Saturday, January 17, 2015

Kindergarteners Must Read!

Maya after her successful hearing exam yesterday. She was allowed to select 2 books. Here she is pretending to read

Below are the Common Core guidelines for reading fluency by the end of kindergarten:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.K.4: Read emergent-reader texts with purpose and understanding.

Print Concepts
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.K.1.D: Recognize and name all upper- and lowercase letters of the alphabet.

Phonics and Word Recognition
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.K.3.B: Associate the long and short sounds with common spellings (graphemes) for the five major vowels.

Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.K.9: With prompting and support, identify basic similarities in and differences between two texts on the same topic (e.g., in illustrations, descriptions, or procedures).

Research to Build and Present Knowledge
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.K.7: Participate in shared research and writing projects.

And my personal favorite:

Vocabulary Acquisition and Use
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.L.K.4.B: Use the most frequently occurring inflections and affixes (e.g., -ed, -s, re-, un-, pre-, -ful, -less) as a clue to the meaning of an unknown word.

Contrast this with the goals of my kindergarten in the 50s
  1. Count to 20
  2. Learn the alphabet
  3. Tie shoes
Yeah I surpassed those goals well before kindergarten (except the shoe tying) but some were struggling. But things have changed even since my babies were in school. Enter Stage Right: No Child Left Behind! and Stage Left: Race to the Top! Arbitrary standards were set, presumably by knowledgeable experts. School districts that failed to have schools that attained these standards would be punished by having their funding removed. Individual teachers would be punished if their classroom failed to reach these goals. Teachers are not happy with these goals at all especially in struggling neighborhoods.

So things have changed in kindergarten. A lot less playing and a lot more studying for the test. Kindergarten is now an all day affair in many districts. Young Fives programs have sprouted up essentially giving the child 2 years to master these impossible for some tasks. Ann Arbor has a couple of all day Young Fives, one near our house. It still isn't clear whether Maya will get transportation to it (she would for her neighborhood school). In other districts such as Shanna's, parents must provide the transportation, too bad if they are unable.

Other experts (see) think this new academic focused world is not good for many children. Kindergarten is no longer the happy place of play learning to get along with others in a group setting. Some kids now have school anxiety and refuse to go to school. It is no fun. I know that Josh would have failed these new standards despite his ability later on to be on the honor roll in an engineering program. It took him much longer to become academically oriented.

And  the requirements get more stringent as the child progresses. Of course some thrive in this new paradigm. I assume my 4 other grandkids will have no problems with it but they are already preparing Maya for this by focusing on material that was not presented to me until I was 6.

More work to be done on our house today. Steve lately has been much more diligent than me about packing. He went around replacing rusty air vents and bathroom fixtures yesterday. And we now have three (count them, three!) working toilets.

I need to run before the water supply is shut off to my shower.

1 comment:

Elephant's Child said...

Childless I am not sure. But lean towards allowing more time rather than less for playing, and learning to get along with others.


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