Kindergarten is a very busy place! Here are the main topics that we work on throughout the year:
Language Arts - In the areas of listening and speaking, we help the children develop vocabulary, improve listening skills, develop clear expression and learn to follow oral directions.
Phonemic awareness develops the children's ability to distinguish and manipulate individual sounds in spoken words. We work on the concept of words and sentences, syllables, rhyming, first and last sounds of words, and more.
In reading we begin with the basics of speech print match (pointing to the words), following a line of print from left to right, etc. We also work on letter names and sounds, sight words, comprehension strategies, word families, and the beginning of decoding (sounding out words). The children will participate in Readers' Workshop daily. This involves a mini-lesson, independent reading time, conferences with the teacher, guided reading groups, and whole-group sharing time.
In writing, many children begin by using pictures and maybe a few letters to record their ideas. They will learn how to spell some common words this year, and also learn how to approximate the spelling of words on their own by recording the letters they hear in a word. (This is called invented spelling or phonics-based spelling.) We will also explore a few specific genres of writing. We use a Writers' Workshop format which allows the children to write independently on topics of their choice each day. Children will write True Stories, How-To Books, and Opinion pieces.
Science - Our program is hands-on whenever possible! We will study shadows, plants, and life cycles.
Health - We will focus on Dental Health, nutrition, feelings and conflict resolution, and fire safety.
Social Studies - We begin with developing a good sense of self and build from there to study families and communities. We also learn about national holidays, voting, and good citizenship.
Math - This year I will be using the enVisionmath 2.0 math program. I also use some materials from other programs, or of my own, to best meet the needs of the students. The new standards emphasize a deeper understanding of the number system. Some skills include counting to 100, breaking numbers apart in different ways, addition and subtraction, math facts, beginning to understand place value, and 2D and 3D shapes.