Saturday, April 21, 2012

Kindergarten Screening

   I always enjoy kindergarten screening -- well, as least some parts of it.  Yesterday was the day -- we had 44 pre-schoolers coming to give us a glimpse of next year's class.  The library was decorated with stars and balloons and the hall was full of parents and little kids, waiting  for their turn.  My job was to check their knowledge of letters and sounds and to ask a few questions to check thinking skills.  It is amazing to see the difference in kids, even by the age of 4 or 5, -- there can be a big gap that teachers will start trying to bridge next fall.  I always ask them to sing the ABC song, and I'll sing the first part to get them started if they need help.  Some very confidently sang the whole thing while there were a few who gave a blank stare at my request. Two stood out this time.

 One little boy sang:
How I wonder what you are."

Another sang --( I asked twice so I could write it down) --
 H-I way K-L-M-N-B
Do R-X  Y and C"
She said, "My mommy learned me how to sing it!"

I also had to ask them about what they would do if they broke something that belonged to someone else.  Here are some of the answers:
"Say Sorry"
"Get a butt whuppin'"
"Fix it with tape"
"Buy a new one"
"Hide it so he won't see it"

Other unsolicited information I got:
"My sister poops in the bathtub"
"I have money in my pocket to get chewing gum"
"Mama says NO when I ask her to read to me.  She is always sick and goes to sleep."

There were still many children who could not write even the first letter of their name, didn't recognize a single letter of the alphabet, never cut with a pair of scissors.  I hope their parents act on our recommendations and get out the pencils and scissors and story books this summer. They don't seem to realize that part of the class will be learning to read books and write stories while the rest will still be learning to hold a pencil, write their name, and learn what A-B-C means.  I will love and teach them all, but I wish all of them could be ready to learn when they step in my door. Looks like we will have a full house next year, and plenty of work to do!!

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