2011-08-06 / Editorials & Letters

Guest column: Lakewood parents deserve praise for higher scores

By Barbara Deavers, Kindergarten teacher, Hebron Elementary School

HEBRON – Years ago, kindergarten consisted of learning to play together with other children, singing lots of songs, and even taking a nap.

Although some things remain the same, times have really changed. No more naps! Now, these five and six year olds are expected to learn to read! Wasn’t this a second grade skill when Hebron Elementary School was built?

Each school year, a state mandated assessment is given to every new kindergarten student. This assessment, the KRA-L (Kindergarten Readiness Assessment- Literacy), has a maximum score of 29, and provides information for the teachers to know the capabilities of each student. It includes naming letters, rhyming words, and beginning sounds. These are a few very important skills for learning to read.

So, congratulations parents of the Lakewood Local School District! The data reveals that the scores for the KRA-L have improved every year since 2006 in our district. This not only means children are more prepared for kindergarten, but that parents are becoming more involved in their children’s academic career at a much earlier level. (See chart for data.)

Getting prepared for your child to begin kindergarten can be rough for many parents and children. Here are a few ideas to help your young child become more prepared for kindergarten:

* Each child must be five (5) on or before September 30 in our district. Use your discretion to decide if his/her maturity level can handle kindergarten.

* Try to change the evening routine about a month before school begins. This will ensure that the student is well rested and make it possible for them to do their best at school.

* Read every day. When you read to a child, they learn that books are full of information, words are made of letters and make sentences, how to care for a book, etc. The possibilities are endless.

* Play the color game. Ex. “I see a red car.” After the color is better known, change to a new one.

* Watch for letters in the child’s name. See who can find the most in one trip to the grocery. Ex. Sophia might find an “S” on a stop sign, then a license plate, then a soup can.

* Practice first and last name. Do you know how many Cody’s can be in one classroom these days?

* Practice writing his/her name. There are great websites to assist with tracing pages. www.handwritingworksheets.com or www.dltk-teach.com

* Count items: cars, rocks, fingers, toes, people, chairs, etc.

* Read rhyming books and rhyme with items that are familiar.

Ex. nose, hose; sock, block; lap, map; hat, sat; etc.

* Discuss what you might be doing while your child is at school. Reassure him/her that you or someone else will be there when they get home every day.

Exposure to these activities will make an enormous difference in whether or not your child will be prepared to attend kindergarten and begin on level.

Here’s the average LRA-L scores:

2005 18.47
2006 17.49
2007 18.70
2008 18.83
2009 19.35
2010 19.76

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