RE 5040 Fall 2011
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Ruth Ann Timmons
high expectations
Thu Dec 1, 2011 00:19
174.111.49.106

Lori you bring up a great point. Kindergarten isn't was it used to be. It is nothing like what I remember- naps on mats, long center time, and learning to color. In fact, it has continued to change and rigor has increased each year since I started teaching eleven years ago. It used to be great if they could recognize their letters and write their name. Last year our county added 20 more "popcorn (sight) words" to the already long list of 33. Basically, if they haven't mastered sounds, aren't reading, and can't write a complete sentence there is little chance they will be prepared to move to 1st grade. It is a lot for these little ones and their brains develop the same way yours and mine did. I'm not sure its fair, but its the expectation. Thanks to the change in the date by which students must be 5 from October to August, we have fewer students who are 4 when they begin school. This has made a huge difference in the level of maturity I see in my classes over all. Other factors that assist students success include being read to and attending a well structured preschool.

  • reply to Marlee/Ruth Ann - Lori Vestal, Wed Nov 30 22:19
    I teach special education and know exactly the type of students you are talking about. What I am concerned about with the demands of kindergarten now is, are we expecting too much from their little... more
    • on K pressures - koppenhaverd, Sun Dec 4 17:53
      I would have been labeled ADHD in K, when in fact I was just EB (easily bored). My oldest son probably would have had to repeat kindergarten given today's standards--he has a B.A. from Catawba... more
    • Re: reply to Marlee/Ruth Ann - Marlee Wright, Thu Dec 1 12:14
      I have been teaching for about 25 years, and it has really changed within that time. When I first taught kindergarten, we used the Circle of Childhood philosophy - nearly everything was done through... more
    • high expectations - Ruth Ann Timmons, Thu Dec 1 00:19
      • Re: high expectations - Nakita Carson, Tue Dec 6 19:02
        The expectations have definitely changed! I have been teaching for fifteen years now and I remember when there were a lot more themes and fun to kindergarten. I really don't think all of this is... more
        • Re: high expectations - Ruth Ann Timmons, Fri Dec 9 17:10
          Amen Nakita! Gone are the "theme days" of K or at least the ones we get to choose. Our instruction these days is totally mandated by Imagine It! We still try to make it fun but there is a lot less... more
      • Re: Expectations - Rachel Hicks, Mon Dec 5 17:55
        With the curriculum changing and our expectations increasing, there has to be a way for the parents and daycare's/preschool's to have a clearer picture of what will be expected of the children once... more
        • Re: Expectations - Ruth Ann Timmons, Tue Dec 6 15:44
          Rachel, I totally agree. Each year the bar seems to be raised even higher and it doesn't seem fair to the kids or parents. At one point a few years ago, I thought there was a program (or at least a... more
      • re: high expectations - MaryBeth, Mon Dec 5 10:51
        Ruth Ann- My first teaching position was 12 years ago and I worked some with the lowest K, 1, and 2 students. Now that my oldest son is in Kindergarten, I cannot believe the changes in 12 years. Like ... more
        • re: high expectations - Ruth Ann Timmons, Tue Dec 6 16:01
          Its true MaryBeth, kindergarten these days seem to have the wider range of ability levels than ever. And with the expectations seeming to change daily, it is a challenge to make sure we are reaching... more
        • Standards - Marlee Wright, Mon Dec 5 11:33
          It can be pretty difficult some days, but that makes those rewarding days even sweeter! I love kindergarten - the children grow so much that year. It does trouble me that we have to move at such a... more
          • response to Marlee on Standards - sarah patten, Tue Dec 6 20:58
            I agree! We do not celebrate the growth of each child! Some children show growth but not at the level required at that grade level. We need to rejoice with each child reaching a milestone even if it... more
            • Re: response to Marlee on Standards - MaryBeth, Mon Dec 12 09:25
              Sarah- This is so true! I just wish everyone understood this!
            • Re: response to Marlee on Standards - Ruth Ann Timmons, Sun Dec 11 21:24
              You are right Sarah. It is important to help each child see their progress/success and celebrate their individual growth instead of always focusing only on the expectation levels set by the state.
            • growth - Amanda Solesbee, Wed Dec 7 23:03
              I also agree! I am a huge advocate for celebrating growth at whatever amount it might be at their instructional level. It is hard to get others to follow that celebration as for me in a testing... more
          • Re: Standards - Nakita Carson, Tue Dec 6 19:06
            I completely agree Marlee! I am so glad that student's promotion to 4th grade does not depend strictly on passing the EOG's anymore! I have felt for a very long time that we need to judge student... more
      • response to Ruth Ann - Lori Vestal, Sat Dec 3 13:35
        I too think that requiring students to be 5 on or before August 30th helps with the high expectations that the school system imposes on them. We had some babies coming to kindergarten when they did... more
        • Re: response to Ruth Ann - Ruth Ann Timmons, Tue Dec 6 16:19
          Lori, you are exactly right. Regardless of their socioeconomic situation, I feel children who attend a pre-k program have an advantage and are more prepared for the challenges of school.
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RE 5040 Fall 2011