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Kindergarten General Studies Overview

Language Arts

The six language arts, as designated by the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) and the International Reading Association (IRA) (Standards for the English Language Arts are listening, speaking, reading, writing, viewing, and visually representing.

  • reading  – understanding written language
  • writing  – communicating through written language
  • listening  -understanding spoken language
  • speaking –  communicating ideas through oral language
  • viewing –  understanding visual images and connecting them to accompanying spoken or written words
  • visually representing – presenting information through images, either alone or along with spoken or written words (refer to the Art curriculum as we integrate into the classroom.

Reading 

Students will be able to:

  • With prompting and support, ask and answer questions about key details in a text.
  • With prompting and support, retell familiar stories, including key details.
  • With prompting and support, identify characters, settings,:
  • Ask and answer questions about unknown words in a text.
  • Recognize common types of texts (e.g., storybooks, poems).
  • With prompting and support, name the author and illustrator of a story and define the role of each in telling the story.
  • With prompting and support, describe the relationship between illustrations and the story in which they appear (e.g., what moment in a story an illustration depicts).
  • Actively engage in group reading activities with purpose and understanding.

Resources

We integrate both morning and afternoon using  Big Books, library books (fiction and non fiction) leveled readers, technology, Wired For Reading, pocket charts,  songs, readers theaters, drama, and dance.

Writing 

Students will be able to:

  • Use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to compose opinion pieces in which they tell a reader the topic or the name of the book they are writing about and state an opinion or preference about the topic or book (e.g., My favorite book is…).
  • Use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to compose informative/explanatory texts in which they name what they are writing about and supply some information about the topic.
  • Use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to narrate a single event or several loosely linked events, tell about the events in the order in which they occurred, and provide a reaction to what happened.

Resources:

We integrate both morning and afternoon using  Writers Workshop, Class Books, technology,

Speaking and Listening 

  • Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about kindergarten topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.
  • Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions.
  • Continue a conversation through multiple exchanges.
  • Confirm understanding of a text read aloud or information presented orally or through other media by asking and answering questions about key details and requesting clarification if something is not understood.
  • Ask and answer questions in order to seek help, get information, or clarify something that is not understood.
  • Describe familiar people, places, things, and events.
  • Speak audibly and express thoughts, feelings, and ideas clearly.

Resources

We integrate both morning and afternoon using Responsive Classroom, Class Meetings, Sharing Time, Readers Theater, Drama, Acting

Math 

  • Our goal in math is to work with the child to establish a firm foundation in number sense. The following aspects of the kindergarten curriculum ensures that all students are included in significant mathematics learning:
  • They invent their own strategies and approaches before relying on memorized procedures.
  • They choose from a variety of concrete materials as a natural part of their everyday mathematical work.
  • They express their mathematical thinking through drawing, writing, and talking.
  • They work in a variety of grouping – as a whole class, individually, in pairs and in small groups.
  • They move around the classroom as they explore the mathematics in the environment and talk with peers.
  • In Kindergarten class, talking about mathematical ideas and sharing work from a math activity are as much a part of the classroom culture as sitting together to listen to a story, talk about a new activity, or anticipate an upcoming event.

Students will be able to:

  • Count to 100 by ones and by tens.
  • Count forward beginning from a given number within the known sequence (instead of having to begin at 1).
  • Write numbers from 0 to 20. Represent a number of objects with a written numeral 0-20 (with 0 representing a count of no objects).
  • Understand that the last number name said tells the number of objects counted. The number of objects is the same regardless of their arrangement or the order in which they were counted.
  • Represent addition and subtraction with objects, fingers, mental images, drawings1, sounds (e.g., claps), acting out situations, verbal explanations, expressions, or equations.
  • Describe measurable attributes of objects, such as length or weight. Describe several measurable attributes of a single object.
  • Classify objects into given categories; count the numbers of objects in each category and sort the categories by count.
  • Describe objects in the environment using names of shapes, and describe the relative positions of these objects using terms such as above, below, beside, in front of, behind, and next to.
  • Correctly name shapes regardless of their orientations or ov
  • Identify shapes as two-dimensional (lying in a plane, “flat”) or three-dimensional (“solid”).
  • Analyze and compare two- and three-dimensional shapes, in different sizes and orientations, using informal language to describe their similarities, differences, parts (e.g., number of sides and vertices/”corners”) and other attributes (e.g., having sides of equal length).

Resources

  • We use Everyday Math and Investigations as well as an abundance of manipulatives, and math games.

Science 

  • Science study provides children in kindergarten with a unique opportunity to explore the world around them.
  • Kindergarten science focuses on Pacific Northwest ecology, with an emphasis on  hands-on learning experiences.
  • Taking students outdoors makes real world connections that are not possible indoors.
  • Students begin their study of science by observing and noting the similarities, differences, and component parts of materials, plants, and animals of the Pacific Northwest.

Earth Sciences

Students will be able to:

  • observe their surroundings
  • describe features of their nearest environment including trees
  • identify characteristics of native trees
  • classify rocks and soil according to their physical characteristics\
  • describe the effects of weather on living things
  • understand the relationship between the position of an object, its shadow, and the sun

Life Sciences

Students will learn about bees, spiders, earthworms, snails, fish and be able to:

  • describe characteristics of some local plants and animals e.g. color, shape, size, texture
  • compare local plants and animals
  • learn what plants and animals need to stay healthy
  • describe the appearance and behavior of a variety of animals
  • identify similarities and differences among animal species
  • Insects are part of the children’s immediate surroundings, and studying them allows kids to observe characteristics of animals and offers lots of material for data collection, recording sheets, poster displays and more.

Resources

  • Foss Wood and Animal Two by Two kits
  • Audubon Society Science kits
  • Guest Naturalists
  • Local Field Trips
  • Technology
  • Classroom collections and materials

Social Studies

  • The primary purpose of social studies is to help young people develop the ability to make informed and reasoned decisions for the public good as citizens of a culturally diverse, democratic society in an interdependent world. (NCSS Task Force on Standards for Teaching and Learning in the Social Studies).
  • In kindergarten, students begin their investigation of the world using perspectives, concepts, and skills from the social studies.
  • The context for social studies learning in kindergarten is the student’s interaction with classroom and school.
  • The classroom serves as a microcosm of society in which decisions are made with respect to rights, rules, and responsibilities.
  • They begin to learn the basic concepts of fairness and respect for the rights and opinions of others.
  • Students will understand the key ideals of justice and fairness within the context of the classroom community.
  • Students will learn how to apply the ideals of justice and fairness when making choices or decisions in the classroom or on the playground.
  • Students will begin to understand how to create timelines to show personal events in a sequential manner.
  • Students will retell and explain personal history.

Resources

  • Storypath curriculum
  • Books, videos, family visits
  • Integration with Judaic studies

Assessments

  • We learn about children’s progress and needs through our observations, and then selects materials that match various learning styles and developmental levels, with the hope of aligning the curriculum content and instructional strategies with children’s success.
  • We assesses the kindergartners’ knowledge one new concepts and use frequent, embedded assessments to guide instruction and monitor progress
  • We believe that assessing only in one way or in one context does not tell us the whole story. We consider the many ways children learn and the many ways they can show what they know.
  • We believe that  children should be assessed while engaged in the process of learning.
  • It is possible for kindergartners to experience success and well-being as they learn the things that will foster both school and personal achievement.
  • A joyful kindergarten does not mean that academic standards are not being met and maintaining academic standards in kindergarten does not mean sacrificing developmentally appropriate teaching.
  • Appropriate assessment can lead to joyful learning and joyful teaching.