Friday, September 11, 2009

(It is SO NOT) elementary, my dears!

The past two days have been just one big school flashback for me. It started last night with Back to School night, where I got to sit in (hard!) tiny little chairs and learn about what my boys will study this year.

In 1st grade, Riley will: identify and describe attributes of 2D and 3D figures; use the writing process (prewriting, first draft, revising, editing, publishing); investigate the effects of forces, motion, and equilibrium; understand the role of human, capital, and natural resources in the production of goods and services...and these were just my favorites, among the lengthy list of mind-boggling topics. I only hope his teacher has time to instruct the 6 year-olds in what I recall as "the basics" of classroom behavior: no poking fellow students with pencils, or eating the crayons, or throwing gluesticks.

Then it was on to 4th grade. The teacher showed us the terrariums that our kids have already constructed in order to study ecosystems. (Soon they will add grasshoppers, snails, and pillbugs!) We heard about Literature Circles, which operate as a kind of "book club", complete with critical discussion led by the students themselves. In addition, 9-year old Derek will be expected to: select and independently read at least 25 grade-level appropriate books; develop a research question based on a selected topic and use two or more resources to locate information; identify transformations in tessellations (wait, what? did they make that up? seriously, what does that even mean?); understand social, economic, and political characteristics of Western Europe and West Africa in the 15th century...among many, many other shockingly sophisticated subjects.

I have a feeling we are ALL going to get a lot smarter this year (or die trying)! But for now, may I be excused, my brain is tired!


Jeanne said...

When did elementary school become college??? Yikes!

Johna Enders said...

I know, right? They're going to be smarter than us, sooner than we hoped (or feared)!