Math tests for Kindergartners?

:eek: http://edition.cnn.com/2008/LIVING/wayoflife/08/28/math.for.kindergarteners.ap/index.html

I just don’t get this one…90 minutes to test little one’s who attention spans are small. Aren’t our educators required to take Child growth and development courses???

This can be a good thing if you look at it as a baseline for children starting school, but the test just needs to be a test, and not have major funding issues riding on it like other tests. They can take the test but do not base the entire school year on it or around it.

Geeze - I’m not even a mom and I can tell you that 90 minutes is WAY too long!!! :eek:

I don’t see a problem with having a test - but it should certainly be age appropriate!!!

~Liza

I have a grand daughter that started kindergarten this year. She met with the teacher very briefly this summer…about a half an hour.

This is really crazy, very counterproductive. 90 minutes is absurd for a 5 yr. old, and why would we give them a math test before they actually are in 1st grade? This is just a method for teachers to have a little easier time once in the classroom. We are pushing these kids too hard too fast. Very bad idea.

It depends on the population of students and on the gifts of the individual students.

In the prep school that my kids attended, some of the kids were near-geniuses. They came from very privileged families–lots of doctors and CEOs of companies, and had soaked up the atmosphere of learning given generously to them from the day of their birth. They came to kindergarten already doing higher-level math. A 90 minute-test was duck soup for them. They were ready!

My younger daughter started 1st grade at one of the public schools in our city. By January, they were still working on writing their numbers correctly. She was so bored. She would come home from school and do her sister’s math homework (4th grade, multiplication and division) for fun.

I asked the school if they could try to stimulate her a little more, maybe let her move ahead in the math book. But I was told that “tracking” wasn’t allowed in the public schools in our city. The kids had to all stay TOGETHER and work TOGETHER; in other words, the teamwork was more important than the actual learning of the subject. Bah. Ridiculous.

The next year, when we had the opportunity to move our kids to the prep school, the students were all tested, and my daughter was placed in a math group with 2 other students. It was wonderful! They were quite advanced, and I remember how fun it was for her to “beat the boys” on various tests for the next several years! (She’s very competitive.)

In her sophomore year of high school, we moved her into a Christian school at her request. She just wanted to try something different.

At her prep school, she would have been doing Calculus. Well, the new school was very reluctant to allow a lowly sophomore in the Calc class. Occasionally they allowed Juniors in the class, but sophs?!

We pointed out that they really didn’t have much choice, since she had completed all the prerequisites. So they put her in Calculus, predicting disaster.

Within a week, she was helping the Senior boys do their homework. She ended up with a near perfect score average and got an easy A, even though she barely cracked open the book at home.

(She moved back to the prep school to finish out high school.)

Math just came easy for her. There are kids like that. My husband is like that. He reads math journals in bed, for pleasure. He still remembers how to do all that math that we learned in high school! (I don’t remember anything about math except that I hated it!)

OTOH, my daughter never quite got hang of literature. In fact (Shh, don’t tell her teachers), she never in four years of high school read ANY of the books assigned in her English classes. But she still got As, because she listened really hard and remembered what the teacher said. So when it came time to answer those essay questions, she knew just what to write, even though she had never even read the book!

Later on, we found out that she had a slight problem with a very low-level reading disorder. She started reading with a bookmark under each line, and that helped her process what she was reading and make sense of it.

But she still doesn’t understand how someone can say that a character in a book is “sad” or “happy.” She doesn’t get any of that unless the author comes right out and says, “Character A is happy.”

Kids are so fascinating!!

…and why would we give them a math test before they actually are in 1st grade?

Why not? Why the arbitary grade starting point?

This is just a method for teachers to have a little easier time once in the classroom.

Bollocks. It really gets my back up when people say things like this. :mad: Testing is a time-tested (pardon the pun) method of evaluating learning. 90 minutes does seem excessive, but since I haven’t personally observed the children in question, I cannot say definitively. What I can say with certainty, however, is that testing is most assuredly not done for the benefit of the teacher.

When my youngest daughter was three, we did something we called “dumb penny tricks” in which we would take a pile of pennies and see how many piles of three, or two, or four, or whatever, they would make, and how many were left over.

She would play that game longer than I wanted to; her sister’s soccer coach called her “Numbers” because she was always talking about what this plus that was or how many shoes a soccer team needed, or whatever.

It doesn’t have to be stressful or boring.

In answer to the age category, I would say that because in 2008 we are getting farther and farther away from allowing children to be children. Just for the sake of argument, let’s say you have a child that is very bright, if not gifted. In that case, who would object to testing a this particular child, even if just 5 years old? Would be very legitimate and probably the right course to take. In most schools today, there are programs that will accomodate said child so as to challenge them to their capability. Usually parents are the first to know when their child is very bright.

And in answer to who this would benefit,with all due respect, I would not say that it is done for the benefit of the child either. Not at age 5. First of all, teachers should be able to get a handle on what their kids can and cannot due within a short time period right in the class room, without putting them through a 90 minute test. Second of all and maybe just as importantly, all children are intelligent enough at that age to feel the pressure of being “put to the test”…a 90 MINUTE TEST NO LESS, which I would think would not be of benefit but could actually be a detriment to the child psychologically. Granted that a 5 year old has more attention span than a 2 year old but 90 MINUTES?..I don’t think so!! Therefore, I could say that I am equally as miffed:mad: that educators of any level would consider putting pressure on children of that age. Very counterproductive in all respects IMHO.

I was tested in kindergarten. But not for 90 minutes!! The teacher just sat with us for maybe five or ten minutes and asked us to count by twos, fives, tens, etc…

Anyone who thinks that a 90 minute written math test for youngsters is effective clearly doesn’t remember being a child. When you are that age, you are thinking about how long until recess so that you can yell jump and scream outside.

Good lord. Would they have said the same thing to a child who needed a slower pace due to learning disabilities?
“Special Education” applies to the full spectrum of students’ needs.

As another poster mentioned, a kindergarten baseline is a useful tool and not one that “makes teachers’ jobs easier” :rolleyes: but rather one that helps make their jobs more effective.

However, a 90 minute test, administered to 5 year olds is asinine. The test format needs to reflect the maturation of those taking it.

90 minutes to a 5 year old is like waiting 3 days. I barely had the endurance with California Achievement Test (about 3 hours long) when I was in 3rd grade. It was so long, I still remember it clearly almost 25 years later! :wink:

Now, I’m not sure what kind of math kindergarteners can do, besides count to 10 (or 20).

I don’t remember doing that until 2nd or 3rd grade. Then again, I was in Special Ed classes at the time… (and it was during the early 80s, when they taught things later than they do now)

When I began kindergarten, I could do very simple math, and I was in the minority. Some kids, I remember, couldn’t even read! Maybe a simple 5 or 10 minute test would do, but nothing more.

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