I know that there are a variety of mix concerns for this in Early Childhood in regards to Pre-Kindergarten students, being prepared for the Elementary School system. Some parents believe that children learn through play and it is not necessary for them to be taught a certain lesson plan to get them prepared for kindergarten. They believe that they should develop the skills on their own and learn at their own pace.
While others feel that unless their child is learning their letters, numbers, shapes and colors and paperwork is brought home daily, then their child isn’t learning at all. And they fear that they will not be prepared to handle Kindergarten and will be delayed once they enter the Elementary school system.
Children will learn at their own pace regardless of the learning approach, subjecting students to an healthy academic environment will give the students a foundation to what learning is about.
Learning their letters, numbers, colors and shapes is not always the cure for learning, it is an introduction to what they will be exposed to as they enter Kindergarten. However, learning these techniques without an understanding of how to apply them, is simply empty information being poured into their brains and spit out when they are asked “what letter is this.” They must have meaning to the student so that they retain the information presented to them.
I took over a class about mid-way through the year. The students were working in their journals. The teacher before me had them writing their names, but she did not review the letters with them. There was one student who wrote her name perfectly, but when I asked her to say the letters that she wrote, she had not idea. She was using muscle memory to write her name, but she had not idea what she was writing.
If I had not caught this, the child would have moved on to kindergarten writing letters that she had not idea what they were. It was really hard to work with her on her letters because she became very frustrated, which was understandable. Imagine perfecting your name only to find out, you had no idea what you were writing.
I don’t think anything is wrong with teaching students how to write their name or learn their colors, shapes and numbers. I think knowing this information is a great way to build the students self esteem. They will go into kindergarten understanding what the teacher is saying when she talks about a number, color, shape or letter.
I just think that it is more to learning these concepts. They have to make sense to the students, otherwise they are just marks on a paper.
🌟Darla the Teacher🌟