Parents would do anything to give their children a leg up in academics whether it be supplemental classes, extra reading and math at home, or educational programs. This is also reflected in kindergarten classes, which now resemble first and second grade classes. Educators are rushing kindergartners to read, write, and count when the student might not be ready yet. The pressure of standardized testing has taken the fun out of kindergarten and replaced it with with rigorous schooling.
By expecting kindergartners to read and count at the first and second grade level, the students and teachers get stressed out. The shift from playing to learning in kindergarten shows little research on student success in the future. However, by incorporating playing into learning, the kindergarteners are more engaged and less stressed out.
“I’ve been doing this for 20 years,” Collier says. “I know when they’re learning, and children this age simply won’t like learning if it’s not fun.”
Educators are fighting to keep kindergarten fun and playful. Although it may just seem like playing, but play encourages interpersonal and linguistic skills, which is necessary for academic success. Providing a fun and safe classroom environment will foster learning in kindergarteners, the learning just is not as obvious as in a regular classroom. For example, teacher Sharon Collier, has created a well balanced classroom between the kindergarten curriculum and kindergarten play. For example, when learning the alphabet, Collier asks students to act out a “snake” for the letter “S.” Learning does not have to be in a desk chair, it can be interactive and still effective.
At KlickEngage, we are working to ensure that children in low-income communities have equal opportunity to succeed academically. Want to learn more? Ask us a question here.