An article in Reuters today “Five-year-olds put to the test as kindergarten exams gain steam” highlights a growing trend in kindergartens nationwide, introducing kids to standardized testing at an early age. Identified as an outgrowth of the “push to make public schools more rigorous and hold teachers more accountable,” the goal is to identify kids at risk and, also, their potential for success throughout their K-12 and college years.
According to the article, 25 states mandate at least one formal assessment during kindergarten. While advocates promote early testing as a way to identify kids who are likely to have problems going forward, opponents argue that the practice puts too much stress on kids at too early an age.
Many educators prefer assessment based on interaction and observation rather than standardized testing. School districts and state educational departments, however, are requiring standard exams across the schools they oversee.
What do you think about the trend? Is it good, bad or indifferent?
Please leave a comment and get the discussion going.
Today we update playgrounds with a couple of great pieces.
TuTiTu – ‘The toys come to life’ is a 3D animated television show targeting 2-3 year olds. Shapes compete in the Toy Olympic Games.
The Best of Us – London 2012. An inspirational animated promotional video from the IOC showing the power of the Games to bring people together.
If you find something that you think others would enjoy, please let us know.
We updated and refreshed playgrounds with several items Friday. We’re continuing to add more items during the day, so be sure to check back.
The weekend games look awesome. We’ll feature more Olympians all week so be sure to visit on Monday for more!
Each month we look for special events, holidays and celebrations as well as seasonal items to feature at Playrific. We’ll often highlight and celebrate the birthday of a someone in children’s literature. If we miss a birthday, we may wish the author or character(s) a Happy Belated Birthday.
August is jam packed with notable events. Although we are not, unfortunately celebrating Ice Cream Day again, we will celebrate Ice Cream Sandwich Day. Some of the events are listed below. Be sure to check back to see others we’ve found and for links to media that relates to the events.
Birthdays this month include:
- Aug 1: Francis Scott Key, author of the “Star Spangled Banner,” the US national anthem (1779)
- Aug 5: Neil Armstrong’s Birthday – 1930
- Aug 6: Alfred Lord Tennyson – 1809
- Aug 6: Odie (Garfield’s best friend)
- Aug 9: Betty Boop (1930)
We found a biography of Betty Boop at Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
- Aug 10: Herbert Hoover
- Aug 11 : Hulk Hogan
- Aug 13 : Annie Oakley (1860)
- Aug 15: Julia Child
- Aug 17: Davy Crockett
- Aug 19: Bill Clinton
- Aug 19: Mr. Snuffleupagus
- Aug 19: Orville Wright – 1871
- Aug 21: Wilt Chamberlain
- Aug 27: Mother Teresa 1910
- Aug 29: Speedy Gonzales’ Birthday
- Aug 30: Herry Monster
- Aug 31: Alan Jay Lerner
- MTV debuted on August 1, 1981. Happy Birthday MTV!
- Aug 2, celebrate National Ice Cream Sandwich Day and Chocolate Chip Cookie Day on the 4th.
- Aug 3: Columbus Set Sail on his 1st voyage – 1492
- Aug 23: First Photograph of Earth From the Moon – 1966
The 2012 Summer Olympics (being held in London) begin July 27 and continue through August 12. During the games, Playrific will add at least one new related clip a day to all the children’s playgrounds in a special “Olympics” folder, so Playrific viewers can follow the Olympics and enjoy the best moments over and over.
The opening ceremonies begin at 9PM London /4PM US Eastern on Friday. Here’s a link to the Official London 2012 website.
First round football (soccer to US fans) were held on Wednesday the 25th (Women) and Thursday (Men) the 26th. The Women’s football will resume Saturday and the Men’s on Sunday.
Archery competition begins on Friday (27th) at 9AM London / 4AM US Eastern,
We’ll add links to various event videos to this page.
Let the games begin!
Earlier this month in a blog article on Common Sense Media, Sierra Filucci wrote about setting rules for media activities (i.e., TV, videos, games, internet) when your kids visit their friends’ houses for play dates. The issue arose when she discovered that her children had “spent the entire time watching movies and playing video games”, some of which made her “uncomfortable”.
It’s a good article, whether yours is the hosting or the visiting child. The comments and discussion add to the article. Worth reading.