Our Pre-K4 curriculum deepens a child’s connection with learning through an increased awareness of language, mathematical concepts and print. Students focus on units of study that connect to a specific and intentional literacy theme. These themes help connect and guide learning and instruction in language arts, mathematics, physical development, science and social studies. Each theme is presented in a framework that includes hands-on activities, as well as appropriately integrated technology.
- Language Arts
- Social Studies
- Visual Arts
- Physical Education
Learning to read and write is an ongoing process. Our PreK4 children learn in a print-rich environment and are continually observing and learning about written language.
Our preparatory reading and writing workshop curriculum is an emergent literacy approach that emphasizes the ongoing development of skills in reading and writing, and stresses participation in literacy activities that are meaningful and functional from the students’ point of view.
- Reading and writing is modeled and shared through charts, stories, songs and poetry.
- Teachers encourage and support student writing by creating many opportunities to draw, copy, and dictate stories.
- Student authors share their writing with the class and receive encouragement and feedback.
- Children learn to be part of an audience by listening to their peers and teachers share their personal writing.
- Children listen and respond to stories, informational text, and poetry.
- Children are encouraged to “read” individually, with friends, and to adults everyday.
- Children play with sounds through rhyme and alliteration to increase phonemic awareness.
- Children are taught to ask and answer thoughtful questions related to topics being discussed.
Students in the PreK4 class will:
- Recognize and generate rhyming words.
- Identify initial and final sounds of words.
- Know the alphabet and the sounds that correspond with the letters.
- Understand the parts of a book (cover, spine, end pages, jacket, author, illustrator).
- Know the main characters and the “big idea” of a story.
- Understand that words have a beginning, a middle, and an end.
- Understand that words make up sentences.
- Tell oral stories.
- Tell stories across their fingers, demonstrating an understanding of the sequence of a story.
- Develop visual discrimination in order to identify letters, shapes, colors, and size.
- Draw illustrations to give their readers information.
In PreK4, the objective of our math program is to enhance the natural curiosity and interest that children have in numbers. Counting is incorporated into daily activities, and the children explore mathematics using hands-on activities. They begin to develop an understanding of numbers, first through sorting concrete objects and later through numerical words and symbols. Teachers frequently monitor progress, which provides critical feedback that helps guide instruction for remediation, intervention, and enrichment.
Math concepts covered in PreK4 include:
- Introduction to math vocabulary
- Counting and exploring math concepts using a variety of manipulatives
- Understanding addition and subtraction using counters, five frames, and ten frames
- Identifying and describing basic geometric shapes
- Sorting, classifying, counting, and categorizing data
- Measuring and comparing using standard and non-standard units
- Creating and interpreting basic graphs
- Identifying, continuing, and creating patterns
The PreK4 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:
- All about me
- Being a responsible me
- My Community and Community Helpers
- Our Family Traditions
- Being Thankful
- Wishes for the World
- Introduction to phone numbers and addresses
Science is integrated into the PreK4 curriculum. Children discover concepts through their own active involvement and reasoning. They have the opportunity to discover science through a multi- sensory, hands-on approach that emphasizes observing, interpreting, collecting, recording, and predicting information about scientific topics and concepts. Science is integrated with math and language arts and held in the classroom, with STEM education occurring each week in the Innovation Lab.
Topics covered include:
- Seeds and weeds
- Flyers, hoppers and crawlers
- Color and Light
- Rocks, sand and soil
Students in PreK4 learn common expressions, topics, vocabulary, and grammar usage through use and repetition. 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. Students attend Spanish class each week.
Specific objectives, which support the national Standards for Foreign Language Learning, include:
- Developing 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 PreK4 included:
- Basic greetings and nouns
- Numbers 1-10
- Days of the weeks
- Basic food
- Body parts
Art activities are integrated throughout the curriculum, offering visual reinforcement of interdisciplinary topics. Students visit the art studio for instruction twice each week. Students study art from different cultures and time periods, and learn about famous artists as they develop their own skills with crayons, markers, paints, collage materials, and clay. Students attend art class each week.
Broad objectives of art class include:
- Developing fine motor skills through drawing, painting, cutting, threading, coloring, and sorting/placing objects onto artwork
- Knowledge and understanding of the eight basic shapes
- Self portraiture as an introduction to the shapes that are found on the face
- Art-related vocabulary (line, color, shape, texture, space, detail)
- Learn how artwork can tell a story through imagery, and how artwork can be used to share feelings
- Integrate Voice read technology to share thoughts about artwork
- Primary and secondary colors and color mixing
- Art appreciation and art history
- 3-D projects (paper sculpture)
- Introduction to clay and its properties
- Reinforcement of primary classroom topics with related art projects
The PreK4 students attend music class in the Music Room each week. Their activities focus on providing:
- Group and solo singing opportunities
- Rhythmic activities
- Musical games and creative dramatics
- Movement to melodic and rhythmic selections
- Opportunities to play rhythm and melodic instruments
- Use of technology (Smartboard and iPad)
- Note recognition activities
- Participation in assemblies and on-stage performances
The Physical Education program provides students with opportunities to develop gross motor skills through running, climbing, kicking, throwing, and swinging. 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. The children attend physical education classes twice each week