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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm just curious... is it standard now to teach reading in kindergarten? Back when I was that age we were not taught to read until 1st grade, same with my younger sisters.<br><br>
DSD is in kindergarten now and they are teaching reading. Mostly what they call "sight" words. Anything that can be sounded out with the just the phoenetics of the letters, for example "tip".<br><br>
DSD learned the alphabet in Pre-K and was pretty advanced, so I thought for her age.<br><br>
Well, only two months into school they are testing on reading ability and she scored very low and now they are having her meet with a reading consultant.<br><br>
I think this is a bit extreme, in my opinion. I was just curious how normal this is?
 

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I think Kindergarten now is more like my first grade (1970s). DD is learning sight words as well as phonetics (and we were already doing phonetcis at home before she started). She is also learning to spell (darn, that was our last resort to talk about something without her understanding!)...That said, most schools recognize that different children learn reading at different paces and it clicks for some earlier and others later. We are lucky to have found a school with this same understanding and lessons are designed to allow children to follow at variable speeds/levels of comprehension, with a tailored learning plan for each child in the context of group lessons.<br><br>
I do think that it is overboard to have her meet with a reading consultant - it is only a few months into the school year! I would resist it if it is going to turn into stress for you and your DD (which defeats the primary purpose of Kindergarten, IMO, to develop an interest in learning). There are a lot of fun things you can do at home if you do think she is "behind" in some way, but I would not put too much emphasis on it and she will get it when she is ready.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah... I'm concerned about the stress issue of it and putting her off to learning in general.<br><br>
Her Mom sent us an email saying we must go over the sight words everyday with her while she is with us on the weekends.<br><br>
She is in school all day long M-F, a full day kindergarten program. We only see her 4 days a month at EOW... I think it's a bit much to push her to do "homework" on the weekends at her age.<br><br>
Her Mom even put in the email that DSD gets frustrated easily and to just keep praising her and get her to go through them all.<br><br>
I can't really say anything since I'm the step parent... but I was curious on how normal this is to push reading this intensely at this age. I'm personally not feeling comfortable with it... <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad">
 

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Wow. I think Kindergarten is way to early to be putting such stress on learning sight words.<br><br>
My kids' school does start sight word lists in K, but they don't expect any child to master the lists in K...that is a 1st grade "goal". The first list has around 20 words, IIRC, the 2nd has 50, and the 3rd has 100. Some of the words on the later lists are repeats from the earlier lists. The goal is to have the three lists mastered by the end of 1st/beginning of 2nd. My DD might be one of those rare kids to have a couple(if not all) of the lists mastered by the end of K, but this stuff is coming to her far easier than it did with my older 2. In fact, my oldest went to a different elementary school, and they didn't do lists of any kind. My DS7 did end up mastering all 3 lists by the end of 1st grade. He was not a fan. LOL But it did start "clicking" better with him toward the second half of 1st grade. There was NO WAY he could have mastered any of the lists in K. He did know several of the words off the first list, but that was it.<br><br>
Is there a way that you or your husband could talk to the child's teacher and see how much emphasis is being put on learning these words? Mom may be putting much more importance into learning them than the school is, kwim?
 

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My kids started reading in kindy but, there wasn't any stress associated with it. They got words and basic books according to their level and they progressed at their own speed.<br><br>
They had sight words and books but, it was for us to sit down and go over together in a fun way - not in a punitive way.<br><br>
But, I do think that they can identify issues as early as Kindy and I think it's great if they do. Without a solid ability to read, it will affect your school life tremendously.<br><br>
Why not get her extra help if she needs it?
 

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All three of mine were supposed to learn to read in K. In reality #1 learned in K, #2 learned in 3rd and #3 came into K knowing how. Your dh may want to talk to the teacher and find out if the reading consultant is actually a Title I teacher.They could be trying to help her with pre reading skills so that she can be ready in 1st.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>JSMa</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14679980"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">DSD is in kindergarten now and they are teaching reading. Mostly what they call "sight" words. Anything that can be sounded out with the just the phoenetics of the letters, for example "tip".</div>
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I just wanted to clarify that sight words are specifically the ones that cannot be sounded out phonetically, but are high frequency words.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">A sight word is any word that is known by a reader automatically. Sight words are the basis behind the whole-word approach to reading. Sight words and the whole-word approach to reading are a significant teaching technique considering 65% of the population identify themselves as visual learners. Small children are also predominantly visual learners and can therefore learn to read more effectively using sight words and the whole-word approach. Scientific studies have also shown that children with learning difficulties such as Dyslexia, Autism or Down syndrome are also visual learners, and therefore also read words as pictures. In learning to read via the sight words, readers begin to understand that a word represents a 'thing'. This includes pronunciation help.<br><br><b>Sight words are pronounced without decoding the word's spelling.</b> A common first sight word is a child's given name. Beginning readers are at an advantage when they learn to read sight words that occur frequently in print such as those included on the Dolch and Fry word lists. However, it is possible to read a word on sight but not know the meaning of the word. For example, a child might be able to read on sight "there, their and they're" but not understand the differences in meaning. Thus learning words by sight only should not be seen as a complete reading solution.<br><br>
In phonics instruction, sight words refer to common words where one or more phonemes in the word has a unique spelling that cannot be sounded out using common phonics rules (for example: aunt, friend, and sieve). Reading researcher Diane McGuinness estimates that there are approximately 100 common words in English which fit this description, and require specific word-level memorization...</td>
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source: <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sight_word" target="_blank">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sight_word</a>
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
expecting joy... thanks for the info. This is just what her school is calling the words. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shrug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shrug"> and tip was the word that stuck in my head from the list that was sent to us.<br><br>
It is definitely the school pushing her to acheive a certain level. DSD's Mom attached the letter from the school to the email that stated DSD only scored 32% on the reading test and, yes they are sending her to a Title I reading consultant because of it.<br><br>
She has her first parent/teacher conference next week, so I'm sure more will be discussed there.<br><br>
I still think it's a bit pushy to be testing and stressing a certain percentage this early in the school year for a child who just started school.
 

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I our area K is when they learn to read- then it continues into 1st grade. They have to have at least 50 sight words and basic phonetic skills in place when they are done with K- as well as numbers 0-50 and write a simple sentence (I like cats).<br><br>
K curriculum is now what they taught in 1st grade in the 1980s/1970s. They are also starting to do only all day K ( instead of the former common 1/2 day) in order to fit all the material in.<br><br>
Sad in a way since they are loosing out on play, art, and just 'fun' stuff in order to get them ready for 1st.
 

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I think it is very normal now. My oldest is in 6th grade, when she was in kindergarten, they didn't start any reading until after Christmas. My youngest is now in K and his class started right away.<br><br>
Does your DSD know her letter sounds? Once my kindergartener got those down, he started being able to read a lot more words. We have some phonics games that go over some of them, and more fun than just flashcards of words. I bet the tutor will help a lot too. With my son, it was really like a light bulb went off. It was just a few weeks ago and he really started getting things all of a sudden.
 

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Alas, it's very normal now, especially for Title I schools (ironically) because their funding is directly tied to how many kids are reaching benchmarks.<br><br>
Maybe you can find a way to make it more fun for her on the weekends when she's with you. For example, lay out cards with the words (start with pairs to keep it easy) and say one and have her pick the right one. Then reverse roles. Get a few wrong (on ones that you KNOW she knows) so she can correct you. Slowly move up to having her pick the right one among 3, then 4. Or make pairs of the words and play memory games with her where she has to match the words. Set the words to music. Have her spell the words using her body -- what you want to do is keep it playful and involve as many senses as possible. It doesn't have to be an incredible burden.
 

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My daughter is a junior in high school now. But, in kindergarten, they were bringing home simple books by Halloween. ("Pat sat on the mat") They had spelling tests by January. Mostly beginning sight words.<br><br>
By end of kindergarten they were bringing home books like "Little Bear" and "Amelia Bedilia".<br><br>
By October of 1st grade they were reading chapter books. Spelling words were hard, like "Elephant, and opening". (my poor kid could not learn to spell) They would confuse her with words like here and hear, sea and see. It wasn't fun.<br><br>
But, my step daughter teaches kindergarten at a charter school, and her kids are still learning letters. So, I figure they will all get in the same place at the same time. I'm betting that by the end of first grade, all the kids will be reading on roughly the same level.
 

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You can also use 3X5 cards, write the sight words and cut them in half. Then play a memory game by turning them over and trying to find the two halves that go together.<br><br>
Write them in chalk on the driveway.<br><br>
Play "who wants to be a millionaire". Give her fake winnings and she can use the play money to buy snacks or whatever is fun.<br><br>
Write the words on the bathtub in shaving cream. Use food coloring if it's hard to see.<br><br>
Make up crazy stories using as many of the site words as possible.
 

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My son is only 3 now so this hasn't affected me yet. However my neighbors have a 5 yo that just started K. Not only do they push her to read, but she has 2 hours of homework a night!! There is no recess, and they have them doing book reports! Her parents are thrilled with the academic push, but I would have to find my kid another school.<br>
I personally am appalled! I feel they should have much more free time. They are only 5 for goodness sakes.<br><br>
I am obviously fine with teaching children to read at this age, just not forcing it so much if it isn't something they are ready for.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>enigo</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14682385"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">My son is only 3 now so this hasn't affected me yet. However my neighbors have a 5 yo that just started K. Not only do they push her to read, but she has 2 hours of homework a night!! There is no recess, and they have them doing book reports! Her parents are thrilled with the academic push, but I would have to find my kid another school.<br>
I personally am appalled! I feel they should have much more free time. They are only 5 for goodness sakes.<br><br>
I am obviously fine with teaching children to read at this age, just not forcing it so much if it isn't something they are ready for.</div>
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No recess?????? WOW.<br><br>
Book reports are awesome at this age though! Especially if it's an oral report. My dd was doing oral reports every month from kindergarten on, and now in a new district (where they don't do them) she is the only kid in her high school that can speak in front of the class without feeling nervous and saying "um.. and, um" through the whole thing.
 

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DS is in K. They are definitely learning to read. We got a list of sight words earlier in the year that I understood to be the list they are all supposed to know by the end of the year? I should find them and go through them with DS again. He knew 8 of 24 when they came home. They "read" to each other every week. They color and put together a little book, which I am certain DS memorizes, then they have to "read" it to everybody in their class individually. And I know they are working on phonics as well.<br><br>
The academic focus of kindergarten is part (though not the biggest part) of the reason we did an extra year of preschool for DS.<br><br>
If it makes you feel better, the reading specialist may be really fun for your DSD. Kids seem to really like pull-out activities (DS enjoys speech). The testing and extra help in school wouldn't bother me so much, mostly for that reason. But the extra homework (if that's what it is) would bug me. I object to homework for the younger grades anyway so extra would just annoy me more.<br><br>
Catherine
 

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I spoke to our K teacher who said she gauges it on the kids and modifies the curriculum accordingly.<br><br>
Reading was taught in my DDs K class as most of the kids (including DD) were able to read going in. There are readers in my 4 yr old DDs preschool (DD being one of them, but that was purely accidental as opposed to active involvement on our part).
 

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yeah its all about the NCLB unfortunately. the repurcussions.<br><br>
however dd's school did the same thing. however there was no stress put on it. the school needed to know what kind of support the K kids need and they also ask the parents to work on it at home.<br><br>
but not to an extreme level that it is affecting the child.<br><br>
i used to volunteer at my dd's k class and specifically worked with kids who were behind.<br><br>
so in a way i can understand why the school does the tests. they do it to see the general ability of the class and how to set up the help the kids need.<br><br>
the list of words is something they will work on for the rest of the year so they are not expected to know it all at one time.
 

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My dd is in kindergarten. I know that at her school then don't officially start learning to read until grade 1, though her teacher did say that a lot of kids in her class this year were really keen on it, so she's been introducing phonics a bit in a very non-stress, no-expectations kind of way.
 

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They teach reading in Kindergarten here. There hasn't been a ton of emphasis on sight words. They still have time for recess and gym class and playtime every day, music 3x week and art 2x week. Actually, I'm fairly happy with the schedule at my son's school. They don't do a whole lot for science but we do a lot of science and nature activities at home b/c he loves science.
 
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