Inquiry is a concept that centers around students constructing their own understanding. The focus for children is on the learning process with academic skills embedded in the process. This includes mathematics, language arts as well as 21st century skills such as critical thinking and collaboration to name a few.
The Kindergarten reading curriculum follows current learning standards and teacher use Journeys reading materials. Students are ensured continuous progress because the program’s resources meet their individual needs, from naming upper and lower case letters to forming words by articulating and blending letter sounds, to reading simple stories. Students enhance their strong phonemic awareness with rich read alouds and leveled readers. Journal writing is an important part of the daily routine.
Mathematics is more meaningful when it is rooted in real life contexts and experiences, and the Eureka Math program series provides a strong foundation in problem-solving. This program utilizes a hands-on approach to mathematical ideas and offers students a variety of activities that help them learn concepts of number sense, operations and computations, data and chance, measuring, money, and geometry.
The inquiry-based Kindergarten science curriculum offers authentic lab work to budding scientists. The program emphasizes a range of skills including observing, comparing and contrasting, predicting, sorting, and the beginnings of ordered thinking. Topics are integrated into the classroom trans-disciplinary themes.
Kindergarten students use computers as an educational tool throughout the year. In their bi-weekly visits to the technology lab, Kindergarteners use developmentally appropriate software to learn mouse and keyboarding skills. Lessons are integrated into the classroom curriculum to enhance learning.
Kindergarten students visit the library once a week for story time and book checkout. During group story time, a wide variety of stories induce discussions of thematic content, unfamiliar vocabulary, and "what happens next.” During independent library time, Kindergarten students begin practicing library etiquette as well as familiarizing themselves with book selection, checkout, and careful handling of materials.
Kindergarten musicians begin to explore reading and writing musical notation. Students expand their ability to match pitch by beginning to learn the Kodaly/Kurwin pitch names and hand signs. Kindergartners also have formal musical performance opportunities, including their first theatrical presentation. Composition and improvisation as well as dancing and movement are an integral part of the music program. Orff instruments are used in the program from Kindergarten through Grade 5.
Kindergarten students begin to develop fundamental movements and basic body management competency. They learn to perform loco motor (traveling) and non-loco motor (movement in place) skills at the beginning level and to follow directions and rules, practice safety and cooperate with their classmates. PE classes encourage joy in physical activity, responsibility and participation.