Sunday, September 14, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Preparing children for kindergarten? It’s all academic

pre kindergarten, 2/20/13

Donna Alway, the Wednesday teacher at the Parent Education Preschool at the Fairfield-Suisun Adult School, helps Nicholas Neyland, 4, out with a project, Wednesday morning, cutting out shapes and matching them on a sheet of paper. Nicholas will be entering kindergarten in the fall and the preschool lessons are designed to prepare him for that experience. (Brad Zweerink/Daily Republic)

By
From page A1 | February 21, 2013 |

FAIRFIELD — Perish the playhouses. Poof goes the Play-Doh. Back to preschool go the building blocks.

Kindergarten is an academic endeavor these days, with youngsters expected to meet pages of California Content Standard criteria before they move on to first grade. Cutting, finger painting, pasting and building Play-Doh creations aren’t listed on the California Department of Education’s website as acceptable knowledge to move on to the next grade. Reading, writing, language arts and math skills are on that list.

In order to achieve the goals of kindergarten, children should be prepared upon entry; armed with knowledge that includes basic social and academic skills such as following directions, color names, scissor skills, some letter names and sounds, sight words, coloring without always scribbling, counting between five and 10 and some number recognition, said several Fairfield-Suisun School District teachers.

Linda Owings, a kindergarten teacher at David Weir Elementary School, said some parents are surprised about what kindergarten is all about, which is reading and writing, she said.

“We don’t have painting . . . we don’t have blocks . . . we don’t have a playhouse,” she said. “It’s first grade.”

To help parents prepare their children for kindergarten, a Fairfield-Suisun Adult School Parent Education program, with the help of local kindergarten teachers, has been offering a Kindergarten Readiness Roundup targeting local Title 1 schools but open to all district children heading into kindergarten.

The first took place Feb 2. More than 90 families from as far away as Vallejo and Napa participated in the program that had children moving between stations, testing various abilities such as fine and gross motor skills as well as the ability to sit and listen to a story. The last event will take place Saturday at E. Ruth Sheldon Elementary School, 1901 Woolner Ave.

Najah Rabie brought her 4-year-old daughter, Rama Dirhalleh, to be assessed Feb. 2. Rabie said the assessments were good for her because they allowed her to see where her daughter’s weaknesses lay before Rama enters K.I. Jones Elementary School in the fall. While Rama did fine with gross and fine motor skills, Rabie discovered that her daughter needs work with numbers and letters.

“She knows the ABC song but didn’t know how to identify (the letters),” Rabie said.

The two aren’t wasting any time. In the two weeks since the assessment, Rama learned five letters, her mother said.

“It was good,” Rabie said of the experience. “It showed me where Rama stands and what she needs to achieve before kindergarten.”

Cheryl Stumbaugh, the department chairwoman of the Parent Education program, would like to see more families take advantage of the testing, which also gives the school district an early head-up with regard to speech and learning problems.

“Parents don’t understand the importance of being ready,” said Donna Alway, a Parent Education preschool teacher. “Kindergarten used to be play and it’s not (anymore). It’s curriculum based.”

Peter Rosenfield, who co-teaches kindergarten at Sheldon Elementary School with his wife Mary Rosenfield, said the academic trend actually began 17 or 18 years ago when he started teaching kindergarten.

“There was a shift toward literacy in kindergarten,” he said. “Much less cutting and pasting and more pre-reading phonetic awareness skills (plus) number and letter skills. Now we’re working on reading comprehension and language development.”

Sheldon was one of a handful of district schools that already did some readiness assessments at kindergarten registration. That trend toward academics in kindergarten was why the school started testing, Peter Rosenfield said.

“We wanted to educate parents that this was a different game now and if (the children) know the kinds of things expected in advance of coming in, they will be a success,” he said.

Despite the longtime trend toward academics, Rosenfield said he sees the two extremes when school starts: those who are well prepared and those with little or no exposure to the needed skills.

Stumbaugh and Alway also did kindergarten readiness testing in their preschool classes in the Parent Education program, but they were just hitting a small segment of the population going into district kindergarten classes. Not all district elementary schools were doing assessments like those at Sheldon. Stumbaugh wanted a more uniform format.

She went to the Rosenfields for input and then to the district office for approval. The decision for the first year was to target Title 1 schools – an area with the most need, Stumbaugh said. The roundup is paid for by a $100,000 First 5 Solano grant. Pending the outcome of this year’s event, another $200,000 – to be used also for other programs – is waiting in the wings to possibly make this a yearly event expanded to include other schools.

For more information on Saturday’s event or to register, go to www.solano-spaceprogram.com.

Reach Susan Winlow at 427-6955 or swinlow@dailyrepublic.net. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/swinlowdr.

A snippet of California Content Standards for kindergarten

  • Counting to 100 by ones and tens.
  • Understand “greater than,” “less than,” and “equal to.”
  • Know simple addition and subtraction with objects and word problems.
  • Describe measurable attributes of objects such as length or weight.
  • Demonstrate understanding of various concepts of time.
  • Identify and know two-dimensional and three-dimensional shapes.
  • Recognize and name all upper and lower case letters of the alphabet; be able to print “many” of them.
  • Read common sight words.
  • Read and understand “emergent-reader texts.”
  • Form regular plural nouns by adding “s” or “es” to words such as dog and wish.
  • Demonstrate understanding of capitalization, punctuation and spell simple words phonetically.

Source: California Department of Education

Kindergarten Readiness Roundup

  • Sheldon Elementary School, 1901 Woolner Ave., Fairfield.
  • 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, prospective Sheldon Elementary School kindergartners; noon to 2 p.m. prospective Suisun Elementary School kindergartners; 2 to 4 p.m. prospective Fairview Elementary School kindergartners.
  • All prospective district kindergartners welcome; come any time between event hours if unable to attend designated session.
  • www.solano-spaceprogram.com
LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 5 comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • AGFebruary 21, 2013 - 3:15 am

    It should be noted (before parents totally stress out) that those content standards listed at the bottom, are what kindergartens need to master BY THE END of the school year.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Terry BairdFebruary 21, 2013 - 8:02 am

    Interesting article. My sister, a Kindergarten teacher for 30 years, also has her new students practice sharing their thoughts in a group (which is a challenge for shy children) and then listen without interrupting to the comments of others (which is a challenge for many talkative children - and adults). She also had them repeat what the others have said. Good for vocabulary, organizing thoughts and social skills. maureen

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • SobreakitdownformeFebruary 21, 2013 - 2:28 pm

    Thats great insight, your sister must be a great teacher for thinkingthe of this. Sounds like shes helping the balance of talkative and shy kids by exposing and limiting their strengths or weaknesses socially. Im very impress and wonder how this plays out when the kids grow up.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • CD BrooksFebruary 21, 2013 - 8:18 am

    The advantage of those having gone to preschool puts them ahead of the game. This experience is invaluable and all kids should take part. School isn't what it used to be and a child not prepared before day one will have a great deal of difficulty moving forward. Do your kids a favor, don't set them up to fail.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • CarlosFebruary 21, 2013 - 9:23 am

    Great point AG. I was thinking to myself whaaaattttt!!! LOL

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

The show goes on for American Canyon comic

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: C1

 
David Lew: Chuckles keep coming despite cancer battle

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Walk to End Alzheimer’s brings out supporters

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

Council candidate leads cleanup day, youth rally

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3, 6 Comments | Gallery

 
How to help prevent sports-related eye injuries

By Betsey Campbell, MPH | From Page: C4

Birthday party brings writers, musicians in Fairfield

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
Beware of invading plant species

By Kathy Low | From Page: C4, 2 Comments

 
Vacaville Grad Nite needs volunteers

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A5

CHP announces senior driving class

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A5, 7 Comments

 
Solano drug court plans reunion

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A5

 
Time to sell? Who can say with certainty?

By Bud Stevenson | From Page: B7

Nut Tree Airport to see runway work

By Barry Eberling | From Page: B7, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Risk a key factor in investment decisions

By Mark Sievers | From Page: B8

 
County graduates complete basic training

By Nick DeCicco | From Page: B10

Suisun City police: Sept. 12, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Fairfield police log: Sept. 12, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12, 1 Comment

.

US / World

AP Enterprise: al-Qaida’s Syrian cell alarms US

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Football coach moves game for daughter’s wedding

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

 
The old ways are no way for Army drill sergeants

By Mcclatchy-Tribune News Service | From Page: C6

Rescuers end ocean search for Navy fighter pilot

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
2 homes destroyed in Northern California wildfire

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Feds chase treasure hunter turned fugitive

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Will Apple’s digital wallet kill the card swipe?

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Transgender girl crowned homecoming princess

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Man sues after losing 5 toes in Colorado jail

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

Syrians attacked in Lebanon after soldiers killed

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
Ukraine government repels rebel attack on airport

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

Pope urges world to shed apathy toward new threats

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11 | Gallery

 
.

Opinion

 
Just take care of it

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 12 Comments

 
Campaign signs mean little, really

By Glen Faison | From Page: A8, 3 Comments

Hold the line with Local 39

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8

 
Editorial Cartoons: Sept. 14, 2014

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: A8

Sound off for Sept. 14, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8

 
Know of any new taxes?

By Rod Keck | From Page: A9, 14 Comments

 
President a success or failure?

By Thomas Sowell | From Page: A9, 11 Comments

Scottish independence tied to national identity

By Megan Mcardle | From Page: A9

 
.

Living

Community Calendar: Sept. 14, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Today in History: Sept. 14, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

‘Tammi’ and I are getting serious, but her friends don’t like me

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: C4

 
Horoscopes: Sept. 14, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: C4

.

Entertainment

PUBLISHERS WEEKLY BEST-SELLERS

By The Associated Press | From Page: C7

 
Americans Ferris, Fowler on Booker Prize shortlist

By The Associated Press | From Page: C7

NASCAR’s Kenseth behind anti-bullying kids’ book

By The Associated Press | From Page: C7

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

.

Sports

Solano volleyball preview: Falcons look to repeat as BVC champs

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
49ers look for win against Bears in Levi’s opener

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Raiders’ Carr to make home debut vs. familiar foe

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Rodney walks in run in 10th to give A’s 3-2 win

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Mayweather remains unbeaten despite bite complaint

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Travis Bowl results

By Daily Republic | From Page: B3

Stars Recreation results

By Daily Republic | From Page: B3

 
Contador beats Froome to win Vuelta 20th stage

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

DeJoria, Enders-Stevens top NHRA qualifying

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
McIlroy, Horschel tied for Tour Championship lead

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

No. 15 Stanford rebounds from loss, tops Army 35-0

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

 
College football Top 25

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

This date in sports history for Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Sports on TV for Sunday, Sept. 14, 2013

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B5

Kyle Busch wins Trucks Series race

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Kevin Harvick wins again for JR Motorsports

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Where’s the tape? America responds to video

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Ambrose leaving NASCAR to return to Australia

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Gordon covets elusive 5th title as Chase begins

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Rice saga puts quiet Ravens owner in spotlight

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Peterson booked and released from Texas jail

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
.

Business

Hackerspaces help techies turn ideas into reality

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
On the money: Options abound for selling used mobile phones

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

US threatened Yahoo with huge fine over emails

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Recalls this week: smoke alarms, generators

By The Associated Press | From Page: B12

Tech Tips: Sprint’s good rates come with a price

By The Associated Press | From Page: B12

 
Sponsors keep close watch on NFL investigation

By The Associated Press | From Page: B12

.

Obituaries

Patricia C. “Pat” Child

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Barbara J. McGee

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Olga Mae Schaffer Lilienthal

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Minnie Lee Dixon

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

.

Comics