The kindergarten classroom is situated on a corner of the school with large windows overlooking a courtyard and playground. Its design is wonderful for whole group and small group instruction allowing plenty of space for group read-alouds, small group projects, and imaginative play.
Our language arts program encourages appreciation of literature and includes listening to, reading, writing, and acting out stories. Spelling, phonics, writing, and comprehension skills are taught using leveled readers, read-alouds, games, and a word study program. Children learn about the alphabet and letter sounds, and begin to develop a sight word vocabulary. They are encouraged to observe, explore, and interact with manipulatives to develop mathmatical thinking and number sense. A strong foundation in the concept of addition and subtraction is developed through games, mental math and paper and pencil work. The use of many strategies to solve problems is an integral part of the program. Science is taught according to the seasons beginning with a look at pumpkins, apples and spiders. In winter students learn about the weather and arctic animals. Springtime brings a celebration of Earth Day and a look at seeds and plants, farms, recycling, insects, frogs and ocean life. They also learn about famous Americans, Native Americans, and holidays around the world. The focus is on developing critical thinking and problem solving skills while learning to apply this knowledge to paper.
The curriculum is further supported by field trips including a trip to an apple orchard, a dinner theater, the Bug Box, Belvedere Plantation, the town of Orange, and the local animal shelter. Students attend Spanish and music classes twice a week and art, library, and computer weekly. They get the wiggles out in physical education classes which are held daily in the gym or outdoors. Kindergarteners are encouraged to lend a helping hand by participating in community service activities, including donating to the local food pantry and the animal shelter as well as the Christmas Giving Tree. In kindergarten there are plenty of opportunities to show off including the Christmas pageant, a class play, sharing a Thanksgiving feast with the first grade, and Declamation Day in the winter.