In the 5/6 Kindergarten Class, students continue to establish community with new girls and teachers. The day begins with a morning meeting run by the students. The school day is structured with language groups and project work in the morning and math and special area classes in the afternoon. Responsibility, independence, and the initiation of work are integral in Kindergarten year. Materials are used for the expression of ideas as well as problem solving and new materials continue to be introduced.
- Social Emotional Development
- Physical Education
- Approach to Learning
- Expressive Language Arts
- Social Studies
The power to learn is emotionally-based. Social and emotional learning is the process through which children and adults develop the skills, attitudes and values necessary to understand an manage life tasks such as cognitive learning, forming relationships and adapting to the demands of growing up in today’s complex society.
The Program for Young Children physical education experience focuses on the development of both fine and gross motor skills by exploring body movement through a variety of learning styles. Students are introduced to locomotor, non-locomotor, manipulative concepts, and muscular strength and fitness activities in both individual and cooperative learning environments. Basic life skills are also introduced and practiced throughout the program. The use of imagination and creativity are woven within each unit in the curriculum to make concepts age appropriate and fun. Swimming is the longest unit during the year where the girls have the opportunity to explore their comfort level in the water, are introduced to water safety, and learn basic swim strokes. The 4/5 class and the 5/6 class attend physical education classes twice out of the six-day rotation for forty minutes throughout the entire school year.
The 5/6 experiences and concepts within physical education begin as a review at the beginning of the school year. They will then start to apply these skills, concepts, and strategies within game-like situations. The 5/6 girls will work on multiple skill combinations within a lesson, beginning to understand how certain concepts are related. They will continue to make connections to lifetime activities and sports while they increase their understanding of sportsmanship, cooperation, team work, and listening to and following directions. The terms endurance and stamina are used throughout their warm-ups to continue to enhance their understanding of pacing themselves during prolonged periods of locomotor skills such as fast walking, jogging, running, galloping, skipping, sliding, marching, hopping, and jumping. The majority of the year is spent in the gymnasium where the students experience and practice many different concepts such as:
- underhand and overhand throwing, catching with and without implements
- movement patterns and dance, basic yoga skills
- bounce and catch tasks, dribbling exploration (hands and feet), kicking skills
- striking skills with implements
- roping skills
- scooter exploration
- introduction to personal fitness and wellness
- cooperation, team work, listening to and following directions
- Game play strategies and techniques
Towards the end of the school year the girls will participate in a swimming unit. They will review many of the concepts and experiences in the pool and locker room such as dressing and undressing oneself, pool rules, water readiness, entering and exiting water, use of personal floatation devises, water safety, and basic swim strokes. The 5/6 girls will begin to refine some of their basic swim strokes as well as continuing to build their comfort level and confidence in the water.
The early years are important years for all aspects of development. Children’s natural dispositions to be intellectually curious and to investigate their environment emerge (Katz, 1995) they learn about tools such as reading and writing and become motivated to develop and use a wide variety of related skills. It is important that they an opportunity to experience active, engaged learning. While academic goals address small units of knowledge and skills, intellectual goals address dispositions; that is, habits of mind that include a variety of tendencies to interpret experience. (Katz,1993)
Classroom experiences are integrated and focused to provide students with many opportunities to speak, listen read, write, and express ideas through a multitude of avenues. Teachers assist children to focus on the conventions of written English as is developmentally appropriate. They also work with individual students, small groups, and, as appropriate, larger classroom groups to help children identify the function of print and symbols to convey ideas and express thoughts in a concrete permanent form.
Reading readiness research has demonstrated the importance of the following prerequisite skills in the acquisition of reading and spelling skills:
- Phonological/Phonemic Awareness
- Letter recognition
- Sound-symbol correspondences (alphabetic principle)
- Oral language
Through an integrated approach, children have experience in oral language; asking and answering questions about a text, retelling familiar stories and telling own stories, letter recognition, phonological and phonemic awareness and handwriting. Reading instruction is multisensory, explicit through guided discovery teaching, has brief instructional segments, teaches to automaticity and teaches proofreading.
In the PYC the teachers recognize, foster, and challenge children’s natural curiosity and innate sense of inquiry. Children and teachers work collaboratively to co-construct knowledge. Together, they use their senses and scientific equipment to observe, hypothesize, experiment, and analyze to establish science as an exciting, useful, and enjoyable way to learn and relate to the world. In the classroom and beyond, children explore and experiment with the properties of building materials, sketch objects, communicate findings in familiar and unfamiliar places, and engage with care, respect, and curiosity within the entire CSG outdoor campus.
Through a variety of authentic experiences, children investigate the language of time, develop an understanding that maps and globes can be useful for finding places and learning about culture, geography and time zones. Through classroom and school experiences, the children understand and demonstrate the actions of a good classmate and community member.