The Junior Kindergarten and Kindergarten classes emphasize hands-on and play-based learning. Teachers work closely to plan projects that carry through a child's journey from Junior Kindergarten and on to Kindergarten. Our Kindergarten graduates leave prepared to take the next step in their educational journey.
In Junior Kindergarten, hands-on activities are key to engaging the students. This year emphasizes social interaction, where students learn to use their words and self-regulate, while also learning to listen to others.
Immersed in a language-rich environment, phonemic awareness, the basis for learning phonics, is introduced. Children begin to explore developmentally appropriate handwriting.
In math, it's all about using hands-on manipulatives to explore mathematical concepts. Science encourages the students to observe, investigate and inquire, building on a child's natural curiosity and developing critical thinking skills.
Highlights of this year include the Gingerbread Man Hunt, a trip to the National Zoo, the Seven Continents Exploration, the National Gallery of Art trip that ties in with studies of artists, gardening, and the stage performances with the entire Lower School.
In Kindergarten, students practice social interaction with others, beginning each day with a morning meeting to hone these skills. Kindergarten students see an increase in both group work time and independent work time, which encourages independence, a sense of accomplishment, and the ability to be part of a learning community. They are encouraged through open-ended activities to explore, take risks, make decisions and grow their natural curiosity to explore.
Academically, they experience phonics decoding and encoding; guided reading; reading for meaning; and vocabulary activities, all in a literacy-rich environment.
In math, they begin linking the concrete to the abstract, and are introduced to problem solving and analyzing data. Science is experienced through plenty of time outdoors in all weather, doing experiments and keeping journals. This helps introduce making cross-curricular connections in science, art, and writing, for example.
Highlights of this year include Fantastic Fridays, gardening, stage performances and PJ and Pancake Day!