K-12 teachers in New Jersey are being asked to work on a project that has raised concerns from parents, some of whom say they were left in the dark about the science assignments being taught.
The Kindergarten Science Worksheets project is designed to help students get a sense of the science in a kindergarten science program and how that might relate to their everyday life, including math and reading.
The teacher is also tasked with giving each child a specific assignment that would include math and writing.
“The first lesson was about the differences between reading and writing,” said Katie Schall, a kindergarten teacher at New Jersey’s Woodbridge Elementary School.
“I wanted them to see the difference between what they’re learning and what they need to be learning.”
The first project was a reading assignment for students who are beginning kindergarten, and it focused on science and math.
The assignment included questions on different types of plants and animals and some information about what it’s like to be a plant.
“I was just going to use the science from Kindergarden Science Worksheet to help them,” Schall said.
“My daughter, for example, is learning about the earth and what it looks like.
She was just able to get an idea about the climate and how the climate is changing,” Schal said.
“And I was just trying to give her some background information about it.”
Schall said she had no idea about how the project would be used until her students arrived for their first day of kindergarten.
“When they walked into the room and saw it, I said, ‘How did this come to be?'” she said.
Schall and her students are now trying to figure out how they will handle the assignments in their classrooms.
“It’s definitely a concern,” Schally said.
But she said it is not the first time she has had to work with her students in this area.
“For the first few weeks, it was very difficult because I wasn’t sure how it was going to be handled,” she said, adding that she felt the project was unnecessary.
“You know, it’s not the most important thing.
It’s just a fun project for them to try out and learn.”
Schal said she is concerned that the project might be seen as an attempt to push the boundaries of science.
“Some of these materials are not in English,” she added.
“If they are not used in the classroom, then what’s the point?” she said of the project.
Schally said the school district is not allowing the Kindergarts to use Kindergards materials in their science classes because they are still under review by the state.
Schal also said that the district is trying to find a way to help parents understand the science lesson in a way that is helpful to them and their children.
“We have a lot of parents who don’t want to be on the record about it because they feel like they’re being pressured to conform,” SchALL said.
The district is working on a process that would allow parents to view the Kinderges science lesson videos on their own.
“They have a YouTube channel,” SchAL said.
As of Thursday, the videos had not been posted on YouTube.