The ECS Kindergarten is a full-day program. In Kindergarten, we value the development of the whole child and therefore strive to provide a program that addresses all aspects of a child's growth and development. Equally concerned with the academic, motor, social, and emotional growth of our students, we pursue developmentally appropriate activities that provide ample opportunity for children to interact with their environment through hands-on activities.
Kindergarten instruction emphasizes hands-on projects and the use of manipulatives to allow children to experience learning first-hand. Depending on the subject and activity, they may work in small groups, with a partner, and as a whole group. Language arts is more teacher directed but the children still have many opportunities to add their own special touches. Music, art, rhyming, games and other activities heighten interest and reinforce skill building and comprehension. Field trips have included Anne Arundel County Library, a trip to a farm, and performing arts programs.
The Language Arts program lays the foundation for literacy. It provides children with a thorough understanding of the letters of the alphabet and their sounds -- the most basic elements of our spoken and written language. Each child learns about the alphabet and the letter names, how to write the letters, what sounds the letters represent, and what function the letters serve as their sounds are blended to form words. The use of daily handwriting is used as a means of reinforcement for these skills. Both the D'Nealian and Block methods of printing are taught. The program strives to strengthen a child's knowledge of print and how it works. An appreciation of literature is also an important component of the program. While Beginning to Read, Write and Listen is our main resource, it is not the only resource on which we rely. Whole Language components like "sight words" are used to provide additional support for helping to develop these skills.
The Mathematics program by Scott Foresman is used. Areas of study include: constructing numbers, shapes, sorting and classifying, one-to-one correspondence, counting and recognition of numerals, graphing information for comparison, measuring and recognizing coins. Math manipulatives are an integral part of the math program.
We begin by looking at ourselves as unique individuals within our own families. From there we look at others, both past and present. We study Native Americans, holiday customs, both here and around the world, transportation, people of historical importance and getting along and caring about one another. We celebrate many special days with feasts and/or other appropriate activities. Appropriate field trips are integrated into the units of study. (Text: Core Knowledge, E. D. Hirsch, Jr.)
The art curriculum is designed to broaden each student's awareness of art's purpose in our world. It creates opportunities for creative expression, creative development, and small motor skill enhancement using a variety of art materials. The art curriculum supports classroom curricular goals in social studies, language arts, math, science, music and social awareness.
The computer program continues to provide students with opportunities to use computer hardware and software to enhance their learning. Students locate specific alphabet keys on the keyboard, and type their first names on their work. They continue to work on their mouse skills, selecting buttons and objects to change the appearance of their designs. Experimentation is encouraged as graphics programs are explored more fully.
The library program continues to promote each student’s love of reading and encourages an appreciation of the many resources that a library has to offer. Library skills for Kindergarten include an awareness of subject grouping of nonfiction, familiarity with the terms author, title, and illustrator, and continued exposure to a variety of literature genres.
Students further explore basic music elements such as pitch and tempo with the introduction of basic rhythmic patterns. Students learn to sing with hand cues and advanced repetition. They also continue to learn about the four major instrument groups and are exposed to different music genres through composer of the month and multicultural music. Cross-curricular approaches are integrated into music lessons in cooperation with the homeroom teachers. Exposure to performance opportunities occurs in class and during the December Holiday Program and assembly programs.
Students participate in movement exploration, group organization patterns and rhythm activities. The fundamental skills of throwing, catching, dribbling and bouncing balls are introduced. Sportsmanship, cooperation and safety are emphasized. Locomotor and non-locomotor skills are reviewed and practiced through the use of varied activities. The introduction of their muscles in their body is expanded.
The study of science takes place both within the kindergarten classroom and the special science class the children attend each week. Within the kindergarten classroom, we strive to develop process skills and provide hands on activities to explore our senses, weather, plants, animals and seasons.
In Science class, held two times per week, we focus on a hands-on discovery approach to the world around us. Subjects studied include space exploration, earth and moon, animal classification and seasonal living habits, weather and seasonal changes, human body parts and function, plants and animals, insects, growing plants from seed and exploring the nature trail
The students are introduced to greetings, family, numbers to 20+, colors, shapes, body parts, animals, weather, seasons, months, days, date, foods, likes and dislikes, holidays, and so much more! Students learn the alphabet, one letter at a time with a word, song or activity to go with each letter, and will bring home the letter papers. If saved, the papers will make a complete alphabet-coloring book! We sing many songs, hear stories, recite poems, finger plays, and nursery rhymes, play games, and do fun activities with basic conversation and vocabulary.