8 April 2011
Full Day Kindergarten
Full day kindergarten should be mandatory and of no extra cost for all of the elementary schools. This will boost the children’s academic achievement. The children that are exposed to full day kindergarten will learn more in literacy and mathematics than those in half-day kindergarten. The students that are in a full day program get to spend more time on their math, writing, and reading activities. The full day students also get the advantage of being able to participate in gym, art, and music classes. The half-day students do not get to experience gym, art, or music class. I have seen results first hand because I chose to put my son in a full day kindergarten versus the half-day. I chose to bring my son to a school that is located in Fridley so that he could receive the benefits of the full day kindergarten. The half-day program that Blaine offers has a very undesirable schedule for parents who work. The half-day schedule for Blaine elementary school is full days Mondays, Wednesdays, and every other Friday. I think that the earlier the educational intervention begins the higher the impact and the more likely the effects will be retained. Other than the health of a child, I think that nothing should be more important than their education. Giving children the opportunity to be in a full day kindergarten program gives them opportunities that the half-day students do not receive. One of the opportunities is being able to spend more time on reading, writing, and math. The teachers also have more time to sit one on one with each student one or in small groups and work on these skills. They also have a different theme for each month that they focus on. Some examples of the themes are the solar system, U.S. presidents, maps, and the celebrations around the world. Children also absorb things more easily when they are younger. Being a mother of a full day kindergarten student, I see the results of the extra reading, writing, and math that the teacher does with him. My son is one of the youngest in his class and he is reading at a first grade level. As for his writing, he attempt to write big words using phonics. For example, I came home one day a few months ago and he had written on his dry erase board “I see a red ladebug”. He also brought home a worksheet that he had written about his favorite fruits. On this worksheet, he had written “watrmlon”. As far as his math goes, he is always measuring things in the house with a kid’s yard ruler. The themes that they work on each month give the students the ability to know what is going on in the world around them. My son came home from school one day and told me that there was a planet that was not considered a planet anymore. I did not know this and I was in complete awe. According to Debra Ackerman, “Children in full day kindergarten programs score higher on their achievement test than those in half-day programs. Full-day kindergarten advocates suggest that a longer school day provides educational support that ensures a productive beginning school experience and increases the chances of future school success. In both full-day and half-day programs, kindergartners spend most of their class time working on reading, language arts, and math activities, but the total number of minutes teachers devote to specific subjects differs. For example, 80 percent of full day but only about 50 percent of half-day programs devote more than 30 minutes each day to mathematics instruction. Sixty-eight percent of full day but only 37 percent of half-day classrooms dedicate at least 60 minutes to reading instruction each day. Perhaps most striking, 79 percent of full-day teachers read aloud to their students every day, compared to 62 percent of half-day teachers. Reading aloud is a critical activity in helping to develop children’s reading skills. Additional research shows children’s literacy learning is enhanced in full-day...