We want the kinders to understand the beauty, gifts and love that God has given to each of us. Every morning, we start the day by giving thanks in prayer. We do a variety of activities and learn about different religious concepts. Each kinder will also have the opportunity to be Child of God for the week, a time when we learn about what makes them a special part of our classroom community.
Reading and writing are a part of everything we do here at school! The highlight of our language arts program is our weekly Writer’s Workshop. It is a time when students write stories, work on letter sounds, and other pre-reading and writing skills. We also encourage a love for reading by incorporating quality children’s literature into our classroom everyday and by going to the Highland Library twice a month. Our goal is to have the kinders enter first grade with an interest in learning to read and in sharing their ideas through writing.
We have a very hands-on math program in kindergarten because we know that students at this age learn best through exploring concepts using manipulatives and concrete, real-world examples. Some of the topics we will cover in math this year are patterns, number sense, time, money, measurement, and simple addition and subtraction.
In kindergarten, social and emotional growth is just as important as academic learning. You will notice that half of our report card is dedicated to these skills! We work on everything from following directions (first time asked) to playing with others to listening. Learning these types of skills are an essential part of belonging to a learning community.
Social Studies in kindergarten engages each student through dramatic role-playing, creative simulation, projects and writing activities. Some of the topics we will cover during the year include “How do I get along with others?” “How can I be a good helper?” “Where am I in the world?” “How do people live around the world?” and “How can I take care of my world?” Our curriculum is enhanced with additional topics that include Community Helpers, Colonial Times, MLK Jr., Presidents, Symbols of the U.S.A. an introduction to the continents and passports to our world.
Science focuses on exploring, understanding and questioning. Our main goal is for the kinders to become interested in learning about how the world around them works. We will be doing a lot of hands on experiments and observations. Some of the units we will study include animal habitats, weather and seasons, forces around us (simple physics), and life cycles (hatching chicks and growing plants!)
Kinders attend classes with all six school-wide specialists. Curriculum is further enhanced by small group instruction with our Resource Room and Literacy Lab teachers and parent volunteers.
Mill City Museum with Reading Buddies
St. Paul Cathedral/History Center with Grandparents
Dodge Nature Center
TOP 10 SIGNS OF A GOOD KINDERGARTEN CLASSROOM
Source: National Association for the Education of Young Children
Topics: Middle Years (5-9), Kindergarten, Choosing a Kindergarten, more…
Kindergarten is a time for children to expand their love of learning, their general knowledge, their ability to get along with others, and their interest in reaching out to the world. While kindergarten marks an important transition from preschool to the primary grades, it is important that children still get to be children — getting kindergarteners ready for elementary school does not mean substituting academics for play time, forcing children to master first grade “skills,” or relying on standardized tests to assess children’s success.
Kindergarten “curriculum” actually includes such events as snack time, recess, and individual and group activities in addition to those activities we think of as traditionally educational. Developmentally appropriate kindergarten classrooms encourage the growth of children’s self-esteem, their cultural identities, their independence and their individual strengths. Kindergarten children will continue to develop control of their own behavior through the guidance and support of warm, caring adults. At this stage, children are already eager to learn and possess an innate curiosity. Teachers with a strong background in early childhood education and child development can best provide for children what they need to grow physically, emotionally, and intellectually. Here are 10 signs of a good kindergarten classroom:
Children are playing and working with materials or other children. They are not aimlessly wandering or forced to sit quietly for long periods of time.
Children have access to various activities throughout the day, such as block building, pretend play, picture books, paints and other art materials, and table toys such as legos, pegboards, and puzzles. Children are not all doing the same things at the same time.
Teachers work with individual children, small groups, and the whole group at different times during the day. They do not spend time only with the entire group.
The classroom is decorated with children’s original artwork, their own writing with invented spelling, and dictated stories.
Children learn numbers and the alphabet in the context of their everyday experiences. Exploring the natural world of plants and animals, cooking, taking attendance, and serving snack are all meaningful activities to children.
Children work on projects and have long periods of time (at least one hour) to play and explore. Filling out worksheets should not be their primary activity.
Children have an opportunity to play outside every day that weather permits. This play is never sacrificed for more instructional time.
Teachers read books to children throughout the day, not just at group story time.
Curriculum is adapted for those who are ahead as well as those who need additional help. Because children differ in experiences and background, they do not learn the same things at the same time in the same way.
Children and their parents look forward to school. Parents feel safe sending their child to kindergarten. Children are happy; they are not crying or regularly sick.
Individual kindergarten classrooms will vary, and curriculum will vary according to the interests and backgrounds of the children. But all developmentally appropriate kindergarten classrooms will have one thing in common: the focus will be on the development of the child as a whole.