Grades

    Re: Centers
    maureen

    flacka: when the administrators don't even "get it", it doesn't
    sound too hopeful, does it? I do think eventually it is going
    to go back to some kind of "play based" kindergarten because
    the results will continue to show that what they did to a
    generation of children didn't work. At least I am hopeful that
    will swing back.

    I am retired from teaching Montessori preschool and K multi age
    after 25 years. Montessori often got criticized by "outsiders"
    for being too academic and that the children didn't get to
    "play". When others saw the academic type work the little
    children did do in a Montessori classroom, it was rightfully
    assumed that young children are capable of doing much more
    academically then they typically did in a preschool and k
    setting. The difference though is that children in Montessori
    are not taught as a group and there is a built in balance of
    freedom and structure that allows the children to choose what
    they want to learn without pressure from adults. If a child is
    not yet ready to learn letters and numbers, they can choose any
    number of activities that prepare them for learning those
    later. That way young children can learn at their own pace and
    ability.

    That is what is missing in this "new approach" to academics in
    kindergarten. Each child is not allowed to learn at his own
    pace and readiness. Even if a child is not yet reading or even
    knowing his letters, he is often expected to memorize sight
    words along with the rest of the class. That is a huge jump for
    such a child. If movement is not incorporated in the early
    childhood setting, those same children will miss out on what
    you were saying - social skills, problem solving, etc. Centers
    seem to be a good solution for mixing academics with social
    skill and problem solving for the more traditional classrooms.
    Without centers, children are missing out on even more
    opportunities to be a "complete" person.

    I have always enjoyed reading your posts on this board. Do you
    have special plans for your retirement? Like I said, I have
    been volunteering in my grandchildren's classrooms since I
    retired and it is a great way to keep in touch with education,
    yet not have to deal with all the pressures (and planning and
    paperwork) Congratulations on your retirement and I hope you
    can enjoy many, many years of doing what you love!

    On 6/23/15, Flacka wrote:
    > I just retired and at our end of the year party on Sat. my
    > principal spoke and said how, when I interviewed there 10
    > years ago, my philosophy was that kindergarten children
    > should learn through play and that was when our district was
    > going to standards-based kindergarten. Though he didn't say
    > it, I know he thought that I was wrong or at least not up
    with
    > the times because play isn't part of kindergarten. Later in
    the
    > evening I went up to him and told him that I still think I am
    right
    > and that if we had more play time in kindergarten the
    children
    > would have better social skills and we would have fewer
    > behavior problems. He just looked at me. SMH