We talk about the value in students “wondering.” I think that adults should also wonder. I have a lot of current wonders: many of which revolve around our Kindergarten Program Document and our Board’s goal to have all students reading by the end of Grade 1. What does pedagogy look like in practice?
And so tonight, before I head to bed, I have to share these many wonders that are occupying the brain space I need for a deep and restful — although be it short 🙂 — sleep.
- I wonder how educators interpret “play” in the Kindergarten Program Document. What does it look like to you?
- I wonder if the type of play opportunities educators provide for students change during the day, and what might these changes look like? How do you decide what to do, when? How do you address all student needs with these decisions?
- I wonder what reading instruction looks like in Kindergarten. What constitutes “small group instruction?” How long is small group instruction? What might “guided reading” look like? How might it vary from “guided reading” in other grades, or does it vary?
- I wonder how educators monitor progress. Do you use standardized assessments? Which ones? Is documentation equally valuable, and if it is, how do you use it to measure growth?
- I wonder how educators balance oral language skills with reading and writing. Is it a balance? Does it vary depending on the child? How do you decide? In your classroom program, does oral language merge with reading and writing, or is it separate from them? What guides your decisions?
- I wonder what impact outdoor learning has on oral language skills, reading, and writing. How do you leverage your outdoor space to support the development of academic skills? What have you already tried, and what do you still want to try?
- I wonder what our classrooms communicate about our view of the child and how they learn. What message are you hoping that your classroom design says to others? What decisions have you made to help communicate this message?
- I wonder how educators balance developmental considerations with program expectations and reading benchmarks. What have you tried? What guides your decisions? What changes have you made?
- I wonder what impact relationships have on reading. How do we merge relationship building and academic expectations? What do “reading” and “relationships” look like in your classroom?
- I wonder what “intervention” looks like in Kindergarten. Do you focus on Year 1 students, Year 2 students, or both? How do you make these decisions?
- I wonder about the key phrase in the Kindergarten Program Document that is forever running through my head: “Why this learning for this child at this time?” How does this phrase impact on your programming decisions? How might it impact on an intervention model?
My head is definitely full of more questions than answers, but I’m hoping that these wonders and questions can start a conversation. An important one. One that might help me as I continue to learn new things, try new things, and better support kids!
Just reading through your post and thinking, too, as you write them, about the importance of how administrators, policy makers, politicians, principals, parents, all see play. How play as defined from the outside in ways that try and link it to adult worlds and traditional classrooms, is so far from the reality of how we see play lived by children.
Thank you for your open sharing and your willingness to put your questions out for others to consider too.
Thanks Allison! I think you make a wonderful point here. I’ve blogged a lot about play and the benefits of “free play.” It has taken me a while to get to the point where I really see this value for kids. Maybe we need more conversations around play to help with viewing different perspectives.