Archive for the 'Kids' Category

Is Kindergarten the new First Grade?

Yes, thanks to No Child Left Behind.

Jana Silbeck Francis writes

The language arts curriculum focuses on getting all students to read and write.  The math curriculum deals with simple addition and subtraction of numbers as well as basic time telling and coin recognition.  Walking into a kindergarten classroom, the observer notes the amount of time students spend writing and working at their desk.  Play is only present for a short time of the day and usually only outside.  In whole, the kindergarten classroom of today mirrors the first grade classroom of 10 years ago. 

Tutoring starts young, making kindergarten 'the new first grade' by Kathleen Lucadamo, New York Daily News, Mar. 1, 2006

“Kindergarten is the new first grade,” declared Andrea Pastorok, an
educational psychologist at Kumon Learning Center, one of several
tutoring companies that recently launched preschool programs to meet
the demands of concerned parents. “The preschool market is our
fastest-growing population.”

Want to increase your Google rankings? Let your four-year-old blog.

Yesterday I decided to check how much traffic my blog has been getting and what people have found interesting.

I
found that I had served 8,750 distinct hosts and transferred over 3.8
gigabytes in the month of October. Considering I only posted four
articles in October, most of which were probably interesting only to
me, and considering that was a pretty average month, this came as quite
a surprise. What were people reading?

It turns out that two of my four-year-old’s drawings, My Mommy Saying Goodbye to Bobbi and Cinderella and the Prince,
got 430 and 340 page views. So my four-year-old’s drawings are by far
the most popular things on my blog. The next most popular was Sleeping Beauty. My own writing was a respectable fourth.

Now, I love my daughter’s drawings, which is why I made her a gallery
on my blog. And I think her grandparents have looked at them once or
twice, but that was back in January when I posted them. So
who discovered my daughter’s talent last month?

A check of
the referrers told the story: Google image search. Search for
“Cinderella and the Prince”and you’ll get something like this:

GoogleCinderella

Which would you pick?

And it also seems that lots of people need to illustrate “goodbye.” This one expresses their sentiments exactly.

Keep Running or No Oswald

Abigail and Bennett would run until they drop if I put them on a treadmill, turned on Noggin and hooked this up

Keep Working Out or No Telly For You! – Gizmodo

Ok,
this isn’t brand new, but I can’t help just throwing it in because it’s
just, well, so great. Are you lazy? Fat? Hate going to the gym? Well,
the EnterTrainer heart-rate monitor is for you! Just strap it onto your
chosen fitness device (stairmaster, treadmill, bike, lover, etc.) or
just place it on the floor next to you when you exercise, and if your
heart-rate dips below what it should be your TV volume goes down. It
goes down people! That means you have to get up and turn it back up
again! Bastards.

Video games and television are a common divider
between parents and kids. Now the TV can actually bring parents and
their children back together with The EnterTrainer®. Faced with the
losing battle of limiting childrens’ access to TV and entertainment,
The EnterTrainer® is used as a motivational tool enabling parents to
offer a fun way for kids to enjoy their favorite pastime while getting
the exercise their doctors recommend. Kids are excited to link their
exercise performance with the reward of continued entertainment.

“I
never dreamed that exercise could be the solution to my kids watching
too much TV! They love TheEnterTrainer® almost as much as I do!”

Now that’s Entertrainment folks.

The perfect synergy of man and machine! [The Entertrainer]

Elementary MCAS Rankings for Arlington, Belmont and Watertown

Comparing 2004 MCAS rankings for Watertown, Arlington and
Belmont elementary schools provides one reason why so many
people move out of Watertown when it’s time to send their kids to
school. Belmont’s overall district rank is 32, Arlington is 65 and
Watertown is 204.

One immediate question is how can the
Dallin School in Arlington and the Cunniff School in
Watertown have the same Reading score rank in 3rd grade (119) but
such different ranks for 4th grade (19 for the Dallin versus 499 for
the Cunniff)? It shows how different classes can be from year to year.
For another example check the difference between the Winn Brook’s 2003
3rd Grade Reading rank (48) and the 2004 rank (217).

2004
Arlington Elementary Schools Brackett Hardy Dallin Thompson Stratton Bishop Peirce
students 350 286 380 330 291 386 230
3rd Reading (out of 1.023) 18 76 119 197 233 197 197
4th English (out of 1,008) 1 53 19 78 228 211 355
4th Math (1,008) 3 8 53 81 213 405 330
5th Science (out of 938) 29 7 263 121 136 156 4
total 22 137 191 356 674 813 882
Belmont Elementary Schools Burbank Winn Brook Wellington Butler
students 286 430 442 238
3rd Reading (out of 1.023) 119 217 8 370
4th English (out of 1,008) 36 63 281 303
4th Math (1,008) 68 49 185 279
5th Science (out of 938)
total 223 329 474 952
Watertown Elementary Schools Lowell Cunniff Hosmer
students 351 273 468
3rd Reading (out of 1.023) 27 119 564
4th English (out of 1,008) 572 499 660
4th Math (1,008) 119 383 692
5th Science (out of 938) 553 589 581
total 718 1001 1916
2003
Arlington Elementary Schools Brackett Hardy Dallin Thompson Stratton Bishop Peirce
students 350 286 380 330 291 386 230
3rd Reading (out of 1,071) 12 115 17 165 258 165 231
4th English (out of 1,047) 5 99 152 87 441 187 405
4th Math (1,047) 5 8 169 185 273 56 358
5th Science (out of 938) 1 4 36 61 5 23 32
total 22 222 338 437 972 408 994
Belmont Elementary Schools Burbank Winn Brook Wellington Butler
students 286 430 442 238
3rd Reading (out of 1,071) 48 48 190 289
4th English (out of 1,047) 171 40 294 421
4th Math (1,047) 225 94 133 411
5th Science (out of 938)
total 444 182 617 1121
Watertown Elementary Schools Lowell Cunniff Hosmer
students 351 273 468
3rd Reading (out of 1,071) 313 427 694
4th English (out of 1,047) 367 253 650
4th Math (1,047) 111 394 705
5th Science (out of 997) 339 289 483
total 791 1074 2049

Choosing a Kindergarten in Watertown

We’ve put off for another year the decision about whether to send our daughter to the Hosmer Elementary School or move or try to find a private school we can afford. We were dissuaded by so many people from petitioning to get her into kindergarten (she missed the age cutoff by a couple months) so that left the Hosmer Pre-K as the option for public school. Instead she will will attend the Bowen Cooperative in Newton in a class with other kids who just miss the cutoff. She’ll have three teachers for 14 kids in a brand new facility and the cost is less than what the Watertown Public Schools charge for Pre-K.

But next year we’ll have to decide whether the Hosmer Elementary School is too big. Its size was the primary reason that Steve Griffin, the Hosmer principal I was so impressed with, gave as his reason for leaving this year to go to Newton. The national average for elementary school size is 441. But Watertown only has about 2,500 kids in school. Do we really need a school with close to 500 students?

From the WPS Site

Cunniff Elementary School serves 276 children in grades K – 5…. It includes 14% students whose first
language is not English; 16% students from families with low incomes and 20% students with special needs.

The Hosmer Elementary School is a large school in a sprawling physical plant. The school serves approximately 460
students….36% of Hosmer's students
come from families where English is not spoken or spoken as a second language. 22% come from families with low incomes and
28% are students served by special education.

The Lowell Elementary School serves 395 students. The student population includes
20% students whose first language is not English; 18% students from families with low incomes; and approximately 22% students
with special needs.

Watertown Middle School serves 670 students in grades 6 – 8. 25% of the student population comes from homes where
English is not spoken or spoken as a second language; 11 % are students from families with low incomes; and 24% receive
special education services.

Watertown High School offers a comprehensive program of courses for 735 students in grades 9 – 12. The student body
reflects the community's diversity 28% of the high school's students come from homes where English is not spoken or spoken
as a second language; 12% are from families with low incomes; and 22% are students with special needs.




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