I’ve barely got my kids settling into the routine of school, (we were on day 18 today) and they are really pushing us to get into small group differentiated instruction. That’s fine, but the problem is, what are the rest of the kids are doing while you are doing differentiated instruction? They aren’t set THAT well into the routines of school yet. Many of my kids are still coping with the sheer joy of being around a bunch of other kids for the first time in their lives in what they view as a social setting. And I agree, they really need that socialization. But they don’t know how to control themselves and make good choices yet. Many of them can’t stay on task doing their seatwork when I am NOT doing small group instruction, when I start the small group instruction, their behavior and amount of time on task will not improve.
It wouldn’t be so bad if they would let us ease into centers, but they want to micro manage the center activities as well. They have placed so many conditions on what the centers can or cannot be that it’s almost impossible to comply. None of the old traditional centers are good enough, or academic enough anymore, no puzzles, no housekeeping, no blocks. During the reading block of time, the centers had better be language based. During math, the centers have to be math. The math centers they have for kindergarten that come with our math series, are two kid centers, take longer to explain than they do to do, and all require manipulatives. So if my intervention group is 5 or 6 kids, that means I have to have 12 or 13 centers set up for the rest of the class, with the manipulatives all counted out…….. And of course the math lady sees nothing wrong with doing her centers during language arts and the language arts specialist really doesn’t have a problem with you doing language arts centers during math, but they really have a problem if you do something else in THEIR time block. And anymore, you hardly can fit the required number of minutes of ANY subject into the week.
I was looking at how many conferences I need to set up for kids I have concerns about. Nine. Nine out of 29 kids I have concerns about how they are going to do if they don’t have some serious help at home. And of course most of them haven’t had any of that help yet, that’s why they can’t do anything.