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Ethan Toledo

Two questions arise from Christopher Brown's post that is not touched upon to the degree that it should. Throughout Brown's sort of call to action about the injustice in the school system for kindergarten students he asserts that children are overworked because they only have 15 minutes of recess, but hours of challenging work without break. Brown denounces the possible counter that this is the proper way children should be prepared for the stress of a future job. While I do think Brown is correct in saying that children should have more breaks, I just cannot accept the following overriding assumptions: Children slave tirelessly throughout the entire duration of class to complete consecutive tasks and recess is scientifically proven to improve focus in children. When I was a kindergarten student we got to school early and played on the playground before class, then while in class we did creative assignments that felt like more playtime. While I have not examined a kindergarten class since 2005 I do know for a fact that parents are very involved with the activities in the classroom, this means that if in fact there is a flaw in the way the class is run, then the problem would be solved by excessive concern and complaints by involved parent volunteers. Even if the involved parents don't act up, the children will, and in this age of loosened disciplinary action in the school system children have a sort of democracy in the classroom that allows them to ask the common teacher for a break that doesn't necessarily have to be on the playground. Break time is what children need, but recess is what they ask for. Break time from the stress of a complicated lesson can be remedied by having a short talk break in class or something along those lines. The simple fact is that children want to be entertained as do most average Americans, but entertainment is made in infinitely more ways than recess. I just think that the idea that children need recess and don't have enough time to catch their breath in the classroom is overstated.


In the article he makes a great argument about the kids having alot of work and enough play time. I think as a starter in school you should always start low as in not having a lot of work on you and just doing the things that are required. I think the kindergartens should not have to do as much work as the give everyday. In the article he says that the kids do work until the last hour of the school day and then they have free time, i think that is way too much especially for 5 or 6 year old they are so used to doing what they want and adapting to doing work for 5 or 6 hours a day could be hard for them because they are starters and it might take a while for some students to get used to it. Some students want to be entertained they want learning to fun they dont want to sit at a desk for many hours just doing work.


I agree with you Mr. Brown. In today's world we focus so much on preparing our children for the future. Preparing for jobs or college. Kindergarten is such a big part in everyone's life , its the starting point. Its where you learn to make friends and to share. With so much pressure put on kids to excel at a young age it does impact the minds of the kids. Either for the good or the bad. It gives kids th4e impression that at 5 or 6 learning is a lot and it molds their minds into thinking "school, its too hard and i cant do it" at such a young age i feel as though we should be preparing our kids on being kids.


I completely agree with this article. I believe that the most effective way to learn is hands-on, that really goes for younger students, because if you can get a child to actually do that they are trying to learn or try to get them involved they will most likely pick it up and they will be interested with the topic. Constantly giving test and classwork can take away from that.


I agree with this article completely. As a parent of two children one who is diagnosed with ASD this worries me a lot. My child doesn't learn like everyone else and at that age the pressure shouldn't be "how much" is learned but just to learn period. You want to create a caring environment that fosters the growth of knowledge. I feel that by putting so much pressure on teachers to pass test creates a stressful environment where kids a forced to grow up sooner than they should have to


in my opinion I believe that is a very good thing to get a ahead start on your child's education because at that age it is very crucial that they get in as much as they can. however I do not believe that very little play time is involve. although education is key, so Is communication and sharing skills at that age and if being in kindergarten is the only interaction they have with other kids then its very important that they get that in. if you want to make sure that they're learning more out of it make a learning game that would engage them. not only will they learn new things they'll also get to interact with kids their own age and that is important as well.


This article really upsets me. I worked in a day care for two years which also had a kindergarten class. I was mainly with the two and three year olds but here and there I got to be with the kindergarten class. It was a private school so we didn't have as much work for the kids as this school did. We had a good amount of outside time depending on the weather. We would be outside for half an hour to an hour in the morning and the same in the afternoon. If the weather was bad and we couldn't go outside, we still gave them that time to play inside. We also did a lot of hands on learning such as the sensory table. I am no longer pursuing a career as a teacher but it still makes me sad that these kids aren't getting enough time outside. I think many people see it as just a break for these kids but they are still learning outside. They learn what their physical capabilities are and how to play with others. They learn social interaction while outside with others. We are putting so much stress on these kids at such a young age. What I learned at the day care is that each child is completely different. They all learn in different ways and different paces. We need to stop putting so much pressure on these kids to learn everything right away and to grow up. We need to give them more time to just be kids.


I honestly think it's great that they're trying to put as much knowledge as they can into the younger generation. I believe it will help them develop good productive working skills at an early age that will help them tremendously as they grow older. Also, I believe teaching them this amount of knowledge will help them as they progress and will provide room to learn new things. Things that they probably wouldn't be able to learn if they didn't previously learn the other information at a young age. But, I do think recess and play time is a very important role in a kindergartners life. Recess helps build and create other skills that younger children need to learn at that age.I think if they divided the learning and the play time equally it will be more beneficial for the younger generation.

Totally not Brandon

Reading this article I come in with some background knowledge in the subject. During my senior I took Foundations of Education, which in the class I was working in a preschool with 3 and 4 year olds. I think that the academic side of kindergarten is extremely important to the success of a child as they progress throughout their educational career. Even in a preschool environment, everyday kids would be learning by all different means. They weren't just learning academics though they were also developing the other aspect of education people forget about and that is the emotional/social aspect. When these children work in groups they are not only learning the material they are learning about working with another person. Kindergarten for some is the first time a child is away from their mom or dad for a extended period of time. It is the first time they are thrown into a setting where they don't know anyone. This forces them develop social skills and basically learn how to make friends. In regards to the way the kids are taught, at that young age having them sit behind a desk and do work is damn near impossible. Instead teachers will use lessons plans that are more hands on. Things that involve the senses, such as hearing a song, feeling different things, or even pronouncing words, the more sense that are involved the more likely it is the child is going retain the knowledge. Overall it is a well written article that really makes a person take a step back and acknowledge the world we live in today. We live in a society of competition. We are pushing are kids more academically in younger grades then ever before. Kids still play, but now they are also playing and learning.

Seth Polcari

Reading this article actually upset me more than I thought it would. I have a 4 month old daughter, and knowing that this is the direction the school system is going makes me scared for her. I also told my wife about this article and she was also taken back by it. I feel like kindergarten is way to early to be pushing the rules so hard. The writer made a great point about children exploring their boundaries and surroundings, and by having so many rules in place it's going to inhibit that natural instinct. I understand wanting to get the most out of education for our children, and wanting them to do well and be smart; but this is starting to get out of hand. I did very poorly in school, and I had a hard time with the structured nature of it. I think if I was in school, I would do even worse. This a great article that needs to be looked at closer.

As a slight side note. I think the education system as a whole needs a re-evaluation as well. Just yesterday I was reading another article that the CDC published, urging schools to push back school start times. Pre-teens and teens need a lot more sleep than they are getting as their bodies are growing, and the current school schedule is causing about 2/3 of the student population are suffering from chronic sleep deprivation. All told, they are children and society is forcing adult exceptions on them are a very early age.

Seth Polcari

For reference, here is the article:


Brown believes that kindergartners should have more play-based activities in school because by engaging in hands-on academics helps them to learn more naturally and to have social interaction with other peers. I find this argument to be quite accurate in that kids of this age need to have some fun while learning otherwise the information will not stick and they will simply get bored or thrown off topic. In my opinion countless hours of math problems with no relaxation or fun is detrimental to a child's learning experience because it goes against their natural desire to play and learn socially. Brown kept his research within the classroom by only interviewing teachers and students but I think that it may have been beneficial to interview the child's parents in order to see how the child is learning and reacting at home. If the child is coming home with a negative attitude towards learning and the atmosphere is he/she is in all day that could be a tell-tale sign that the curriculum isn't work as well as planned. Brown mentions that a strong focus on rules can diminish a children's willingness to take academic risks and possibly impede self-confidence. I think these are crucial things learned at a young age and is a strong focal point in the article to backup his question of why it matters.

Bree S.

I don’t agree with the way kindergarten is being taught today. I think that what they are trying to teach kindergarteners now is too much, and they should be learning simpler curriculum. I believe incorporating play time in, and sensory items are very important for a young child. Working in a preschool in my past I have seen this first hand. It is important to teach these children in an interactive way. By giving children recess and playtime, it gives the students a chance to take a mental break. Recess also helps them gain social skills. By not giving the kindergarteners recess it makes some students stop focusing after a while, because they need to move around and release their energy. By teaching students in a fun, hands-on way, they are more likely to be interested in what they are doing and learn more. Sensory tables and hands on learning are great for students, because at this age they learn more by interactive items, compared to them just sitting there taking information in. Also, each student learns differently, so you can’t teach the class information and expect the whole class to get it, because some students need the hands-on learning.


I can not fathom how the school system works today. It is crazy that todays kindergarten is very different from when I was there, or even my brothers for that matter. I think that I they should slowly introduce the learning material and that it should be with in play. I think that by doing it the way they are doing it now will discourage kids from going to school.


After reading this article i learned something. I havent been in kindergarten for a while. I remember it though like it was yesterday. All the fun times and making friends. I made some of my friends that i still have today there. To learn that kids are being pushed to learn more rather then learn about them self's stinks. They are being over worked as little kids with young minds. They should have play time and more time for them self. They will have the time to learn when they are older. The kindergarten classes are to get them in a role of there selfs. I think if kids don't get the time they need to grow and mature and get to know themselves. It will only lead to problems. I see where the academic program is coming from wanting more successful kids but the answer is not to drain them at a young age. I hope they get the matter figured out and they find a way for school to be fun for these kids. Also make the learning fun and not make the kids hate it or be bored or mentally drained. I dont agree with what they are doing and it upsets me this is the path the kindergarten program is going.


I agree that kindergarten has been less and less "fun" and more teacher based. I think in a way this is bad because kids, especially at that age, need play. Play I feel allows kids to be imaginative as well as learn and taking this away from them might have consequences down the road. These kids might never learn or fully develop an imagination. Kids also might no longer find school fun but more tiresome. I do understand though the idea of more rigorous learning though. Overall, I feel that making kindergarten more rigorous, but at the same time, I feel that there needs to be a clear line between the sit-down and learn style, and the getup and play style of learning.

Kelsey Mitchell

I agree with Brown's view on that kindergarten has become all work and little to no play. When I was in kindergarten it was very different. We were always playing with toys and always doing some type of craft and we would always do something fun to incorporate the learning. Now they are throwing a huge workload on these young kids and making them sit down and learn for hours. I don't believe that this new curriculum will be effective because young kids need to get up and play and move around, not sit in a chair all day and learn material that is too much for them.

Kate G

This article is heartbreaking. As a kindergartener, kids should not feel so pressured to pass the grade. They should not be stressing about failing at such a young age. It is also ridiculous they have to take so many assessments. Kids also shouldn't think that school is just to get to the next grade or to get a good job, they should be taught in a way that makes them love learning.

Alex Emrick

I disagree with how kindergarten classes are today. At such young age, kids aren't going to be willing to put forth effort if it's all work, no play. Children need hands on activities to learn. Yes, it's important to get to learn the basics, but kindergarten is the time where kids get to learn how to interact with others. Most kids don't grow up around other kids their age. From personal experience, my sister went to kindergarten this year, and before this she didn't have a lot of interaction with kids her age. Kids need to learn how to communicate. They need to learn how to share and act in an environment that's not what they are accustomed to. Taking tests or assessments at that age is just wrong. It won't make kids learn. It will push learning away. Kids should want to learn, and without the foundation a young child needs, that will never happen.


I do believe children in Kindergarten should have more recess and play activities in the classroom. I believe this because they are still children and as children, they will not be able to focus on such rigorous learning material without some fun.
Maybe there can be the same learning material in the classroom but in a more active and fun way, so it feels as though the children are playing fun games and activities rather than sitting in a class for hours learning a subject.


I agree with Brown's view on that kindergarten has become all work and kids do not play anymore as I did when I was in kindergarten. Brown is surely right about the new curriculum because, it will not be effective for young kids. They need to learn by playing games with the other kids rather than sit in a chair and listen to the teacher for many hours.


I agree that children these days have different educational systems than ours from my own experience I was in school that doesn’t provide this kind of system, while some schools have started following these educational systems. I remember the first day we started learning I was the only one that needs assistance and need to work harder than other students on my self which was too much for 6 years old child. When I talk with kindergartener children I can tell that they are way better than us and willing to learn they try reading the stores name, and they have beautiful knowledge compared to their age they also have more ability to learn things at this age. Even though they are having more things to learn they still teaching them in an attractive way with an interesting methods additionally, they learn that there is important things in life besides playing.

Jenny Lin

1. In response to the first question, the author thinks that kindergartens today are too focused on the teacher-led instructions. It only helps the children to grow academically. However, play-based and child-centered learning activities help children to grow also emotionally and socially. Forcing kids to follow the rules and to learn many things at the same time might take away their willingness to face academic risks and curiosity. To play and to engage in hands-on learning activities allows children to combine what they have learned and what they just learned. They can learn to solve problems with their hands, to interact with peers, to deal with their emotions and being able to pay attention to the playing process. I find the author persuasive since children will have to experience academic pressure for at least 12 years after kindergarten. Instead of academic performances, what is more important is the experience of exploration which is not the major focus in the further education. Kids are supposed to be playing and should be allowed to learn naturally through life rather than just from teachers’ instructions
2. As for the second question, I think that it is fine for the essay to include only the statements from students and teachers. The teachers and children are the ones that are really undergoing the educating process. Parents often have too many anticipations toward their children. In response to that, the administrator might have changed the teaching model of kindergartens to meet parents’ anticipations. However, they are not truly involved in the process. We can see from the statements that the teachers changed their teaching method due to the pressure from others, nor do the kids enjoy the learning process. What truly matters are how the kids feel and how will they face the further studying based on the experience they get in kindergarten. Therefore, it is important and more neutral to hear only kids’ and teachers’ voices.

Alison 黃少柔

Brown holds that kindergarteners should have more play-based activities in school because through these activities, children grow academically, socially and emotionally. They internalize new information and compare new information with old ones when engaging in hans-on learning activities. Besides, they learn how to interact and solve problems with peers in a natural way. It also allows kindergarteners to make sense of their emotional experience in and out of school. He also mentioned that with enough recess, it helps children to restore their attention for learning.
Focusing merely on rules can diminish children’s willingness to take academic risks and curiosity. Their self-confidence and motivation as learners might also be impeded. Replacing play-based activities can cause an opposite effect on their later academic performance.

I agree with his argument especially the point that he claims kindergartners can learn how to interact and solve problems naturally. It’s my belief that children will learn better and quicker from their own experience rather than being told by others. In addition, play-based activities allow them to “explore” the world and raise their curiosity, which lays a good foundation for later academic performance. I’m not saying that having academic knowledge in kindergarten is not crucial. I do agree that children should acquire some basic language and math skill, such as writing correct alphabets or counting money. However, the percentage of play-based activities should be more than academic knowledge learning. On top of that, teachers should not demand or be harsh on children’s academic learning. Through play-based activities or times with their family, they can also learn these things. To sum up, play-based activities are of great importance. They help children develop physically and mentally.

Alison 黃少柔

In my opinion, I think it wouldn't be a bad idea to include parent’s statements. After all, sometimes children are too young to be aware of the importance of academic knowledge learning. Compared to paying activities, doing math or writing journals are often less attracting. Therefore it’s natural that children would want more time to recess and play. Apart from that, parents also play irreplaceable roles on children’s education. However, children and teachers’ opinions should matter more seeing that the policy affects them directly. As for the administrators statements, I don’t think it necessarily because more often than not they don’t have kindergarteners at home so they won’t be aware of the seriousness of changing the curriculum.

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