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Sun Jan 27, 2013, 09:01 PM

Playtime’s over, kindergartners - Standards stressing kids out

Kindergarten has come a long way, baby — too far, some say.

Way beyond the ABCs, crayons and building blocks, the city Department of Education now wants 4- and 5-year-olds to write “informative/explanatory reports” and demonstrate “algebraic thinking.”

Children who barely know how to write the alphabet or add 2 and 2 are expected to write topic sentences and use diagrams to illustrate math equations.

“For the most part, it’s way over their heads,” a Brooklyn teacher said. “It’s too much for them. They’re babies!”

In a kindergarten class in Red Hook, Brooklyn, three children broke down and sobbed on separate days last week, another teacher told The Post.

When one girl cried, “I can’t do it,” classmates rubbed her back, telling her, “That’s OK.”

“This is causing a lot of anxiety,” the teacher said. “Kindergarten should be happy and playful. It should be art and dancing and singing and learning how to take turns. Instead, it’s frustrating and disheartening.”

The city has adopted national standards called the Common Core, which dramatically raise the bar on what kids in grades K through 12 should know.

more . . . http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/playtime_over_kindergartners_ItkfEkiosY3UOa8KpXwj8K

73 replies, 3810 views

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Reply Playtime’s over, kindergartners - Standards stressing kids out (Original post)
proud2BlibKansan Jan 2013 OP
NoOneMan Jan 2013 #1
proud2BlibKansan Jan 2013 #2
NoOneMan Jan 2013 #5
d_r Jan 2013 #3
jeff47 Jan 2013 #30
NoOneMan Jan 2013 #35
jeff47 Jan 2013 #36
proud2BlibKansan Jan 2013 #43
jeff47 Jan 2013 #44
Dawson Leery Jan 2013 #4
nenagh Jan 2013 #6
HiPointDem Jan 2013 #17
proud2BlibKansan Jan 2013 #18
RayOfHope Jan 2013 #24
nenagh Jan 2013 #61
duffyduff Jan 2013 #7
dballance Jan 2013 #11
duffyduff Jan 2013 #12
dballance Jan 2013 #13
duffyduff Jan 2013 #21
proud2BlibKansan Jan 2013 #19
dkf Jan 2013 #8
dkf Jan 2013 #9
duffyduff Jan 2013 #10
dkf Jan 2013 #16
proud2BlibKansan Jan 2013 #22
dkf Jan 2013 #29
proud2BlibKansan Jan 2013 #41
liberal_at_heart Jan 2013 #14
proud2BlibKansan Jan 2013 #26
MissB Jan 2013 #15
CaliforniaPeggy Jan 2013 #20
RayOfHope Jan 2013 #23
proud2BlibKansan Jan 2013 #25
RayOfHope Jan 2013 #27
Maine-ah Jan 2013 #55
liberal_at_heart Jan 2013 #58
Maine-ah Jan 2013 #73
Johonny Jan 2013 #62
proud2BlibKansan Jan 2013 #66
liberal_at_heart Jan 2013 #28
RayOfHope Jan 2013 #31
dkf Jan 2013 #32
RayOfHope Jan 2013 #33
liberal_at_heart Jan 2013 #34
RayOfHope Jan 2013 #37
liberal_at_heart Jan 2013 #38
knitter4democracy Jan 2013 #45
RayOfHope Jan 2013 #46
knitter4democracy Jan 2013 #47
proud2BlibKansan Jan 2013 #48
liberal_at_heart Jan 2013 #50
knitter4democracy Jan 2013 #59
liberal_at_heart Jan 2013 #63
liberal_at_heart Jan 2013 #68
knitter4democracy Jan 2013 #70
YvonneCa Jan 2013 #56
MichiganVote Jan 2013 #54
KamaAina Jan 2013 #65
Ken Burch Jan 2013 #39
liberal_at_heart Jan 2013 #40
Ken Burch Jan 2013 #42
Shankapotomus Jan 2013 #49
hedgehog Jan 2013 #51
liberal_at_heart Jan 2013 #52
hedgehog Jan 2013 #53
knitter4democracy Jan 2013 #60
hedgehog Jan 2013 #64
PasadenaTrudy Jan 2013 #67
liberal_at_heart Jan 2013 #69
knitter4democracy Jan 2013 #71
YvonneCa Jan 2013 #57
Javaman Jan 2013 #72

Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 09:04 PM

1. I wouldn't let me kids go to that type of school

 

Its wrong on a whole lot of levels

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Response to NoOneMan (Reply #1)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 09:14 PM

2. It's what all public schools are like now.

Thanks to Common Core.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Reply #2)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 09:18 PM

5. Thats insane

 

Im glad I moved away to Canada. My child just passed K last year and it was nothing like that...time for fun still. Are the countries of the world that are excelling today doing this?

No roadmap forward and people are forcing children to hate life early. Assholes

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Response to NoOneMan (Reply #1)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 09:15 PM

3. "that type of school" =


"public school in USA"

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Response to NoOneMan (Reply #1)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 10:59 PM

30. This isn't day 1.

Common Core doesn't thrill me, to put it mildly, but this isn't day-1 stuff. This is what they're supposed to do late in the school year. It's what they're supposed to spend the year learning how to do.

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #30)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 11:30 PM

35. The kids in the story are crying from stress

 

Is that something they work up to or do on day 1?

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Response to NoOneMan (Reply #35)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 11:35 PM

36. Again, not a fan of common cirriculum

But most of the objections in this thread seem to be operating under the assumption that this is day 1.

As for why the kids are crying, I don't know since I haven't met them or their teacher. I vividly remember crying in first grade over having trouble with math - it appears I have Dyscalculia, but they hadn't figured out that such a thing existed way back then.

Anyway, the result was the teacher taking a lot of extra time to tutor me so that I could "get it". It didn't mean the standards of the era were evil.

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #36)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 11:57 PM

43. The article clearly says last week.

And it's dated today. This is midyear.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Reply #43)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 12:02 AM

44. That's nice. Did you miss how it didn't say when they had to have any proficiency?

'Cause they talk about tests and questions, but they don't quite say anything about when those evil, demonic test questions are asked.

But it is the NY Post, so I'll be surprised to learn that their sample questions aren't from the 3rd grade test.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 09:15 PM

4. Teaching kids to take tests.

This is going to work.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 09:18 PM

6. How are they supposed to write? Did the kids learn reading and spelling..

In pre-kindergarten?

Diagrams to explain math equations?

Who makes up this stuff?

Heartbreaking really, to be a failure in kindergarten because the work is too advanced for their age...



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Response to nenagh (Reply #6)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 10:14 PM

17. The Gates Foundation is the driving force behind Common Core. Who makes it up? Their paid

 

minions.

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Response to nenagh (Reply #6)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 10:29 PM

18. I believe they expect that learning to take place in the womb.

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Response to nenagh (Reply #6)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 10:35 PM

24. Its not, really. I teach kindergarten. Read my post below.

Kindergartners are capapble of much more than we give them credit for, and no, I'm not a slave driver teacher with unreasonable expectations. Quite the opposite, really.

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Response to RayOfHope (Reply #24)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 01:28 PM

61. Thank you...your children are very lucky to have you as their teacher...

But, I wonder..is the problem that some pre schools teach the alphabet, some numbers, some reading...and that other kids come to kindergarten without this basic training, maybe not having been enrolled in that kind of play school.

It cannot be easy to teach children, not of differing ability necessarily, but of different early opportunity.

I freaked out last year having read a Grade 3 math test in south Florida..where questions were like..which is > 2/3 or 3/7

How is that taught? I see no common denominator . The teacher said something about a teaching tool .. You'd make columns horizontally and vertically?

Do they draw squares 3x3 and 7x7 and fill 2 columns in the '3' example and fill 3 columns in the 7 example...and count the filled in squares for the proper answer?

It's disconcerting to realize that I don't quite know how to do this using the grade 3 method.

Also the vocabulary used in the math problem section seemed more appropriate to an English reading comprehension exam.

Here's my problem...my dearest youngest son is a Computer Engineer from Queens University..here in Ontario. in the early grades he could not read dog.. (The local method of teaching reading was to give the children white papers with printed words grouped around vowel sounds..a mystifying choice, I thought)

He loved computer games..and wanted me to buy the monthly gaming magazines that taught you how to get through a Bart Simpson Nintendo game.. Long ago..

So he upped his reading skills to learn gaming...by later grades excelled...

But..what of the child that loses heart in Grade 3, I thought..a Grade 3 failure..

And the article above..makes me wonder if there aren't a lot of little children, in school classrooms of much larger size...that feel like failures in kindergarten.... My heart goes out to them..





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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 09:18 PM

7. This is paving the way to a return to child labor

when young children can no longer handle the schoolwork and are forced to drop out.

In third world countries, kids aren't expected to be educated much beyond the seventh or eighth grade.

Our neoliberal "reformers" don't see education as an investment in the future but a complete waste of money. I expect compulsory education will be banned in this country and child labor legalized.

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Response to duffyduff (Reply #7)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 10:01 PM

11. Could You Elaborate a Bit on "Neoliberal Reformers"

Are you referring to the current administration's "Race to the Top?" I'm not 100% certain but Common Core had been around for a while. I think it came about during the No Child Left Behind years.

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Response to dballance (Reply #11)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 10:02 PM

12. Common core is Gates Foundation, period.

Google "Lois Weiner" and you will find lots of information about the neoliberal takeover of education policy.

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Response to duffyduff (Reply #12)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 10:10 PM

13. Oh, just a different set of people with no education experience than legislators /eom

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Response to dballance (Reply #13)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 10:31 PM

21. Exactly. Same gang, different "cause." n/t

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Response to duffyduff (Reply #7)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 10:30 PM

19. Bingo! We have a winner, ladies and gentlemen!!!

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 09:38 PM

8. Maybe the wrong people are developing this core?

 

That's all we need...unreasonable people in charge of nationwide standards.

Maybe we do need to get the Federal Government out of education.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 09:57 PM

9. Wow this isn't even coming from the Feds...it's from the States via the Governors!

 

The nation’s governors and education commissioners, through their representative organizations the National Governors Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) led the development of the Common Core State Standards and continue to lead the initiative. Teachers, parents, school administrators and experts from across the country together with state leaders provided input into the development of the standards.


http://www.corestandards.org/resources/frequently-asked-questions

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Response to dkf (Reply #9)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 10:00 PM

10. "Common core" is Gates Foundation b.s. n/t

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Response to duffyduff (Reply #10)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 10:13 PM

16. Ah...you are right.

 

http://www.governing.com/topics/education/billionaires-in-the-classroom.html

Gates has bought itself a big megaphone. The foundation now spends nearly $400 million on various education initiatives around the country and is having a profound effect on education policy, particularly at the federal level.

That’s what dominates foundation giving in education, in terms of where most dollars go. What’s different today is that a cadre of foundations and their leaders are not content with this role. Relative newcomers like the Gates, Broad and Walton foundations are actively seeking to influence policy at all levels—district, state and national. Foundations used to try to “make bigger and better the practices that were already there,” says Richard Lee Colvin, executive director of Education Sector, a think tank. “Today foundations are working in a very different way. They’re trying to affect systems because they’re trying to make longer-term change.”

These foundations have clear agendas and are using their money to enlist allies in their causes, whether it’s through funding advocacy groups (they’re mostly blocked from direct lobbying due to their nonprofit status) or by tying their dollars directly to desired changes in policy and personnel. “If you are a foundation like ours, with a mission to support dramatic improvements in student achievement, then you have to dig deeper sometimes to get at the core causes of why we haven’t seen improvements,” says Erica Lepping, communications director for the Broad Foundation. “Efforts to help even district by district haven’t yielded dramatic enough gains.”

Not all the foundations are pushing the same set of ideas, by any means. But sometimes they are able to work in a coordinated fashion. The fact that there are foundations with huge endowments openly advocating certain policy ideas -- with notable success -- has elicited complaints from some quarters about a “billionaire boys club” hijacking public education and directing it on a course of its own choosing. “Given that billions of dollars are being disbursed,” says Dennis Van Roekel, president of the National Education Association, the country’s largest teachers union, “it is reasonable that people are starting to raise concerns about how this flow of money is shaping our political debate about education reform and to ask if a handful of individuals are having undue influence in one of our nation’s most important institutions.”

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Response to dkf (Reply #9)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 10:32 PM

22. Except teachers didn't really provide input.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Reply #22)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 10:58 PM

29. I'm beginning to see that. Looks like everyone has been bought off lured by $.

 

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Response to dkf (Reply #29)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 11:53 PM

41. It's always about the money.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 10:11 PM

14. These must be the same people who thought if would be a good idea

for my autistic son who is at a 5th/6th grade math level to take an 8th grade math class. The republican politicians are destroying the public school system and the democratic politicians are just sitting around letting it happen. My son will be taking math and science classes at a private school next year.

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Reply #14)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 10:45 PM

26. I don't blame you.

The concept of developmental appropriateness went away about 10 years ago. And it's a darn shame.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 10:12 PM

15. My kid was participating in a literature group in Kimdergarten.

And one of his classmates could barely identify her ABCs. But in a class of 11 kids, his teacher could do it all. She was able to get all the kids together for some activities and provide separate activities according to ability. No tests - fun, age appropriate learning.

The school's philosophy has always been no more than 5 minutes of homework each night per grade (so 5 mins in K, 10 mins in 1st etc).

The idea of writing topic sentences for K students is pretty funny. I think the whole ABC thing might be a bit more important.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 10:31 PM

20. That is just plain disgusting and wrong. I don't care whose idea it is.



K&R

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 10:33 PM

23. Before everyone freaks out over this, let me tell you what MY k class looks like, and we do these

things.

Solving an equation with diagrams can look as simple as this: "You have 5 cupcakes. If 3 are vanilla, how many would be chocolate? EVERY child in my class can solve this problem with some drawings or other notations, every one. We do this in our math journals and did this type of thing before common core even existed. This is not something we throw them into on day 1, we've been working towards problem solving like this through the year.

As for writing topic sentences, we are working on writing opinion pieces now. What does that look like in a K class? Lots and lots of modeling. First we build the background language of what giving an opinion looks like ("I like baby kitties because they are fluffy. Cake is my favorite food because its yummy.") And then we work--slowly--on getting those ideas down on paper.

We work on writing. We work on ABCs. We do this through differentiated instruction, which means taking time each day to teach kids in small groups based on individual needs.

If one bothered to actually look at CCSS for math, you'll find them MUCH pared down from our state grade level expectations.

I dont understand the CCSS hate, it truly baffles me. I can cover the core and have a developmentally appropriate classroom at the same time. Most good, competent teachers with the right training and support can.

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Response to RayOfHope (Reply #23)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 10:43 PM

25. So every kid in your class knows all of their ABCs and their sounds? And can count to 100?

Because you can't write opinion pieces if you don't know the alphabet or sounds and you can't do problem solving if you don't have number concepts mastered, like counting. Sounds like YOU are writing the opinion pieces, not your students. And you're guiding them through the problem solving as well.

You may think your class is developmentally appropriate but I've taught elementary school for 33 years and I call baloney. I'm the teacher who serves as a buddy room all day long and I have more 5 year olds than any other age group because they are overwhelmed by this rigorous nonsense.

Kindergartners need to play. And make stuff with playdoh. And cut with scissors. And glue things together. And take naps and eat snacks and make friends. This academic crap is absolutely ridiculous.

Yes, I have lots of training and support and a masters degree plus enough hours for another masters. And in my professional opinion CCCS is absolutely the worst thing we can inflict on our children.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Reply #25)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 10:53 PM

27. Why would you know whats going on with my kindergartners more than me?

We play. We make stuff. We cut with scissors. We play with playdough. We have two 20 minute recesses, an hour of specials each day, snack, and a 30 minute center/free choice/play time.


Of course I'm guiding them through problem solving. Isnt that the role of a good teacher? I guide them, I dont do it for them. Guided practice, then independent practice. They're 5. Some of the kids dont need much direction on problem solving, others need a little more. I do a fair bit of differentiated instruction in math and comm arts.

I dont expect grammatically and mechanically correct writing. "i lik cak bcuz it is yume" is an entirely acceptable opinion piece in kindergarten. We do all know our ABCs and letter sounds. We've been writing since last October. Most of us can count to 100, but rote counting to 100 shows zero number sense (I realize this is a CCSS). A bigger piece of common core is composing and decomposing numbers less than 10. Lots of math series focused on that WAY before CCSS came around.

Why all the hostility toward me?

Common Core isnt perfect by any means, but it certainly isnt the devil many make it out to be. What I really can't understand is that people are all over standardizing voting laws nationwide, but when it comes to schools.....hands off.

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Response to RayOfHope (Reply #27)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 12:32 PM

55. you sound like my daughter's kindergarten teacher



My daughter's class does the same thing as yours, and she is excelling at everything - and she loves school! We get video updates, and pictures from her class, and it looks as if all the kids are enjoying it. This year they've integrated ipads with many learning apps that the children love. My daughter is now reading her own books, is learning French, and is doing great with math. I think the program is great!

For those that feel that kindergarten should only be about playtime and nap time, that's what preschool was for. I look back and think that if I had been given the basics as early as my daughter is getting, I probably would have excelled in school. Their minds are little sponges at this age - and most of their learning is through what they perceive to be as playing.

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Response to Maine-ah (Reply #55)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 12:43 PM

58. ipads for kindergarteners

wow. Your school must be doing well financially to be able to do that. We are in an affluent area and our kindergarteners don't have ipads. We don't have enough special education teachers either. The high school my son would have been going to next year if he were staying is going to have 30 special education students. ipads are great, but I think more teachers and smaller classrooms would be even better. My son who is autistic had to repeat his pre-school year before he could go into kindergarten. Not all of our students are going to be able to adjust to this lightening speed catch up our country wants our children to make. I'm all for allowing students who are capable advance, but we have to allow all students to progress on their own terms. Those who learn quickly should be allowed to learn quickly. Those who learn at a more moderate speed should be allowed to learn at more moderate speeds and those who are years behind their peers need to be allowed to learn at a slower speed. All children are different and we can't possibly expect them all to learn so quickly. To do so is doing them a disservice and could possible kill their curiosity and love for learning.

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Reply #58)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 06:54 PM

73. it's a state program

her class is the first to have them in Maine - basically an experiment. I live in a small town of about 1k people. Her class has about 20/25 kids and she has two teachers, changes classrooms for different classes..music, art, french, gym..etc.....We parents donate our time in the classrooms, and run fundraisers for different things - we also donate snacks for the students. Our school was built in 2003 - because we are a community that works together. The way it should be. This is not an affluent community. We are working class, blue collar citizens - from fishermen, lobstermen - heck, I'm a bartender and my husband is the general manager of a local business.

As for the pace of learning, yes, every student is going to be different, and schools everywhere need the funding and the right teachers to be able to work with every student. I was not a fast learner - outside of reading and writing - I had very poor math skills - I wish I had the help and attention that the students get in my daughter's kindergarten class - the other side..my niece is an advanced learner who is stuck with the slower pace of the rest of the classroom. She's in the same district, but a different town and school.

Many problems in schools go right back to NCLB - and Maine's governor is consistently trying to gut our public education. There are many problems, and there isn't going to be one fix for them all. I was raised by a public high school teacher, who did everything he could to help his students. My father would be appalled at the things teachers have to go through now. Though, I can remember his biggest complaint was uninvolved parents.

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Response to RayOfHope (Reply #27)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 01:41 PM

62. +1

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Response to RayOfHope (Reply #27)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 02:16 PM

66. Because I've been teaching for a long time. I know kids.

And what you're doing is guided instruction, not independent practice. Your kids aren't writing opinion essays. You are. Their products are pre emergent writing.

Like I said, not all 5 year olds are ready for this rigor in kindergarten. My school has a 98% free/reduced lunch rate. Only 15% of our families have computers and an Internet connection. Even though preschool is provided by our district, the vast majority of our kids have never attended school before kindergarten. And I've never in all my years ever heard of a kindergarten class where every single student knows their letters and sounds. And that includes the couple years I spent in a suburban school with no kids on free lunch.

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Response to RayOfHope (Reply #23)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 10:54 PM

28. so what do you do with the students who are not at the same level?

I can understand allowing the students who are more advanced have a more advanced curriculum but there must also be a separate curriculum for those who learn at a slower rate. My son for example is two to three years behind his grade level in math, but they still expect him to learn the same curriculum as the eighth graders. He is currently failing, so I will be placing him in private school next year for math and science.

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Reply #28)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 11:05 PM

31. Differentiated instruction. Simply put,

I have the kids divided into small groups for part of our literacy time and our math time. Here is what it looks like:

Ive got literacy workstations set up in my room. They are activities like word building, writing station, handwriting, ABC, listening station (story books on tape), class library. I spend the first couple of weeks of school getting the kids going with these, and after lots of careful modeling about how to use and take care of the materials independently, I divide the class in groups based on what they need. I have about 18-20 kids per class, so I have 5 small groups. The kids that need more support only have 2-3 in their group, and I meet with them for 15 minutes every day for literacy. I meet with higher level kids twice a week for 15 minutes. Kids in the middle groups I meet for 3 days, 15 minutes. I am able to meet with 3 small groups every day. FOr example M-T I will meet with group 1, 2, and 5 and WThF I meet with groups 3, 4, and 5. While I am meeting with them, the rest of the class is doing those workstations I mentioned--each of which is tailored to their level.

This works the same for math.

For struggling kiddos, we have what's called learning support time. There are two special classes that arent state mandated, so we can pull kids for 15 minutes during those times for some extra one on one support. I'm lucky to be in a very proactive school. I'm sorry to hear about your son.

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Response to RayOfHope (Reply #31)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 11:13 PM

32. Are you in a fairly affluent area where kids come in ready to learn?

 

How reasonable is this for all areas?

It sounds like you are doing an excellent job and have this all under control but are you the norm or the exception?

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Response to dkf (Reply #32)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 11:18 PM

33. Oh lord no. I am semi rural in a school thats 50% free and reduced lunch

But doing small groups for literacy instruction is pretty well the norm. Well done small groups may not be I absolutely cannot imagine doing 100% whole class, teach down the middle instruction. Too many unchallenged or left behind.

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Response to RayOfHope (Reply #31)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 11:28 PM

34. well if it works for your class then I'm glad

As a parent I would much rather us as a country spend the money it takes to create smaller classrooms so that the kids wouldn't only have 15 minutes a day with personal attention from the teacher. It sounds concerning that the ones in the middle and at the higher level only get personal attention a few times a week. I guess it may be better than what some kids get. Some kids never get any personal time with the teacher. We are just sliding backwards so fast. What is the future going to look like if there are no resources for the schools and standards are so tough they cannot meet them?

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Reply #34)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 11:37 PM

37. I'm not ignoring them the rest of the time!

Promise During writing time I have writing conferences with individual students, I'm constantly milling around and questioning--I work very hard to keep an engaged classroom.

I disagree that we're sliding backwards. And I disagree that most kids can't meet these standards. I do not think that 100% of them can, and that was everyone's beef with NCLB (mine too). If you want to talk unreasonable standards, look there. The common core standards arent the problem, its the assessments.

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Response to RayOfHope (Reply #37)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 11:43 PM

38. I've seen threads on this board before where dozens and dozens

of parents have admitted to putting their kids in private school because public school was too cookie cutter for their children. Public schools don't fail all of our children. My daughter thrived in public school. She has taken several advanced classes and is completely ready for college. But there is not enough support for those who struggle. And I don't see how taking funds away from struggling schools is suppose to help them find the resources it takes to help those struggling students. You are right that the assessments are a problem. They however are not the only problem.

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Response to RayOfHope (Reply #23)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 06:22 AM

45. That may work in your class, but that's not true for all areas.

In Detroit, where elementary classes are 45 kids and more with just one adult in the room, in schools with 80% and higher free and reduced lunch who are dealing with soft skills and poverty issues every day, in schools where the number of ELLs is quite high but they all speak different languages (in many urban districts, they have over 100 different languages spoken in their students' homes). I could go on.

In more homogeneous settings, it can work. In smaller classes, it can work. In schools with lower poverty rates, it can work. The problem is, the standards were written without any of those issues in mind, without differentiation for districts facing things other districts never have and never will.

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Response to knitter4democracy (Reply #45)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 07:06 AM

46. I agree

I think these standards can be appropriately and successfully implemented but the schools MUST have the support to do so. I don't think the solution is to dumb things down though, its to give schools the funding they need.

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Response to RayOfHope (Reply #46)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 07:15 AM

47. Not dumb things down, differentiate.

Look at what makes that school, district, state unique and make sure to deal with that in the standards or allow them to deal with that in the implementation.

Edited to add: What if you don't have that support? Most of us muddle through without it, and we rightfully get grumpy when administrators insinuate we're not effective. What if you had 5 students in your class who didn't speak any English at all, and you had no ESL teacher or program in your building? What if you had 90% free and reduced lunch with a very different ethnic and socioeconomic makeup (like where I teach)?

See, this is the problem with the Common Core: there's no differentiation where there needs to be, and there's no requirement (or money) for needed support. So, we just have these insanely high standards (if you haven't looked at Smarter Balance, you should--those of us on the high school level know enough to be scared) without what we need to get there.

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Response to knitter4democracy (Reply #47)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 10:20 AM

48. +1

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Response to knitter4democracy (Reply #47)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 10:52 AM

50. and why are special education students even in these new very strict standards?

I am grateful for the improvements my son has made, but he is still two to three years behind his general education peers and he may always be two to three years behind his peers. Some special education students have low or borderline low IQs and may never be able to catch up to their peers. And yet these brilliant people who are coming up with these new standards think if we just push them hard enough they will some how magically jump light years ahead and catch up and so they put the same ridiculous standards on them that they put on the rest of the general education students. I feel horrible because I feel like my kid is being treated like a guinea pig. My son's teacher asked me at his last IEP meeting "Aren't you glad we didn't put him back into the LRC2 program?" (this is a special edcuation program that is designed for kids who need more support). I said well considering in sixth grade(this was the year we asked for him to be put back into the LRC2 program) he came home every day crying and asking if he could skip I don't think so. I' done. I will find a more suitable environment for him for next school year.

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Reply #50)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 01:20 PM

59. It's not just students with IEPs.

I have a 9th grader who reads at the 4th grade level. He is low in all areas, so he doesn't qualify. I'm supposed to have him ready to take the Smarter Balance test in two years? He can't even read my Spanish textbook or English 9 book, so who thinks he'll just jump that many grade levels in reading in just two years (when study after study say it's not statistically likely at all)? Yeah, I don't think it's going to happen, though I'll work like mad to make it so in hopes I'm wrong.

Schools are already stressed to the max, and now we are pouring more onto everyone in ways that don't make sense.

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Response to knitter4democracy (Reply #59)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 01:44 PM

63. I'm thinking about opting out of the standardized test this next time

We actually have a lot of parents and even teachers in our area who are refusing to allow the students to take these tests.

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Response to knitter4democracy (Reply #59)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 02:33 PM

68. If I could suggest as a parent of a child who is behind

please push gently. Kids should be pushed a little to see if and how far they can progress, but then you have to back off a little and give them encouragement and give them some material that you know they can master so they can have those little victories, those little accomplishments so they can build their self esteem. Also if you see them getting stressed allow them some time to decompress. My son likes to sit and read quietly or take a walk down the hall. Sometimes during lunch he will either go to the library or out to the basketball court. That helps a lot. You probably know these things. These are just my experiences as a parent whose son struggles.

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Reply #68)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 03:04 PM

70. I do, but it's always good to be reminded.

Thank you for this reminder.

I push all of my students, but this is the most frustrating time of the year when SAD hits all of us, and the kids just stop trying. I wish the high school day were set up with more decompression time, but I just don't have it to use. Sad, really. All humans need it.

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Response to knitter4democracy (Reply #47)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 12:32 PM

56. +1000...

...Thank you for this post.This describes my teaching situation before I retired. Many educators continue to struggle daily with trying to meet both standards and the needs of ALL their students. They need to be applauded and supported.

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Response to RayOfHope (Reply #23)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 12:04 PM

54. Yup. And by the time Jan. rolls around, you either want to hold back those who

develop more slowly or refer them to Special Ed. I've seen this and am not impressed by this type of instruction.

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Response to RayOfHope (Reply #23)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 02:02 PM

65. Anywhere from zero to two

your cupcake question assumes there are only two types of cupcakes: vanilla and chocolate. In fact the other two could be, for instance, coconut, or even red velvet.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 11:49 PM

39. If conservatives had their way, childhood as we know it wouldn't exist.

We'd be back in the era when MOST non-wealthy kids were sent to work in factories or mills, and where the children of the wealthy were all sent to brutally rigid private schools where the teachers and headmasters beat the joy, whimsy and humanity out of them in preparation for those kids spending their lives crushing the other kids IN the factories and mills(and, these days, in the call centers and big box stores). And both sets of kids would keep doing nothing but the above until they died of exhaustion.

The Right doesn't believe that any part of life, from early childhood to early death, should ever be free from toil, subservience and fear.

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #39)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 11:51 PM

40. unfortunately it's not just the conservatives

democratic politicians are going along with it.

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Reply #40)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 11:55 PM

42. I know...but then, fascism and neo-feudalism

always have their enablers.

If our party had a REAL backbone, this would have been stopped.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 10:23 AM

49. Cry babies

Let them struggle with differential calculus like I did when I was five. Wimps.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 11:16 AM

51. I have several questions about this -

1. Is there any reason to suspect that pushing kids ahead of traditional expectations makes any difference as they grow older? For example, say one kid learns to read at 4, and the other at 6. What does the first kid know that the second does not when they are both 25?

2. Does this push into a rigid curriculum suppress creativity? I'm thinking of the current difference between American technology and that coming out of Korea and Japan.

3. Wouldn't it make more sense to involve kids in learning, to make them want to know more? I'd rather the emphasis be put on projects such as raising tadpoles into frogs, then returning them to the wild.

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Response to hedgehog (Reply #51)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 11:20 AM

52. we're going to create a generation that hates learning

I know I am trying very hard to keep my son interested in school. I want him to want to go to college, but at this rate I don't know if he will want to or not.

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Reply #52)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 11:36 AM

53. I'd love to see someone who has studied both the common core curriculum and the teachings of

Maria Montessori make a comparison:

http://mariamontessori.com/mm/?page_id=465

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Response to hedgehog (Reply #51)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 01:28 PM

60. A few answers

1. I haven't seen any research that confirms that. It's more that, in order to get kids college and career ready, we have to have them ready sooner than traditional curricula have emphasized. So, the pressure keeps moving down the chain all the way to kindergarten.

2. Common Core has a heavy emphasis on projects and producing products (speeches, visuals, essays) in English/Language Arts (the part I know), and there's a lot of room for creativity there in the high school levels from what I've seen. I haven't had any formal training on it, though, so I could be wrong based on what I've read.

3. Again, project-based learning seems to be an emphasis of the curriculum, so hopefully, that means kids will be learning science by doing hands-on experiments. I'm not sure about the science curriculum, though.

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Response to knitter4democracy (Reply #60)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 01:55 PM

64. In an age when so much play is virtual, I think hands-on experience

becomes even more vital.

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Response to knitter4democracy (Reply #60)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 02:30 PM

67. Speeches and groupwork

would have freaked me out at that age. I'm an extreme introvert and highly sensitive person. Just going to school every day was stressful until I got into a good private hippie-type school in '74. Small class size of about 10-15 and child centered focus made all the difference.

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Response to PasadenaTrudy (Reply #67)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 02:35 PM

69. Small class sizes and child centered focus. Bingo!

That would work so much better than what they are attempting to do right now.

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Response to PasadenaTrudy (Reply #67)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 03:06 PM

71. I differentiate for my introverts.

For some things, they really have to participate, work with a group or give a speech. For many, though, they can do a project on their own just as well and meet the objectives just fine.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 12:34 PM

57. Great thread and discussion...

...here, PTB. Thanks for posting this.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 03:17 PM

72. NY Post...

and why would the ny post have such a piece in it? could it be that it's owned my morlock and he is a repuke who hates the public school system?

This screams if hit piece. I'm just saying.

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