Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Pile it on...

We had a in-service this morning to learn about the new content added to our math curriculum. I left feeling so down and frustrated. Let's rewind.

My first year of teaching I left as though if I sent the kids home in pretty much the same shape they arrived, it was a good day. I achieved that most days. Navigating the curriculum, navigating what my team did, and just figuring out what to do was incredibly hard.

Year two was better. My language arts blocks were more organized thanks to Literacy Collaborative and math inched along. It wasn't great, but better.

My third year felt solid. I feel great about language arts and I have the big picture in math and the help of required quarterly assessments which aren't fun to give, but they help me stay on task.

Now it's my fourth year. I'm ready to go and now I'm told that what I thought I had a handle on is drastically different. Kindergarten students need to count to 100 and know fractions like 1/2, 1/4, etc. These two new standards are just examples for many more.

Now please don't peg me as a oh-woah-is-me-I-have-teach-more whiner. And trust me, I don't underestimate my kids' ability. But, GAH, just when I feel like I know what I am doing, whammo, it changes. I'm struggling with how I am going to pace this through the year to introduce and teach additional material but also address the needs of my kids who need more time and just aren't ready for fractions, or counting to 100, or whatever... I'm afraid I may fail them this year. We're 11 days in and I'm stressed that a group of my kids can't copy a repeating AB pattern. It's hard to think about mid-year and end-of-year as success stories.

All of these additions to better prepare the upper grade kids on their standardized tests. I'm feeling a bit bitter and piled upon because we're the first grade in...

On a brighter note, the cafeteria manager gave me free leftover chicken tenders. Woot.


organized chaos said...

What?!? count to 100?? Fractions!?! That use to be on the first grade curriculum. What possible benefit do they see from moving it down to K except that we can brag about how smart our kids are? That is ridiculous. Fractions? FRACTIONS?? I'm still thinking about "not picking ones nose"

teach5 said...

We don't teach kindergarten anymore, we teach first grade. For people who don't know early childhood and developementally appropriate, it seems logical to keep pushing the content down, so that the kids will handle it better in the upper grades. It doesn't get any better, because the people making the decisions, don't know what they are doing and it is politcally driven.

jwg said...

Stupidity! Just what the world needs, more superficial learning. Can't we force these fools to read Piaget? (Ok, I'll settle for good explanations of Piaget. Reading actual Piaget is like reading a foreign language.)

Pounce said...

So, if Kindergarteners are having to know 1/2 and 1/4, when do those little critters start learning the easy stuff?

What I'm trying to say is what are the Three and Four year old children learning in Preschool?

And when did this madness begin?