This blog post focuses on one of the biggest challenges I have found this year. I would like to hear about challenges that you are encountering. We might be able to help each other out. If it is related to lack of resources; this is something I would certainly like to hear about because I am always looking to add new resources that will better assist educators.
This year my school division has decided to offer both a half-day and full-day Kindergarten program for parents. The full-day program has become a very popular choice. This is the program that I am teaching. The problem with the program is that I only see the students on an average of nine days in a month. This makes it difficult to offer the continuous review that is necessary for students to master the skills to prepare them to be successful in grade one.
HOW HAS THIS CHALLENGE BEEN ADDRESSED?
In order for the program to be successful it is necessary for parents to provide additional support at home to assist with this continuous review. Guided reading books are sent home and parents have access to the games and activities offered in class. The problem I am facing, is that not all parents are actively involved in their child’s learning. I only suggest fifteen minutes a day (including reading to their child) and this is still not manageable for some families. Unfortunately, their child suffers as a consequence.
I was never been fond of using competitive games and rewards but I am finding this is necessary for some students. I usually pair a stronger student with a weaker student when playing games and this pushes the weaker student to practice more.
In playing the alphabet partner card game, the student must identify the letter name and related sound that they drew. If they can identify both, they place the card on a ring. The object of the game is to see who can collect the most cards on their ring. This has pushed some of my weaker students to get their parents to use the cards at home so they can get better at playing the game. In most cases, it is a matter of practice and exposure.
I find it frustrating that parents do not understand the importance of their involvement in their child’s education.