Language arts experiences are part of the fabric of every day in kindergarten. Teachers work to develop auditory, visual, speaking and listening skills as well as word attack skills and study skills. Learning activities include direct instruction, demonstrations as well as experiential learning, games and problem solving. Children learn a poem of the week, riddles of the day, comment on experience charts, write numerous thank you notes, sing songs, and collaborate at rotating centers every day.
Math is part of the daily experience in kindergarten. Every morning begins with calendar time and includes counting days of the week and months of the year, making tallies on a weather chart, noting today, yesterday and tomorrow, seasons, and sequencing. Mathematical topics include: geometry, sorting, graphing, sequencing, ordinal counting, quantitative math, numeral recognition, predicting, estimating, one to one correspondence, verbal counting, patterning, measurement, money, fractions, time, and coding. Students collaborate and work individually as they utilize different strategies and approaches to solve daily problems. A multitude of resources are available to all of our students such as pattern blocks, tangrams, geoboards, iPads, computers, overhead projector, cameras, and the smart board which encourages student interaction.
Kindergarten science is enjoyed in the classroom, in nature, and in the science lab. Students visit the science lab to develop basic scientific skills through inquiry, observations, and experimentation. New concepts are introduced regularly in the classroom, and other concepts are further developed in the science lab. Topics explored in kindergarten include: colors, fire prevention, seasons, five senses, winter animal adaptations, paleontology, astronomy, insects, physics, farming, and oceanography.
In social studies, children experience teacher-made interdisciplinary units on various themes which include: holidays, school community, global studies, and community service. Students develop an understanding of the significance of holidays as they are exposed to diverse cultures. They are introduced to people in the school community, the roles they play, and how we all benefit from the work they do. Numerous community service experiences inspire empathy, compassion, and the importance of gift-giving. Writing thank you notes, delivering items to local food pantries, baking breads for soup kitchens, making placemats for Meals on Wheels, singing at Senior Centers are just some of the ways students enjoy giving. Experiential learning through field trips inspires writing that is consistently embellished by student art.
Students in kindergarten attend art classes which focus on projects that introduce a wide variety of art-making techniques. Lessons allow them to develop fine motor skills, embrace their imaginative nature, and gain a deeper appreciation for the role art has in their lives and the world around them. In addition, kindergarten students are introduced to the elements of design including line, shape, and color. Their projects emphasize the proper way to use a variety of artistic medium and art room etiquette. Art overflows into the classroom on a daily basis as well.
In library, students strengthen their listening skills and are introduced to various literature genres: fiction, nonfiction, biography, and award winners. Awareness of library arrangement and library terminology is taught. Book care is more fully explored as students prepare to take home their library books. A love of literature continues in a classroom library that changes according to themes taught throughout the year.
Music is ubiquitous in kindergarten. In music class, children learn to sing simple songs together as a group. They experience melodic ranges, basic rhythmic patterns, and expressive qualities of tempo and dynamics. Students are also introduced to different types of instruments from the string, wind and percussion families of sound, and enjoy taking turns and playing these instruments. Simple choreographed dance movements are added to some songs to emphasize rhythm and tempo. Children learn to write basic music notation and incorporate these musical symbols into pictures they draw of the song stories. Students improve their listening skills by distinguishing the sounds of similar instruments and listening to short music recordings. They learn how to prepare for a public performance of their singing and how to follow a conductor's cues during a performance. Music is also used as a tool by the classroom teachers during opening and closing transition times and as a way to express joy!
Kindergarten students attend PE class twice per week, each lasting 30 minutes. These students build upon experiences and concepts learned in prekindergarten. The goals of the kindergarten PE curriculum are similar to that of the prekindergarten level, with more challenging skills added. To achieve these goals, the units are very similar to ones in prekindergarten. In addition, kindergarten students are introduced to the proper technique of the push-up and curl-up used in upper grades. They begin using the track in the gym or run outside in the second half of the year to increase their endurance and to help prepare for first grade physical fitness assessment. The second half of the year will include simple games including tag, fleeing, and chasing that utilize the basic movement concepts.
At Moravian Academy, kindergarten students have Spanish class every day for fifteen minutes. Their native-speaking teacher comes to the classroom, and children sing songs, recite poetry, play games, color pictures, watch videos, and engage in lessons that are delivered in the target language, Spanish. Curriculum content includes counting to 20, meeting and greeting, colors, weather, geometric shapes, animals, and clothing. Culture is embedded into the daily learning as our teacher offers exposure to food, dance, and traditions.