Ontario's Full-day kindergarten impacts Grades 1, 2


mentalfloss
#1
Full-day kindergarten impacts Grades 1, 2

Ontario kindergarten students are so ahead in their learning that it's prompting school boards to revisit the curriculum for subsequent grades.


While full-day kindergarten is the newest learning experience for Ontario’s youngest students, it’s been an education for the province’s primary teachers, too.

With the final phase of the full-day rollout happening this week, school boards say that over the past five years of implementation, they’ve had one big kinder surprise: teachers in Grades 1 and 2 now find their lessons no longer work for children steeped in play-based learning — kids who are more confident, ask more questions and who are used to setting the agenda in the classroom.

The Ontario government now plans to expand play- and inquiry-based learning throughout the elementary years as part of its new action plan.

“There really is a need to revisit the curriculum for Grade 1 and subsequent grades,” said Michael Barrett, president of the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association. “As these super-kids move throughout the system, all the curriculum is going to be a year out of date; they are going to be that much further ahead.”

The province’s education ministry said that during consultations to develop its action plan, “a major theme we heard . . . was to extend the play-based learning of full-day kindergarten into elementary education,” said Lauren Ramey, spokesperson for Education Minister Liz Sandals.

“. . . We have already begun that process by including Grade 1 and 2 teachers in annual ministry training sessions for educators about the kindergarten program to support their professional learning.”

Studies have shown that Ontario children in full-day have better vocabularies, reasoning skills and general knowledge, as well as stronger communication and social skills.

But academic benefits such as reading, writing and numbers aren’t evident by the end of Grade 1, which has some wondering if kids struggle with the transition to sitting at a desk in Grade 1 — a routine that is starting to be phased out.

“As we are working through the phases of full-day kindergarten we are adjusting the expectations of Grade 1 students, based on the fact that kindergarten students are coming with skills that in the past weren’t developed until the first few months of Grade 1,” said Colleen Russell-Rawlins, executive superintendent of early years learning for the Toronto District School Board.

“The idea of sitting at their desks for long periods of time won’t work for these students,” added Sheryl Robinson Petrazzini, the board’s central co-ordinating principal, early years.

Rather than being teacher-driven, these students want to explore answers to questions and issues they are interested in, said Jack Nigro, superintendent of curriculum services for the Halton Catholic board.

“Grade 1 teachers inherit the products of our full-day program. Kids seem a little different in terms of what we’re used to . . . there’s been a bit of a shift there.”

That’s something York Region kindergarten teacher Joanne Marie Babalis has found with her students, who are “much more involved as active participants in their own learning process . . . it’s not about educators filling them up with knowledge, it’s them coming with questions and ideas learning alongside the educators.”

She began an inquiry last December after one student brought in lemon seeds, wondering if fruit would grow. It turned into a huge examination of other types of seeds, how best to grow gardens and lasted until the end of the school year.

“The most powerful aspect is the improvement in their engagement — they are completely engrossed in everything they do in the classroom and can’t wait to come back the next day.”

The full-day program has had its share of problems: boards have complained of insufficient funding to deliver it and some schools have had to move older students into portables or other schools to make room.

Schools starting full-day kindergarten this fall required the most construction, and concerns were raised that many might not be finished by the first day of school.

The Toronto public board budgeted $88.5 million in construction for this fall — everything from installing washrooms or cubbies to creating brand-new classrooms.

Additions at some schools, including Rosedale and Runnymede, will not be finished in time. Some 95 other projects were completed by August.

Of another 30 schools that started full-day kindergarten over the past four phases but then required more space because of booming enrolment, several won’t be ready on time, but most should be done by the end of September.

Full-day kindergarten impacts Grades 1, 2
 
taxslave
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+1
#2
This has been going on in BC for a couple of years now too. Or was until our teachers union decided they would rather strike for even more money for less work.
 
mentalfloss
#3
Teachers don't have it easy but I agree that we need to strike (sorry) the right balance with the economy.
 
taxslave
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#4
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalflossView Post

Teachers don't have it easy but I agree that we need to strike (sorry) the right balance with the economy.

It is a fine balancing act. Biggest problem is government employees rose tinted view of a workers utopia. They actually think they are entitled to this regardless of economic conditions. I think a lot of it has to do with their jobs being isolated from economic reality.
 
SLM
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#5
They should have gone to full day kindergarten years ago. Back when my kids were young, I can remember hearing those same comments about the children coming out of formal daycare centres being a bit more advanced in terms of learning skills than those who were not in a formal centre.
 
Walter
#6
Quote: Originally Posted by SLMView Post

They should have gone to full day kindergarten years ago. Back when my kids were young, I can remember hearing those same comments about the children coming out of formal daycare centres being a bit more advanced in terms of learning skills than those who were not in a formal centre.

Yeah, parents suck at raising kids.
 
spaminator
+2
#7  Top Rated Post
Quote: Originally Posted by SLMView Post

They should have gone to full day kindergarten years ago. Back when my kids were young, I can remember hearing those same comments about the children coming out of formal daycare centres being a bit more advanced in terms of learning skills than those who were not in a formal centre.

there are many posters here who would benefit from full day kindergarten.
Last edited by spaminator; 3 weeks ago at 08:33 AM..
 
taxslave
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#8
Quote: Originally Posted by SLMView Post

They should have gone to full day kindergarten years ago. Back when my kids were young, I can remember hearing those same comments about the children coming out of formal daycare centres being a bit more advanced in terms of learning skills than those who were not in a formal centre.

Those daycares are mostly doing what parents should be doing. When I was young there was no kindergarden in our school. First day of grade one it was obvious which parents spent time with their kids and which ones spent their time drinking. While I could count to 100 without taking off my shoes and read simple sentences some of the kids could noteven count to 10 using their fingers.
 
SLM
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+1
#9
Quote: Originally Posted by WalterView Post

Yeah, parents suck at raising kids.

Yeah obviously that's what I'm saying.

Why you're so purposefully obtuse I'll never know.

A child who attends a daycare in a home based environment under the guidance of someone who does not have the background in early childhood education is slightly less prepared to enter the school system which is a very structured learning environment. A formal daycare centre, because they're licensed and thus have to maintain a standard that home based daycares do not, offer a slightly more structured setting, thus children attending the latter have a small but discernable advantage. At least that's what was conveyed to me on more than one occasion by educational professionals.....but perhaps you know far better than they.

Quote: Originally Posted by spaminatorView Post

there are many posters here who would benefit from full day kindergarten.



You are not wrong on that! Lol

Quote: Originally Posted by taxslaveView Post

Those daycares are mostly doing what parents should be doing. When I was young there was no kindergarden in our school. First day of grade one it was obvious which parents spent time with their kids and which ones spent their time drinking. While I could count to 100 without taking off my shoes and read simple sentences some of the kids could noteven count to 10 using their fingers.

Of course, but it's not about what stage the child is in for reading and writing as much as being prepared to be in a more structured learning environment. Back when I was in Kindergarten, half days at the time (or for me it was a one day on, one day off since I was in a rural setting), it was the first exposure I had to anything structured with a group of other children. Today it's rare that one parent can remain at home with a child until they reach school age.
 
taxslave
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+1
#10
Quote: Originally Posted by SLMView Post

Yeah obviously that's what I'm saying.

Why you're so purposefully obtuse I'll never know.

A child who attends a daycare in a home based environment under the guidance of someone who does not have the background in early childhood education is slightly less prepared to enter the school system which is a very structured learning environment. A formal daycare centre, because they're licensed and thus have to maintain a standard that home based daycares do not, offer a slightly more structured setting, thus children attending the latter have a small but discernable advantage. At least that's what was conveyed to me on more than one occasion by educational professionals.....but perhaps you know far better than they.

Educational professionals have a vested interest in promoting more paid child care. Doesn't necessarily make smarterkids but ones that are programed to what the teachers want to see.
 
SLM
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#11
Quote: Originally Posted by taxslaveView Post

Educational professionals have a vested interest in promoting more paid child care. Doesn't necessarily make smarterkids but ones that are programed to what the teachers want to see.

But if you'll listen to what I'm saying, I'm not saying that they are smarter, simply more accustomed to the learning environment that a school system provides. We can debate the merits of the school system that we have of course but for the time being it is what we have.

There is a learning curve whenever we are thrust into a new environment, no matter what age we are. Even a new job with a new company....you can be performing the same tasks as an old job but there you still need to acclimate yourself, to adjust yourself to a new environment. Thus the learning curve.

All the article is saying, and all I'm referring to when I speak of the comments provided to me about children in general coming out of a formal daycare setting by educational professionals, is that these kids are acclimated to the environment and thus capable of more accelerated learning. The basic learning taught in the primary grades probably doesn't differ too dramatically from when you and I began grade 1, coming in from home which hopefully is not a "formally structured" environment.
 
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