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The Early Childhood Program

The Early Childhood Divisionóconsisting of the Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten programsófocuses on several discrete goals:

  • Preparing students for academic instruction;
  • Engendering enthusiasm for learning;
  • Developing an appropriate response to authority; and
  • Educating students to work collaboratively.

The program strives to present developmentally-appropriate activities for each student.

   

Pre-Kindergarten

English
The student will devote attention to reading, writing mechanics, listening, and oral communication. Instruction relies on thematic units, learning centers, stories, and small- and large-group activities.

Spanish
This program stresses language acquisition through games, songs, oral practice, and proper pronunciation of Spanish expressions.  Listening in the authentic, target language is a key component to our Early Childhood program.  Communication skills are expanded as students learn simple vocabulary: nouns, verbs, and adjectives surrounding many themes.  They are able to produce some Spanish words in context, without prompting, before they enter the next grade.  Students are introduced to the written language through cooperative stories and captioned pictures.  

Math
The student will attach meaning to numerals. The topics include arithmetic skills, visual discrimination, number theory, geometry, problem solving, and measurement.

Social Studies/History
The program focuses on geography, communities, and citizenship. Instruction relies on learning centers, thematic units, and hands-on activities.

Science
The program centers on life science, earth science, and physical science. The student will learn through exploration and manipulation, relying on art projects, small-group experiments, games, songs, finger plays, and group discussions.

Kindergarten

English
The student will use phonics to recognize letters and sounds and decode unknown words. The student will listen to and read stories and then retell a story by discussing the beginning, middle, end, and main idea of the story.

Spanish
This program stresses language exploration through games, songs, oral practice, and proper pronunciation of Spanish expressions.  Listening to authentic language is a key component to our Early Childhood program.  Communication skills are expanded as students learn simple vocabulary: nouns, verbs, and adjectives surrounding many themes.  They are able to produce some Spanish words in context, without prompting, before they enter the next grade.  Students are introduced to the written language through cooperative stories and captioned pictures.  

Math
The student will strengthen number recognition and the ability to quantify numbers through one hundred. Teachers will introduce the student to the general concepts of addition, subtraction, time, money, fractions, and measurement.  Students will use a variety of hands-on manipulatives.

Science
The program emphasizes life science, earth science, and physical science by relying on hands-on discovery, experiments, learning centers, and group activities. The student will learn how to use the scientific method.

Social Studies/History
The student will develop an understanding of community, family, and citizenship. The teacher introduces the student to the use of maps, globes, and charts to learn how to distinguish one place or region from another.

Specials

Art
Students in the Early Childhood Division learn to distinguish artwork in the studio from their more crafts-oriented activities in the regular classroom. Their early focus is on recognizing the qualities of shape, color, and line; they move on to learning the color wheel and mixing color, combining and manipulating shapes to create visual images, and beginning to depict space.

Music
Students in the Early Childhood Division learn about music through songs, dances, stories and play activities.  They also experiment with rhythm instruments and using their voices expressively.  They learn nursery rhymes, folk songs, songs with actions, songs to accompany stories and games, and music of many styles.  The classes perform three times a year at school concerts.

Physical Education
The pre-kindergarten and kindergarten programs are aimed at challenging each student to demonstrate progress toward the mature form of selected manipulative, locomotor, and non-locomotor skills.  The student will be able to identify fundamental movement patterns (e.g., skipping, galloping), establish a beginning movement vocabulary (e.g., personal space, fast, slow), and apply appropriate concepts to performance (e.g., change directions while running).  A main focus is providing students with positive attitudes toward physical activity.  With teacher reinforcement, the students will be able to apply classroom rules, procedures, and safety practices.  Skills and games center on seasonal sports and recreational activities. As well as focusing on fundamental age-appropriate skills and games, students will learn that physical activity and healthy nutrition are good for the body, and that they contribute to an active and healthy lifestyle.

Technology
Pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students meet in the computer lab once a week for the entire school year.  Students use a variety of media and technological resources for directed and independent learning activities.  The curriculum helps students develop skill and confidence in using computers as an effective means of gaining knowledge and expressing ideas.


 
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