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Wednesday, November 11, 2015

What Duval first graders are supposed to learn this month, afterlife, cuneiform, ziggurat and the worlds three main religions.

The districts current first grade learning module was sent to me and I am floored by what they think kids are developmentally able to master.

Here are the unit which lasts 25 days objectives through 11/20.

Locate the area known as Mesopotamia on a world map or globe and identify it as part of Asia Explain the importance of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers and the use of canals to support farming and the development of the city of Babylon
Describe the city of Babylon and the Hanging Gardens
Identify cuneiform as the system of writing used in Mesopotamia
Explain why a written language is important to the development of a civilization
 Explain the significance of the Code of Hammurabi
Explain why rules and laws are important to the development of a civilization
Explain the ways in which a leader is important to the development of a civilization
Explain the significance of gods/goddesses, ziggurats, temples, and priests in Mesopotamia
 Describe key components of a civilization
Identify Mesopotamia as the “Cradle of Civilization”
 Describe how a civilization evolves and changes over time
 Locate Egypt on a world map or globe, and identify it as a part of Africa
 Explain the importance of the Nile River and how its floods were important for farming
 Identify hieroglyphics as the system of writing used in ancient Egypt
 Explain the significance of gods/goddesses in ancient Egypt
 Identify pyramids and explain their significance in ancient Egypt
 Describe how the pyramids were built
 Explain that much of Egypt is the Sahara Desert
 Identify the Sphinx and explain its significance in ancient Egypt
 Identify Hatshepsut as a pharaoh of ancient Egypt and explain her significance as pharaoh
Identify Tutankhamun as a pharaoh of ancient Egypt and explain his significance
Explain that much of what we know about ancient Egypt is because of the work of archaeologists
 Identify Judaism, Christianity, and Islam as major monotheistic world religions

Also why all the religious stuff, I don't think for a second EngageNy or whatever Duval is calling it is trying to convert kids to this religion or that but I do think all of this is way past what first graders should be doing. We are through the looking glass.

More to come.


  1. Half of my high school students failed a quiz on the 7 continents & 4 oceans after labeling a map and getting 48 hrs to study. A shocking number could not identify North America or the Atlantic Ocean. I am not at a turn-around school.

  2. Last year these were 6th, 7th and 9th grade standards and the CAST post-test results are so bad that DCPS calls a 38% a "C". This is just laughable.

  3. Hopefully they will get college credit.

  4. Flabbergast. Developmentally on-track 6 year olds have only just grown the brain-eye-hand connections to DRAW a triangle and should be able to distinguish between fantasy and reality. Heaven forbid a child not be on the same developmental track or wait for them to begin failing subjects after years of struggle before receiving diagnostic services.

  5. Don't you know this is building their content knowledge? It's ridiculous.

  6. Explain how the pyramids were built?? Guess I can stop watching those PBS shows where engineers and archeologists try to figure that out, and just ask a Duval County first grader instead.

  7. Ancient History used to be a 9th grade subject. Are today's 1st graders that much smarter than my generation? I know adults who'd have trouble reading some of those words - Mesopotamia, ziggurat, etc.

  8. Kids that age loooove Egypt and Hieroglyphs. It is an ideal time to teach them, seeing as their interest is there.
    It is also a good starting point for how civilazation came about. I see nothing wrong.

    1. Perhaps you should read the actual lessons teachers are required to read to the students. And realize that the students don't have the book to read. The teacher reads it while the students look at a picture. And the photos aren't all that great.

  9. Is it our place to teach 6 year olds about polytheism? The lessons are not age appropriate nor do they align with the standards. ( This content is not teaching character/setting!!)

    Students are not touching print. They can't read and are being set up to fail. I'm sorry to say that in 2 years we will have an entire crop of kids failing the FSA because they were never taught to read.
    Our first grade teachers were told not to send home parent letters. They were also told they had to teach content they were not comfortable teaching.

    It is a sad day in Duval!

    1. To add on to that, all this "science" and "social studies" content that's embedded into our ELA curriculum doesn't even align to the first grade standards in science and social studies! I'm at a loss of words.
      Duval is setting up our children to fail. When these kids get to 3rd grade, they won't know main idea because they haven't received explicit instruction in main topic and supporting details in first grade. But by golly, if they can tell you where the heck is the Nile River, or what a zigguraut is, I guess they'll be A-OK.

  10. To all the people commenting on these posts, please attend a school board meeting to voice your opinion instead. No one is listening to the teachers, parent voices matter!

  11. Nobody is listening to the parents either. Please attend the next "Chat with the Supe" this Wednesday @ Journey Church. 5-6pm. As parents we NEED to ask questions and get answers!

    Our little ones cannot speak for themselves. We as educators MUST speak up for them. It is time for me to do what is right no matter the consequences. NO LONGER will I keep silent...PLEASE teachers, parents, grandparents let's be their voices! PLEASE attend "Chat with the Supe" on Wed. Nov. 18th...

  13. The minutes from Duval county school board meeting on June 16, 2015 are copied and pasted below. Three out of the seven board members were not even present to vote on curriculum that impacts every single K-2nd grade Duval county student. To make it even worse it was a tie vote!! 2 AYE and 2 NAY. We can thank the chair, Cheryl Grimes, for basically single-handedly passing this material. Looks like Vitti knew he was going to get a negative response from parents. I like how he says, "If we have parents that are concerned about the materials we will engage the parent and explain the reasoning."

    PLEASE WRITE TO YOUR BOARD MEMEBER!!! I have the cutest little first grader who is counting on us to stand up for her!!

    ● Vice - Chairman Ashley Smith Juarez requested Common Core be struck from the item since the district uses Florida Standards only.
    ● Board Member Paula Wright asked the Superintendent if she could see a sample of the materials because of the large amount of printing. A sample of the teacher issue was provided to the Board.
    ● Dr. Vitti, Superintendent, indicated that at the teacher level the modules will be printed and put in a binder. This material will also be online for parents to view. At the student level, materials will be packaged to accommodate three hole prong folders . The folders are traditionally part of what the teacher, student or the school provides. Materials that are designed to be in color will be in color. If we have parents that are concerned about the materials we will engage the parent and explain the reasoning. The Superintendent explained the core is a one-size-fits-all. The teachers can always use other supplemental materials which the district provides.
    ● Vice - Chairman Ashley Smith Juarez asked if the cost of all materials are included in the total.
    ● Dr. Vitti, Superintendent said all items that are linked to the core materials and mentioned in the teacher edition are included in the cost.
    PASSED AS AMENDED- 2-2 (This is the vote for the Motion below, as amended.)
    Cheryl Grymes AYE
    Ashley Smith Juarez AYE
    Becki Couch NAY
    Paula Wright NAY
    Pursuant to Section 1001.365, Florida Statutes, in the event of a tie vote of the district school board chair and district school board members acting in any capacity, the side on which the district school board chair voted shall be deemed to prevail. This Section applies only to those counties organized by charter that have a population of between 800,000 and 900,000 according to the last federal decennial census. Since Duval County has been organized as a charter county since 1968 and the results of the last decennial (2010) census indicates Duval County's population as 864,263, this statute affects tie votes by the Duval County School Board.

  14. This is Core Knowledge Curriculum--E.D. Hirsch. He wrote a series of books in the 80s called "What every ___ grader needs to know." Extremely content-heavy.