Children in the kindergarten classroom are exposed to a language-rich classroom environment in which the instruction of language skills is integrated throughout the day. Our goal is to build upon the young child’s natural interest in books and curiosity about reading and set a foundation of strong skills and develop a love of reading.
The Trophies Reading Series by Harcourt provides an excellent foundation of early reading skills through direct, systematic instruction in phonemic awareness and phonics. The instruction incorporates a well-balanced literacy program which includes shared, guided and independent reading. Children are taught good reader strategies, comprehension and vocabulary skills. Learning centers allow children to independently utilize and practice literacy concepts. The children receive instruction in individual, small and whole group settings. Children are read to daily and are introduced to a variety of genre which include, fiction and non-fiction, poetry, folktales, plays and fingerplays.
Kindergarteners are also introduced to independent journal writing in a Writer’s Workshop format. This approach allows each child to build upon developing phonics skills to put their ideas into writing. They enjoy expressing themselves as young authors.
The mathematics curriculum in kindergarten emphasizes the development of children’s mathematical thinking and reasoning skills by challenging them to explore, develop, discuss and apply mathematical concepts. Our goal is to provide children the opportunity to explore mathematical ideas and stimulate their curiosity about the world of number concepts. Progress in Mathematics by Sadlier is used to provide a systematic, standards based approach to instruction. Each lesson begins with a concrete hands-on experience or demonstration followed by a guided practice activity. The use of manipulatives and hands-on learning experiences during learning centers allows children to further explore concepts and consolidate learning in small group-work and independently.
Our everyday world is filled with exciting phenomena that naturally curious young minds are eager to explore and comprehend. Budding kindergarten scientists enjoy examining the intricacies of the world around them through observation and exploration in both incidental and planned learning opportunities. Topics for the year include, but are not limited to, plants and their life cycles, animals, food and weather. The integration of science with other areas of the curriculum enables children to experience important relationships that are common to everyday occurrences. With an understanding that young children learn best through active involvement, opportunities in the classroom are presented for children to have hands-on experiences to help them as they gain understanding of the world around us.
The primary goal in the kindergarten religion program is to enable the children to grow in the knowledge and love of God. Those teaching moments come throughout the kindergarten day. Many of our most important lessons about religion and establishing a foundation for good moral development are woven into conversations about our interactions and experiences at school. The religious formation of our children, which is begun and nurtured in the home, is in this way, deepened at school.
The kindergarten children participate in daily prayer as we begin our day and before meals. We attend school liturgies each month with the school community and assist in the preparation of one Mass each year. Grade 8 students serve as our church buddies and assist kindergarteners as they learn to experience the Mass as a member of the school community. The children are also introduced to the Sadlier religion text, We Believe, which serves as the foundation for religious education in grades K through 8.
During the course of the year, the children should develop an understanding of the uniqueness of themselves, each individual and an appreciation of the world and its people as gifts of God’s love.
The Social Studies curriculum in kindergarten focuses on the study of one’s self, the family, and our community. The kindergarten children participate in a wide variety of fun activities that help them gain an understanding and appreciation for ourselves and the world around us. They enjoy thematic units which integrate music, art and literature to enhance their study. Topics of study include learning about holidays and different traditions that we have in our culture and traditions in other cultures.
At the kindergarten level, students are exposed to computer programs and website games and activities that support classroom learning. These programs reinforce reading, math, social studies, science and emerging writing skills. The students use a fully-equipped computer lab weekly and learn the basic skills required to operate the computer, different programs and access the internet under teacher supervision. The instruction follows standards set by the Diocese of Providence, as well as the National Educational Technology Standards. Additionally, two student computers are available in the kindergarten classroom to further support the kindergarten curriculum.