So for the first time tonight I participated in a Twitter chat. I have been a little hesitant to jump into a chat in the past but I was on my computer (under the pretense of doing some homework for my current grad class) when the chat started so I thought that I would give it a try. The topic of choice tonight on Kinderchat was Report Cards: Friend or Foe. I knew right away that this was a topic that I have some background knowledge on (seeing as I have to do them three times a year) so I thought that I would try it out.
by Matt Hamm
Before I knew it, the chat was over and I had participated in a fairly good conversation with people all over. We compared how report cards work in different schools, talked about how the grading system worked (there are actually some schools that use grades still in Kindergarten instead of a number scale), how some schools are phasing out report cards in favor of portfolios, etc. The topic also changed slightly as the night went on. There were a number of teachers that were talking about making sure that they had to have their retention list in to their administration before their report cards went home. This sparked a conversation about how many school were on opposite sides of the coin in regards to retention. We also discussed the benefits to full day kindergarten.
This last topic interested me greatly as the Saskatchewan government has been making noise lately about making Kindergarten students attend school full-time. When the topic was first brought up in Saskatchewan, I was on the fence as to whether or not it would be a good idea. After having listened to many of the people tonight, it certainly seems like it might be a smart move. Full day Kindergarten will give the children a chance to explore new concepts with even more depth, spend more time on literacy skills, play more with math, etc. As a teacher, full day Kindergarten would enable me to feel less stressed. When you only have two and a half hours in a day, it is hard to fit everything in and some of the basics were often falling to the wayside. This might just be one move that the government makes that will actually benefit the students.