AT WHAT COST

So am thinking out loud, not really, just imagine. I need your help. We had a wonderful year in kindergarten. My kinders became readers, writers and mathematicians. We explored habitats, built with a plethora of manipulatives, danced to #kinderchat Symbaloo Symbaloo were inspired by #geniushour passions and learned about helping others (even as far away as the Amazon Rainforest). Specialist marveled how the kinders had matured and how their resilience, when faced with frustrations and challenges, had grown. We clung to our free choice time, to recess and the sheer joy of unstructured play. These could not be negotiable, these are the rights of young children. All my kinders thrived, but not all to the same degree. I recognize this as a truth: in a class of 30 children, needs vary, self-motivation self-direction varies and learning varies. And behavior varies. And my response varies. All these variables influence what happens in a school year. I read many articles about PLAY Free Play is the Best Summer School
and about EXECUTIVE FUNCTION Executive Function
and first grade curriculum in Kindegarten Kindergarten
My kinders are readers, writers and mathematicians. And I say at what cost.
I don’t have to worry about CCSS, nor do we teach to the test, because we don’t test. But I am not naive to think that for some kinders all this is too much. My role then as an indefatigable advocate for kinders is that I see balance as the next best thing. We don’t look back at what was, but see what is and safeguard what we have.

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How do you see your kindergarten program? What if any are your concerns?

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8 Responses to AT WHAT COST

  1. btcostello05 says:

    I see it struggling to walk that same tightrope. The lack of social interaction before and outside of school makes free play so important! It is a delicate balance!

  2. Margo Brettauer says:

    Faige- you are so right. I so value what you teach but especially how you don’t take anything for granted. This was such a great blog!!

  3. faige says:

    Thank you for your comments. I have learned to value both the little and big moments in life. Guarding young children’s childhoods, you might say, is one of my passions.

  4. Margo Brettauer says:

    Love that phrase- guarding young children’s childhoods- that sounds like another blog!!

  5. Patty Nault says:

    “We clung to our free choice time, to recess and the sheer joy of unstructured play. These could not be negotiable, these are the rights of young children.” YES!!!
    I spent nearly my whole classroom budget this year on items to enhance the play in my classroom, a new mailbox for the writing center, new food and dishes to replace the dirty 15 year old dishes, Playdough, paint, and plastic animals. All things required for imagination, pretend play, conversation, creativity, problem solving, negotiation, and opportunities for learning amidst play.
    You and I hold fast to the same philosophy of honoring young children and the importance of play. I believe that may be why I always enjoy your posts Faige.

  6. faige says:

    Thanks so much for your comments, Patty. It is so great to know that teachers continue to have the best interests and DAP (Developmentally Appropriate Practices) of young children at heart. We in our kindergarten had to decide if we wanted to keep a block area or dramatic play in our classroom. With much angst we felt the block area and all the various manipulatives the kinders had available to them, would serve them best. As luck would have it, one of our outdoor spaces (the early childhood yard) provided creative dramatic play scenarios, with water and sand play to boot.

    • Patty Nault says:

      Luckily I had a principal who saw housekeeping areas removed from K classrooms in her previous district and was shocked. She was able to witness firsthand how a skilled teacher can incorporate learning into intentionally designed dramatic play areas. My housekeeping area morphs into new themes as the students interests change. We have had a restaurant, post office, animal hospital, grocery store, zoo, and construction site to name a few. Once you teach expectations for both learning and behaviors in a familiar housekeeping area at the beginning of the year it can become anything we want it to be, above all DAP!

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