Learning to read and write is an ongoing process. Our pre- kindergarten 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 for 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 apart 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 Pre-K4 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 Pre-K4, 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 Pre-K4 include:
- Introduction to math vocabulary
- Count and explore math concepts using a variety of manipulatives
- Understand addition and subtraction using counters, five frames, and ten frames
- Identify and describe basic geometric shapes
- Sort, classify, count, and categorize data
- Measure and compare using standard and non-standard units
- Create and interpret basic graphs
- Identify, continue, and create patterns
The Pre-K4 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
- Intro to phone numbers and addresses
Science is integrated into the Pre-K4 program. Children discover concepts through their own active involvement and reasoning. Students have the opportunities 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 in the curriculum 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 Pre-K4 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 immersion environment of 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:
- Students will develop comprehension of vocabulary and expressions (receptive language skills).
- Students will learn how to use and transfer to new situations, vocabulary, and expressions used in (productive language skills).
- Students will develop motivation and a positive attitude toward second language learning (aesthetic value of language learning).
Topics taught in Pre-K4 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.
In Pre-K4 art class’ broad objectives 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 Pre-K4 music classes attend the music room each week. Their music 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
Smartboards and iPads are used to enhance the PreK4 curriculum. A variety of applications encourage student discovery across the curriculum as well as collaboration and problem solving.
The Physical Education program provides students with opportunities to develop gross motor skills through running, climbing, kicking, throwing, and swinging. The children attend physical education classes two times each week.
* 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.