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Making Elementary School a Lot More Fun: Like Preschool!

In Kelly Stevens’ kindergarten classroom, each day begins with circle time for what sounds like a menu of lesson options.

Students — or “friends” as Stevens calls them — can read at the green table, they can build boats or make things out of clay, among other options.

Play-based activities like this one at Curtis Guild School are part of a new curriculum that Boston has been rolling out over the last five years. It’s a deliberate shift away from the “kindergarten as the new first grade,” way of thinking that’s become common in early childhood circles.