Grades

    Re: Centers
    DonnaR/CA

    On 6/20/15, please fight for centers wrote:
    > For those of you who are fighting for child centered
    > learning that includes centers in Kinder---I want to say
    > "Thank you and please keep fighting." Turning schools into
    > factories and feeding our students to the testing monster
    > is destroying education. I teach upper elementary science
    > and I only dream of getting students who have poured water
    > into measuring cups in the kitchen center, who have
    > learned to use scissors, who build forts with cardboard
    > boxes...what are we doing to our young children by not
    > allowing them to learn through play? Years ago I could ask

    I just finished my first year in Kindergarten. I was shocked
    to see that there was no center time. Since I was sort of an
    overflow classroom, I didn't have painting easels,
    kitchen/housekeeping set, etc., anyway.

    We had a day where other teachers from our district came
    through various classrooms at our school, asking the kids what
    they were learning, why they thought they were learning it,
    etc. My kids were in the process of doing a cut-and-paste
    activity. One of my students was asked "why are you doing this
    project", and very proudly, she evidently answered, "we need
    to learn to use scissors." A little later, a teacher from our
    school told me about the discussion that this answer caused.
    Some county administrator said, "but that's not a kindergarten
    CC standard!" Four teachers turned to him and said, "Perhaps
    it should be. Whoever designed the CCSS kinder curriculum
    forgot about such things as scissor skills, water play,
    housekeeping, as part of a learning curriculum."

    My "centers" to that point had involved rotations -- seatwork,
    electronics (computer and iPads), Word Work (ABC and reading
    centers), and Listening Center. After that, twice a week, I
    dug out things that the kids needed to just "play" with. Since
    my room wasn't set up as a kinder room, I was limited to some
    puzzles, Base Ten blocks (should have seen the buildings that
    got constructed from those), Geoblocks (ditto), Unifix cubes,
    some old stuffed animals that had belonged to my now-grown
    daughters, and a few other things. Kids got to choose what
    they played with, and they had to learn to solve their own
    disagreements. THAT'S a big thing, right there!

    I'm moving to a real kinder classroom for the fall, and I
    intend to bring out the rice or sand table, housekeeping, and
    more....maybe once a week. I'm with the previous poster -- do
    a center and then "write" about it. Why not?!

    Donna