Our kindergarten curriculum builds on the learning that has taken place throughout the Pre-K years. Our teachers provide students with a literacy rich environment that focuses on phonological skills, comprehension strategies, precise letter formation, numeracy skills and math computation skills. Social-emotional development is also an important keystone in kindergarten; students continually strengthen their communication and relationship building skills with the guidance of support of their classroom teacher.
The Project Read phonics curriculum is a total language arts program putting phonics into action by integrating phonics with reading comprehension and written expression. Sound/symbol knowledge is critical, as it is the foundation of our spoken and written language. Project Read uses four principles of instruction: direct concept teaching, sequencing concepts in dependent order, targeted multi-sensory strategies, and application. The Project Read program arms students with independent skills and strategies in order to develop into active, thoughtful, purposeful readers and writers who interact with text.
Interactive read-alouds are also a large part of our reading program in Kindergarten. Read-alouds support essential reading skills, set norms for positive classroom behavior, and establish routines for collaborative partnerships.
In writing workshop, student authors work to publish pieces within a variety of genres. Often kindergartners will first sketch a picture and then write about the picture, phonetically sounding out the words. In the teacher-directed mini lesson, the students learn the strategies needed to develop into independent authors. After the mini-lesson, the teacher confers with the students to further develop their writing. Our young authors enjoy presenting their work to their friends during share time and publishing celebrations.
Our students learn to observe, collect, draft, revise, edit and publish, and celebrate well-crafted writing pieces. In addition, they are exposed to examples of fine literature, nonfiction texts and poetry throughout the day that can be used as mentor texts.
Their units of study include opportunities to write personal narratives, fiction stories, how-to books, and poetry. Each unit is celebrated upon completion. Every student has the opportunity to share their piece, and through sharing they develop into strong, confident writers.
In Kindergarten, children learn correct letter formation and begin practicing proper handwriting skills.
In Kindergarten, the objective of our mathematics program is to develop thinking skills, promote proficiency, and build confidence while encouraging a love of mathematics. Manipulatives are frequently used to provide concrete and visual reinforcement of math concepts. Students are taught to be active problem solvers and to use multiple strategies to arrive at solutions. Each child learns to express their thinking both verbally and on paper, as well as to create representations to organize, record, and communicate their ideas. Math activities are created to increase student knowledge in number sense, place value and counting, addition and subtraction of whole numbers, time, money, measurement, geometry, graph-reading, and logic. Teachers frequently monitor progress, which provides critical feedback that helps guide instruction for remediation, intervention, and enrichment. Placement tests, topic tests, benchmark tests, basic fact tests, daily review, free response evaluations, and daily interaction are tools used to meet the students' needs. It is our expectation that the students end the year with a firm grasp of their addition and subtraction facts. Pearson's enVisionMATH, technology, including IXL, and a variety of other resources are used to enhance each child's understanding, as well as help develop fluency.
Students will engage in problem solving, communicating, reasoning and connecting to the following:
- Use place value, including how to read, write, and compare whole numbers to 100
- Use models to represent numbers, and write two-digit numbers in standard and expanded form
- Add and subtract single-digit whole numbers
- Compute basic math facts to 10 quickly and accurately
- Count and use number patterns to 100
- Compare and order numbers to 100
- Understand even and odd numbers
- Solve real-life problems involving addition and subtraction
- Identify a penny, nickel and dime
- Count and write the value for a collection of coins
- Identify plane geometric figures and describe shapes, including circles and polygons up to six-sided hexagons
- Identify and describe 3-dimensional geometric figures including cone, sphere, rectangular prism, cube, pyramid, and cylinder
- Understand the basic properties of figures, including number of sides, faces, and vertices
- Use inches to measure objects
- Measure and estimate using a variety of non-standard units
- Tell time to the hour and half hour
- Read and interpret tables and graphs, including bar and pictographs to answer questions
- Recognize and use patterns
- Skip count by 2’s to 20 and 5’s & 10’s to 100
The Kindergarten Social Studies curriculum is designed to foster a democratic social learning community. As part of the Responsive Classroom curriculum, students begin each year engaged in discussions to develop rules for their classroom. Social Studies topics include:
- Being responsible for me
- Being responsible at home
- Being responsible at school
- Being responsible in my community and country
- Being responsible for the Earth
The science curriculum in Kindergarten implements an approach that provides a balance of exciting discovery through hands-on activities, and engaging theory that supports developing understanding. Our goal is to develop the steps required for effective scientific inquiry and move students from guided inquiry, which is active investigation in search of answers, toward self-directed inquiry. Basic processes such as questioning, observing, predicting, measuring, comparing, organizing and communicating lead to complex processes such as inferring, controlling variables, hypothesizing, applying, and designing investigations. Students are introduced to the knowledge, methods, skills, and attitudes of scientists. Science is integrated in the curriculum with math and language arts and held in the classroom, with STEM education occurring each week in the Innovation Lab.
Kindergarten topics include:
- Plants through the seasons: What are changes we see in plants through the year?
- Exploring properties: Physical properties of matter, using science tools to explore matter, sorting matter according to properties
- Animals: Basic needs of animals, observe and compare structures needed for animals to survive, physical characteristics of animals
- Lego Engineering
This program is intended to develop listening comprehension and verbal skills in young children. Total Physical Response (TPR) Storytelling is an instructional strategy developed by Blaine Ray, which is based on Stephen D. Kristen and Tracy D. Terrell’s work in developing the Natural Approach, and James Asher’s work in developing Total Physical Response. The goal of both of these strategies is to allow students to learn a second language in much the same manner as they learned their first language—through the senses and comprehensible sensory input.
TPR Storytelling provides students with the following:
- Active language learning which is meaningful and context-driven
- TPR (Total Physical Response) cues which allow for immediate comprehension
- Appealing stories rich in comprehensible input which is easy to internalize
- Multiple opportunities to prove comprehension and to feel successful
- Long-term retention of language
Students in Kindergarten learn common expressions, topics, vocabulary, and grammar usage, through use and repetition, during two classes per week. Stories and songs engage the students and lessons are highly interactive. The design and variety of the learning components are intended to provide a natural learning experience by surrounding a student with an immersive environment of the new language, modeled in the way we all learned our first language.
Specific objectives, which support the national Standards for Foreign Language Learning, include:
- Develoing comprehension of vocabulary and expressions (receptive language skills).
- Learning how to use and transfer to new situations vocabulary and expressions (productive language skills).
- Developing motivation and a positive attitude toward second language learning (aesthetic value of language learning).
Topics taught in Kindergarten include:
- Basic greetings and nouns
- Numbers 11-20
- Days of the weeks
- Basic food
- Body parts
The art program is designed in a way that allows students to gain enduring understandings that are transferable to other disciplines and areas of their lives. Students learn how to assess their own work, as well as the work of others, by using problem-solving and decision-making skills. As part of the program, students are introduced to a variety of skills, techniques, and processes, allowing them to strengthen their ability to remember, process, and sequence information. By practicing with different media, art students learn to manage, master, and refine simple and then more complex skills and techniques. The program provides a balance between guided instruction, where students learn to master a skill, and independent practice, where students apply new skills and techniques in creative ways and learn to become innovative thinkers. The creation of innovative thinkers is part of the mission of the Community School of Naples, as stated in our mission statement.
By looking at the work of famous artists and artists from other cultures, students gain an understanding of how the arts document historical and cultural trends and foster an appreciation for differences between our culture and other cultures.
In Kindergarten, students attend art class twice per week. Concepts and objectives include:
- Developing fine motor skills through drawing, cutting, threading, painting, and coloring
- Self portraiture
- Knowledge and understanding of shapes
- Knowledge and understanding of symmetry
- Art related vocabulary (line, texture, space, shape, pattern, balance, value, form)
- Primary, secondary, and tertiary colors and color mixing
- Learning how to create movement in art
- Artist recognition and appreciation (Mondrian, Matisse, Van Gogh, and others).
The music program seeks to inspire creativity in order to illustrate the relevance of the arts in everyday life. The program is based on the belief that music can be a perfect vehicle for building confidence in young children, while encouraging them to explore, to develop and to celebrate their own skills and imaginations. The Kindergarten classes attend music in the Music Room twice per week.
Their music activities focus on:
- Singing a variety of song styles
- Matching dynamic and pitch levels
- Responding to the cues of the leader in melodic and rhythmic activities
- Identifying instruments and voices by pictures or tone color
- Using music vocabulary and notation
- Playing rhythmic and melodic instruments
- Use of new classroom technology (Smartboard and iPad)
- Participation in assemblies and on-stage performances
The Physical Education program provides a variety of learning experiences by offering an array of age-appropriate activities aligned with the NASPE standards. The goal of the Physical Education program is to help each student reach his or her optimal physical, mental, emotional, and social development.
Proficiency in movement skills is developed through a variety of activities in which the emphasis is on experimentation, discovery, practice, and decision-making about enjoyable activities. Physical activity provides opportunities for self-expression, social interaction, enjoyment, challenge and fun. As a result of active participation, students will begin to actively pursue lifelong physical activities that meet their needs. The more activities students are exposed to and experience, the greater chance they will discover activities of high interest and better the chance of remaining active throughout their lifetime.
The physical education activities can vary widely from basic locomotor movements such as walking, running, skipping hopping, jumping, leaping, galloping and sliding, to non-locomotor movements such as bending, swinging, turning, twisting, pushing, pulling, chasing, and tagging. Manipulative activities such as throwing, catching, kicking and striking are also introduced. Emphasis is placed on having a positive experience.
iPads are used to enhance the Kindergarten curriculum. A variety of applications encourage student discovery across the curriculum as well as collaboration and problem solving.
The Kindergarten digital citizenship curriculum is designed to teach the students:
- The purpose of a picture dictionary
- How to use online picture dictionaries to search for information
- How to use what we learn to create our own picture dictionary
- The meaning of private information, and the kinds of information that we should keep to ourselves and those that we trust
- The meaning of a username, and how to create one that is safe
- The importance of asking a parent before creating a username
- Different ways we can research when we want to learn about something new
- How the Internet has a lot of great information, but it can be hard to find websites that are “just right” for us
- The rules to being a smart researcher: 1. Always ask permission - research with a buddy, 2. Know what you want to learn about first - make a plan, 3. Stay on task - remember you have a job to do.
- What it means to give credit to someone.
- The information that helps us know who created a piece of work: our name, a title, and a date of completion
- The reasons why it is important to give someone else or ourselves credit when we publish work
- How the Internet is a place we can publish our work, with permission
Programs such as NeuroNet facilitate learning through movement by creating and strengthening neural networks. Participation in such programs allow our students to make important connections across all disciplines.