“I made the kindergarteners cry,” said the computer teacher to me. Apparently she was asked to teach them to log into our computer system. However . . . to do so, one needs both a login and a password. The login is the student’s first initial plus the student’s last name.
Keep in mind that these are five-year-olds. A good number of them come to school not knowing their last names. I have one girl who insists her last name is Grace (middle name).
Then, the student’s password is their seven-digit student ID number assigned by the state. As the computer teacher told me, the first row of kids started crying, “I don’t know how to read! Boo-hoo-hoo,” and it just rolled right down the rows of computers. I can only imagine the horror she felt, at the same time as I chuckle, glad it wasn’t me!
This brings me to a relatively rare editorial statement as I end this post: you can’t legislate children into doing things they are not developmentally ready to do. I recently read this article: Five-Year-Olds Put To the Test as Kindergarten Exams Gain Steam, in which our youngest students are given standardized tests “meant to determine whether 5-year-olds are on track to succeed in college and career.” There’s a unit “to introduce 5-year-olds to algebraic thinking” — seriously, people? How about we introduce them to letters, numbers, and forming a line first?