• Real World Experiences in Social Studies Curriculum in a Kindergarten Classroom

      Walczak, Christina (State University of New York at Fredonia, 2018-12)
      Kindergarten curriculum has vastly changed in the United States since Elizabeth Peabody started the first English speaking kindergarten started in 1860 (Fromberg, 2006). The curriculum has changed from play-based, exploratory learning to a more academic learning process focusing on meeting standards, instruction, and assessment (McLennan, 2011). For teachers, it is extremely difficult to balance the required curriculum/assessments and to implement more developmentally appropriate practices such as play for kindergarten aged children in social studies. The main purpose of my project is to incorporate more exploratory social studies curriculum into my kindergarten classroom. By including more social studies in an elementary classroom, it helps to create a deeper community of thinkers, learners, and civilians that can work together to understand and solve problems in society. I reviewed the C3 Framework, Inquiry Design Model (IDM), National Curriculum Standards for Social Studies, and the New York State social studies resource toolkit, including all their resources in order to generate ideas for my curriculum project. The curriculum allotted three to five days for this curriculum. It can be modified to take longer than 5 days depending on the classroom and community. Therefore, through reading this curriculum, teacher can get clear guidance in implementing hands on social studies in a meaningful way. This curriculum project was made as a tool of reference to guide the findings of a single way to use hands on experiences in social studies in a kindergarten classroom.
    • What are the Parent Perceptions of Daily Homework Assignments Within a Kindergarten Classroom?

      Vara, Jessica (State University of New York at Fredonia, 2019-05)
      With the increasing educational demands and homework assignments within primary grade levels, it is important to understand the different structures and supports, or lack of structures and supports, that parents/guardians implement during homework completion. This study examined the views, beliefs, opinions and practices of the parents/guardians in regards to daily homework assignments within a kindergarten classroom and the overall home to school connection/relationship. Data for this study was collected from a parent/guardian survey that asked the participants to reflect on their parental involvement during their children’s homework completion. Findings indicated that parents/guardians established homework routines, offered support and assistance as necessary during homework completion and valued the homework assignments as a useful tool for children to understand how and when to complete homework as they become older. Findings also showed that that parents/guardians were made aware of all important happenings within the classroom, curriculum and school and felt comfortable engaging in open means of communication with their children’s teacher as necessary.