Kindergarten in the State of Florida has well surpassed coloring and counting. The state adopted a new standard of learning for students and Bay kindergartners are the first bunch to try it out.
Kelly Lewis' kindergarten class is learning the lesson of fewer or greater and more or less. It's a lesson through the newly adopted Common Core State Standards that is now required for kindergarten students.
"It's developed so that we have continuity between the states, so if a child moves from Texas to Alabama or Georgia to Florida there is continuity in their education," said Bay District Schools Elementary Specialist, Camilla Hudson.
Lewis says she hasn't noticed that big of a change in curriculum in Language Arts. However, the new standard teaches the uses of punctuation further than just commas and periods. Hudson says those goals were already set in the past.
"Teachers have always taught and raised the bar to make our students be as successful as they can be and now with the Common Core it is stated as a state law. This is what we will teach," Hudson added.
Where learning how to count to 100 instead of 20 was a goal in the past, it is now a requirement, but teachers say because of past practices the transition wasn't hard.
We found in kindergarten that with common core standards it is a lot of what we were already covering," said Lewis.
Lewis says she has noticed conceptually math lessons are tougher.
"Adding them together, subtracting them, problem solving, deeper thinking; all of those skills seem to be a lot more difficult," Lewis said.
"This helps our students be more successful and compete globally. We want our kids to be better thinkers not just memorizing information but actually able to apply the information and that is what Common Core is going to help us do," Hudson added.
The Common Core State Standards will be put in place gradually for students. All grade levels will go by the standards by 2014.