Kindergarten English Language Arts is designed to build important foundations in literacy for all students. With a blended approach, children learn concepts of print and build phonological awareness through differentiated lessons and opportunities to practice what they have learned.
As reading skills are nurtured, students begin to read fiction and nonfiction texts fluently. We read and listen to stories, building new vocabulary, and identify story elements. Kindergarten students demonstrate comprehension skills through oral and written responses. Written responses include journal writing, personal reflections, and labeling pictures.
Students receive small-group, guided reading instruction daily which is differentiated by readiness. Assessments are performed three times throughout the year (fall, winter, spring) to monitor reading progress. Teachers help to develop a child's ability to speak audibly and clearly in front of audience during various cross-curricular presentations.
Through the use of hands on activities and manipulatives, Kindergarteners focus on topics like counting and cardinality, understanding addition, working with numbers 11-19, classifying objects, and describing shapes. Kindergarteners also work to make sense of problems and persevere in solving them. They learn to reason abstractly and quantitatively and to construct arguments and critique the reasoning of others.
In Social Studies, we discuss what it means to be a good citizen. Students learn how to contribute to the community by helping others. We discuss the importance of community helpers and various occupations. Furthermore, students are exposed to national symbols: the American flag, Statue of Liberty, Liberty Bell, and monuments in our country's capital, as well as our country's leaders (past and present). We teach children about national holidays and traditions celebrated in families and as a country.
In science, kindergarten students learn about their senses and use them in making observations about the world around them. By frequent interaction with our outdoor learning garden and collaboration with Nardin's Green Coordinator, children witness and learn about various life cycles. We study and compare life cycles of plants and animals and discover the answers to the fundamental question: what is community?. Kindergarten children learn about the habitats that house the plants and animals in various places around the world, including an in-depth inquiry-based unit on animals in winter. We learn about animal tracks and how animals adapt, hibernate, or migrate to survive. This hands-on learning makes science meaningful for our youngest learners.
Kindergarten students have a half year each of Spanish and French. They are immersed in the language through songs, chants, rhymes and games twice a cycle using vocabulary they are already familiar with such as animals, the alphabet, numbers and family members.