The Kindergarten Language Arts program initiates a positive attitude towards reading and literature and develops beginning reading and writing skills.
Starting in Kindergarten, the classroom is designed as a “language rich” environment. Words are everywhere! The teaching of reading and writing is part of every activity the children pursue. Because children enter Kindergarten with a wide range of abilities and develop at different rates, the teachers consistently assess each child’s strengths and weaknesses in order to deliberately design instruction to address these multiple levels at all times. Working with a wide variety of age-appropriate, thought-provoking literature, the children learn to relate the content of their reading to their own experience.
Part of each day is dedicated to instruction in small groups. The children are regularly assessed and placed into reading groups based on their current strengths and needs as readers. The teachers are able to individualize the work for each group, which allows the students to move along at their own pace. The groups are regularly assessed and reorganized as needed.
Readers’ Workshop gives the teacher a chance to guide each child through the process of reading, comprehending and critiquing a book of their own choosing.
- Growth in confidence as a reader.
- Knowledge of the nature of print materials (such as left to right progression, beginning and end, purpose of a book cover, table of contents, etc.).
- Develop comprehension.
- Growing vocabulary.
- Identify Kindergarten level sight words.
- Master upper and lower case letter identification.
- Growth in phonetic awareness.
- Knowledge and beginning use of a variety of word solving strategies.
- Develop library skills.
Listening and Speaking Goals:
- Understand and follow simple oral directions .
- Listen with comprehension (i.e. Read alouds, includes responding appropriately to story questions, making predictions, retelling in proper sequence).
- Speak clearly and audibly.
- Speak in complete sentences.
- Ability to express ideas clearly (choice of vocabulary, syntax and ability to organize thoughts).
Through daily participation in the Writers’ Workshop children develop their own direct voices as writers. Throughout the year, they are exposed to the writing of poetry, memoir, non-fiction and fiction. Starting from the first day of Kindergarten children are encouraged to record their thoughts and ideas using “invented spelling.” This freedom and encouragement paired with consistent word study results in confident young writers, who fearlessly fill their notebooks with their thoughts. Word study is drawn directly from the children’s writing, so as to meet the children exactly where they are needed to move along quickly towards proficient writers.
Careful attention is given to handwriting, stressing beautiful letter formation and correct pencil grip.
- Growth and confidence as a writer.
- Demonstrate growth in use of vocabulary.
- Use classroom resources (i.e. work wall, charts, alphabet, books, etc.) to write.
- Read or explain own writing and drawing.
- Demonstrate awareness of punctuation.
- Demonstrate awareness of the use of upper and lower case letters.
- Use inventive spelling.
- Develop fine motor skills.
Mathematics in Kindergarten focuses on pre-number concepts, patterns, and counting as a basis for mathematical thinking. Since math involves an understanding of patterns and relationships, the Kindergarten program begins with activities that help children sharpen their visual, critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Developmentally appropriate topics in numeration and operations are included. The ability to apply mathematical language when explaining thought processes is encouraged. Numeral writing is reinforced with regular practice materials, daily calendar work and tactile materials offer additional support. Literature and cooperative-learning activities are included that connect mathematical concepts to daily life.
During the course of the year, students will be introduced to mathematical topics in the following areas:
Numeration and Operations
- Understand the use of numbers in everyday life.
- Understand relationships between numbers including 1:1 correspondence.
- Add and subtract whole numbers using objects, pictures and symbols.
- Explore numbers 0-100 through concrete activities.
- Count on, count back and skip count.
- Identify pairs and create groups of a given number.
- Explore fractions by showing equal shares.
- Match quantity to number.
Patterns and Functions
- Become pattern literate: “read” physical, pictorial and symbolic patterns.
- Sort, classify and order objects by size, number and other properties.
- Repeat and extend patterns.
- Develop the ability to make different patterns.
- Observe patterns relating to time: calendar work and holidays.
- Observe patterns in nature, and in human and animal behavior.
Measurement, Reference and Geometry
- Understand relationships among objects by their shape and size.
- Identify names of shapes and some of the geometric shapes.
- Identify some similarities and differences between shapes.
- Explore symmetry.
- Make circles, squares, rectangles and triangles out of a variety of materials.
- Find and recognize shapes in the classroom and world.
- Use measurement language (length, weight, volume and time) when appropriate
- Recognize that data can be organized as a way to clarify and communicate information.
- Observe and understand data in relation to class activities each day.
The science curriculum for Kindergarten is concerned with observing, questioning, predicting, testing, measuring and recording. Students use their five senses to gather and investigate information about their environment. Topics from both natural and physical sciences are considered throughout the year and are integrated throughout the curriculum. Kindergarteners learn new ways to contribute to the care and maintenance of our shared environment. The units of study they pursue are as follows:
The giant sequoia is the most massive living organism on earth. To stand in the company of such giants is to experience the scale of life. To a Kindergartner the oak on the corner, the pines at the park, and the mulberry trees at school are giants. In the Trees module systematic investigations bring students to a better understanding of the place of trees at school and in the community, and provide some solid experiences on the way to understanding all plants. During the course of the year, students will develop the following skills:
- Develop a growing curiosity and interest in the living things that make up their world. Observe and describe the properties of trees and leaves in the schoolyard.
- Compare the similarities and differences of the trees and leaves observed on mini field trips.
- Observe the trees throughout the school year to observe the changes that come with the different seasons.
- Compare the shapes of leaves to geometric shapes.
- Compare the size and edges of leaves using a reference card.
- Use pictorial experiences to heighten their awareness of diversity and variety of trees and leaves.
- Acquire the vocabulary associated with the properties and structures of trees and leaves.
- Use drawings and oral language to describe observations.
Animals Two by Two
Animals Two by Two provides young students with close and personal interaction with some common land and water animals. Appropriate classroom habitats are established, and students learn to care for the animals. In four activities the animals are studied in pairs. Students observe and care for one animal over time, and then they are introduced to another animal similar to the first but with differences in structure and behavior. This process enhances opportunities for observation, communication, and comparison. During the course of the year, students will develop the following skills:
- Develop a growing curiosity and interest in the living world around them.
- Observe and describe the structures of a variety of common animals—fish, snails, earthworms, isopods, and chicks.
- Compare structures and behaviors of different pairs of animals.
- Observe interactions of animals with their surroundings.
- Handle animals carefully, and participate in the care and feeding of classroom animals.
- Communicate observations and comparisons. Acquire the vocabulary associated with the structure and behavior of animals.
Wood and Paper
The modern world is a wonderland of different materials for early-childhood students. Two of those materials are wood and the paper that is derived from it. In the Wood and Paper module students are introduced to a wide variety of woods and papers in a systematic way. They will observe the properties of these materials and discover what happens when they are subjected to a number of tests and interactions with other materials. Students learn that wood and paper can be recycled to create new forms of paper or wood that have new properties. Finally, they use what they know about the properties of these marvelous materials as they change wood and paper into a variety of products. During the course of the year, students will develop the following skills:
- Develop a growing curiosity and interest in the physical world around them.
- Observe and describe the properties of different kinds of wood and paper.
- Compare different kinds of wood and paper to discover how they are alike and how they are different.
- Observe interactions of wood and paper with water and other substances.
- Become aware of natural resources in our world.
- Communicate observations.
- Acquire the vocabulary associated with the properties of materials.
Fabric, a material so often taken for granted, makes a fascinating study for early childhood students. In the Fabric module students are introduced to a wide variety of fabrics in a systematic way, so that they become familiar with fabrics’ properties, discover what happens when they are tested, and discover how they interact with other materials, including water. During the course of the year, students will develop the following skills:
- Develop a growing curiosity and interest in the physical world around them.
- Observe and describe the properties of different fabrics.
- Compare different fabrics to discover how they are alike and how they are different.
- Observe interactions of fabric with water and other substances.
- Communicate observations.
- Acquire the vocabulary associated with the properties of fabric.
At the beginning, Sanskrit is introduced only through the pronunciation of clear and precise sounding of vowels and consonants. Attention is given to having each child practice sounding on his or her own to build confidence. Some vocabulary is learned orally. Some simple Sanskrit prayers and invocations are learned and recited.
- Introduce alphabet, namely vowel sounds.
- Orally learn the names of animals, people, common objects (book, flower, etc.) and foods.
- Memorize simple verses for morning assembly.