Kindergarten students learn in a workshop approach where they begin to see themselves as readers and writers while practicing skills at their own level. Reader’s workshop includes guided and shared reading experiences, songs and poems, and other vocabulary building activities. Students also work independently and collaboratively to develop decoding, fluency, and comprehension strategies. Word study occurs through whole class and small group instruction, games, and activities. Young, emerging writers hone their skills during writer’s workshop, which encourages students to enjoy writing and making books. Handwriting is taught through fine motor activities and games designed to build stamina and teach correct letter formation and hand position when writing.
In kindergarten, students experience math as part of their everyday work and play through activities, games, routines and focused instruction. Our curriculum builds a strong mathematical foundation while instilling an attitude that math is exciting. Students continue to develop skills in counting, estimating, comparing, addition, subtraction as well as analyzing data when measuring, graphing, and sorting. Topics are presented and revisited frequently to encourage retention and mastery of the skills that provide the foundation to the Everyday Mathematics curriculum students begin in Lower School.
Our goal in kindergarten is to nurture a lifelong love of science and exploration. Through investigation, experimentation, and discovery, we help our students develop a deeper familiarity and greater sense of wonder for the natural world. Deep units on trees, weather, natural materials, and motion (all from our FOSS Next Generation curriculum) encourage an emergent understanding of our interdependence with nature, spark our ability to think critically and reason scientifically, and offer chances to develop students’ skills as writers and illustrators through the introduction of student driven science journals.
The kindergarten social studies program looks at the relationships of the ever-expanding world. Discussion and activities explore students’ relationship with their friends, family, their neighborhood community and the world at large. By studying traditional holidays, their own culture, and the culture of other countries, students become aware of the interdependence of people and their environment. The interdisciplinary curriculum often involves art, cooking, dramatic play and field trips.
Kindergarten Spanish builds students’ interest and confidence through repetitive speaking and listening to the language. Basic communication in Spanish is an ongoing part of every day’s classroom activities. Students respond orally to simple phrases and questions. Through answering warm-up questions, listening to stories, playing games, singing songs, responding to listening activities, and performing skits, students interact with the teacher and each other by using the target language to communicate. Students continue to be introduced to holidays and traditions from Spanish speaking countries.