Updated: Mar 2
On the morning of Wednesday, 29 January, a delicious smell of cheese and chocolate wafted out of the KG classroom. Ms. Marta (KG teacher) had her students on a rotation to help her make mini heart-shaped scones for the Author’s Tea the following day. Another group of students was working hard to finish their stories for the same event. Meanwhile, the majority of the class was sitting on the carpet (where most of the class’s lessons occur) doing math. There was a chorus of low voices as students talked with their partners:
“What’s my number?”
“I’m going to draw so many swords!”
“This part is incorrect.”
Although there isn’t teamwork for every activity, partnership like this is an important part of the KG classroom. According to Miss Marta, students stop feeling like, “it’s such a big chasm of, ‘oh my god, of course she (the teacher) knows everything.’” They see that their peers are also able to understand the material, and succeeding feels more achievable.
And what is the material they’re learning? Currently, KG is focusing on being familiar with numbers up to twenty. MDIS, along with the majority of US states, uses the Common Core math curriculum. This curriculum emphasizes learning concepts from a variety of perspectives. For example, KG might learn number fluency physically, by jumping a certain number of times, or by moving a certain number of candies in and out of boxes. Or--like today--they could be learning visually. Hence the drawing of nineteen pirate swords, accompanied by many excited, swooshing pirate noises.
Ms. Marta is still getting comfortable with teaching the Common Core curriculum, but she says it’s important that “education should develop” in order to foster independent thinking in students. Plus, she loves teaching math because “it’s a universal language.” And, judging by the lively sounds from her classroom, the KG students love learning it.