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mommysubs mommysubs is offline
 
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Kindergarten Screening...Please Help!
Old 04-12-2018, 02:10 PM
 
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I'm not a kindergarten teacher, but a nervous mom gearing up for my child's kindergarten screening. I just received the official letter from the school that they will be giving the *45 minute* DIAL-4 test. Has anyone ever given this test? I wish I could see what was on it to make sure my child is prepared. What do you look for when you do screenings? Yes I am a little nervous. The letter states that the assessment is specifically designed to "identify children entering Kindergarten who are in need of intervention". And that Kindergarten teachers and "service providers" will be conducting the screening. This makes me nervous because what if my child is shy...will she be recommended for a service before she even gets to school? Please...any help to prepare so we can avoid some sort of premature label would be greatly appreciated!


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Old 04-13-2018, 09:02 AM
 
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I have given the Dial 4 — it is very general: small and large motors skills (throwing, skipping, standing on one leg, cutting), speech (naming objects looking for pronunciation), some reasoning skills (what would you do if you entered a room that is dark?), and some counting, rhyming and beginning sounds.

If there are any glaring areas of difficulty for your child, you would probably already know

We used the screening to sort students into classes. It was not perfect, but did give us a starting point since these students were brand new to ours school. It was not comprehensive, and we added our own color, shapes and alphabet recognition components.
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Old 04-14-2018, 04:56 AM
 
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LilMsSunshine,

Thank you so much for your reply! This doesn't sound too horrible...guess I will just keep preparing them in the best way I know how.
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Old 04-14-2018, 11:36 AM
 
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I am glad that you are feeling more comfortable with the idea of screening before entering K. I teach with 5 other K teachers and we wish that our district did some type of screening before children entered K.

Our district used to do it years ago, but, in order to save money, stopped. The screening wasn't Dial-4, but sounds similar to what LilMsSunshine shared. They looked at fine motor and gross motor, speech... Right now placement in the K classrooms is random. It can take most of the year to get services (i.e. speech and language therapy) for students in K in our district. The Title 1 interventions for reading and math don't start until January. (Before January, classroom teachers provide the only interventions.) It is difficult to do when you have 20+ students and no aides.

We feel it is beneficial to identify students, who need additional support, early and to start services like speech and language therapy, OT, PT and to provide interventions for reading and math right away. Speech and language delays can impact learning. While we strive to keep things developmentally-appropriate, the standards are rigorous.

Our student clientele has changed over the years in our district. Most of our students do not attend preschool because parents can't afford it. (We do have one inclusion preschool class in our district for children, who are identified for early intervention as preschoolers. The gen ed population for that inclusion class is about 10 students and getting in is based on a lottery system.) We are finding that many of our students entering K now don't know any letters or numbers, don't recognize the letters in their names/name or even write their names. We are surprised by how many students haven't used crayons or scissors before coming to K and by how many don't recognize basic shapes or colors.

How can you help prepare your child for kindergarten? Here are some of the suggestions we share with parents:
  • Read to your child often.
  • Converse with your child.
  • Play games with your child.
  • Sing songs and say nursery rhymes together.
  • Provide opportunities for your child to paint, color, tear paper, use scissors, use glue...
  • Provide a variety of experiences for your child-take your child to different places like the grocery store, post office, park, museums-even just walks around your neighborhood and talk about what you see.
  • Encourage self help skills like zippering jackets, opening/closing backpacks, opening lunch containers, picking out clothing and dressing oneself... and practice independent toileting skills and washing hands. (Every year we have parents who are surprised that the K teachers don't wipe children's bottoms after they have a bowel movement.)
  • Provide your child with opportunities to play with same age peers.
  • If your child is used to staying up late or doesn't have a set bedtime, start establishing an earlier bedtime a few weeks before school starts. It can be helpful to have a bedtime routine. Don't wait until the week school begins.

This next suggestion is just my own. I don't mean to offend anyone, but we are seeing more students have major meltdowns/tantrums/behavior issues in K. Some can be attributed to the rigorous demands and maturity level of the children. Don't be afraid to say, "No," to your child sometimes. It is okay. Yes, it can be uncomfortable, but it helps the child develop coping skills. For some children, school is the first time they are hearing "No." They are used to being able to get up when they want, eat what they want, play with the toys they want... and having the attention of the parent/guardian. Then they come to school where they can't eat, sleep, do what they want when they want or get what they want. They have a schedule to follow. They have to share and take turns. They have a set time for lunch and when that time is up, lunch is over. Now they have to share the adult's attention with 20 other children. School can be stressful for some children if this is the first time they are having to deal with disappointment, not getting their way, having to wait... and they haven't had the opportunity to develop coping skills beforehand.

Last edited by iteachk2010; 04-14-2018 at 12:38 PM..
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Thank you!
Old 04-14-2018, 05:44 PM
 
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iteachk2010,

I just love you!! You hit the nail on the head! I only substitute in the schools, but I have seen what you are talking about for sure with some students---it is the first time they have ever heard "no"---when they get to school! (I have seen the tantrums and some get physical!) That is unfair to the teacher who's job is not to be the parent and the first line of discipline! I am the total opposite for sure---what society would brand as a "mean" parent... We have a set schedule at home...meal times and snack times, we talk about our plans for the day, and they have a set bedtime (whether they like it or not which is most often not lol). My children are expected to use their manners at all times and they have simple chores. I expect that my children will be well behaved in school as they have been taught at home, and if not I will certainly be holding them accountable at home! My children (twins) were not sent to preschool because I could not afford to pay the $4000 for them to go three times a week for 2.5 hours a day for part of the year to learn their abc's and possibly make a few friends and share a few viruses. Instead, I take them to playgrounds, parks, museums, festivals, the library, the grocery store, post office, and anywhere else I can bring them. This wonderful season of life is fleeting, and as challenging as it can be some days, I cherish this time as their first teacher. Starting in September the majority of that time I get to have with them will be gone, shared instead by a wonderful group of teachers at school. In my time with them, I have worked hard to teach them upper & lower case letters and their sounds, writing name and some other simple things like days of the week and the date. We have playdates with children their age and we attend library storytime whenever possible. They love to count, we completed the 1000 books before kindergarten program last summer and they have probably read at least another 1000 or more since. They can even read a little bit on their own. They were 28 weekers so for me it's been like an intense drive since they were born to make sure they would be ok and caught up with their peers. The only things I am afraid they may slip up on are pencil grip---they both like to revert to the fist method while they write sometimes and it's been a tireless struggle to get them to hold it the proper way all the time. Also some grammar and speech slips when they are talking we are constantly working on and correcting. I have been working hard to correct them because I don't want them to be pegged for speech, PT/and or OT or held back. How they enter school seems to be what will set the tone for many years to come so I want to make sure they are given the best chance and won't be slated into a remedial spot that will immediately erode self-esteem and cultivate a negative attitude about school right out of the gate. I cannot believe some parents would expect a teacher to wipe their child after a BM! OMG. I have been pushing my children to be as independent as possible because I tell them, teacher won't be doing x, y, z for you when you get to school! I will continue to give them everything I can to prepare them to be their best. And I can't promise that I won't be the biggest internal worrywart as they enter school...



Last edited by mommysubs; 04-14-2018 at 08:20 PM..
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Old 04-16-2018, 04:35 AM
 
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Quote:
I cannot believe some parents would expect a teacher to wipe their child after a BM!
All. The. Time.
Quote:
be slated into a remedial spot that will immediately erode self-esteem and cultivate a negative attitude about school right out of the gate.
I promise, my Tier II kids have no idea they are Tier II.
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Old 04-16-2018, 07:08 AM
 
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Zia,

That's too bad there are some parents who would actually expect that. I can't imagine your frustration. Your school culture sounds lovely and accepting though. I wish that were the case here. Unfortunately, children who are placed in special ed programs early on (before any formal schooling) don't fair well here and end up staying in a hole that only becomes deeper. Should a 45 minute "test" before school with a shy or nervous child determine how they fit in for the remainder of their school career? Sorry, I'm just frustrated with the idea and mainly nervous that they will "slip up" somehow and be placed somewhere post haste.

Last edited by mommysubs; 04-16-2018 at 12:40 PM..
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Old 04-16-2018, 03:25 PM
 
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Should a 45 minute "test" before school with a shy or nervous child determine how they fit in for the remainder of their school career? Sorry, I'm just frustrated with the idea and mainly nervous that they will "slip up" somehow and be placed somewhere post haste.
If those giving the test have a decent amount of experience they will be able to discern shy from problem. Don't worry about it!
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Old 04-16-2018, 03:31 PM
 
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Sbkangas5,

You are right. I am a wee bit of a worry wart. Your comment was much needed! Thank you!
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