The 5K experience begins with a community building morning meeting that includes stories, singing, reading, sharing, and calendar math. Our 5K students develop a love of learning through building a strong foundation in reading, writing, and mathematical concepts.
Our reading curriculum includes systematic and explicit instruction in lessons in phonics, reading aloud, and shared reading, followed by time to practice skills taught, conference with teachers, and reflect and set goals. Students begin learning reading through phonics and alphabetic principle, print and book awareness, and reading comprehension strategies in 5K. Foundational skills in phonemic awareness, print and book awareness, alphabetic knowledge, phonics and word analysis, fluency, dictation, research and vocabulary are taught. Text skills and comprehension strategies taught through fiction and non-fiction: cause and effect, classify and categorize, compare and contrast, fact and opinion, main idea and details, making inferences, sequence, asking and answering questions, clarifying, making connections, predicting/confirming predictions, summarizing, and visualizing. Students are assessed on concepts of print, letter identification, and letter sounds. Teachers also give benchmark reading assessments to evaluate a student's word accuracy, fluency, and comprehension for text leveling at the beginning, middle, and end of year.
Students also utilize Raz-Kids, a digital literacy platform that provides comprehensive leveled texts for students, to enrich their reading skills. This platform allows for students to listen to, read at their own place, and record themselves reading, enhancing their fluency and comprehension skills.
Through our writing curriculum, students master writing all upper and lower case letters along with 5K sight words and simple CVC words. Kindergarten students learn about the writing process as well as about penmanship, grammar, usage, and mechanics. Students begin to learn how to write in complete sentences and are introduced to different types of writing including crafting stories, informational pieces, narratives, and opinion writing.
The kindergarten writing units begin by helping children approximate writing by drawing and labeling first in all-about books and then in stories. The first unit, Launching the Writing Workshop, acknowledges that most children will be labeling their drawings—and the letters in those labels will include squiggles and diamonds. The second unit, Writing for Readers, helps children write true stories—but does so fully aware that the hard part will be writing read-able words. Growth in kindergarten is spectacular, and by the later kindergarten units, children are invited to use their new-found powers to live writerly lives. In How-To Books: Writing to Teach Others, Unit 3, students write informational how-to texts on a procedure familiar to them. In Persuasive Writing of All Kinds: Using Words to Make a Change, the fourth and final unit in the kindergarten series, students craft petitions, persuasive letters, and signs that inspire people to make positive change in their life and in the world.
Through our 5K math curriculum, students learn a wide range of mathematical concepts designed to provide foundational skills in basic math concepts. The approach used builds deep conceptual understanding of key math skills and concepts at a developmentally appropriate level. Skills taught: sorting, geometry and patterns, positions, numbers to 100, tables, graphs, and fractions, addition readiness, subtraction readiness, money, time, measurement, and problem-solving skills.
5K students become scientists as they observe, classify, and record data collected through science investigations. Three core areas of the kindergarten science curriculum include: organisms and the environment, weather, and properties of objects and materials. They learn about the world around them through studying about themselves, their classroom, school, community and the world through social studies concepts.
Curriculum and academic skills are also embedded in centers in the classroom that are intentionally set up for children to practice fine motor skills, reinforce concept development in literacy, math, and science, practice communication, social, and life skills, build vocabulary and problem-solving.
Students participate in performances including Chapel presentations, a Thanksgiving Litany, and Christmas program that build confidence and pride. Students also participate in special classes including art, music, library, PE, Spanish, ,STEM, and keyboarding each week.