Parent Guide to the Curriculum: Kindergarten

Language & Literacy

Highlights of what your child will learn in kindergarten include:

  • Identifying and producing the sounds of the letters in the alphabet.
  • Identifying and printing the upper and lower case letters in the alphabet.
  • Matching long and short vowel sounds with the letters that go with them.
  • Reading pre-primer and primer sight words.
  • Spelling and writing an identified list of 20 frequently used words correctly.
  • Recognizing and naming rhyming words.
  • Producing the beginning, middle, and last sounds in simple words.
  • Asking and answering questions about important details in stories.
  • Reading and understanding books at grade level (expectation Level D).
  • Comparing and contrasting characters and stories in familiar texts.
  • Representing ideas through writing and illustrations.
  • Writing sentences using proper mechanics.
  • Using what they know about letters and sounds to spell easy words.
  • Understanding and using question words (who, what, where, when, why, how).

Questions to ask your child’s teacher

  • Can I see my child’s writing? Is this piece on grade level, and if not can I see a sample of one on grade level?
  • What resources can I use to help my child at home?
  • How can I motivate my child to learn letters and sounds?
  • How can I encourage my child to read?
  • At the end of the year, how can I make sure my child does not regress during the summer when entering first grade?

Characteristics of books for proficient kindergarten readers

  • Simple factual texts, animal fantasy and realistic fiction
  • Picture books
  • Amusing one‐dimensional characters
  • Familiar, easy content, themes, and ideas
  • Simple dialogue (some split dialogue)
  • Many sentences with prepositional phrases and adjectives
  • Some longer sentences (some with more than six words)
  • Some simple contractions and possessives (words with apostrophes)
  • Two to six  lines of text on each page
  • Some sentences turn over to the next line
  • Some words with –s and –ing endings
  • Fewer repetitive language patterns

Characteristics of proficient kindergarten readers

  • Eyes can track print over two to six lines per page
  • Can process texts with fewer repeating language patterns
  • Voice‐print match is smooth and automatic; finger pointing is rarely needed, if ever
  • Notices and uses a range of punctuation and read dialogue, reflecting the meaning through phrasing
  • Can solve many regular two‐syllable words, usually with inflectional endings (–ing)
  • Consistently monitors reading and cross‐checks one source of information against another; self‐ corrects

Mathematics

Highlights of what your child will learn in kindergarten include:

  • Counting to 100 by ones and tens.
  • Counting forward starting at any number they have learned.
  • Writing numbers properly from 0 to 20.
  • Adding and subtracting numbers within 5.
  • Drawing a picture to represent a problem.
  • Rapidly solving math facts.
  • Naming 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional shapes.
  • Comparing numbers to tell which is number is greater.
  • Putting objects into groups by looking at how they are the same.
  • Comparing objects using tools to measure.

Questions to ask your child’s teacher

  • How can I help my child to rapidly solve math facts?
  • How can I help my child count to 100?

Social Studies

In kindergarten, students study “Self and Others.” Students study themselves in the context of their immediate surroundings. Students learn about similarities and differences between children, families and communities and about holidays, symbols and traditions that unite us as Americans. Students learn about respect for others, as well as the rights and responsibilities of individuals.

STEAM

In grades K-2, students are introduced to Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics through the Project Lead The Way (PLTW) Launch Program.  PLTW taps into children’s exploratory nature, engages them in learning that feels like play, and encourages them to keep discovering. Through PLTW, students become hands-on problem solvers and learn to collaborate with each other.

PLTW brings learning to life. Students learn to adopt a design-thinking mindset through activities, projects, and problems that relate to the world around them. As students engage in hands-on activities in computer science, engineering, and biomedical science, they become creative, collaborative problem solvers ready to take on any challenge.

STEAM Topics

  • Exploring design
  • Pushes and pulls
  • Human body
  • Animals and algorithms

Library/Media Program

The goal of the school library media program is to assist students and staff in becoming effective users of information and ideas. Children are growing up in a society that requires them to be efficient in information literacy. The media center supports classroom instruction and personal goals, encourages children to develop a lifelong love for reading, exposes children to various forms of material, and nurtures an environment for choosing and using books.

In kindergarten, children learn to:

  • Appreciate literature.
  • Understand the parts of a book (front cover, back cover, spine, title page).
  • Identify the role of the author and the role of the illustrator.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of story elements (characters, setting, problem, solution).
  • Select books based on interests
  • Identify the organization of easy picture books (alphabetical order based on author’s last name).
  • Understand that there are many places to get information online, but safety is key.
  • Explore how email is used to communicate.

Art

In kindergarten, your child will learn:

  • Types of line and shape-line drawings, as well as creating and using shape.
  • Cutting and gluing.
  • Problem-solving skills.
  • Primary, secondary and neutral colors; utilizing the color wheel; and applying that knowledge in painting and drawing.
  • Skills to understand and appreciate different types of art works.
  • Basic watercolor skills.
  • How to think, question, plan and create.
  • How to use a variety of mediums, including oil, pastel, crayon, chalk and paint.

Citizenship

Citizenship is built and understood through school-wide presentations, modeling and curriculum study.  Opportunities to discuss citizenship and positive character traits are embedded in the daily life of The Learning Community. Through school and classroom expectations, as well as literacy study and discussion, students build an understanding of the value of citizenship. Service learning projects are hosted throughout the year to promote good citizenship.  The district follows a ten month character education calendar to ensure that students learn and understand the essential elements of good citizenry.

Health

In grades K-2, students are introduced to age-appropriate health topics so that they may start to develop and understand the importance of optimal wellness and self-worth. Learning focuses on developing healthy habits, such as making healthy food choices and practicing good hygiene. Students also begin to learn about their bodies and how they work as they explore all of the body’s important systems. Each successive year builds on what children learn in previous years through hands-on experiments and projects.

  • Healthy Habits – Personal hygiene, making healthy food choices, getting plenty of rest, moving every day
  • Human Body – Skeletal, muscular, circulatory, respiratory, and digestive systems
  • Nutrition – My Plate, obesity, gardening
  • Personal Safety – Bike safety, stranger safety, substance abuse
  • Emotional Health – Expressing emotions in healthy ways, importance of family and friends, anti-bullying

Music

Kindergarten students listen to music and picture books, dance, sing and play to experience steady beat and musical opposites: loud/soft, fast/slow, long/short and high/low. Students have opportunities for creating and composing while developing an understanding of and appreciation for many genres of music.

Physical Education

In kindergarten, students learn basic locomotor and non‐locomotor skills and concepts. An emphasis is placed on safety as they learn about spatial awareness and body management. During this year, students begin to learn basic ball skills as well as object management. Students also begin to learn the basic benefits physical activity has for their bodies. In addition, students learn to follow directions and interact positively with classmates.

  • Spatial Awareness – Introduction to personal and general space, identifying boundaries
  • Locomotor Movement – Introduction to walking, galloping, skipping, running, jumping, hopping
  • Physical Fitness – Introduction to endurance, strength, heart rate
  • Body Management – Introduction to balance, dodging, chasing, fleeing, tumbling
  • Object Management – Introduction to ball skills (rolling, tossing, throwing, dribbling with hands, dribbling with feet, kicking, catching), striking with different objects
  • Rhythms and Dance – Introduction to simple movement patterns, simple narrative dances