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Saturday, January 3, 2015

What passes for developmentally appropriate to Kindergartners in Duval County

Some people in the district think rigor should mean harder but that's not what it should mean. Something more rigorous shouldn't be inappropriate it should be more involved and more detailed instead. Because of this mindset this year Duval County has shifted down what we were teaching one grade level, what was taught in third is now taught in second, second first and so on. More and more teachers believe this is bad for our students especially the ones that are still in the early stages of development and for the ones that start school already behind too.

Here is now what Duval considers developmentally appropriate for kindergartners.



Then think about this, above is administered on computers and the questions generally have to be read to the kids. How much time does this take and how much does this distract from the rest of the day? Also aren't we running the risk at such an early age too of making kids hate school? I mean if this is way above where they are at it has to cause frustration.

Furthermore  teachers EOY Evaluation will be based on student progress in this program which in no way assess the curriculum the students need to know in their specific grades, also doesn't it just put teachers who have pay and employment ramifications based on tests even further behind the 8 ball? .

This isn't me saying, oh no this is wrong, I am not an expert on what is appropriate or developmentally correct for kindergartners or the other formative grades. Though I do teach profoundly disabled children who we often compare to those grades and most of above is way to much for them. This is their teachers, who are the experts. People who once again are ignored by the district and told to implement their directives without question.


  1. I am an accomplished teacher with an IQ in the gifted range. My only memory of Kindergarten is hearing a child say he could count to 100. I remember wondering if I could, if I was smart enough to do this thing called school. We are expecting way too much and, like the previous poster speculated, making kids hate school.

  2. Less is more. Alphabet, counting, adding and subtracting as well basic social skills is what those babies should be learning. Again, Vitti is an inexperienced administrator who is making all of his mistakes at the expense of the teachers and ESPECIALLY the poor students who have endure this madness. I guess a degree from Harvard really is worth that much.

    Vitti is another Rhee type. The truth about him and his nonsense will come out sooner, rather than later. He has a mess going on downtown.

    1. And the adding and subtracting should be done using fingers, not computers.

  3. As a curious teacher, what program are the above screenshots from?

  4. I am surprised at these screens and am wondering if these little guys are being presented with CRA (concrete to representation to abstract math) BEFORE they see or hear this on a computer. Maybe the program does use on-line manipulatives, but these are still considered the representational stage of math and then it goes straight to abstract. If so, it is totally inappropriate. So my question would be - are concrete methods being used before the computer lesson? Do they match the computer lesson? Are teachers putting in lessons for the children to complete that do match what they are doing in class? I love technology, but have concerns about the "push". We are supposed to be covering less and doing it better/deeper. Are we doing that? If we are not doing that, why not? It always amazes me when I see a curriculum guide that has all standards being taught before April's FSA. I believe in a standarized assessment, but there is something wrong with not giving students and teachers a whole year to introduce and teach the standards. In all curriculum guides and articles I have read about mathematics it clearly states "students should have multiple and differentiated opportunities to work on conceptual development". Let's do that!!!

  5. My kingergartener uses iready. The computer "reads" to the kids. The kids are taught basics in classroom and also have homework that reinforces. iready is in addition to classroom and home study. It goes at childs pace. So child does not move farther than able. But my child often guesses the answer and I am pleasantly surprises that he guesses / deduces the correct answer. I have heard that word rigor used by his teacher. Interesting. I will have to ask some questions. In VPK they learned counting, ABC's, etc. In kindergarten they are building on those skills. It sure is not what kindergarten was when I was a kid but it is not so far from what his older sibling experienced six years ago. So far.

  6. I remember story circle, fingerpainting, counting, sticking a bean in a cup and watching it grow, and making hand turkeys at Thanksgiving. I loved kindergarten...but that was 1974. I don't think I would enjoy the current iteration very much, and loving school helped produce a highly literate educator. It seems that kindergarten, at the very least, ought to revert to the prior way of doing things-- which was definitely not broken.