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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

What about Pre-Kindergarten?

What about Pre-Kindergarten?

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I love this website and the ideas it provides. However, I am a Pre-K teacher and I'd love to see some examples of how teachers use technology with this age group and how teachers prepare students going into the K-12 education so they are "kindergarten ready"? Or... better yet, since there are already kindergarten teachers out there. What do you want to see happening in a Pre-K classroom to get the students ready for K-3?

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Hubert V. Yee's picture
Hubert V. Yee
social media and marketing manager of startup

Hi Lori,

I have a resource for you. Preknow Their mission is "Pre-K Now is committed to its vision of a nation where every child enters kindergarten prepared to succeed." (http://www.preknow.org/resource/index.cfm)

The organization maybe able to answer some of your questions.

I have also a nice article I found... Benefits of Technology (http://www.pre-kpages.com/benefits-of-technology). This article shares how to integrate technology into a Pre-k classroom. Enjoy!

Mary Kate Land's picture
Mary Kate Land
Montessori 4-6th grade teacher
Blogger 2014

If you would consider books a technology, then I think there is a central role for technology in the EC classroom!

I think, though, that you probably mean more recent technology, such as the computer or television.

Young children perceive the importance of technology in our culture, and this is not a recent development. The recent development is the rate of change in our technlogical capabilities. Because computer technology has become ubiquitous in our society, it seems natural to introduce it at a very early age. I think we need to look at this impulse very carefully, though. Not every important development our society embraces can be accessible to the very young child.

There are few experiences a young child can have through a computer which would not be more meaningful in real life. Counting monkeys on a screen is not superior to actually counting a concrete set of objects the child can manipulate with his hands.

The early childhood years are an important formative period and one of the greatest dangers is that tasks and ideas which are better suited to the elementary years may get pushed into the early childhood curriculum in the name of preparation.

The young child is having a real and very important life right now, he is not living in preparation for kindergarten. If we focus on tasks which are developmentally appropriate, we will not have to concern ourselves with the child's readiness, he will be ready for much more than just kindergarten, he will be ready for life-long learning.

But if we allow the tasks and tools of the elementary years to occupy the hands and minds of the young child, he may fail to develop his abilities to interact with the environment (and the people in it)in meaningful ways.

David Elkind did wonderful work (30 years ago) on the idea of hurrying children through developmental phases in the name of readiness and future excellence. His books are still widely available, they feature excellent scholarship, and they have a great deal to say about how preschool ought to be done.

I sympathize with the pre-K teachers, who are clearly called to subsume the work of early childhood in the name of preparing for the next step. Though our ECE preparation clearly supports the constructivist views of Piaget, we are taxed with preparing children to operate in a system that is run according to the principles of behaviorism. A choice clearly has to be made, do we serve the child? Or do we serve the system?

MK

Siggy's picture

I agree that there should be more information on this site about strong pre K programs. In the DCPS system children begin full-time formalized elementary school at age 3. I imagine this is true in other districts. I want my child to be in the best environment possible to ensure early educational success. More resources for teachers and parents of this age group could help with that success.

Ken Cornett's picture
Ken Cornett
Retired: Grades 4 to 12, specializing in curriculum development

I have no experience with Pre-K, but taught K class for phy. ed, and there are probably the toughest class to teach, glad I only had the class for 2 periods a week, or they would have worn out. They sure like to run and move around lots.

If you would like to teach them Addition through singing, you can download this program for Free. Go to www.123math.ca and download the Addition Program. It has over 270 pages of instructional material for the teacher and parents as well as 10 addition songs that are unique, each one. I used the songs with a K class once, I was visiting this school and the principal gave me 15 minutes max before I would loose them. Well an hour later and they didn't want to quit. They would end up singing the song, first you have to teach them, the tunes are very catchy, then they would move about with the songs as they sang. You can do a variety of activities with the songs, this way they are having fun and learning addition. But it also teaches them that they have to listen, which is unique for K kids and probably the same for pre-K kids, and also follow directions, wait your turn to show off your skills and just a lot of basic social skills. Give it a try, if you have questions about the program you can send an email to ask@photographybken.ca. Good Luck

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