Teachers' BlogsGrades Kindergarten

Just as no two individuals are the same, no two individuals learn new information in the same way. Therefore, we use a differentiated instruction methodology in order to best support each child’s learning style (i.e. auditorial, visual, hands-on), his/her learning personality, and individual interests.

Personal Development: We utilize and promote the principles of Responsive Classroom. This social curriculum creates strong personal relationships; ones that are so necessary in creating a learning community that is fun, emotionally encouraging, and physically safe.

Literacy: Our literacy program is built around three basic elements: phonemic awareness, phonics and literature. Children naturally develop phonemic awareness whenever they hear and see spoken language being segmented (broken into sounds). As they learn that sounds can be represented by printed symbols, they are beginning to understand phonics. For students in the developing stages of letter/sound relationships, we follow the recommended sequence of letters in the Fundation Program. For children already reading, opportunities and instruction to strengthen their development will occur. A variety of meaningful, age-related, and integrated activities occur to promote literature appreciation, including art projects, movement, acting out stories, singing, cooking, and poetry.

Math: At UES we use the Everyday Math program, which at the K level covers the concepts of number sense, addition, subtraction, measuring and geometric shapes, and estimating. The program relies on “dialogue, discussion, experimentation and discovery” to help each child understand and utilize math in their daily lives. Whenever possible we use experiences which our children can relate to (i.e. we graph information such as hair color, eye color, etc.). As well, children’s literature is used to support concept development.

Writing: The beginning step in the writing process is for children to talk about their drawing as an adult transcribes (writes out) for the child. As children learn new consonant sounds, they begin their own writing (i.e. rainbow becomes rnbo). Children will move through a variety of stages to develop their writing—just as they did to develop their speech. For those students already using symbols, they will continue to develop and refine their skills through opportunities such as writing and illustrating their own stories and poems. The Fundation Program is also used for strengthening spelling and handwriting.

Science: Our curriculum is filled with hands-on experiences that provide children with a developmental introduction to scientific inquiry. We integrate our units of study closely with our Kinder Art studies. Science themes for this include: Myself and Others, The Senses, and Life Cycles (Plants and Living Things). In addition the children participate in the Four Winds Program (nature and environmental studies).

Kinder Art: Using a selection of some well-known art prints, and a few not so well known ones, we introduce our classes to a variety of art disciplines. Children learn to LOOK at each of the prints followed by opportunities to create art using line, color, texture and form. We use storytelling, discussion and books written for young children to learn about the lives of the artists in order for children to understand and appreciate the history of art.

Another beauty of this program is that we integrate other learning including math, reading and science concepts. For example, when we introduce Cézanne’s Apples and Oranges, children learn about harvesting, cycles, and seasons by visiting an orchard, making applesauce, and doing “apple math.”

Kinder Art will be integrated into the following themes this year:

Me, Myself and Others: Todd Parr books

Apples/Harvest: Paul Cezanne

Shapes: Pablo Picasso

Stars: Vincent Van Gogh

The Senses/Family/Friendships: Faith Ringgold

Living Things/Flowers: Georgia O'Keefe

© 2015 Montpelier Public Schools