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About Storydale

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  • Location Freising
  • Nationality U.S.
  • Hometown Florida
  • Gender Female
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  1. The bilingual schools taking the teaching outdoors

    I worked as a school counselor in the US public schools for 23 years before moving to Germany, in addition to growing up as the daughter of a public school elementary teacher who retired with 36 years in the system.  I know a bit about the US system and have educated myself about the German system.   All that we teach kids in US kindergarten, all that we push them to do, doesn't provide any long-term benefit.  That's easy to see by our drop-out numbers, our dismal test scores and the remedial classes that our college students have to take in their first years of college.  My brother-in-law is an English prof at a state university and many kids can't even write complete sentences and coherent paragraphs as college freshmen. Kids over here in Germany begin first grade usually knowing how to write their name and having very basic number sense.  They begin learning a second language, English, usually in 3rd grade.  I've done storytelling programs in Realschulen with 10th graders who speak and understand English beautifully.  These are kids who will finish their formal schooling in 10th grade and will begin apprenticeships that will last 2 years that will include more education and job training.  These 10 grade kids would easily be able to pass any of the standardized tests our 12th graders are required to take back in the US, and all without the benefit of Kindergarten programs full of academic standards.  The kids in Gymnasien (the schools university-bound kids attend) end up with an education that is more like finishing the first year or two of college, I think. The US system would do well to going back to a kindergarten that focussed on pre-writing, pre-reading, and pre-math skills, and developing social skills, gross and fine motor skills through play, play and more play.  It makes a huge difference in the long run to future academic success.