I'm baaaaaaack.

Hoarding All the Glitter Since 2001.

31 January 2013

Last week, I took a release day with my Resident.  The idea was to backwards map the Kindergarten year in English Language Arts with reference to the Common Core standards.  Any given standard has lots of little composite pieces - for instance, if you're going to teach kids how to read CVC words, you'll want to plan out when you are introducing various sounds.  Some sounds should be taught earlier than others (say, m before v); others should be separated instructionally (teaching short a and then short e is not a good idea, at least not in California).

This was my first time going deeply into these standards (as opposed to reading and looking for differences from the old state standards).  I was amused by the technology aspect (guess I will just fail to be effective there), and irritated by the constant opening phrase "With prompting and support", which is ridiculously vague.

Overall, though, I find myself much in sympathy with this.  These may or may not be good standards that describe a Kindergarten experience that is at once rigorous and achievable for all children.  (They're certainly rigorous.)  But they lack the wonder and creativity that five year olds bring to the classroom, and I dread their impact on Kindergarten.  I think it is possible to have high academic standards and lots of good play and social development - possible, but very hard.  And when all of our energy is pushing the former, the latter is going to be forgotten.

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