kindergarteners are behind if they're not writing, cutting, unable to sit for long periods (what 5yo actually CAN do that), and in general, possess the skills we used to expect out of entering first graders.
     
  27. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    Not my school MM
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2008
  28. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Jaime, I know your school doesn't. I'm not saying anything against you or your school. The schools around here and some of the things I've seen posted make me want to jump up and down and scream.
     
  29. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    I know you weren't saying anything about it. And it's not the teachers but the admin that push things down the teachers throats to push down the children's throats. I believe our new curriculum director would be a pusher if our P let her.
     
  30. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Sometimes as an early childhood educator (I taught PreK and K before 2nd), I wonder just what kids had been doing for 5 years before coming to school...seriously. For the most part if kids have achieved the developmental language milestones that I posted they probably have spent some time sitting quietly listening to a book read aloud, played with others, shared...and yes, hopefully played around with some crayons, paint and pencils so at least if they are not writing they are approximating writing and have developed the fine motor skills they will need for writing (and cutting, etc)-
     
  31. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    Yes, and it is doubly concerning when I find out that they have been with a SAHM!
     
  32. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    I have that this year Tasha. They don't recognize their name, how to hold a pencil, cut at all. And lang is low.
     
  33. TeacherC

    TeacherC Connoisseur

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    I'm have a lot of trouble with my group this year...I wouldn't say they are "behind", but they are a much "lower" group than I had last year. More than half of them couldn't even recognize their name when they got to school...when we "pre-tested" them, I would show them a letter and ask, "do you know what letter this is?" and many of them would reply with a number...! I had a few that did this last year, but it was a minority- not anymore.
    I guess what frustrates me is when I pull my hair out doing activities and centers and anything I can think of to get all the children to recognize a letter and the sound it makes- then after 10 minutes, they act like they have never seen the letter before! I have been sending home additional material to parents to work with the kids at home...without their help, the kids will be "behind" by the end of the year!
     
  34. Mommateach

    Mommateach Rookie

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    Hi
    When I read this post I just had to reply. I am a parent who had a son go to kindergarten a few years ago. I admit that I was very naive as to what kids really needed to know these days. I really thought that kindergarten was still learning how to play with other children, learning the abc's, numbers, learning how to cut, paste and write in addition to working on large motor skills. I also admit that I did not do everything in my power to make sure my kid was ready. I should have contacted the school directly to find out exactly what my son needed to know before he entered the classroom. My husband and I couldn't afford private preschool, but there was not (and still isn't) public preschool available. We were also not poor enough to get Head Start.

    My hubby and I attended the kindergarten registration program put on by the school district 6 months before the start of kindergarten. All the parents at that meeting were told that children didn't really need to know anything before kindergarten because they start at the very beginning with the abc's. The school district did hand out a sheet saying that parents should work on rhyming with their children in addition to reading, reading and reading to their children. They also said label things in your house (such as wall, door, bed, table etc.) and have pencils, crayons, markers, paints, scissors, glue and paper available to your child to play with.

    Well, I figured my son would be just fine entering kindergarten since he knew his abc's, he could count over 100, had 18 words he knew by sight and knew his shapes and colors. I had read to him since he was born. He was surrounded by books and we took trips to the library almost every week. My son had a few play dates and played with neighbor children, so he could play with children. I was wrong! He was not ready for kindergarten according to his teacher. He was considered "behind" upon entering. The principal told my husband and I few months into our son's K year that "kindergarten is the new first grade.".

    This is what the teacher and school expected of the children upon entering.....

    The children were already expected to know how a classroom is run or had previous experience with some type of classroom environment. They wanted the kids to already know how to listen, line up, raise their hands, put their own items away, hang up their coats and backpacks, and be able to work independently and along with other children in a large group setting. The kindergartners were expected to be able follow 3 to 5 step oral directions. The teacher expected that children already knew how to cut with scissors, squeeze and paste with glue bottles, do craft projects, write and erase with a pencil, write their name, draw people and houses (scribbling and stick figure drawing are not allowed), do penmanship neatly and correctly, work independently on worksheets, color (with the "right" colors-people aren't allowed to be colored green and coloring within the lines is important), build a house of blocks (block on top of block), be able to go to bathroom, work their own clothing and wash their hands.

    The kindergarten teacher/school wanted the children to already know how to play board games, duck, duck goose and such games with their peers. Other skills such as being able to be away from parents without crying, turn taking, sharing, initiating conversations with same age peers and being able to communicate their own needs in spoken words were very important. The teacher expected that the children could solve their own problems in some instances. A couple examples of this is when there isn't a chair available at the table, the kid needs to know where to get the chair and get one for themselves or when someone is in their spot they need to tell the other child to move please. The teacher did not want the kid to sit and cry and not know what to do.

    The children had a full day of kindergarten (8:30-3:30) with two or three recesses, a 15-20 minute lunch and a 20 minute free play time at the end of the day.

    By the end of the kindergarten year the children are expected to be reading at least at a level 5 book (easy reader) and know their 24 sight words. I believe they retain kids if they are not at that level before the end of the year. The teachers/school would like the children to be able to write 2 or 3 related sentences with inventive spelling mixed in with sight words and start getting the idea of adding and subtracting before the end of the year also.

    Dalton (my son) was doing awesome by mid year. He had come a long way since the beginning of the year. The first part of the year was very rocky for him and he felt like a failure from the start. That was difficult for him to overcome, but he did.

    Now I know that the preschools around here teach the abcs, a phonics program, numbers, how to write those, how to follow directions, how to do craft projects, how to cut, glue, draw and color. The preschool kids are also taught carpet time and how to do calendar and weather. Basically, the first few weeks of the kindergarten year was suppose to be a quick recap of preschool and then on to more advanced things. I wish I would have known that a few years ago. For some reason I was under the delusion that preschool was for kids to get together and play with other kids, sing songs, listen to stories and do puzzles and such.
     

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