And you can thank (or blame) new Common Core standards. As the Fayetteville Observer describes it:
Alicia Knudsen began the day’s lesson with her pupils, dissecting words by sound.
The children tapped each sound with their fingers and then said the word. Knudsen then moved to the next exercise: substituting the first letter of a word to create a new one.
“Air high five,” Knudsen said after the students successfully completed the exercises.
This type of activity was once seen in first-grade classrooms in Cumberland County schools.
But Knudsen’s class at Stedman Primary School is filled with kindergartners, and these kinds of more advanced lessons are typical for her young pupils.
“Before, kindergarten was play time. You took your mat and took a nap after lunch,” said Deborah Faircloth, principal of Stedman Primary School. “Now, kindergarten is very academic. The teachers make it fun, but it’s very academic.”