Thursday, March 22, 2012

SOLSC #22 Capitals, lowercase, numbers, shapes

This writing topic actually bores me.  
I am frustrated to be writing about it.  
My school is abuzz with collecting data on students for a summary due at the end of March...and, thus, I have data on my mind.

I'm frustrated by the data I must submit.

Data I need to share for each child: 
their recognition of capital letters, lowercase letters, numerals, and shapes.

This really bothers me.
Why are we looking only at this?

Literacy and mathematics seem so much bigger than these.

Are they engaged by books?
Are they able to recall what happened in a book?
Do they predict what might happen?
Do they share their own stories?
Do they share things in proper sequence?
Do they pick up books when they are idle, and peruse the pages?
Do you hear them creating words to go along with the story?
Do they read things that you've posted on the wall?
Do they converse with you, back and forth, several times?

Do they count aloud? 
Do they count along with you?
Do you ever see or hear them counting? 
Is there any sense of one-to-one correspondence?
Can they keep rhythm, drum beat to songs?
Do they make patterns?
Do they make comparisons?
Do they make sets? Do you see them grouping similar things?
Do they enjoy building?  Do they make detailed structures?

What is the value of this data?  What does it show?

Things I've noticed - 

My students who speak more than one language have very weak scores in 
recognition of capital letters, lowercase letters, numerals, and shapes.  
(I'm not surprised - I think of it this way - these children have to learn at least twice as many as everyone else!)

My "different learners" haven't made very high scores on this 
recognition of capital letters, lowercase letters, numerals, and shapes.

Those who make high scores on 
recognition of capital letters, lowercase letters, numerals, and shapes
are not necessarily 

good conversationalists, 
thoughtful questioners,   
critical thinkers.

I see no correlation.  

Frightening thought:

Will low scores result in the expectation that I explicitly teach these things? 


I'm not upset that I have to collect data on 
recognition of capital letters, lowercase letters, numerals, and shapes.

I'm upset that this is the only data that I'm required to submit.

I simply do not understand why something so limited would be very informative.

I need to challenge this.
I need to question this.
I need to understand this.


  1. I have spent the last week working on program goals and I hear you! Would love to chat with you about how we can create a loud enough voice to make sure the important stuff of early education doesn't get swallowed up by the need for "academics".

  2. I have an almost 3 year old granddaughter. Yes, there is so much more, Maureen. Thanks for your recent supportive comments. I am so appreciative. As for the letter journals of the post today-could they not be artistic reflections? I will bow to you as the expert, but I do know that there is a lot of talk lately at all ages about the value of art in literacy. Thanks for talking, & best wishes in your quest to get others to ask more!

  3. I love your last three lines, it is like you are staking your claim--your beliefs. I hope you do challenge it and are heard.

  4. Please do challenge this, Maureen!

    These kids are three - or barely four.