I've had a little free time and a LOT of curiosity lately, so I've been blog surfing. Specifically, I've been searching for blogs about kindergarten. These generally fall into two categories- written by teachers or written by parents. The ones written by teachers are filled with lesson plans, strategies, budget complaints, and anxieties about getting everything done. The ones written by parents are filled with stories of children's accomplishments, complaints about teachers, anxieties about parent-teacher conferences, and shock about what is required of kindergarten students these days.
I could read articles and books about kindergarten. I could read studies and research and statistics- and I do that from time to time. But reading blogs gives me the "inside scoop". I love reading blogs because I get the good, the bad, and the ugly! Blogs usually tell it like it is, because people get emotional about kindergarten. When a mom says, "My son's teacher is a stupid B_ _ _ _" (yes, she did say that), I want to read why, and never do that! LOL This week I've read discussions about small group instruction, nap time, computer classes, testing, and centers. I've learned that many parents don't understand why computers are even included in a kindergarten classroom. Other parents don't understand why every child can't have a computer. Some parents want their child to have a nap, but others agree that it is a waste of classroom time. Reading blogs, and the comments that are attached, is like overhearing a conversation. And I love to listen!
Reading blogs isn't just entertaining. I've learned several things this week that I'm going to apply to my own classroom. Found a new game. Thought about a new reading strategy. Considered a different arrangement for my centers. And I always give serious thought to the concerns of parents. I think that many of the questions I read in blogs might be questions that my parents are afraid to ask. Then I slip the answers into newsletters, notes, etc. "By the way, if any of you are wondering why...." helps my shy parents. (I give out a "homework policy" at the beginning of the year because of something I read several years ago on a parenting forum.)
You can try your own blog surfing by using the Google blog search. Just go to the Google home page and look above the word Google at the "more" drop down menu. Click on blogs and put in your search words. It's fun to search for your interests, hobbies, career, hometown, etc. I also like to use the images search.
Have fun! Just remember to come back here to my pitiful little blog so I don't get lonely.