HELP! Do I need the kitchen area?

So, as I was gearing up to go for the summer, my principal posed the question/suggest of me getting rid of the kitchen area in my classroom.  She said with the common core the place of a kitchen/play area has run its course.

Since we are only half day kindergarten, we don't get recess.  So I view my play area as an important center in my classroom.  They only go there once every 6 days.  Sometimes I pick the activity for them blocks, legos, puzzles, kitchen etc.  But most of the time they decide on the activity themselves.

I feel like if I let it go, then our only opportunity for them to socially interact without my direct instruction is gone.  Plus, they love it there.

Am I wrong in my thinking?  Is the place of play out in our day and time in the K classroom?  HELP!


Michelle Rist said...

Nooooo! Don't get rid of it! :( It scares me when people want to take play out of kindergarten! :( Can you put some things in your kitchen to it make more "principal approved?" Add menus, sheets for kids to make grocery lists, pads of paper for them to write down orders, label shelves for sorting (cans, boxes, dishes), recipe cards for kids to create their own food, etc. Ashley Rives on TPT makes some pretend play prop packets. I don't know if she makes one for kitchen but it might be worth checking out.
Ok...sorry, this is just my opinion. If anyone else disagrees I won't be upset...much. : )

Giggles and Squeals said...

I totally agree Michelle! I do try to make it sound "rigorous" and I believe that it should stay in place. I just didn't want to be the last dinosaur, if that makes sense.

I should also add that my principal asked me why I teach cutting since it isn't in the common core too. Seriously... she asked me that.

I think it all depends on the lens you look through. For me, it is about talking, being fair, taking turns... problem solving. She may see it as simple play.

luttrell97 said...

There are plenty of ways to make the "play area" align with common core. Michelle totally has a point. I teach Pre-K and if you don't get outside/recess time they NEED time to socialize or many students may not enjoy school. That would be sad to see kiddos in Kindergarten not enjoying learning because it is not developmentally appropriate. Once every 6 days is not going to make that big a difference in reaching common core goals.

Giggles and Squeals said...

Again I agree. I can only fit it in once a day during center time for them to visit the center and I change centers every six days. So I figure... this way they get one opportunity to play in that center cycle.

I also suggested they needed a set recess time and she just said there wasn't time. I think if I sacrificed one circle time a week for recess that would probably be acceptable.

When we go to all day (which we will need to) they shouldn't add more things to our day!

Marcy said...

It's so sad to hear that Common Core would cause a kindergarten teacher to get rid of a kitchen area. Kids need to play!

Sharon Dudley said...

I get SO frustrated and angry when I hear about principals trying to take away the little play time we have in kindergarten. I totally agree with all of the fabulous ideas Michelle gave. I have a bakery menu on TPT, and I think it's really fabulous for the kids to read, write, explore money, and learn how to take turns and share. I also provided the children with clipboards, markers, pads of paper, and a selection of books so they can pretend to read to baby dolls in the kitchen area. I really hope that if you arm yourself with great ideas that link to Common Core, your principal will allow you to keep that center. Since I've been teaching for a while, if you need any specific points about play linked to Common Core, I'll be happy to help.

Please let us know how this turns out. And if you have a second, stop by my blog. I'm so glad I found you today! :)

Sharon Dudley, NBCT

P.S.: I'm your latest follower!

Ms. Mentzer's Kindergarten Class said...

I am in the same position as you except I teach full day Kindergarten. I really want to keep and am most likely going to because I think social skills are just as important as the Common Core. My kiddos always love going over to this station when we can fit in a few extra minutes!! I say keep it!! :) Also, I have given your blog two awards! The One Lovely Blog award and the Versitile Blogger award! Head on over to my blog to claim them!! :)

Primary Possibilities said...

Uggh, I don't know what to suggest. The former kindergartner in me want to say KEEP IT! It is one of my few memories of when I was in K. We had these cool fake rubber foods and I can still remember how they smell.

But, this new Common Core person in me says... do whatever your principal tells you to. I know I am already planning on changing some things because of our new evaluation system.

Maybe you could print off some of the Common Core you plan to align it to and make our argument for it. Plead your case and your principal may change their tune!

Your newest follower,

Sally K said...

Do NOT get rid of the kitchen. Principals need to get on the Kindergarten level of skills. Common Core does not say get rid of play and the kitchen area is the perfect place to observe the Common Core Speaking and Listening standards. SL.K.1, Sl.K.4, and SL.K6 are all standards that are addressed at the kitchen area. Sometimes this is the place where you can observe those "silent" students. Also, change the theme of the kitchen area sometimes. Mine has been a home, a pet store, a cafe, a doctor's office... Developing oral language is the name of the game in the Kitchen area. Keep the Kitchen!

Ann Spencer said...

My new schedule this year gave 15 minutes recess after lunch, and no developmental center time. I told my principal that I was taking 30 minutes out of the 90 minute math block and having recess. She said "OK", so I think I will be able to do some other revisions to fit in things that I feel are important. I've thinned out the "toys" a lot -- but for goodness sake, they are only 5 years old. They need to play!