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Kindergarten



Kindergarten is a year of excitement and new experiences.  It is a year like no other!  Even if your child has had the opportunity to go to pre-school or day care, you will find tha the experiences of “Big School” are amazing, fun-filled and yes, even tiring.

 

This year your child will develop social skills, learn to be accountable, develop fine motor skills, expand their knowledge in reading, math and their world around them, work hard and have fun!  Our focus is to meet the needs of each child; at their level and help them progress.  Developmentally, the young child’s world is about them.  Your child will begin their year with this focus and as they develop, so will the curriculum to explore our world and other people.

 

Children are naturally play oriented and learning should be fun, so don’t be surprised if you ask your child what they did today and they say “I played”.  They did, they just didn’t know they were learning at the same time!  We try to make learning fun so our students will enjoy it, stay interested and want to be life-long learners.

 

Language Arts

The kindergarten classroom is a print-rich environment.  Children are exposed to many types of literature and other printed material every day.  They learn to identify and name the uppercase and lowercase letters of the alphabet but they will be doing so much more!  They will be exploring print and reading, learning about speaking, listening and comprehension skills and how to communicate their thoughts through their own stories and drawings.

 

Chesterfield County Schools use a Balanced Literacy approach to teach Language Arts which helps foster independent readers, writers and communicators.  The Language Arts  block is divided into 5 areas:

 

Shared Reading 

During shared reading, the teacher reads aloud to the students.  A variety of literature is used during this time including fiction and non-fiction.  During this time the teacher works on skills such as comprehension, parts of text and introduces different reading strategies such as Making Connections, Visualizing, Inferring and Determining Importance.

  

Guided Reading 

During guided reading the teacher works with students in small groups using texts to meet their individual instructional needs.  Guided reading groups are determined from on-going assessments and often change through-out the year.   During this time the teacher will also work with the students on phonemic awareness and comprehension. 

  

Word Study 

During word study, students work in groups by individual instructional needs to sort pictures/sounds, letters and words to develop an understanding of how words are spelled and to begin to recognize spelling patterns. This is part of the Words Their Wayprogram.  Assessments are given throughout the year to determine the “stage” of word study and plan for instruction.

 

Writing  

During writing block, teachers model writing skills with mini-lessons and monitor and conference with students during independent writing time. The Trait Crate writing program is used for writing instruction in Kindergarten and introduces the traits of: ideas, organization, voice, word choice, sentence fluency and conventions to students’ writing.  Children have daily opportunities to write language experience stories, responses to literature, journal entries and independent or “free” writing.

 

Independent Reading

Independent reading time is a time when students can read at their own reading level as opposed to their slightly higher instructional level.  Students have many opportunities for reading within their classroom in stations as well as their book boxes, classroom libraries, etc.

 

Math

Kindergarten math is developmental, hands-on and often paper-free! Skills and concepts are taught in mini-lessons and practiced in small groups and learning stations.   In Math, children explore basic number concepts, sorting and patterning.  These are possibly the MOST important skills as your child will build on them all year and even for years to come.  Other important skills include: counting, tallying, graphing, ordinal numbers, money, geometry, measurement, telling time, fractions, and joining and separating (addition and subtraction).

 

Science

Kindergarten science is all about thinking like a scientist.  Your child will be learning about their five senses and then using them to conduct investigations about the fascinating world around us. We will be exploring magnets, shadows, water, patterns in our daily life, weather, the basic needs of plants and animals, living and non-living things and ecology.   We will conduct experiments, go on field trips to the farm and even have live BUGS in our classrooms!

 

Social Studies

Kindergarten Social Studies is about learning to be a good citizen and what is expected of you.  Students learn the concepts of self-control, justice, courage, heroism, and leadership. They learn how these are important in our country but also in our classrooms and at home with our families.  Students also learn about our history in the past and how it relates to the present.  Kindergarten children learn to identify traditional patriotic symbols of Virginia and America, famous Americans and our nation’s holidays. In addition, we explore the diversity of holidays and customs from other countries around the world.  Children learn map and globe skills, the roles and importance of community helpers, basic economic skills such as needs, wants and saving for the future.

Curriculum Overview