what is taught in prek4

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by lovemyson, May 4, 2008.

  1. lovemyson

    lovemyson Rookie

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    May 4, 2008

    what is taught in the prek4 level at your preschool? for example at my preschool, they learn to write their names, they learn most of the letters sound and how it looks, but not to trace, they learn to write the numbers 1-12, count quantities to 12 and recognize the numbers to 12. they learn to rote count to 20. etc. what about you? the list is long i know but i wanta get an idea, especially are they tracing the letters of the alphabet already? Also do they use workbooks, or are the activities more arts and crafts oriented?
    thanks.
     
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  3. leannwade

    leannwade Rookie

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    May 4, 2008

    -write first and last names using first letter uppercase and the rest lowercase
    -our students recognize and write 1-10 (advanced kids go to 12 usually)
    -we count to 20 every morning and 1-10 in spanish and japanese
    -my kids are writing the letters of the alphabet because they have been tracing since january
    -we sing the color songs each morning, and now they are all reading the color words
    -they are identifying some simple kindergarten sight words
    -i started number words late in the year, so we're still working on those
    -we are not allowed to use workbooks, dittos, etc. so yes, we do quite a lot of arts and crafts

    hope this helps! :)
     
  4. rosew

    rosew Companion

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    May 4, 2008

    how do you teach writing

    beside tracing worksheets(kids seem to dread this) what other methods do you use to teach them to write

    rose
     
  5. Ms Petunia

    Ms Petunia Rookie

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    tracing

    My 4 year olds love markers! I have my students names individually written with a dark marker on sentence strips, I laminate them and use it all year for centers etc. One activity is to have them lay a piece of white paper over their name & trace it with a high lighter marker. Another activity is to have them trace their name with a bingo marker. My students also enjoy practicing writing letters and their name on dry erase boards.
     
  6. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    I wish in preschool the teachers would focus less on academics and more on social skills. I'm not saying not to expose them to letters and numbers, or their names. But I am finding that a lot of kindergartners are going to school with very low social skills.
    :eek::2cents:
     
  7. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    My 3s and 4s love to practice writing with dry erase boards. :)
     
  8. prekteach10

    prekteach10 Rookie

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    Our prek students learn to write their letters, and the numbers 1-20. We use the handwriting without tears program and it comes with workbooks for each child. Within the book is a page for each letter of the alphabet, and the numbers 1-10. The workbook also comes with a teacher's guide which tells you what order to teach the letters. The program also comes with wood pieces to help them make the letters and small chalkboards for them to use. We also use other worksheet to help them learn to write the letters. We begin in August with teaching them to write their first name in all capital letters. Then after they have mastered this we teach them their last name, but we only teach the capital letters and no lowercase letters.
     
  9. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Can't Please everyone

    I can't speak for all Pre-K teachers, but I find that if the kids don't have the necessary social skills, they can't learn a thing. They need a teacher to instill in them some very basic rules about getting along at school. I personally focus on the importance of using indoor voices, giving others their space(hands off your friends,) sitting nicely in circle with hands in laps, how to sit in a chair(straight and pushed up to the table(not sideways hanging off,) washing hands often(including after blowing noses or touching their mouths,) walking into the classroom quietly and greeting the teacher(good morning,) letting parents leave for work without hanging on one leg, and the list goes on and on. No matter how hard I work on these things, there are certain traits in some children that I cannot change. Most of the time it's because their home life is so terrible. They will go to Kindergarten and act up. I hope teachers realize that we can't perform miracles because by the time we get them, it's too late.
    Another thing to consider is that parents of these Pre-K kids are expecting "us" Pre-K teachers to turn out little Einsteins. It is very difficult to manage behaviors and please the parents by teaching them to write and sometimes read. They look at us like we aren't doing enough if we don't push for them to know their letters and numbers, or more. All the explaining in the world won't convince them that it's ok if their little ones go to K without knowing all of these things. I find myself furious at teachers who pound this information into the 3 year olds, who are really closer to being babies than anything! What in the world is the big rush??? I blame the parents and I agree with Jaime that we should be able to focus primarily on social skills.
     
  10. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    May 4, 2008

    Thanks Grammy.

    I just feel like we are cramming so much down their throats. They are babies.
    Early Learning Debate
    I copied below from the above link.

    The education standards of six-year-olds in England, Denmark and Finland: an international comparitive study (2003) is available from www.ofsted.gov.uk, reference HMI 1660.
    The report highlighted the contrast in the experiences of six-year-olds under two radically different systems. In Finland and Denmark they went to pre-school, where the focus was on their social, physical, interpersonal and moral development. The outcomes of the systems were different. Six-year-olds in England were generally well ahead of those in Denmark and Finland in terms of the three Rs. However, by the age of 15, according to a international survey, Finnish children outperformed all others in reading and mathematical and scientific literacy.
     
  11. TeacherSandra

    TeacherSandra Enthusiast

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    Yes, all of the above...and in phonics/writing...my students are writing sentences (3-5 words)!
    And yes, more than half of them can read what we're writing.
    Proud Teacher here.
     
  12. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    What astounds me is that more teachers and parents don't realize that while reading/writing at an early age is wonderful, most children will be at the same level of reading and writing by third grade whether or not they could do so at age 3,4,5, or 7. We need to let them be kids.
    If I don't see your responses right away, it's because for some reason, I am not getting my email notifications as I should be.
     
  13. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    May 5, 2008

    Grammy,
    I don't understand the big push at all either. Why do Americans always want to make their children do things faster/sooner. It's not developmentally appropriate for 3 and 4 year olds to be reading and writing.
     
  14. Mommateach

    Mommateach Rookie

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    May 5, 2008

    Hi
    I am one of those strange parents who doesn't want academics pushed on my children at a young ages! I sent my son to a preschool for only 3 months when he was about 4 years old. He absolutely hated it. It just wasn't a great preschool and my son wasn't ready yet. I should have known that the place was less than ideal when I noticed that the front fence/gate lock was broken and it smelled of urine inside. My son also endured bullying there. Anyway, I took my son out of that preschool and let him be a kid at home. My husband and I couldn't see spending a fortune on a preschool that our son hated and we didn't care for either. We also had some other bills we had to pay.

    Unfortunately, because my son didn't go to a full year of preschool and learn how to write his letters, learn how to do worksheets or craft projects, he was considered behind in kindergarten. The K teacher was frustrated because all the other kids had preschool and knew how to do the academics (at least I was told that). My son needed the teacher's attention and help more than any other child. He also cried when he was frustrated with the worksheets, cutting, drawing and coloring the pictures with the "right" colors. The teacher was also upset because my son didn't know how to play duck, duck, goose (it was changed to ghost, ghost, boo though) and every other child knew how. The k teacher also thought that our son was too quiet. He was seen as not participating because of his quiet nature. The principal told my husband and I that "kindergarten is the new first grade"! My hubby and I were taken back. We had no idea what they expected of children these days. I guess we were quiet naive. I wish the school district had mentioned all of the expectations at kindergarten registration.

    I thought that my son had good social skills because I had taken time to teach him manners, basic hygiene, being quiet when needed, not touching others etc. Apparently, I was wrong. My son did not know how to handle other kids taking his snack away at snack time, kids touching him unexpectedly, what to do when kids called him names, how to deal with the rough and tumble play at recess and how to deal with noises and distractions in the classroom setting. The school suggested we put our son in social skills class.

    My son did enter kindergarten already knowing how to count to 100, how to recognize upper case and lower case letters, how to write his name and how to read 15 words he had picked up by sight. Most of that he did mainly on his own with hardly any help from me. He begged me to teach him letters when he was 2 1/2 or 3, so I did do that though.

    Anyway, to end my long hijacking post. My son ended up doing just fine in kindergarten by the middle of the year. He even caught on to an area of math that was on the 1st and 2nd grade level all on his own (not at school)! I just wanted to say that I am a parent who is not for pushing academics at a young age! Because of what the local elementary school expects though it is necessary to teach young children all of these things. If you don't, you find yourself in meetings with administration telling you that your child is behind and might be retained. I really dislike that that's the way things are these days.
     
  15. TeacherSandra

    TeacherSandra Enthusiast

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    As a parent of a son, I did the same thing...my 4 yr. old son enjoyed playing outside, playing with his dinosaurs and cars, watching some TV and sometimes working in a workbook. He was NOWHERE where my daughter was "academically" or so, I thought...He entered a private school Kindergarten and I thought he was going to be WAY behind of the others because the majority of them had been in preschool since they were 3 and introduced to phonetics and reading. AMAZINGLY...my son was the top Kindergartener in his class...he was MORE than ready to tackle on Kindergarten.

    Oh, and I'm the teacher who is very proud of her PreKinder students who can write sentences...why? Well; why shouldn't I be? I am proud of ALL my students...even those who aren't reading yet...yes, I tell their parents that it will come in time. We have a very academic curriculumn, so there's no getting around it. So, with those students who are writing sentences, you bet I'm proud of them. I'm also proud when they build "roads" with the blocks and draw butterflies. :love:
     
  16. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    May 5, 2008

    I am a preschool teacher. I find that the major difference between PS Teachers and Elem. School Teachers is the philosphy of learning.

    PS Teachers go to school and learn how children learn.


    Elem. teachers lgo to school and earn how to teach.

    PS teachers accept children where ever they are socially, academically, and emotionally. Elem. teachers teach to the norm, without worrying about how children learn.

    I know these are big generalizations, but take a look at the eductional background of the teachers you work with, and analyze their style.
     
  17. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    All the teachers (kindergarten) I work with have elementary education degrees. We all believe that children should have at least 45 minutes of free play time in the classroom a day plus the 30 minutes of outside recess. We also do a lot of games for learning.
    For me personally I learned all about child development and what is developmentally appropriate. My concentration was in human development.

    The administration and higher ups are the ones trying to push academics down the throats of babies. Trying to make sure that they meet the state standards in 3rd grade. It is horrible and I feel so bad for some of these children that just aren't ready yet.
     
  18. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    JamieMarie, As I stated, my opinion was a generalization. If parents are unhappy with a program, they should consider the background and style of the teacher(s). I have worked as a K teacher, and know how hard it is to stand firm on my beliefs and meet the expectations of administration.

    Many times, a child needs to find a good match.
     
  19. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    My degree is in Interdisciplinarly Studies. I have a certification in early childhood through 4th grade, and had classes on how children learn at each of those levels.

    There is a big push for more academics and I think it stems from the fact that America seems so far behind compared to Japan and China. Of course, those countries don't allow every child to go to school. If they can't cut it in elementary/middle school, they are forced into a trade school where they learn certain skills.
     
  20. jw13

    jw13 Groupie

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    Blue, I know you are saying that you are making generalizations. But, generally speaking you are wrong about how elementary educators are taught to approach the learning needs of children.
     
  21. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    JW13, I am glad to be wrong about training for elementary teachers. That is good for everyone. Please do not be offended about my opinions. Every situation is different, and my observations are not an indication of the status of "everywhere."
     
  22. jw13

    jw13 Groupie

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    I also graduated from my El. Ed. program 15yrs. ago. So, I do not think this new or unique.
     
  23. lovemyson

    lovemyson Rookie

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    I personally believe there is no rush, children have a lot of time to learn and they all learn at their pace. Children learn by playing. My director believes this as well, and we don´t push too much academics onto the children, unfortunately a lot of parents don´t agree and sometimes complain that it´s not challenging enough for the children. But I firmly belive that children don´t need to be doing worksheets to be learning, they learn by playing and interacting with others.
     

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