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TV at school

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

My gifted 5yo just started public kindy. The teacher has been showing movies in class. It's hard to say exactly what's going on, as my son doesn't tend to say much about what goes on at school, but from what I can gather they've watched several short movies so far on the "Smart Board." An Elmo movie about the color green, a movie about recyling that was offered as an alternative to nap (really???) and now today he told me that in his first ever art class they watched a film version of Harold and the Purple Crayon before doing a related art project. All this screen time seems so unnecessary and deterimental to me. Any suggestions on how to approach it with the teacher, given that I'm brand new to this school and school system? I don't want to be branded as a problem mom, but I'm really disturbed by this and by the implications about their educational philosophies.

post #2 of 9

Well...as a teacher, I will say that the SmartBoard can be addictive.  smile.gif  I don't have one, but several teachers in my hall at school do have them, and they frequently will show a streaming video to capture the kids' interest before starting something.  I do it too, on my tv, but less often because it's not quite so accessible (my computer is linked to the tv, and I usually have something on the screen that I don't want to close).  Usually the clips are between 1 and 5 minutes long.  We're not talking full movies here.

 

Three clips in one day sounds like a bit much, and I'm not sure I like the alternative to naptime--seems like if they want the kids to nap, they need to not offer an alternative.  But maybe the color green video and the art class were just coincidentally on the same day?  Personally, I'd wait a few weeks and reassess, based on what he's telling you at home.

 

post #3 of 9

Just noticed what you said about their educational philosophy.  Yeah...I don't know of any district in my state right now that wouldn't take and use a SmartBoard if it were offered.  Schools are pretty pro-technology right now.  As teachers, it's almost impossible to say no to new technology without being branded as a technophobe.  I'm so glad they didn't offer me one this year.  shrug.gif

post #4 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by TinyMama View Post

  Usually the clips are between 1 and 5 minutes long.  We're not talking full movies here.

 

Three clips in one day sounds like a bit much, and I'm not sure I like the alternative to naptime--seems like if they want the kids to nap, they need to not offer an alternative.  But maybe the color green video and the art class were just coincidentally on the same day?  Personally, I'd wait a few weeks and reassess, based on what he's telling you at home.

 


Ditto this. Honestly, it sounds like the two clips from two different teachers was a coincidence.

 

I would be upset by the nap alternative. Rest time in our area is required by the state and kids should be resting-- not required to sleep, but they have to rest. Video are not restful in fact-- they stimulate the brain and studies suggest NOT watching TV or using a computer right before bed.

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by TinyMama View Post

Just noticed what you said about their educational philosophy.  Yeah...I don't know of any district in my state right now that wouldn't take and use a SmartBoard if it were offered.  Schools are pretty pro-technology right now.shrug.gif

 

 

The district we just moved into has SmartBoards. They use them to reach/teach across the board. Unfortunately/ fortunately ,depending on your stance, it is one thing that most kids can relate to. Often the teachers have kids that are 2 grades behind to 2+ grades ahead- it is hard to grab attention of all of them.  

 

SmartBoards often also allow for physical interaction/sensory/tactile learning. It is not simply a screen- though it IS very technology-related. They easily could be overused, but in todays society they do serve as a good intro for little people to technology in the mainstream world. I will say if the teachers in our district did NOT use the SmartBoards daily for some purpose (not all video streaming) they would be chastised, they are too expensive to sit idle.

 

Our K classes all have IPads and SmartBoards.

 

If after a few weeks, you still have concerns. I would approach the teacher in a query way. Ask how often they use them? What is the purpose? What is the districts stance on technology? She may or may not have a lot of leeway (some schools do group planning-- all K do the same lessons, etc) in use.
 

 

post #5 of 9

 

Do you have any opportunities to volunteer in the class and observe a little? Not spying, exactly, just to get familiar yourself with the teacher's style and philosophy and methods, rather than relying solely on what your ds mentions to you.

 

Smartboards are like any piece of equipment in a classroom. Sometimes they are used well and sometimes they aren't.   

post #6 of 9

I find it sad that they showed the film version of Harold and the Purple Crayon instead of the lovely original books!  By the way, my kids and I LOVE the film version and have gotten the full set from the library a few times, they are really calm and charming. But in school?  To inspire an art lesson? Why not the book??

post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by reezley View Post

I find it sad that they showed the film version of Harold and the Purple Crayon instead of the lovely original books!  By the way, my kids and I LOVE the film version and have gotten the full set from the library a few times, they are really calm and charming. But in school?  To inspire an art lesson? Why not the book??



Exactly. We like the DVDs of books for long car trips, for example, but to use it in class doesn't make sense to me.

 

Thanks, all, for your replies. I'm going to try to get more involved in the classroom so I can see firsthand what's going on, and go from there.

post #8 of 9

(The OP didn't say they were all in one day, just that the latest one happened to occur "now today".)

 

This mostly sounds like a non-issue to me, although I too would follow up by learning more.  What sounds like several to ten minutes of screen time spread over multiple school days is simply not going to harm your child.  Optimal?  Probably not, but what is?

 

I'm intrigued that they have nap time in kindergarten in your area.  I guess that's not the greatest, to offer a video instead.  In my area they don't have naptime, but the K classes are also half-day.  I would tend to be most put off by that.  I'd start by asking questions of the teacher about whether that truly happened, and if so, why.

post #9 of 9

I've been meaning to respond to this. My son's school doesn't use movies for instruction, but they have shown films when a specialist is out and they can't find a substitute (for example, in music class) or as a reward, or when field day was rained out.

 

My son finds most children's movies too suspenseful and intense. He often asks the teacher if he can do another activity. He used to cry, but he's more mature now. Other children have made fun of him for finding movies too much. I'm talking about things like Finding Nemo or Spongebob Squarepants (the latter wasn't shown at school--it was at a birthday party--but the former was.) I often wish he didn't have these opportunities to be exposed to movies. I am not sure whether this is an aspect of his intellectual gifts or just how it goes--he's very imaginative. 

 

It was pretty funny when he told me that his teacher gave him a book of math problems to work instead of watching the movie she showed to substitute for field day at the end of second grade! He was happy as a clam that she understood, though. 

 

I think kids can learn from visually-presented information, including video, but I wish there was a little more thought to the content of this stuff so that it wouldn't feel like busy work, and wouldn't scare my son. 

 

 

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