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Mandated Curriculum vs. Developmentally Appropriate Practices Essay

I am contacting you in regards to the new state mandated textbook – based curriculum for kindergarten. While I understand that Common core learning standards recently adopted by 45 states and the District and supported by the Obama administration and asserting that they lead to poor quality teaching and take all the joy out of kindergarten (Kenny, 2013). Many children, especially kindergarteners need less strict and regimented learning opportunities to enjoy learning instead of being stressed. Our goal as parents and educators is to instill a love of learning not fear and disappointment. Not every child learns at the same rate and efficiency as others in the same classroom. This needs to be taken into account when using the textbook- based curriculum. There is however a way to stick to the state standards while making the learning experiences more fun for the children. To do this we would need to incorporate the Developmental Appropriate Practices method of learning.

The Developmental Appropriate Practices often shortened to DAP, is an approach to teaching grounded in the research on how young children develop and learn and in what is known about effective early education. Its framework is designed to promote young children’s optimal learning and development (NAEYC, n.d.). With this method of learning, the teachers are meeting the needs of the children, both individually and as the whole group. Children comprehend more when the information is delivered in a more relaxed setting. The NAEYC acknowledges three core considerations, knowing about child development and learning, what is individually appropriate, and what is culturally important. By incorporating theses core values into the standards the children will be able to learn in a more child friendly and productive environment.

Students who complete kindergarten should demonstrate mastery of many of the skills within the Kindergarten Standards. It is critical that kindergarten instruction occurs through an active learning approach where teachers use differentiated instructional strategies and focus on learning centers and play as key elements of the daily schedule. Child directed instruction should be predominant with language and literacy and math infused through the day in addition to their special focus learning times. Kindergarten children should be given opportunities to develop social and emotional skills, physical skills and their creative expression within the course of a kindergarten day (pakeys, 2009). Below is an abridged version of the 2014 Pennsylvania Department of Education Academic Standards for Language Arts: 1.1 Foundational Skills – Students gain a working knowledge of concepts of print, alphabetic principle, and other basic conventions.

Book Handling

CC.1.1.K.A
Utilize book handing skills.

Print Concepts

CC.1.1.K.B

Demonstrate understanding of the organization and basic features of print. Follow words left to right, top to bottom, and page by page. Recognize that spoken words are represented in written language by specific sequences of letters. Understand that words are separated by spaces in print.

Recognize and name all uppercase and lowercase letters of the alphabet. 1.1 Foundational Skills – Students gain a working knowledge of concepts of print, alphabetic principle, and other basic conventions.

Phonological Awareness

CC.1.1KC

Demonstrate understanding of spoken words, syllables, and sounds (phonemes). Recognize and produce rhyming words. Count, pronounce, blend, and segment syllables in spoken words. Blend and segment onsets and rimes of single- syllable spoken words. Isolate and pronounce the initial, medial vowel, and final sound (phonemes) in the three- phoneme (CVC) words. 1.1 Foundational Skills – Students gain a working knowledge of concepts of print, alphabetic principle, and other basic conventions.

Phonics and Word Recognition
CC.1.1.K.D

Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words. Demonstrate basic knowledge of one-to-one letter-sound correspondence. Associate the long and short sounds with common spellings for the five major vowels. Read grade-level high-frequency sight words with automaticity. Distinguish between similarly spelled words by identifying the sounds of the letters that differ. 1.1 Foundational Skills – Students gain a working knowledge of concepts of print, alphabetic principle, and other basic conventions.

Fluency

CC.1.1.K.E
Read emergent – reader text with purpose and understanding. 1.2 Reading Informational Text – Students read, understand, and respond to informational text—with an emphasis on comprehension, vocabulary acquisition, and making connections among ideas and between texts with a focus on textual evidence.

Key Ideas and Details Main Ideas

CC.1.2.K.A
With prompting and support, identify the main idea and retell key details of text. Key Ideas and Details Text Analysis

CC.1.2.K.B
With prompting and support, answer questions about key details in a text. Key Ideas and Details Text Analysis

CC.1.2.K.C
With prompting and support, make a connection between two individuals, events, ideas, or pieces of information in a text 1.2 Reading Informational Text – Students read, understand, and respond to informational text—with an emphasis on comprehension, vocabulary acquisition, and making connections among ideas and between texts with a focus on textual evidence. Craft and Structure Point of View

Intentionally Blank
Craft and Structure Text Structure

CC.1.2.K.E
Identify parts of a book (title, author) and parts of a text beginning, end, details). Craft and Structure Vocabulary

CC.1.2.K.F
With prompting and support, ask and answer questions about unknown words in a text. 1.2 Reading Informational Text – Students read, understand, and respond to informational text—with an emphasis on comprehension, vocabulary acquisition, and making connections among ideas and between texts with a focus on textual evidence. Integration of Knowledge and Ideas Diverse Media

CC.1.2.K.G
Answer questions to describe the relationship between illustrations and the text in which they appear. Integration of Knowledge and Ideas Evaluating Arguments

CC.1.2.K.H
With prompting and support, identify the reasons an author gives to support points in a text. 1.2 Reading Informational Text – Students read, understand, and respond to informational text—with an emphasis on comprehension, vocabulary acquisition, andmaking connections among ideas and between texts with a focus on textual evidence Integration of Knowledge and Ideas Analysis Across Texts

CC.1.2.K.I
With prompting and support, identify basic similarities and differences between two texts (read or read aloud) on the same topic. Vocabulary Acquisition and Use

CC.1.2.K.J
Use words and phrases acquired through conversations, reading, and being read to, and responding to texts. 1.2 Reading Informational Text – Students read, understand, and respond to informational text—with an emphasis on comprehension, vocabulary acquisition, and making connections among ideas and between texts with a focus on textual evidence. Vocabulary Acquisition and Use

CC.1.2.K.K
Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown or multiple-meaning words and phrases based upon grade-level reading and content. Range of Reading

CC.1.2.K.L – Actively engage in group reading activities with purpose and understanding. 1.3 Reading Literature – Students read and respond to works of literature—with emphasis on comprehension, vocabulary acquisition, and making connections among ideas and between texts with focus on textual evidence. Key Ideas and Details Theme

CC.1.3.K.A
With prompting and support, retell familiar stories including key details Key Ideas and Details Text Analysis

CC.1.3.K.B
Answer questions about key details in a text.
Key Ideas and Details Literary Elements

CC.1.3.K.C
With prompting and support, identify characters, settings, and major events in a story. 1.3 Reading Literature – Students read and respond to works of literature—with emphasis on comprehension, vocabulary acquisition, and making connections among ideas and between texts with focus on textual evidence Craft and Structure Point of View

CC.1.3.K.D
Name the author and illustrator of a story and define the role of each in telling the story. Craft and Structure Text Structure

CC.1.3.K.E
Recognize common types of text.
Craft and Structure Vocabulary

CC.1.3.K.F
Ask and answer questions about unknown words in a text.
1.3 Reading Literature – Students read and respond to works of literature—with emphasis on comprehension, vocabulary acquisition, and making connections among ideas and between texts with focus on textual evidence. Integration of Knowledge and Ideas Source of Information

CC.1.3.K.G
Make connections between the illustrations and the text in a story (read or read aloud).

Integration of Knowledge and Ideas Text Analysis
CC.1.3.K.H
Compare and contrast the adventures and experiences of characters in familiar stories.

In conclusion as you can see above by using the textbook- based curriculum alone there is the potential for less learning on the part of the students and a stressful environment. However, incorporating the DAP principle into the standards can offer the students both the state required learning and the NAEYC recommended approach to early- childhood learning. Children comprehend more when the information is delivered in a more relaxed setting.

References
Kenny, D., 2013, The right curriculum for kindergarten: Play, The Washington Post, http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/making-the-common-core-work-for-students/2013/03/08/a8e7b5d8-86a8-11e2-98a3-b3db6b9ac586_story.html http://www.naeyc.org/DAP, “Developmentally Appropriate Practice in Early Childhood Programs Serving Children from Birth through Age 8” (PDF), adopted in 2009. https://www.pakeys.org/uploadedContent/Docs/PD/Standards/Kindergarten%202010.pdf http://www.pdesas.org/Standard/StandardsDownloads

Pennsylvania Department of Education, 2014, Academic Standards for English Language Arts, http://static.pdesas.org/content/documents/PA%20Core%20Standards%20ELA%20PreK-5%20March%202014.pdf


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