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  #1  
Old 10-09-2013, 09:54 AM
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Default The Principal Said "Kindergartners Are Learning How To Play". Interesting...

Isn't this what some of us talk about...

I was watching the news this morning (sorry I can't find a link to the story) and there is a school in my state where the Kindergarten teachers sent out a note to all of their parents that the game Tag was going to be prohibited because of the dangers associated with playing the game. Children were being pushed, ran over, etc.... and there was some outrage from the parents.

The principal came on to give an explanation of the letter and said that she didn't know that the teachers sent them out. She then said that the teachers told her that they sent them out because children were getting hurt. And that children in Kindergarten classes there are "learning how to play"!

Isn't this what some of us talk about?! How important play is in learning, before Kindergarten Not just learning daily lessons through play, but also how to play with others. Children start off playing independently, then parallel play, then playing together, it's a process. I just wish parents would realize how important all aspects of play are. I thought it was interesting wording.
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Old 10-09-2013, 10:17 AM
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MY ds's k teacher said this year "Everybody knows the ABC's but nobody knows how to get what they please." in a newsletter. The ENTIRE newsletter was about social skills. They are now having FREE FRIDAY, the children are getting more homework, but it's because Friday afternoon they have 'off' to play in the classroom so that she can teach them to play.
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Old 10-09-2013, 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by daycarediva View Post



MY ds's k teacher said this year "Everybody knows the ABC's but nobody knows how to get what they please." in a newsletter. The ENTIRE newsletter was about social skills. They are now having FREE FRIDAY, the children are getting more homework, but it's because Friday afternoon they have 'off' to play in the classroom so that she can teach them to play.
Wow, just wow.

If I were you I'd keep that to show parents who might pressure you to do more academics. I wish I had a copy of it!

Laurel
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Old 10-09-2013, 10:31 AM
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Wow, just wow.

If I were you I'd keep that to show parents who might pressure you to do more academics. I wish I had a copy of it!

Laurel
I would scan and post it if it didn't have so much identifying information on it. She has been teaching for 15ish? (don't recall exactly) years and she said the last 5 have been her hardest with new requirements and more challenging children with NO social skills. I DID photocopy it and send it home to parents. All of my parents are pretty good about their kids getting a 'good mix' of academics and play and use some of my phrasing at home as well (use your words, you hit, you sit, etc)
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Old 10-09-2013, 11:01 AM
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As a former teacher, I advertise some emphasis on academics, but I always stress that my #1 emphasis is on manners and social skills! At this young age, that is what kids need the MOST- academics are important and will come, but they need to be able to show good citizenship, respect, and responsibility (those qualities are often lacking at home these days )
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Old 10-09-2013, 11:17 AM
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it is very frustrating to see very polite kids start going to school and forget all the good manners you have taught them ...it's like no one there says please and thank you even
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Old 10-09-2013, 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Mama2Bella View Post
As a former teacher, I advertise some emphasis on academics, but I always stress that my #1 emphasis is on manners and social skills! At this young age, that is what kids need the MOST- academics are important and will come, but they need to be able to show good citizenship, respect, and responsibility (those qualities are often lacking at home these days )
I agree. At my daughter's elem school, they have a program called..oh poo, I can't think of it right now, anyways, they teach everyone about respect and doing the right thing. The first week of school since it's a short week, they go over what the right things are and do activities according to it. And throughout the year, if any of the staff sees that the kids helped someone, said something nice, etc...the get a certificate and can turn them in for coins to purchase things. They are just as concerned with the students treating each other nicely as they are about doing well in school. I do believe in academics as well, but I think many times the emphasis of having social skills and manners are overlooked.
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Old 10-09-2013, 11:35 AM
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Default maybe going off topic a little-

I am all for play, all for it!!! It is important.

but I often wonder if some providers are all for play because they don't want to do anything else with the kids and its a good excuse-

just saying~ Not directed at anyone but I have often wondered this.

I am for balance between the two, and think play is very important. I also think teaching kids new skills not through play is good too.
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Old 10-09-2013, 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted by My3cents View Post
I am all for play, all for it!!! It is important.

but I often wonder if some providers are all for play because they don't want to do anything else with the kids and its a good excuse-

just saying~ Not directed at anyone but I have often wondered this.

I am for balance between the two, and think play is very important. I also think teaching kids new skills not through play is good too.
I've wondered the same thing. To me, learning from play is not just watching them play, but the provider themselves, getting involved. I do mostly play based, but I also do some academics by doing a theme, color, letter, and shape of the week and talk about them throughout the day-I like to have a balance also.
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Old 10-09-2013, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by melilley View Post
I've wondered the same thing. To me, learning from play is not just watching them play, but the provider themselves, getting involved. I do mostly play based, but I also do some academics by doing a theme, color, letter, and shape of the week and talk about them throughout the day-I like to have a balance also.
I am play-based. I do not "get involved". I am available for assistance if they need me. I will facilitate a disagreement or assist in conflict resolution but I do not get involved with their play at all.
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Old 10-09-2013, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by My3cents View Post
I am all for play, all for it!!! It is important.

but I often wonder if some providers are all for play because they don't want to do anything else with the kids and its a good excuse-
not me! I would get so bored if all I did was watching them play, I actually like planning lessons and teaching them new things, it is very bonding for me
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Old 10-09-2013, 12:17 PM
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It's interesting to see how everyone does everything! I am forever going back and forth between doing play based and teacher led/academics. So, I decided to do a mix. Plus, I can't really do any preschool activities, my kids are really young, well with the exception of one and she just turned 3 yesterday.
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Old 10-09-2013, 12:32 PM
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Our Community Education department includes the following note in the paperwork for kids who are having their preschool screenings done for Kindergarten. Usually around 3-3.5 years old.

Academic skills are only part of kindergarten readiness. Sure, it's great that your child knows the entire alphabet, recognizes all the numbers up to 20 and can even read a little bit, but these skills are of secondary importance. There are a number of other readiness skills that will give your child a leg up in the classroom.

Ask yourself the following questions to get a better sense of your child's readiness:
  • Does my child have the oral communication skills to make her needs/wants clearly understood?
  • Can my child separate from me for hours at a time without distress?
  • Is my child able to follow one- and two-step directions and adhere to rules?
  • Can my child sit still and pay attention for at least 10 minutes?
  • Does my child get along well with other children? (i.e. Is he able to cooperate? Does he hit, kick or bite?)
  • Is my child able to complete personal need tasks independently or is she willing to try? (Can she button or snap her pants? Zip her coat? Use the toilet without help? Wash her hands?)
  • Does my child know how to use crayons? A pencil? Scissors?
  • Can my child state his full name, address and phone number?
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  #14  
Old 10-09-2013, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by My3cents View Post
I am all for play, all for it!!! It is important.

but I often wonder if some providers are all for play because they don't want to do anything else with the kids and its a good excuse-

just saying~ Not directed at anyone but I have often wondered this.

I am for balance between the two, and think play is very important. I also think teaching kids new skills not through play is good too.
What skills do you mean that you teach specifically?

Just curious.

Laurel

P.S. Edited to add that on another child care forum I belong to providers were describing their programs and some were calling basically the same program a play program and the other preschool. That is why I am asking.
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Old 10-09-2013, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Blackcat31 View Post
Our Community Education department includes the following note in the paperwork for kids who are having their preschool screenings done for Kindergarten. Usually around 3-3.5 years old.

Academic skills are only part of kindergarten readiness. Sure, it's great that your child knows the entire alphabet, recognizes all the numbers up to 20 and can even read a little bit, but these skills are of secondary importance. There are a number of other readiness skills that will give your child a leg up in the classroom.

Ask yourself the following questions to get a better sense of your child's readiness:
  • Does my child have the oral communication skills to make her needs/wants clearly understood?
  • Can my child separate from me for hours at a time without distress?
  • Is my child able to follow one- and two-step directions and adhere to rules?
  • Can my child sit still and pay attention for at least 10 minutes?
  • Does my child get along well with other children? (i.e. Is he able to cooperate? Does he hit, kick or bite?)
  • Is my child able to complete personal need tasks independently or is she willing to try? (Can she button or snap her pants? Zip her coat? Use the toilet without help? Wash her hands?)
  • Does my child know how to use crayons? A pencil? Scissors?
  • Can my child state his full name, address and phone number?
I like this and it makes sense! If they can't do any of the above, they will probably have a hard time adjusting/learning anyways!
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Old 10-09-2013, 02:40 PM
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I would scan and post it if it didn't have so much identifying information on it. She has been teaching for 15ish? (don't recall exactly) years and she said the last 5 have been her hardest with new requirements and more challenging children with NO social skills. I DID photocopy it and send it home to parents. All of my parents are pretty good about their kids getting a 'good mix' of academics and play and use some of my phrasing at home as well (use your words, you hit, you sit, etc)
Wow, that is so interesting but sad.

Laurel
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Old 10-09-2013, 03:01 PM
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I've wondered the same thing. To me, learning from play is not just watching them play, but the provider themselves, getting involved. I do mostly play based, but I also do some academics by doing a theme, color, letter, and shape of the week and talk about them throughout the day-I like to have a balance also.
I do a simple scheduled academic activity each day. Today we did a story and a painting craft with it.
The rest of the time is free play. I am here and available and monitoring, but not guiding their play or choice of toys. The only time I do guided play is if they are new and not used to free play or if we are doing an indoor recess time. It's not because I don't want to do anything with them, I just believe they need to be able to play without every second being managed for them.
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Old 10-09-2013, 03:07 PM
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Oops, hit submit before finishing...I taught kindergarten and understand how frustrating it is when they know academics, but not how to function independently. I think the beauty of home daycare is that we can all offer whatever we want from totally structured to totally unstructured, pure academic to pure play. We all run our businesses differently, and there is no right or wrong. I have found that some parents are looking for a preschool type home and others are looking for a home away from home.
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Old 10-09-2013, 04:59 PM
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Oops, hit submit before finishing...I taught kindergarten and understand how frustrating it is when they know academics, but not how to function independently. I think the beauty of home daycare is that we can all offer whatever we want from totally structured to totally unstructured, pure academic to pure play. We all run our businesses differently, and there is no right or wrong. I have found that some parents are looking for a preschool type home and others are looking for a home away from home.
So true! I have children here who's parent's picked me because I am mostly play based. I do have a weekly theme and a color, shape, and letter of the week, but we do that at circle, which lasts approximately 15 min and we do some activities that coincide with the theme, but the rest of the time it's play. I agree, there is no right or wrong!
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Old 10-10-2013, 06:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Mama2Bella View Post
As a former teacher, I advertise some emphasis on academics, but I always stress that my #1 emphasis is on manners and social skills! At this young age, that is what kids need the MOST- academics are important and will come, but they need to be able to show good citizenship, respect, and responsibility (those qualities are often lacking at home these days )
I was doing student teaching at a local elementary school in 3 separate kinder classes and in each class there was at least one (some even more) students who were obviously not ready for kinder (slipped through the cracks). I think some parents don't realize how important social skills are at a young age and just assume that the schools will "fix" it.
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Old 10-10-2013, 06:57 AM
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Originally Posted by melilley View Post
I've wondered the same thing. To me, learning from play is not just watching them play, but the provider themselves, getting involved. I do mostly play based, but I also do some academics by doing a theme, color, letter, and shape of the week and talk about them throughout the day-I like to have a balance also.
some moms at the co-op said that's why they like that the dad's help out too, because most of the moms don't want to play the games the kids like (mostly the boy's games) but the dads are willing to get on the carpet and play with them and show them how to be respectful of the classroom toys (instead of throwing toys around). The dads also tend to not micromanage like the moms do.
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Old 10-10-2013, 10:03 AM
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Oops, hit submit before finishing...I taught kindergarten and understand how frustrating it is when they know academics, but not how to function independently. I think the beauty of home daycare is that we can all offer whatever we want from totally structured to totally unstructured, pure academic to pure play. We all run our businesses differently, and there is no right or wrong. I have found that some parents are looking for a preschool type home and others are looking for a home away from home.
That is where I think the confusion comes in. I don't consider mine to be either extreme. I was a stay at home mom with mine until they were in school full days and I run my childcare business like I ran my home back then. Btw, my 3 adult children describe their childhoods with words like 'perfect', 'ideal', etc. To be clear, I didn't do daycare in my home then.

In other words, I didn't do themes or circle time or letter of the week or have centers. However, we did a ton of educational things but just not structured.

I have to explain it to prospective parents all the time. I just use photos really. I take a lot of pictures and it shows the children painting, cooking, counting with counters on the rug, reading with me, playing outside with water activities and on and on. I explain to parents that the children do a lot and they don't sit in front of the t.v. all day, etc.

When they are old enough, they help me put out the toys, books and puzzles each week that they are interested in. If I happen to buy something or have something I think they will like I also bring out things. Same with arts and crafts. For example, yesterday one of them was being a bit rowdy and he needed a calming activity. I make play dough and our current dough was getting yucky so we made some more. They helped and then played with it. So for comparison, we didn't have a schedule that said art today was playdough but it was. It just wasn't a planned ahead of time thing. KWIM?

That is the main difference. The enviornment is prepared, there are rules but I just follow the children's interest or sometimes my own. Like I found some cute leaf stickers at the dollar store so this morning I copied a tree trunk coloring page and we stuck the stickers on the tree. They like everything so it is not restrictive in that sense. Mostly it is open ended art but now and again I like to have a tree looking like a tree.

We don't read books together because I found it to be completely frustrating with someone running off (which is fine but then they were crying or making noise which disrupted others who were trying to hear the story) and other annoying things. Now a child will just come and put the book in my lap and we'll read it or I might invite a child to read with me while the others are playing.

I think also that we have different personality types and this plays into how we like to run our businesses. I feel like I am a creative type person and a purchased curriculum (or any curriculum for that matter), for example, would feel stifling. Others may like structure so would welcome one. I keep all the basic supplies and toys on hand and we just go with it.

I do have schedules as far as naps and lunchtime, etc. It is definitely not a free for all as there are rules.

I hope this explains it.

Laurel
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Old 10-10-2013, 10:33 AM
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not me! I would get so bored if all I did was watching them play, I actually like planning lessons and teaching them new things, it is very bonding for me
aha...... see me too. I think I have flare ups of Adult ADD. I do back off and let them do their own thing too, always going for a balance. I observe and see what is going to work best for the day. If play is going well, we don't stop and start a project just because it is scheduled in. If a child colors his paper face purple, I don't get shook about it. Sometimes I wait for them to ask, sometimes I offer to help. I try to get the kids to do as much for themselves as possible, even if it is not "perfectly right" I would be out of my mind bored if I had to just watch them play all day and not interact with the kiddo's.

Good to know I am not alone
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Old 10-10-2013, 10:36 AM
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Laurel, That's pretty much what I do here too. I tried to have a stricter schedule, following themes, etc. I found, for me anyways, it was extremely stressful and didn't work out all that well for the group I had. Now the interest is mostly child led and there is a whole lot of teaching going on, it's just more in sync with the group's rhythm.
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Old 10-10-2013, 10:55 AM
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So true! I have children here who's parent's picked me because I am mostly play based. I do have a weekly theme and a color, shape, and letter of the week, but we do that at circle, which lasts approximately 15 min and we do some activities that coincide with the theme, but the rest of the time it's play. I agree, there is no right or wrong!
this is me.... I do MGT this year, and am loving it, but I am not strict with it and I pick and choose what is going to work with my group of littles. Last year I did my own curriculum. We do a ton of play. I try to introduce them to new experiences, anything that will open verbal skills. I talk to them a lot about everything. I have done Monarchs with two year olds. Are they going to get every bit of understanding of the subject. No, not at all, but it is words, using all the senses. Introduction etc... I don't expect my kids to know ABC's but I introduce and they see and hear and are able to form ideas of the importance of ABC's. Maybe pick up a few here and there. I like to do messy stuff that parents, some providers, teachers wouldn't want to do with the kids- experiences. I work hard on manners, sharing, social skills, being able to sit for small time frames etc... I agree there is no right or wrong, but what works best for your group. I guess I should rephrase that I don't agree with the provider that is all for play because they don't want to do anything else with the kids, may it be for $ reasons, or laziness etc... That would not be what I would want for my child. I prefer trying for a balance. Hope I answered your question.
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Old 10-10-2013, 11:05 AM
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Laurel, That's pretty much what I do here too. I tried to have a stricter schedule, following themes, etc. I found, for me anyways, it was extremely stressful and didn't work out all that well for the group I had. Now the interest is mostly child led and there is a whole lot of teaching going on, it's just more in sync with the group's rhythm.
That is a good way to put it!

Laurel
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Old 10-10-2013, 12:19 PM
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I have not had a chance to read through all of everyone's responses. I agree and disagree.

I do think that under 4 should have their main focus on learn through play, but once they hit 4, they really need to grow that and learn more academics.

I sat through my 5 year old kids Kinder night and almost fell out of my seat when I was told what he would be expected to do, beginning, middle and by the end of the year.

just a few things he will have to accomplish....

writing book reports, reading easy reader lever 1.1-1.5
able to group numbers all the way up to 20...meaning make 20 groups with 20 objects. entry level math, adding and subtracting.

They are already writing sentences, and reading a ton of words that I don't think that I learned until first or second grade.

My son is doing very well thank goodness, but I really spent a ton of time preparing him that last year before he went into kinder.

Here in CA, schools are all almost purely academic and the preschools have a lot of pressure to teach the children so that they are up to speed for when they start.

With my 4 year olds I still incorporate learn through play, but our main focus switches about 8 months before they are going to start kinder so that we can make sure that they are going to go with all of the skills necessary.
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Old 10-10-2013, 01:04 PM
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I used to homeschool, but now I have a daycare, my four year old is in the daycare as well. We do some worksheets, like from Kumon, a few times a week, the kids beg for them. Mostly mazes, cutting, things like that, for hand/eye coordination. We look at letters, with the montessouri material. We do mostly free play. I will sit with a child and read to him/her, listen, comment on their play... such as... look at that cone on top, it has a flat bottom. We cook a couple of times a months, go on field trips on Fridays when there are less children, do occasional learning videos, or starfall.com. Mostly the kids play, play, play. We talk about sharing, using our manners, etc. My daughter has a ways to go socially, but basically, she is doing pretty well, I like to think that she would do better for someone else... but who knows. We do a mix of preplanned activities, and not. I'd say it is 90% free play. The 4 and 3 year old can count a bit, know their colors, play well enough together, color, use art material, sort of cut, spread stuff on their bread, are learning about using snaps, buttons, etc, know several of their letters and the sounds, etc. Nothing spellbinding, but it is a process.
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