KINDERGARTEN AGE 4 1/2 – 6
The Kindergarten program continues to focus on emotional, social, and academic development. Development in these areas must be carefully balanced to effectively meet the evolving needs of each student.
Kindergarten students remain in a sensitive stage for order, sensorial learning, and language development. They begin to possess a “conscious mind” that allows them to direct themselves more effectively and apply themselves to and complete more complex tasks. They will repeat an activity until they have mastered it and then move sequentially to the next activity. By giving the students freedom combined with responsibility, they are able to progress through the curriculum at their own pace by making choices that enable them to maximize their development.
Social development includes learning to make the transition between home and school, gaining a more positive selfimage, increasing independence, and developing the skills to work and play cooperatively with other children. Students also begin to establish a strong work ethic by developing self-discipline, increasing responsibility, and working independently.
At the Kindergarten level, the students begin to participate in Technology once a week and Physical Education twice a week. Increased academic responsibilities include daily journal writing and a work plan, which develop valuable work habits.
Subject areas include practical life activities, sensorial lessons, language, mathematics, cultural studies and science, music, Spanish, art, library and media, and physical education.
THE PREPARED ENVIRONMENT FOR KINDERGARTEN
The prepared environment encompasses the teacher, student, and classroom. The teacher’s role in the prepared environment is to observe and facilitate. Teachers provide the link between the materials and the student, maintain order, and preserve the environment. The materials are set up so that the students can witness success or correct errors by themselves. They are free to move about the room and make choices independently. The items in the environment are reality-based and found in nature. Furnishings, countertops, sinks, and décor are all at the students’ height. There is structure and order in the room, within the shelves, and within each individual activity. Elements are sequenced from simple to complex, top to bottom, left to right, gross to fine motor, no tool to tool, few objects to many objects, isolation to complex, one-step to multiple steps, and concrete to abstract. Each work has specific direct and indirect aims in the student’s development.
THE THREE PERIOD LESSON FOR KINDERGARTEN
The three period lesson is the method used to teach new vocabulary in all areas of the curriculum. In the first period, the student is introduced to new vocabulary as the teacher names two or three objects (This is a cone. This is a sphere). In the second period of the lesson, the student is asked to recognize the objects (Point to the cone. Point to the sphere). During the third period, the student is asked to recall the objects (What is this?).
Learn more in our detailed curriculum guide.