The kindergarten language arts curriculum is designed to excite children about literacy. Each day is filled with experiences that develop expressive and receptive language. Art, media, puppetry, dramatic play, story telling, and literature sharing are the activities used to develop listening, speaking, reading, writing, and viewing skills.
Kindergarten children learn that print carries meaning and represents language. They engage in pre-reading activities that include learning letter names and sounds and recognizing common words. Children are introduced to beginning comprehension strategies. Writing experiences are also an important part of the kindergarten language arts curriculum.
Kindergarten children develop mathematical skills through "hands-on" activities and games. They become familiar with numbers 1-110 by counting by 1s, 2s, and 5s. The concepts of graphing, telling time, number patterns, fractions, and money are introduced. Children compare a variety of objects using their length, weight and volume; estimate measures; and use measurement tools. Number stories provide a way for young children to read and write numbers. Games are used as a concrete way of introducing a variety of topics, including the concepts of fairness and chance. Kindergartners will occasionally bring home Math Link "homework" assignments to explore with their family.
The media center is an exciting place for kindergarteners. They listen to stories and meet characters like Cat in the Hat, Clifford the Dog, Franklin the Turtle - characters who will remain friends for life. They learn how to care for books, and how to choose a book that meets their reading interests. They check out books and practice responsible behaviors by returning them on time. Alphabet and counting books coordinate with the language arts and math curricula. Students practice listening skills and begin to identify authors and illustrators.
Students learn important science concepts and develop the ability to think critically by actively constructing ideas through their own inquiries, investigations, and analyses. Students are actively engaged in the process of science as they explore the natural world.
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. Throughout the module, students have ample opportunities to compare different kinds of wood, different types of paper, and wood and paper. The concept of trees as natural resources is introduced.
The Animals Two by Two Module 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.
The giant sequoia is the most massive living organism on Earth. It is a tree, magnificent in dimension and awe inspiring in its longevity and durability. 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. The Tress Module provides students with the opportunity to experience a systematic investigation of trees that will bring students to a better understanding of trees' place at school and in the community, and will provide some solid experiences on the way to understanding all plants.
Through the Kindergarten curriculum, "Myself and Others", children learn about the world around them, starting with their own classroom and expanding into their community, country, and world. Through a variety of classroom experiences, students begin to develop skills in history, geography, economics, and civics. Kindergarteners experience how stories, poems, and songs relate to their world. Good citizenship skills are emphasized as students learn to make good choices and help others. Students begin to explore the core democratic values.
The visual art curriculum for kindergarten in a full-day setting is taught by a visual art specialist. This highly structured, sequential framework has been specially designed to provide developmentally appropriate skills and knowledge while honing creativity, appreciation, historical understanding, and the ability to discuss and analyze art. In kindergarten, students will develop an awareness of two- and three-dimensional forms, manipulate art tools, be exposed to famous works of art, and learn to use a wide array of art materials. Throughout the year, student art may be displayed in individual school buildings and throughout the community.
An elementary music specialist teaches Vocal/general music in a full-day kindergarten setting. Students learn to make and respond to music through age-appropriate songs, dances, and activities. Basic instruction includes: Exploring their singing voices and other sounds; keeping a steady beat utilizing physical movement, dances, games, and rhythm instruments; learning a variety of traditional songs; and creating cultural awareness through songs, instruments, and ethnic dances. (Students enrolled in half-day kindergarten have music taught by their classroom teacher.)
The study of health in kindergarten is one of self-discovery and self-realization. It is an opportunity for children to explore what is valued by themselves and others and to grow socially and emotionally. The importance of the family and the interdependence of all people are identified.
Children begin to identify the individual health practices that promote good health and emotional well-being. Students identify common household products that may be unsafe or poisonous.
Students go to Physical Education class for 35 minutes twice a week. During these classes students are given opportunities to develop Gross Motor skills and coordination. A variety of objects used in physical education will assist students’ development of eye, hand, and foot coordination. Students will be assessed on some locomotor skills, movements and actions. Students will also develop positive characteristics and attitudes conducive to physical fitness through exercise and activities. Through organized activities and game play, students develop a sense of fair play, and cooperation with others. Fitness components consist of but are not limited to endurance, upper body strength, core strength and flexibility. Students are introduced to the T.R.O.Y Fitness Program and are tested on two parts: Jump Roping and Continuous Jog.