Current Study Highlights Benefits of Full-day Kindergarten on Improved Reading

A report was published today in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette ( that compares reading scores of children who were in full-day kindergarten with those in part-time kindergarten statewide in Pennsylvania.  Of the state’s 500 school districts, 349 have full-day kindergarten.

Results of the study first showed comparisons with children in kindergarten in 2005 and third grade in 2008.  The percentage who were not proficient in reading in third grade dropped by 9.1 percent in schools with full-day kindergarten and 6 percent in schools with part-time kindergarten.

Another group of students in kindergarten in 2006 and third grade in 2009 indicated similar results.  The full-day kindergarten students not proficient in reading dropped by 9.4 percent; those in part-time kindergarten dropped by 6.5 percent.

These results provide compelling evidence that children who have an opportunity to attend full-day kindergarten benefit significantly in the area of reading.

As you can guess, math scores showed similar results.  It’s nice to see some hard evidence that points to the importance of full-day kindergarten.

Summer Sun, Summer Fun, and a Fully Integrated Science and Social Studies Curriculum

Summer is a magical time for learning while taking in the fun and excitement of traveling to new places and learning about culture, music, art, and traditions.  It is also a great time to experiment with chemical reactions in the great outdoors as we watch our garden grow and study the life science of plants, animals, and the senses.

Learning takes on new life as the summer curriculum shifts to the study of nature and new and exciting places.  It is a perfect time to work with earth and water, sun and skies, while music, movement, and dance are integrated into every-day activities.

As we board a ship to cross the ocean, we will make brief stops at a number of different countries to learn about their culture, including traditions, music, dance, art, and food. Of course, we’ll chart the course on a globe to indicate where the countries are located. And explorers will enjoy following clues to hidden treasure as they make their way across the sea.

One aspect of visiting a foreign country involves eating specialty food.  Dancing Moose chefs will prepare some appropriate fare, but children will also have an important role in the kitchen.  Children will help prepare food for each of the stops along the travel route. This will be a wonderful time to experience food preparation, measuring, cooking, and of course, eating the results of their labors.

Each of the summer art projects will correlate with life science activities, and some intriguing charts will indicate several aspects of children’s preferences. Traveling and studying nature will require some interesting math questions all along the way.

A collection of books that elaborate on life sciences will provide solid background information, which will include the study of vertebrate and invertebrate animals.

In addition to the study of animals, children will learn about science of plants as they observe their garden flourish by their daily care.  They will learn about the importance of planting seeds in rich soil with plenty of water and sunlight.  Predicting, observing, and recording will be children’s basic scientific processes as they become familiar with plant vocabulary.

This summer will surely be an exciting adventure!