I just found out that my kindergartner had to take the SAT-10 practice test and I am FURIOUS about it! Why are they wasting his class time giving him a test he's not supposed to take until 1st grade? And why does he even have to take it in first grade? And we're spending all of our time in PLCs planning more tests to get the kids ready for the big test. And being told in PLCs how "powerful" this test prep worksheet was. Seriously. I'm choking on my own vomit over here.
This was shared anonymously, with permission, to protect this West Tennessee 3rd grade teacher and her kindergarten son.
A mother speaks of her children's experiences in Kindergarten:
When my oldest child was in kindergarten, each classroom had a sweet little house center for kids to play in. It wasn't fancy, but there was a little kitchen area with a pretend sink, fridge, stove, and a few plastic kitchen utensils. There was also a little table, chairs, and a babydoll crib with dolls. The teacher hung some old grown-up clothes and purses on hooks, too, so the kids could pretend to play family. My child LOVED this center.
When my next child went to kindergarten (same school, same teacher), she was looking so forward to playing in that house center. She'd seen her big sister's classroom when she would come with me to school when I helped as room parent. On the first day of kindergarten for her, I walked her to her classroom. We were both sad to see that the house center had vanished.
I asked the teacher what happened to it. She said that she wasn't sure if it was the district or the state that made them remove it, but that the house centers were taken out of all of the kindergarten classes in the district. They are only allowed to have instructional materials in the classrooms now.
How sad! Those home centers were so wonderful for children to learn to get along, to dream about what kind of mom or dad they would be when they grow up, and just to use their imaginations! Now, kindergartners do a whole lot of bubble worksheets instead and sit in front of computers clicking multiple choice answers.
I feel like my 2nd child's kindergarten experience has been stolen. She didn't enjoy kindergarten nearly as much as her big sister did.
(This was shared anonymously, with permission, by a mother in Shelby County, TN)
Testing young children with standardized tests before 3rd grade is wrong. Now, because of the Common Core in Tennessee, Kindergartners are being denied the important benefits of play:
"Too many schools place a double burden on young children. First, they heighten their stress by demanding that they master material beyond their developmental level. Then they deprive children of their chief means of dealing with that stress - creative play. Kindergartners are now under great pressure to meet inappropriate expectations, including academic standards that until recently were reserved for first grade. At the same time, they are being denied the benefits of play - a major stress reliever. This double burden, many experts believe, is contributing to a rise in anger and aggression in young children, reflected in increasing reports of severe behavior problems. Given the high rates of psychiatric disturbances among children today, it is critically important that early education practices promote physical and emotional health and not exacerbate illness."
- Alliance for Childhood: Crisis in the Kindergarten (Click HERE to see the full report)