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20 September 2013 @ 02:41 pm
Essential Elements  
Many years ago, the Texas curricular objectives were listed as the "essential elements." I liked this framework: broad strokes rather than a preponderance of itty-bitty skills and subskills. I think sometimes that the broad strokes are what permit educators to reach out to more and more students. We are not measuring every tiny little detail. We are building readers and writers and speakers and listeners and thinkers.

So, when Lester Laminack posted a link to a piece on what 4 year olds need to know, and I saw the list, I smailed boradly (broad strokes on my face?). Here is the link so you too can enjoy the posting: http://magicalchildhood.wordpress.com/2010/08/31/what-should-a-4-year-old-know/.

I think I love this one the most: "She should know that the world is magical and that so is she. She should know that she’s wonderful, brilliant, creative, compassionate and marvelous. She should know that it’s just as worthy to spend the day outside making daisy chains, mud pies and fairy houses as it is to practice phonics. Scratch that– way more worthy. "

I wonder how kids in the CCSS fast-paced-gotta-cover-a-standard-a-day classroom are faring when it comes to knowin that the world is magical and that they are magical as well. I wonder how all the benchmarking, testing, drilling, and data points makes a kid FEEL? That affective part of education seems to be lacking in some classrooms. David Coleman said it himself when he was discussing the importance of nonfiction and report writing when he said that no one would give a $%&# about a person's feelings, his memories, his life. And this is the person in charge of designing and building a curriculum that will revolutionize education?

I care about feelings. I want others to care about mine, too. The word CAREFREE bothers me to some extent. I am never without some care. Notice I did not say worry free or concern free; I try hard to eliminate unnecessary concerns and worries. But cares? They are always with me. I still care about Lionel, some 25 years after he left my classroom. Did he pursue his talents as an artist? What Valerie and Teresa and Mickey? How are they all doing? I hope that they each found someone who loves them unconditionally, who continued to show them they are as magical as the world around them. I take care with my cares.
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