Grades

    Re: whole-group math counting activities
    Grandma

    Thanks, Jacque: What you describe is what I would be looking
    for, but I know at the school her siblings attend, that whole
    group math is all they do with the children. There is no
    gifted program at that school either. None of the K teachers
    there are nationally board certified and all of them have
    been teaching K for several years. The school resembles a
    Play based K" much more then other public schools in the
    area, but in math in particular there is little open ended
    ness in math. Everyone cuts out and glues the same projects -
    in smaller groups as they rotate through the centers. There
    wasn't any differentiation involved for any children who were
    beyond the concept being addressed. I would love for all
    children in our nation to have that open endedness to explore
    concepts in K, but I just haven't seen that as much like they
    do in first grade up. I think she would enjoy K just because
    she enjoys just about everything in life, but I was most
    concerned about math for her since that is where she seems
    cognitively blessed already. I am just concerned that if she
    isn't presented with opportunity to do more and grow from
    where she is right now (and I haven't been too impressed with
    elementary math curriculum as a whole), it is a missed
    opportunity to not get it in school. Fortunately we live in a
    a city with an internationally recognized engineering
    university so there are enrichment opportunities available to
    the community for children, especially girls, interested in
    this area.

    I think the school we are leaning towards to use for the K
    year is a good balance of social and academic and all the
    academic areas are open ended. I love reading how you do
    things in your classroom. Those children are fortunate that
    you are able to meet their diverse needs in such fun yet
    meaningful ways. Thank you so much for your response!

    On 1/23/15, Jacque/WA/K-1/nbct 2006 wrote:
    > I teach full day kindergarten and though I have a district
    > mandated math curriculum that is whole group instruction, I
    > manage to provide "Math Groups" after that which are open-
    ended
    > or higher level.....higher kids may have to use two dice
    rather
    > than one for lower students, I use Math Tiles from Joyful
    Noise
    > and children progress through these at their own pace--
    higher
    > ones fly through, others slowly progress at their own rate.
    I
    > also do Math Journals for story problems which also has
    them
    > matching an equation to the story problem. We talk a great
    deal
    > about "mucking around" with a problem in order to solve it
    and
    > have everything match the words. I also include a great
    deal of
    > math in our student of the day, from naming 3-D shapes to
    having
    > an equation of the day made up from what children have on
    that
    > day and an activity called "Missing Number" where they find
    a
    > missing number on a 100's chart then have to follow
    directions on
    > the board to add or subtract a certain amount and write
    that
    > amount on a post-it note to put in a bin---these are gone
    over
    > during the Student of the Day routine. In the beginning we
    solve
    > the equation with unifix cubes, then eventually use the
    100's
    > chart to count it off.
    >
    > Here our gifted programs begin in First grade. Your grand-
    > daughter sounds like she'd be a good candidate. Truly
    gifted
    > children will find ways to extend their learning--I had a
    boy
    > once who asked me if he could write the number words
    instead of
    > just the numbers and I, of course, told him that would be
    fine--
    > he was the only one who COULD do that. So...don't worry too
    much
    > about her regressing---a truly gifted child will always
    find ways
    > to challenge themselves. I have a girl this year who always
    does
    > more than I ask, very fast at any task, but always willing
    to add
    > more without my asking her to.
    >
    > As others said, Kindergarten is more than academics,
    despite her
    > high academic skills, she is still chronologically 5 or 6
    years
    > old and needs to balance her high academic skills with real
    world
    > skills of dealing with a group of children that are her
    peers
    > (age-wise). And kindergarten these days is much more
    academic
    > than ever before. I still hold onto Choice Time (free
    play), but
    > many schools have had this taken away in the quest for
    higher
    > test scores---very short-sighted because Choice Time is
    where the
    > best critical thinking skills are developed. I imagine she
    will
    > enjoy kindergarten no matter what...but kindergarten
    teachers do
    > vary quite a bit. You might inquire about a teacher's early
    > childhood background, is she National Board Certified,
    > philosophy, etc.
    >
    >
    >
    >
    > On 1/23/15, Grandma wrote:
    >> Thanks. This child has older siblings and is a very
    >> outgoing and confident child. Here K is full day. We kept
    >> three children and grandchildren out of K and just started
    >> them in first and they did just fine as a six or seven
    >> year old. The one we did start in K, there was a lot of
    >> the craft type stuff and he needed the fine motor
    >> practice. Since this particular child is already at a
    >> level to be needing to progress beyond 1-10, I was just
    >> wondering what teachers who teach whole group math do for
    >> kids like this one. The last thing she would want to do is
    >> have me 'work" with her after being at school all day. The
    >> intention sounds good, but in reality she will want to
    >> just chill out or play with friends and siblings.
    >>
    >> We have two schools to consider by next week for
    >> enrollment and right now we are leaning towards one that
    >> offers more academically and socially then the school her
    >> siblings attend. Again, thank you for a response!
    >>
    >>
    >>