Wednesday, October 1, 2014

"It's not developmentally appropriate." Says who?

Just a few quick thoughts on something I've been pondering lately… 

I think the phrase, "__(insert academic activity here)__ is not developmentally appropriate for young kids,"  is officially my least favorite sentence in the English language.  Really, who is to say what is developmentally appropriate and what isn't?  Some kids are ready for some things, while others may need a bit more time.  Yet, how will we truly know if our students are ready or not for a task if we don't even give them the chance to try?

Kindergarteners CAN write! 

We should never ever assume our kids are not ready for something just because someone or some group feels the task is developmentally inappropriate.  I say try it!  If you're wondering if a writing activity, math task, or other academic task is too challenging, try it out!  You'll see after a few minutes if it's appropriate or not.  We have no idea what our kiddos are capable of until we give them the opportunity to shine!  We simply must give our kids every opportunity that's available.  It's our duty as teachers.

It's our job to help our kids shine!  "I love the day."
Written in a recent kindergarten writing workshop.  

"Challenging work in small bits is definitely developmentally appropriate."  These wise words were spoken by Shanna Schwartz during one of her sessions this past summer at The Teachers College Reading and Writing Project summer writing institute.  They've stuck with me ever since.

Next time you feel something may be developmentally inappropriate, I say try it out!  There's no harm in trying something or asking our kids to try something that may stretch them a little bit.  However, I do firmly believe that there is harm in preventing them from trying.  We'll never see growth if we prevent our kiddos from trying something out in the first place.  My friends, be the watering can and the sun.   Avoid being the shade.  Our kiddos have been in the shade for too long.  It's time to let them shine by allowing them to blossom and grow!

We owe it to our kids.  When in doubt- let them try it out!


  1. Christina,
    Try it out; some may not be ready YET. But how will you know if they don't try it out. Love "Challenging work in small bits is definitely developmentally appropriate."
    What a great post to start my day!

  2. Thank you, Fran! The more I work as a coach and visit classrooms throughout all K-5 grade levels, the more I see that I kids are capable of so much more than we know! We simply must give them every opportunity to try. Have a great Thursday!


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