RE 5040 Fall 2011
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Marlee Wright
Re: reply to Marlee/Ruth Ann
Thu Dec 1, 2011 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 center activities, and everything we did had to fit into the Developmentally Appropriate scenario. We have really gotten away from that - now what I'm teaching is more like what I taught years ago when I moved to first grade. Now we aren't even supposed to have naptime - and some of the kids are really worn out through the first semester - but we must teach through the kids who are nodding off and those who are snoring at their boggles the mind sometimes.

I definitely agree that the lack of reading skills has to do with lack of exposure to literature. The children who are read to at home show definite signs of their exposure, just simply through the Book/Print Awareness assessment we do as part of the K-2 assessments. Your son sounds like he was at an advantage in kindergarten, simply because he was almost 6 when he started. My three children were the same way- late birthdays, so we gave them another year to mature before starting school - and I believe that that made a huge difference in their readiness...and readiness is another key, I think.

  • 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
    • high expectations - Ruth Ann Timmons, Thu Dec 1 00:19
      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... more
      • 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