The curriculum for the Kindergarten at St. James Episcopal School is designed to utilize the Elements of Depth and Complexity in combination with Multiple Intelligences to provide a high cognitive level experience aligned with private school curricular standards. The program provides diverse opportunities for scholars to develop to their fullest through first hand experiences. An important goal of the Kindergarten program is to create a love of learning through relationships, encouragement, and structured play.
Kindergarten scholars are taught to look at the world through the Global Theme of Patterns, identifying the following essential, conceptual truths (generalizations):
- Patterns can be natural or man-made.
- Patterns are subject to change.
- Patterns provide structure.
- Patterns allow for predictions.
- Patterns repeat.
- Patterns have rules.
- Patterns may have symmetry.
- Patterns communicate or tell a story.
The language arts approach in Kindergarten is built upon a combined approach offering both balanced literacy and direct phonics instruction. The marriage of these two curriculums: Spalding Integrated Language Arts and Houghton-Mifflin Journey’s, exposes scholars to grammar concepts, writing skills, vocabulary development, and reading comprehension and fluency.
Listening and Speaking
- Identify and apply spatial and temporal relationships
- Use narrative language to describe
- Discuss and use common sayings
- Follow multi-step, oral directions.
- Give simple directions.
- Provide simple explanations.
- Recite a nursery rhyme, poem, or song independently.
- Present a short oral report to peers.
- Listen to and understand a variety of texts read aloud.
- Describe illustrations.
- Sequence four to six pictures illustrating events.
- Ask and answer questions requiring literal recall and understanding details.
- Ask and answer questions to clarify information.
- Use narrative language to describe people, places, things, locations, events, and actions
- Compare and contrast similarities and differences.
- Make personal connections to events or experiences in a read-aloud
- Use pictures accompanying the read-aloud to check and support understanding.
- Make predictions prior to and during a read-aloud
- Ask and answer questions that require interpretations, judgments, or opinions.
- Create and tell an original story.
- Understand literary terms.
- Discuss important facts and information from a nonfiction read-aloud.
- Identify parts and the function of books.
- Use correct book orientation.
- Recognize that sentences in print are made up of separate words.
- Understand words are separated by spaces.
- Distinguish letters, words, sentences, and stories.
- Use upper and lower-case forms of the alphabet.
- Orally segment sentences into individual words.
- Understand words are made up of sound sequences.
- Recognize initial/medial/final position of phonemes in a spoken word.
- Identify whether pairs of phonemes are the same or different.
- Orally blend two to three sounds to form a word.
- Segment a spoken word into phonemes.
- Produce rhyming words.
- Identify the number of syllables.
- Recognize the relationship between written letters (graphemes) and spoken sounds (phonemes).
- Blend individual phonemes to pronounce printed words.
- Understand that sometimes two or more printed letters stand for a single sound.
- Read consonant-vowel-consonant words.
- Read high frequency words.
- Recognize, speak, and write phonogram sounds as outlined in Spalding’s The Writing Road to Reading including single and multi-letter phonograms.
- Maintain a spelling notebook with high-frequency words to be written independently.
- Recognize and apply phonic rules including the jobs of silent final e.
- Use commas and end punctuation while reading orally.
- Draw pictures to represent a text.
- Draw pictures to represent a preference or opinion.
- Write narratives, informative, and explanatory texts.
- Add details to writing with assistance.
- Create a title or caption to accompany a picture and/or shared writing.
- Apply phonetic spelling to write independently.
- Use upper and lower-case letters in first and last names and in simple messages.
- Use letters, words, phrases, and sentences to communicate thoughts and ideas.
- Apply basic spelling conventions.
- Capitalize and punctuate sentences.
- Write from left to right, leaving spaces between words, and top to bottom, using return sweep.
- Offer phonemically plausible spellings for words.
- Capitalize first word in a sentence and the pronoun I.
- Read and memorize Mother Goose and other traditional poems.
- Identify and use rhyming words or words that end with the same sounds.
- Identify and use rhythm or a pattern of sound.
- Use alliteration.
- Identify characters and dialogue.
- Maintain a poetry notebook.
Sayings and Phrases
- Use sayings, phrases, and proverbs appropriately.
HISTORY AND GEOGRAPHY
In Kindergarten, children study aspects of the world around them including the family, the school, and the community. The history and geography program in Kindergarten is meant to complement and extend that focus. The goal of studying selected topics in world history is to foster curiosity and begin understandings about the larger world outside the child’s immediate community including varied civilizations and ways of life. This is presented through stories, drama, art, music, and discussion.
World Geography-Spatial Sense
- Geographical awareness
- Maps and globes: what they represent, how we use them
- Specific areas on maps and globes
Overview of the Seven Continents
- Identify and locate seven continents on a map and globe.
- Differentiate state, city, town, and community.
- Locate North America, the continental United States, Alaska, and Hawaii.
Native American Peoples, Past, and Present
- Study Native American peoples in different regions.
- Incorporate in-depth study of at least one specific group of Native Americans-past and present.
Early Exploration and Settlement
- The Voyage of Columbus in 1492
- Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand of Spain
- The Niña, Pinta, and Santa Maria
- Columbus’ mistaken identification of “Indies” and “Indians”
- The idea of what was, for Europeans, a “New World”
- The Pilgrims
- The Mayflower
- Plymouth Rock
- Thanksgiving Day celebration
- July 4, “Independence Day”
- The “birthday” of our nation
- Democracy (rule of the people): Americans wanted to rule themselves instead of being ruled by a faraway king.
- People who were not free- slavery in early America
Presidents Past and Present
- Famous Presidents
- George Washington
- Thomas Jefferson, author of Declaration of Independence
- Abraham Lincoln
- Theodore Roosevelt
- The way one becomes a president and what the president does
- Current United States President
Symbols and Figures
- American flag
- Statue of Liberty
- Mount Rushmore
- The White House
Integrated themes in Kindergarten science are identified as the focus of instruction for extended periods of time. In classroom and out of classroom experiences serve as laboratories for exploring, classifying, making predictions, and recording outcomes of scientific data by word and illustration. Science activities are designed so scholars will discern patterns in the biological and physical world.
Plants and Plant Growth
- What plants need to live
- Basic parts of plants
- Two kinds of plants: deciduous and evergreen
- Food from plants
Animals and Their Needs
- Common characteristics and needs of animals
- What animals need to live
- Offspring of animals
- Special needs of animals and pets
The Human Body-The Five Senses and Taking Care of Your Body
- Sight: eyes
- Hearing: ears
- Smell: nose
- Taste: tongue
- Touch: skin
- Taking care of your body
Introduction to Magnetism
- Experiments with magnets
- Familiar everyday uses of magnets
- Materials attracted by magnets
Seasons and Weather
- The four seasons
- Local weather patterns
- The sun
- Daily weather changes
- Temperature and thermometers
- Rain, thunderstorms, and hail
- Snow, snowflakes, and blizzards
Taking Care of the Earth
- Practical measures for conserving energy and resources
- George Washington Carver
- Jane Goodall
- Wilbur and Orville Wright
The math program in Kindergarten enables scholars to solve problems using deep number sense and a hands-on approach. Using the Saddler-OxfordProgress in Mathematics text and workbook combined with Singapore Math, scholars solve meaningful problems. Math manipulatives are integrated into guided and independent practice. Daily calendar math routines are integrated with math skills.
Patterns and Classification
- Sort by size, color and shape, two ways.
- Patterns of color, shape, and size
- Grow, transfer, identify, and create patterns.
- Positions (above, below, top, middle, bottom, over, under, left, right, inside, outside)
- Tell time to the hour.
- Identify, order, write numbers 0-100.
- Form equal sets.
- Use a number line.
- Estimate groups.
- Count objects in a set.
- Ordinal positions to the 10th place
- Place value- ones, tens, hundreds
- Tally marks
- Simple graphs and charts
- Fractions-whole, half, fourth
- Even and odd numbers
- Recognize and add pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters.
- Fair trade for coins
- Add and subtract coins
- Compare money
- Dollar and cent signs
- Join groups
- Count by 5s, 10s, 2s
- Single-digit addition
- Part to whole relationships
- Single-digit subtraction
- Addition and subtraction patterns
- Ten frames to add and subtract
- Problem solving strategies and choosing operations
- Compare size, length, and height.
- Non-standard measures
- Length and distance around
- Compare and order by weight and capacity.
- Read a thermometer.
- Three dimensional shapes
- Moving shapes
- Plane figures on solids
- Combine and separate figures.