Our kindergarten program nurtures students by meeting their social needs in a loving and supportive environment. The goal for kindergarten is for children to develop confidence in their abilities as they approach experiences throughout all aspects of the program. The teacher’s role is to guide each individual student to work and play cooperatively in a variety of centers, including art, writing, blocks, dramatic play, listening, science and math. Time is taken during the day to discuss group or individual dynamics as they appear. Children have a variety of opportunities to use thoughtful and creative strategies for resolving conflicts. Students work with teachers to build self-control, cooperation, patience and a positive attitude. Teachers work to identify and develop the strengths of individual students.
Supported by MindUp and Second Step curriculum
Language Arts – Reading
Kindergartners are immersed in a print-rich environment, where they have access to fiction and non-fiction books at a variety of reading levels and covering many interests and topics. Children learn reading skills through group and individual experiences, learning at their own rate and accounting for their individual interests and abilities. Morning message is a key learning tool for reading in kindergarten, where children develop sight word vocabulary and are presented with direct phonemic awareness skills and phonics instruction. Kindergarten uses the Lucy Calkins Reading Units of Study approach where children learn through mini-lessons on skills, anchor charts and teacher modeling. Teachers also read with children one on one and in small groups to ensure individualized attention. Reading is integrated across the curriculum throughout the day.
Supported by Sounds in Motion (Phonemic Awareness), Words their Way and Lucy Calkins Reading Units of Study
Language Arts – Writing
Children in kindergarten actively write throughout the day in a variety of contexts, including journals, books, lists, poems, morning messages and experience charts. Many writing tools (different size paper, journals, dry erase boards, pencils, crayons, markers) are available to allow the children the freedom to experience many variations when writing. Children learn letter formation through modeling, print in the classroom, and handwriting practice with the Handwriting Without Tears program. Through the Lucy Calkins Writing Units of Study, children are introduced to the Writer’s Workshop and writing topics such as labels, lists, narrative, fiction, and informational writing. Each child’s developmental stage of writing is acknowledged while conferencing and working towards meeting individual goals.
Supported by Handwriting Without Tears and Lucy Calkins Writing Units of Study
Kindergarten utilizes hands on programs. Math takes place in kindergarten daily through real life experiences and math lessons in which students are introduced to a wide range of concepts and skills in both large and small groups. Some of the concepts introduced at this level are numeration, patterning, measurement, addition, subtraction, graphing, classifying, and geometry. Students explore math using manipulatives such as geoboards, pattern blocks, Unifex cubes, and rulers. Morning meeting provides daily experiences with numbers through counting, patterning, graphing, and tallying. Games are an important part of the curriculum, allowing children to discover ideas and develop an understanding of math concepts at their own pace.
Supported by Eureka Math
Science themes center on the child and their world and also include the savanna, polar regions, deserts, ocean and rainforest. Themes foster an understanding of and interest in the world in which children live. They serve to nurture a student’s natural curiosity and encourage positive attitudes towards learning. Hands-on learning incorporates the themes through literature, dramatic play, activity centers and projects. Children become more aware and develop an appreciation for differences in the world around them. Participation in STEM activities allows students to explore these topics.
Experiments provide children with the opportunity to explore the scientific method, and children are encouraged to think logically and creatively to gain an understanding of the scientific principles. In addition, kindergarten students explore health topics and are introduced to Invention Convention.
Supported by Studies Weekly and Healthy Lifestyle Choices
Social Studies instruction in kindergarten is focused on self and others. The students learn about themselves in the context of their immediate surroundings. Kindergartners will learn about similarities and differences between children, families and communities and about holidays, symbols, and traditions that unite us as Americans. Students learn about respect for others, and rights and responsibilities of individuals. Participation in group discussions allow the children the chance to express themselves through sharing, and working on skills such as articulation, vocabulary, staying on topic, and asking questions.
Supported by Studies Weekly, Second Step and MindUp