Kindergarten and Elementary Issues

Weigh the pros and cons of preschool, full day kindergarten and other issues affecting our youngest learners. Learn what can be done to help your child prepare to enter school, boost confidence, and encourage reading at the grade school level.
View the most popular articles in Kindergarten and Elementary Issues:
Updated January 30, 2016 |
Do Children Born in Certain Months Have Higher Success Rates?
Do children born in certain months develop more quickly than others? Does it affect their success later in life?

Many people ascribe to the basics of astrology, reading their horoscopes in the newspaper or taking online tests to see what their sign says about them. But does the time of year you are born in have any actual influence on your life? Numerous studies suggest that children born at certain times of year are healthier, happier, and more successful than others.

Winter versus Summer Children

Researchers suggest that the month in which your child is born can have an impact on everything from health to success with a future career. The biggest differences were noted between children born in the winter and children born in the summer. There are some studies which say that children born between the months of June and October are more likely to be taller and have bigger bones than children born during the winter – this is likely related to the amount of vitamin D exposure during the pregnancy. On average, children born during the summer were 0.5cm taller then children born in the winter based on results from women who were 37 weeks pregnant.

Not only does the month you are born in affect your size, but it can also affect other things like your likelihood of developing food allergies. Autumn and winter babies develop food allergies at a higher rate than other children. Asthma may also be a factor that can be attributed to birth month, especially in children born during the autumn. During the winter, people spend more time inside

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Updated March 09, 2018 |
Should kindergarteners take admission exams and IQ tests to demonstrate their "gifted" abilities? Learn about the growing trend and the ramifications of gifted early education.
Every parent believes his child is the smartest in the class, but what happens when you really do have a kid who is head-and-shoulders above the rest academically? Most teachers and parents believe that to adequately challenge these children, there must be accelerated programs to accommodate them. Hence, the gifted and talented program was born.
Children who belonged in this upper echelon were usually identified in the schools, by the teachers who worked with them every day. However, many parents also got quite busy behind the scenes, ensuring their children met the requirements for special programs that would increase their odds of success later in life. In fact, numerous children are receiving preparation for gifted and talented programs long before their feet even touch the hallowed halls of academia.
Track for Success
According to an article in New York Magazine, many residents of the Big Apple are whipping their children into academic shape as early as their preschool years. The competition for the limited number of slots in selective elementary schools across the city has led parents into a frenzy of preparation shortly after children learn to walk and talk. It is not unusual for parents to hire tutors and test their children's IQs long before enrolling them in New York schools.
Because the competition at many of these stellar schools is so stiff, few will look at children who test below the top three percent on standardized exams given for kindergarten admission.
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Updated April 06, 2018 |
Promoting Positive Behaviors in Elementary Ages
Learn how you and your child’s public school can foster positive behavior that will lead to long-term benefits, both academically and socially.
The elementary school ages are considered to be the fundamental grades and stages of development. With this in mind, it is important that children are taught positive behaviors and habits early in life. By teaching children positive behaviors at a young age, kids are more able to understand and engage in long-term attitudes and actions that will guide them towards future success. To encourage students, and to teach all kids positive behaviors, elementary schools across the country have implemented positive behavior programs to improve student awareness, knowledge, and development.
Positive Behavior Programs in Public Elementary Schools
Minnesota School-Wide Behavior Program
While many local schools and smaller communities have adopted behavior programs, the state of Minnesota has established a larger state-wide agenda to enhance the education of positive student behaviors. According to the Minnesota school records, the positive behavior program is used to help all students in all environments of the school, which includes behaviors in the classroom, hallways, cafeteria, and so forth. As Minnesota school experts explain, “Schools that implement school-wide positive behavior interventions and support are schools that have decided that their current discipline process is not effective in helping students to change their behaviors.” To change and improve student behaviors, Minnesota schools identify specific behavioral problems, find ways to reinforce and reward positive behavior alternatives, and then consistently enforce meaningful consequences when students choose to misbehave.
Teachers and Behavior Instruction
As the Minnesota program outlines, teachers play a specific and powerful role in identifying and guiding students’ behaviors. Teachers are required to provide clear examples and
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Updated January 23, 2018 |
Helping Children Adjust to the Beginning Years of Public School
Learn how you can help your child to successfully adjust to the first years of public school instruction.
For parents who are, for the first time, introducing their young child into public school classes, or for parents who are helping their child to adjust to a new and/or different school, there are specific strategies and tips that can help students successfully adjust. As the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) explains, “Back to school time often means changes for children and families: the first day of kindergarten or first grade; new preschools or child care settings; new classrooms and new teachers. Making smooth transitions between home, programs and schools can help children feel good about themselves and teach them to trust other adults and children.” 
By helping kids adapt to new situations and settings, parents can engage in their child’s education and feel at ease regarding their son or daughter’s successful transition to a new school. 
Helping Students Transition Successfully
For children who are naturally outgoing, these kids may face fewer issues and challenges at a new school; however, if children are shyer and reserved, it can take a few weeks for them to adjust before becoming comfortable in the new school environment.   
As NAEYC explains, transitions established by parents can help students comfortably and confidently move into a new setting and social situation: “Transitions are exciting opportunities for children to learn and grow. Parents and early childhood professionals share a role in making children feel safe and secure as they move to new educational settings.” Since new milestones and settings can cause a great
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Updated January 31, 2018 |
Full Day Kindergarten: The Pros, the Cons, and the Growing Public School Debate
Learn about the debate surrounding full-day kindergarten and which choice is best for your child.
A growing number of researchers are discovering that younger children’s access to early education leads to an enhanced ability to read and cognitively perform more effectively throughout their lives. Subsequently, many public schools are considering new programs that require kindergarten students to attend classes for a full day. 
Traditionally, these younger students were slowly introduced into the academic world with only half or partial day classes; however, as more schools implement these programs, both educators and parents are forced to evaluate the many pros and cons of this rising trend.  The following video from the AMSD 2013 Annual Conference discuss how to prepare for the transition from half-day to full day kindergarten.
The Current Public School Dynamic 
Nationally, according to the Education Reporter, 31 states increased their funding in 2006 for early elementary programs.  In addition, “…in 2007, at least 40 state legislatures have considered preschool programs and full-day kindergarten initiatives.” Specifically, “Legislators in Connecticut, Indiana, and Rhode Island proposed bills in 2007 to require school districts to offer full-day kindergarten,” while “At least eight other states have considered reimbursing schools that offer voluntary full-day kindergarten.” While many areas are promoting these new full-day agendas, many individuals are torn on the various arguments of this heated debate. 
The Pros of Full-Day Kindergarten Instruction
Children enjoy long-term academic benefits
As the Milton View explores in their article, “Full Day Kindergarten,” data and research presented to the Milton School Board revealed that a full-day of kindergarten will academically enrich and benefit children. As
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Parenting and Learning Issues

Kindergarten and Elementary Issues