On 4/04/09, Thanks jo, that was VERY helpful! NFM wrote:
> On 4/04/09, jo/ma (long) wrote:
>> First, I just want to thank you for asking about this. It
>> sounds like you are absolutely on the right track for
>> preparing your kids for public school first grade. Every
>> year I get 2 or 3 kids from play-based kindergartens and we
>> do struggle for months trying to catch them up to their
>> peers. They do usually catch up by June. Our kindergartens
>> tend to do academics in the morning and play centers in the
>> afternoons with 2 outside recesses daily and are not NAEYC
>> accredited. Here’s some of the skills the private school
>> kids are often lacking.
>> Classroom Skills:
>>>Be able to sit at a table and on the rug for at least 15-20
>> min at a time and focus on the adult or activity the whole
>> time in a large group of 25. It is very hard for the kids to
>> get used to sharing the teacher’s attention with 24 others.
>>>Realize you can’t just get up and walk around, leave the
>> room, get a snack, or go to a play area any time you want
>> to. There are set times for different activities.
>>>Take care of your belongings, handle your own bathroom and
>> clothing (except tying shoes) and pack/unpack your backpack.
>>>There’s a big adjustment for all the kids coming up to first
>> (public ones too) with non-stop academics, tiny recesses, and
>> little time to socialize with each other.
>>>We hope the kids are reading at DRA-3 (Guided Read level C)
>> but it’s not a requirement.
>>>Identify upper- and lower-case letters and put the letters
>> in ABC order.
>>>Identify all consonant and short vowel sounds. Recognize
>> and produce rhyming words.
>>>Segment the sounds in simple words (you say “feet” and the
>> child says the /f/-/ç/-/t/ ).
>>>Blend sounds to read most simple CVC words with regular
>> short vowels (fox, dog, run, etc).
>>>Read approx. 20 beginning sight words.
>>>Draw pictures and use letters and phonetically spelled words
>> to write a 1 sentence story. (Your kids are way ahead!)
>>>Print first name (capital followed by lowercase letters),
>> all upper- and lower-case letters, and some simple words.
>>>Rote count to 30. Skip count by 5s and 10s to 50.
>>>Match quantities up to 10 with numerals and number words.
>>>Compare sets of objects (more than, fewer than, equal to,
>> one more than, etc).
>>>Identify, describe and compare 2-dimensional and 3-
>> dimensional shapes (sides, corners, etc).
>>>Understand positional concepts (beside, inside, next to,
>> close to, above, below, apart, etc.), measurement vocabulary
>> (longer, taller, shorter, same length; heavier, lighter;
>> holds more, holds less, etc.) and fractions (whole and half).
>>>Identify U.S. coins by name and tell time to the hour.
>>>Solve simple addition and subtraction problems using
>> concrete objects.
>> These kids also come with great strengths that I wish the
>> public school kids had. Their oral language skills and
>> social skills are far better. They have more experience with
>> songs, fingerplays, poems, nursery rhymes, fairy tales, and
>> good literature. They tend to do a wonderful job of
>> predicting, retelling a story, remembering important facts,
>> and making story connections. They come with good experience
>> in sorting/classifying objects and patterning. Most of all,
>> they seem to get along with one another better, being able to
>> negotiate and compromise when disagreements arise on the
>> In my district, there are no hard and fast rules about who
>> gets promoted to first grade, other than age. Kids must be 6
>> yrs old by Sept 1st, even if they have gone to private K.
>> Retaining in K is done on a case-by-case basis and is usually
>> for social immaturity. Parents can decline if they choose.
>> We also get kids who have never been to kindergarten (not
>> homeschooled either) and they frequently repeat first grade.
>> Hope this helps.
>> On 4/04/09, Private School K Teacher PLEASE HELP wrote:
>>> Are your students required to read at a certain reading
>>> level, know a specific number of sight words, count and
>>> write to a certain number, etc? What makes a child
>>> ready? What are red flags to you that a child is NOT yet
>>> ready to begin first grade? Also, I sometimes get
>>> children who miss the public school kindergarten cut-off
>>> by a few days (i.e. a September 9th birthday). Would
>>> those children be allowed to enter first grade in your
>>> school district if I promote them to first grade, but you
>>> find that they don't read at the same level as you'd
>>> require from children who are promoted from your
>>> I teach private kindergarten at a day care center (infants
>>> to kindergarten) in PA. The twelve children in my class
>>> will attend public first grade at four different school
>>> districts. Our center is NAEYC accredited and a Keystone
>>> Stars 4 star center. Basically, this means that my
>>> program is supposed to be play based and very heavy on
>>> child choice, so unlike in public schools, my classroom
>>> has blocks and a dramatic play center, and my kids are
>>> free to use them. I'm practical though, and I know my
>>> kids can't just play all day, because they need to be
>>> achieving at a level at least close to that of kids who
>>> are in public school K where they don't play, and barely
>>> have recess.
>>> I have a language arts/reading curriculum which I augment
>>> with many more sight words than it includes (only about 10
>>> are taught through the provided curriculum), a math
>>> curriculum, as well as science and social studies, and I
>>> do a modified Kidwriting for writing.
>>> I read the kindergarten board, and I feel good about where
>>> my kids are in math, and pretty good about where they are
>>> in writing (most write 1-3 sentences to describe their
>>> pictures, spelling and using sight words correctly most of
>>> the time, using spaces and capitalization and punctuation
>>> with improving consistency). My main concern is in
>>> reading. The stories from the curriculum are terrible, so
>>> I augment with sight word readers, sets of leveled readers
>>> I purchased online, etc. I am not provided a means to
>>> determine a specific reading level.