How beautiful would it have been for my kindergartners who were also all English language learners to begin each day developing their voices and using this time as a springboard for writing ideas later in the day? As a mom, I lived the nightmare of my older son having an incredibly rich play-based prekindergarten experience, only to go on to kindergarten being expected to sit still and comply with filling in worksheets at a desk or sitting for extensive periods.
An article, written by Bill Murphy Jr. Now researchers say that mistake leads up into a three-pronged, perfect-storm of problems:. We must have a mindset shift in this country. A shift from seeing schools as buildings that children attend to understand reading, writing, math, and social sciences to schools as part of our communities where children develop understandings of the world around them and social-emotional skills that will help them thrive and communicate their ideas with others. I truly believe if there is not ample time allotted for our children to begin every day exploring, playing, and building social awareness, we are failing them.
We had entered risky terrain, five-year-olds deemed failures before they reached kindergarten. We knew that flexibility, perseverance, empathy, curiosity, social awareness, and resilience are best developed in exploratory play, yet these qualities were now missing from the lives of growing numbers of our youngest citizens.
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With all of this said, my youngest son, his classmates, and I have a gift this school year — the gift of learning from and with a magnificent kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Mary Anne Camel. Mary Anne is an educator who honors each child in her classroom community for their strengths and coaches them with her sharp wit, humor, and soft kindness all at the same time. They pick and choose the play area they want to visit and explore based on whether there are popsicle sticks left in the pocket with a picture of the center see Figure 1.
Children are grouped by weather features in case Mary Anne wants to work with them around a particular need during that time in a small group. I was beyond impressed to observe children negotiating with each other when there was a play area they wanted to visit that did not have popsicle sticks available.
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The time and care that Mary Anne invests into coaching the children around negotiating, sharing, and sacrificing at times for the greater good of the whole is an investment that will stay with them the rest of their lives. Some of them have included:. The table below represents how I may design a six-and-a-half-hour kindergarten and first-grade day:. And, it is with both awe and deep gratitude that I say thank you.
Public school officials may not automatically enroll those students, who attended a private school kindergarten, to first grade see First Grade Enrollment below. Continuance is defined as more than one school year in kindergarten. EC Section requires a child who has completed a year of kindergarten to be promoted to first grade, unless the parent or guardian and the district agree that the child may continue in kindergarten not more than one additional school year. Failure to have signed forms on file may jeopardize audit findings and result in a loss of apportionment.
EC sections While kindergarten was not a grade level included by legislators, EC Section Districts considering continuance of kindergartners may want to consider:. Section , subdivision b , located in Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations , states:. Current literature reveals that retention may have a negative effect on student achievement, school attendance, attitude toward school, and student dropout rates.
The CDE points to the need for districts and school staff to provide interventions for students who are at risk of failure and to prevent the need for retention. Therefore, appropriate interventions should not be delayed for kindergarten students. Transitional kindergarten TK is the first year of a two-year kindergarten program that uses a modified kindergarten curriculum that is age and developmentally appropriate.
Each elementary or unified school district must offer TK classes for all children eligible to attend. A child who completes one year in a TK program, may continue in a kindergarten program for one additional year.
4 things I wish I’d known about full-day kindergarten
A child is eligible for TK if they have their fifth birthday between September 2 and December 2 inclusive and each school year thereafter EC [c]. However, pursuant to AB , EC c 3 B i a school district or charter school may , at any time during a school year including at the beginning of the school year admit a child to a TK program who will have his or her fifth birthday after December 2 but during that same school year, with the approval of the parent or guardian, if the governing board of the school district or the governing body of the charter school determines that the admittance is in the best interests of the child and the parent or guardian is given information regarding the advantages and disadvantages and any other explanatory information about the effect of this early admittance.
If these children continue in kindergarten past the anniversary dates of their TK admission, the school must have signed Kindergarten Continuance Forms on file to continue the children in kindergarten to the end of the school year, and to avoid jeopardizing audit findings and result in a loss of apportionment. Extended-day kindergarten EDK is defined as a class, taught by the same certificated staff member, that exceeds the four-hour maximum number of school day minutes.source url
Full-day kindergarten — the best of what we imagined is happening in classrooms
In some districts, EDK is the same length of day as that for older elementary students. While local educational agencies LEAs do not receive additional apportionment funds to lengthen the kindergarten day, there is a growing interest in this topic. Educators may wish to extend the kindergarten day for a number of reasons, including the following:.
EC sections detail the minimum and maximum lengths of the school day for kindergarten and other elementary grade classrooms. The maximum number of minutes for kindergarten is four hours, EC Section , excluding recess. However, recess time may be counted as instructional minutes, at the district's discretion, if teacher supervision occurs. Districts may also carefully evaluate lengthened programs to determine if children are benefiting in all domains academic, social, emotional, and physical. California law requires a child to be six years old on or before September 1 for the —15 school year and each school year thereafter to be legally eligible for first grade EC Section A child who was legally enrolled in an out-of-state kindergarten for one school year using that state's requirements , but who does not meet California age eligibility for first grade, may, with parental consent, be enrolled by the district in first grade EC Section A child who was not age-eligible for kindergarten that is, the child turned five after September 1 in the school year or thereafter and who attended a California private school kindergarten for a year is viewed by the CDE as not legally enrolled in kindergarten, pursuant to EC Section requirements.
Learn how your comment data is processed. That means two important things to me. I need to be very intentional about what I focus on in circle time. I am super picky now when it comes to circle time activities.
I want to do circle time activities that add true value to my class that they actually love to do. Not me and not them. There needs to be some movement and engagement all throughout circle time. When we know that children only have those precious and quick 10 minutes of sitting in them before we start to lose them, we need to use this to our advantage.
And in preschool, we get to have classes that are interactive and fun. I always start circle time with action and movement songs or dance songs because then I know that their brains are ready to listen. Question of the Day So why I do decide to go with Question of the Day as one of my treasured preschool circle time activities? Question of the Day in preschool and kindergarten helps teach: Print awareness Letter recognition Sentence structure And now math skills. I make it a daily practice to talk about our feelings. Plus, it makes a perfect question of the day for preschool. Question of the Day My Name Prompts A teacher friend and I were talking about the importance of using our students names throughout the day, especially in a positive way.
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Question of the Day Animal Prompts Probably the topic that children love to talk about the most is animals! Each child has that one type of animal that they are fascinated by or just love. About Latest Posts. Katie T. Christiansen Creator at Preschool Inspirations. Katie has spent 17 combined years in the Early Childhood field as a teacher, preschool owner, and educational writer. She has worked in profit and non-profit programs, high-risk schools, and started an in-home preschool and outdoor collaborative preschool program.
She adores being a mom to three children, and her youngest is currently in preschool.
Free full-day kindergarten is coming. Here’s what Colorado parents need to know.
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