In Language Arts, Kindergarten students develop a love of reading, their literacy skills strengthen and they are keen and encouraged to read a wide variety of genres. Basic handwriting skills and D'Nealian print are promoted and students quickly learn to how to write creative stories as they are encouraged to use inventive spelling in their writing. In just the first few weeks of school, children express themselves creatively by illustrating their first day. They also work collaboratively and practice
their writing skills by each recreating a page of the book, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do You See?
The Kindergarten math program provides students with daily exposure to age-appropriate math concepts and operations. Manipulatives, mental math, and hands-on activities give students a lot of lively and fun practice. Children, therefore, gain a comfortable familiarity with the elements of math, as well as a firm foundation for later mastery. Our students learn the concepts of numbers, classification, geometry and measurement. They also develop the ability to recognize and develop patterns.
We take advantage of the children's natural curiosity as we introduce them to history and geography. We foster their curiosity about the larger world and begin to develop a sense of the past and present and its significance. This year, the Kindergarten students have adopted the monkey as their class mascot and will visit The Oakland Zoo to study the chimpanzees. They'll also study the life of penguins and visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
In science, each student is encouraged to discover the world around him/her. Each develops an appreciation for the wonders of nature and are encouraged to question, observe and watch for changes. Throughout all the themes studied, inquiry and the use of the scientific method are promoted.
We have adopted a wonderful new language arts program called Imagine It! This is a comprehensive program which incorporates phonics, reading fluency, vocabulary and comprehension. The themes include: Off To School, Patterns, Finding Friends, By The Sea, Stick To It, My Shadow, Teamwork, Ready, Set, Grow!, Red, White and Blue, Windy Days.
Each day your child will engage in some sort of writing exercise. He/she may write in a journal, create a class book, or work on Popcorn Words or Word Walls.
Popcorn Words (a.k.a. high frequency words or sight words) are those words that are frequently found when reading. They are typically words that are not to be sounded out and are to be memorized. Once students master a popcorn word they then put that word in their popcorn bowl and use it as a reference when writing. Each week the students will color and read a booklet with that week's Popcorn Word.
Children also create Word Walls in Kindergarten. These are words that are used in creative writing. If, for example, your child wants to know how to spell 'dinosaur,' then we encourage him/her to be a Word Wizard and try to find the word himself/herself. We then discuss where he/she should start looking for that particular word (a book, a poster, a toy, a dictionary, etc.). Once the child has found the word he/she then puts it on a Word Wall folder, when can then be referenced the next time he/she is writing.
Once a day we have Quiet Time. This is a time for reading quietly.
The curriculum is structured so students should be able to demonstrate the following by year's end: 1) Count objects to 31. 2) Write 0-31 in proper D'Nealian form and absent of reversals. 3) Add and subtract number facts 0-10. 4) Identify and write the time of day to the hour. 5) Identify and know the value of pennies, nickels and dimes and can count up to 19 cents using combinations of the coins. 6) Identify solid and plane shapes, identify matching parts (symmetry) and calculate equal shares. 7) Count by twos, fives, and tens up to 20, 20, and 100 respectfully. 8) Read and construct a bar graph. 9) Identify half of an amount. 10) Understand that measuring is a way of describing something. 11) Understand that measuring is a way of comparing something in terms of size, weight, and capacity.
Children gain the most from exploring, discovering, and observing the world around them. Some of the best discoveries are found in a child's pocket. Therefore, we encourage our students to empty their pockets upon entering the classroom, so we can discover and investigate the found object. While we believe experience counts for much, book learning is also important, for it helps brings coherence and order to a child's scientific knowledge. Students learn the following subjects: The Human Body, The Five Senses, Penguins, Animals, Weather and Seasons, Plants and Plant Growth, Magnetism and Famous Scientists.
In Social Studies, children are introduced to geography and learn how other children live around the world as they use their imaginations to travel on trips to each of the seven continents. Children also experience a fun-filled and educational visit to the local fire station. Patriotic songs, symbols, people and national celebrations and traditions are also discussed.
Kindergarten students play various percussion instruments as they sing,
dance and find the rhythms in various musical styles. They learn a
variety of songs and finger-plays and participate in musical movement
exercises. In music class, the Kindergarten students act out familiar
nursery rhymes adding instruments for dramatic effect. Additionally,
they learn to play the notes of the scale on xylophones and hand bells.
Each spring the class produces its own version of "The Three Piggy
We read Bible stories and stories from other faith traditions. We use storytelling, dramatic presentations, crafts and songs to give students the opportunity to connect the stories with life situations. We pray and worship together in class and in chapel.
Students are exposed to Spanish for the first time and the goal is for them to feel enthusiastic about learning a second language. Spanish is introduced in Kindergarten via songs, games, videos and art activities in an informal, nurturing and positive environment. Students become familiar with greetings, basic commands and general vocabulary.
Students will learn to identify the parts of a book including: front and back cover, title page, author, illustrator, spine and call number. Students discover the areas of the library and how to find the books that interest them. Students also learn how to check a book out of the library and how to care for it outside the library.
In Lower School Physical Education Class, students learn about their bodies through exercise, games and movement. Classes emphasize the development of healthy bodies through early introduction to nutrition and physical wellness. Through distance running and games involving ropes, hoops, balls and ladders, children develop cardiovascular endurance, strength, agility and flexibility.
In Art class, students expand their creative capabilities, working with, among other things, textures, layering and paints.