Wednesday, September 17, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Smaller class sizes are vital

By Nancy Sells and Sheila Bean

As longtime kindergarten teachers, we are writing in support of the current parent effort to reduce class size in primary grades.

Most of us still remember the kindergarten experience of our former days when play and socialization were the primary focus. Among other expectations, today’s kindergartners are expected to exit the program able to read emergent text, write several sentences on a single topic, recognize numbers to 30 and above, record and interpret simple graphs, and add and subtract number equations.

As former first-grade teachers, we both clearly recognize that grade-level expectations have been elevated by at least a grade level over the past 10 years, resulting in extremely high expectations of our 5- and 6-year-olds today (and consequently, for all the grades that follow).

That only addresses the academic standards/expectations. Perhaps even more important are the social/emotional issues that are equally dealt with each kindergarten day. As teachers, we are constantly called upon to help settle disputes, give guidance on how to deal with problems, and give the reassuring hugs that tell our children that we care deeply and are there for them, no matter what.

Then there is the safety issue: One adult responsible for the safety of 31 small children is actually unfathomable. One skinned knee (the inevitable, when you are 5!) can result in 30 additional children unsupervised for even moments, when additional issues may and do arise.

We are seeing more and more children enter kindergarten without basic skills that are required for school success. Transitional kindergarten is a welcome addition in addressing some of these issues, but unfortunately, does not reach all who need it. We differentiate our curriculum constantly in the effort to meet the broad range of needs we encounter, but with our large class sizes, we spend more time on management and assessment, taking precious time away from direct instruction.

The children with many needs who require large amounts of individual attention suffer the most from large class size and, despite all our efforts, we constantly worry about the achievement gap widening rather than closing in years to come.

Please join us in our effort to make class size reduction in the primary grades a high priority. Write letters, sign parent petitions and speak out at future school board meetings to let our district administrators and school board members know that class size reduction must be addressed for the safety and success of our youngest learners.

— Nancy Sells and Sheila Bean are kindergarten teachers at Patwin Elementary School.

Comments

comments

Special to The Enterprise

.

News

New water rates take effect in November

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

 
A pot o’ gold for Rainbow City revival

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Marsh trial guilt phase enters home stretch

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1

 
Weakened Odile heads toward U.S.; tourists evacuated

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Three women stuck in Putah Creek while paddleboarding

By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A2

 
Bob Dunning: News about our modest college town

By Bob Dunning | From Page: A2

Crews battle wildfire’s explosive growth

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

 
AAUW hosts conversation with Gilardi

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Master Gardeners will answer questions Sunday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Storyteller will draw on music, dance

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Show off your electric vehicles on Sunday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Learn about youth leadership program on Sept. 28

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Sign up now for free Community Yard Sale

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Saylor meets constituents at Peet’s

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Free introductory yoga, chanting workshop offered

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Rotary seeks project requests

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Sign up soon for a new year of Writing Buddies

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
Register to vote by Oct. 20

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Senior Center to host jewelry sale

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
.

Forum

Time to go get help

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
Bicycle bells needed for safety

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Are we going to wait until someone here dies?

By Rich Rifkin | From Page: A6

 
Firefighters went above, beyond

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Grocery bags are biohazards

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Can’t we work collaboratively?

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Please vaccinate your children

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

Mental-health treatment lacking

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Braly’s column lightens the heart

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

.

Sports

UCD women take third at elite golf event

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
Aggie men stay in 10th to finish St. Mary’s Invite

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

Formidable UCD defense melts Hornets

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Devils go the distance to triumph at Chico

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Diamondbacks slam Giants

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Baseball roundup: Peavy, Posey lead Giants past Arizona

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Sounders win U.S. Open Cup in overtime

By Staff and wire reports | From Page: B2

 
AYSO roundup: Ultra Violet illuminates a victory

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

Alliance roundup: Soccer success comes on the road and at home

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
Legacy roundup: Gunners get a win over Woodland

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
.

Features

Name Droppers: Bamforth leads international brewing institute

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
Name Droppers: UC Davis announces eight new fellows

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

Just desserts? A sweet treat is worth the effort

By Julie Cross | From Page: A10

 
.

Arts

Apply now for Davis Community Idol

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Classic ‘Hello, Dolly!’ wows at Woodland Opera House

By Bev Sykes | From Page: A9 | Gallery

 
Davis students prepare dishes for Empty Bowls fundraiser

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9 | Gallery

Nine Davis artists chosen to show in KVIE Art Auction

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
Sacred Harp singers will gather

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9 | Gallery

.

Business

.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Comics: Wednesday, September 17, 2014

By Creator | From Page: A8