Kindergarten in English
Math in Kindergarten provides a student-centered, hands-on environment for students to explore and discuss the meaning of mathematics. It is a time to expose children to the concept that math is all around them.
Instead of teaching children to understand math as a computational model, it is taught as a discipline that has a place in all parts of life. Children use manipulatives, pictures, and charts to solve real-life problems and learn new concepts. Math takes place in small developmental groups as well as in whole group. Activities integrate with thematic units while challenging minds and reinforcing basic skills. Students understand math concepts through constructive, hands-on lessons requiring high-level thinking and real problem-solving.
The main objective of the kindergarten social studies curriculum is to foster development of critical thinking and to build community among the students. Kindergarten is the year children typically spend getting to know themselves and the community in which they learn. Children become more conscious of their surroundings and their place in them and want to have ownership over their space and feel close to it. By assuming the role of social detectives, children learn to observe, record findings, gather evidence, interview, deliberate, and conclude. These high-level thinking skills form the foundation for lifelong learning and fulfill children’s intellectual needs.
The “Community Study” allows Kindergartners to build connections to the larger school and town community. For example, during the “School Study” portion of our community study, children interview staff and choose an individual to study more in depth.
Socio-Emotional & Free Choice
As play is child’s work, Kindergarten students have daily time for indoor and outdoor play. Through play, students develop social skills such as collaboration, cooperation, empathy, and self-regulation. Child-initiated play allow students to pursue individual interests and passions in the company of peers. It also provides opportunities for creative thinking, problem-solving, creation, and application of prior learning. Play also provides a context for children to apply newly acquired skills, such as writing and mathematical concepts. Kindergartners are active constructors of knowledge, and unstructured play not only offers a platform for such construction but also provides teachers great insight into student growth and development.
For a sample schedule of a day in our Owls Kindergarten, click HERE.
Who am I in my family and community and how do my family and community form me?
Peregrine’s Owls (or K) program in English provides a balance of academics, intellectual challenge, and play. Children are exposed to rich content and intellectual stimulation, while having opportunities to learn as young children learn best, through play and exploration. Using a constructivist approach, teachers provide opportunities for children to discover their own answers about the world rather than simply giving the answers. Skills are taught in a meaningful, integrated manner.
Reading and Writing
Writer’s Workshop empowers children to see themselves as writers through a developmental, individualized approach, emphasizing phonetic spelling. Writers begin to value writing as a new form of self-expression, experimenting with different kinds of writing as they work and play (e.g., lists, letters, signs, plans, notes, weekly “Owl News” narratives, and stories). Illustrations are of equal importance to young writers at Peregrine.
Writer’s Workshop is used as a time to provide direct instruction in personal narrative and informational texts. Through mini-lessons, children learn about all stages of the writing process from brainstorming to drafting, editing, and revising. Our Kindergartners develop into independent writers using invented spelling and begin to master sight words through the use of word walls, phonics, and reading. Kindergartners also work in small reading groups where they receive direct instruction in phonemic awareness and reading comprehension strategies. Groups are dynamic as students progress and master skills.
Beginning mid-year, Reader’s Workshop enables children to see themselves as readers through a developmental, individualized approach, emphasizing “just-right” books and interactive experiences. Literature is also read aloud to the class every day. Reading comprehension and critical-thinking strategies are modeled for students so they may practice these skills. Picture books, poetry, chapter books, and nonfiction are all learning vehicles. Reader’s Workshop is a time for students to use their new skills to build proficiency, and conference time with their teacher is built-in to Reader’s Workshop to provide individualized instruction and a space to set new goals for reading time. For a developmental continuum which defines expectations for reading and writing in our Kindergarten program, click HERE.