Kindergarten

Kindergarten Teacher:  Mrs. Elizabeth (Liz) DiPasquale – Assistant Teacher: Mrs. Marline Couture

In kindergarten our goal is to provide children with an education that develops their intellects and personality, transitioning them from the Pre-K world to a point where they can work more independently and function effectively in co-operative teams. We do this by making use of their natural desire to investigate, explore and discover all there is to learn socially, emotionally and academically.

Our students are involved in multiple activities and thematic units of study. Our daily schedule consists of literacy and language arts, math, social studies and science. The kindergarten students also enjoy computer studies, Spanish, music, and art taught by teachers in these respective specialty areas. A unique strength of our curriculum is the approach that we use to ensure that thematic units are integrated across every subject area, creating a richness of experience that our students love. Additionally, we have a major focus on literacy – the children write every day, working on learning to encode sounds to form words. By the end of the year, all of our students are forming sentences. Also, we foster a love of books in our class. We read books, we make books, and we talk about books, hopefully creating a life-long love of books.

We cover an extremely comprehensive math curriculum, using standard textbooks enhanced with whole group, small group, and individual discussions, explorations, hands-on games and sessions that bring the math concepts to life and make them a workable reality for our children. We focus on developing a joy of inquiry and satisfaction in knowing about math and its relationship to everyday living.

In our social studies work, we bring to life four different countries and cultures. The class learns about the similarities and differences that exist between these different cultures and us, using a rich mixture of maps, books, videos, worksheets, craft projects, guest speakers, and experiential games and music sessions.

As our children become interested in different areas of their surrounding world, we use this to bring excitement to our science lessons. For example in the last year, we have bred butterflies, and grew a butterfly garden together to bring to life the science units we have studied. In our science studies we focus on developing process skills in our students – observing, communicating, classifying, estimating, measuring, inferring, predicting and questioning.

During our year, the class undertakes field trips that are linked to our curriculum, including pumpkin picking in the fall, and a trip to the theatre close to our class play. We also take part in Quaker Fridays, and form a unique relationship with the seventh grade class who become our “Journal Buddies” throughout the year.

We continue to develop our students understanding of the role they play in the community, with our major service project being Undie Sunday when we collect underwear, socks, and t-shirts for those in need.

At the end of the year, we gain real joy from seeing all of our kindergarten students reading above grade level, with a strong grasp of the mathematical concepts they need to succeed in first grade, and a passionate interest in science and social studies. As a final element of their year, the kindergartners perform their play for the entire school, achieving a sense of confidence and achievement that few children of this age get a chance to enjoy.

Kindergarten Curriculum Overview:

Reading/Language Arts

  • Letter names and sounds introduced in multiple materials.
  • Instruction focus on blending sounds of letters to decode one-syllable words with short vowel sounds, leading to introduction of long vowel sounds and consonant blend.
  • Development of sight word recognition, decoding skills, and reading fluency.
  • Use of phonetic spelling is encouraged in writing.
  • Development of meaningful sentences.

Mathematics

  • Developing understanding of patterns in mathematics.
  • Sorting numbers, classifying, and graphing.
  • Comparing objects and numbers.
  • Numbers, calendars, clocks, measurement and money are covered.
  • Identify attributes of physical objects, such as length, weight and capacity.
  • Addition and subtraction concepts and language.
  • Introduction of plane and three dimensional figures, fractions and symmetry.
  • Place value concepts covered.
  • Graphing and using picture data introduced.
  • Measurement – estimation and comparisons.

Science

    Human science:
  • Health – nutrition, the five senses, and healthy habits are covered.
  • Living and non-living materials – attributes and differences.
    Physical science:

  • Study of matter and energy – which objects are heavier or lighter; which sounds softer or louder; which objects hot or cold?
    Earth science:

  • Seasons and plants – impacts of light and weather in both.
  • Animal groups and families – characteristics, similarities and differences, classifications.
  • Biomes and habitats introduced and explored.

Social Studies

  • World map introduced – building understanding of continents and countries.
  • Students learn about five different countries – Mexico, India, China, Africa, Antarctica.
  • Cultural learning supplemented with appropriate celebrations, guest speakers, and rich varied material.