Lower Elementary
Cross-Curricular

Is Kindergarten the New First Grade?

There has been a lot of buzz in the education world about how teachers are placing too many and too high expectations on our littlest learners, our kindergarteners. The below resources discuss how kindergarten academically is slowly turning into the new first grade and the positives and negatives that this has on the students, parents, and teachers.
A Collection By Caitlin Unger
  • 8 Collection Items
  • 8 Collection Items
  • Discussion
Is Kindergarten the New First Grade?
  • cumberlink.com
    cumberlink.com

    Kindergarten Expectations are Much Higher Today

    10 minute read
    Caitlin Unger says:
    This article was written about a school district in Shippensburg and discusses their district's approach to having higher academic standards in kindergarten. One thing this district uses is a Kindergarten Readiness Assessment which allows teachers and parents to have a deeper understanding of what the child already knows and what they need to learn. This article also states that children who have attended preschool seem to have greater success adapting to the higher academic expectations.
  • Caitlin Unger says:
    Sarina voices her opinion on the common core standards in kindergarten and how she feels they will negatively affect students, parents, and teachers. She feels that having such high expectations for young child who do not yet understand the meaning behind their academics will do nothing but enhance self-esteem issues and ultimately hinder learning and self growth.
  • newsweek.com
    newsweek.com

    The New First Grade: Too Much Too Soon

    20 minute read
    Caitlin Unger says:
    This was my favorite article on the subject. It starts off with a concrete example of how too many expectations can remove the spark from children too early. I also enjoyed this article because it provided both the downfalls and the benefits of higher expectations for younger students.
  • scholastic.com
    scholastic.com

    What Happened to Kindergarten?

    20 minute read
    Caitlin Unger says:
    This article by scholastic focuses on the key skills that five year olds need most, which mainly centers around play. One particular topic this article mentions that the other does not is that it is increasingly harder for children to engage in "old-fashion" concrete imaginative play with their peers. So many children rely on technology for stimulation and lose the benefits from peer engagement which should take place in the schools.
  • Caitlin Unger says:
    The article touches base on the new common core: which demands that kindergarteners are required to develop a strong understanding of the alphabet and how the letters blend to create words. Many districts require kindergarten students to read by first grade, and this article states that there is no evidence long term that these requirements foster any deeper academic growth or success long term.
  • Caitlin Unger says:
    Researchers at the University of Virginia completed a study on various kindergarten classrooms throughout the country and concluded that reading/language arts is the greatest focus in the classrooms surveyed. Even though most of the schools were full day kindergarten, teachers have upped their reading curriculum by at least 25% and have reduced other areas, most commonly play, significantly.
  • Caitlin Unger says:
    This is a resource video that exemplifies why one district feels full-day kindergarten is beneficial. This was an example to show the opposite side of the debate!
  • Caitlin Unger says:
    This article is a follow up to the research completed at the University of Virginia. It states the new statistics and briefly describes change from welcoming academics in kindergarten to requiring them. This article also emphasizes that although academics are a great aspect of learning to teach, it is important to also include emotional and social skill development into the kindergarten classrooms.
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