In Kindergarten, we administer state and district level assessments in reading and math to aid teachers’ understanding of your child’s strengths and needs in order to design instruction accordingly. Students participate in AIMSWeb Letter Naming Fluency & Letter Sound Fluency, where they demonstrate early reading skills. The AIMSWeb Number Identification, Quantity Discrimination and Missing Number assessments provide information on early numeracy skills. Students also complete the Fountas & Pinnell Benchmark Reading Assessment, which provides classroom teachers with key information about individual students' strengths and areas for growth in reading accuracy, fluency, and comprehension to drive small group reading instruction.
The Illinois State Board of Education has implemented a new assessment this year for all Kindergarten students - the Kindergarten Individual Development Survey (KIDS). This is an observational tool designed to help teachers and administrators better understand the developmental readiness of children entering kindergarten in the areas of language & literacy development, math, self-regulation, social/emotional development.
All Kindergarten students experience music and art classes. Kindergarten students attend one 30 minute music class each week as well as one 45 minute art class. These classes follow the National Core Arts Standards and engage students in the fundamentals of Art and Music.
Kindergarten classrooms implement a reading workshop model completing five reading units of study. These units of study are as follows: Launching, Nonfiction, Fiction, Poetry, Content Literacy.
Teachers utilize the best practices in reading structure by:
- Modeling explicit skills and strategies through Interactive Read-Alouds using high-interest text,
- Reading shared texts with students during Mini-Lessons to practice focus skills and strategies,
- Supporting students’ application of skills and strategies through guided and independent reading, and
- Differentiating and extending learning through guided and independent practice.
Teaching materials include Schoolwide Reading Fundamentals Units of Study, Independent Classroom Libraries, Guided Reading Libraries and Digital Resources.
Our kindergarten classrooms utilize a variety of resources to teach our youngest learners. The foundational skills taught include the following: letter formation, sight words, sentence writing, interactive writing, story writing, and informational writing.
The goal of word study is to help our students become excellent readers and writers. Word study allows students to participate in focused instruction examining words and word elements.
Kindergarten students are instructed in the following nine areas of word study:
- Early Literacy Concepts
- Phonological Awareness and Phonemic Awareness
- Letter Knowledge
- Letter/Sound Relationships
- Spelling Patterns
- High Frequency Words
- Word Meaning
- Word Structure
- Word-Solving Actions
Math in Focus
The Math in Focus program strives to develop conceptual understanding with the goal of content mastery. Concepts are taught moving through a sequence of concrete to pictorial to abstract. Concrete learning happens through hands-on activities with math manipulatives, such as counters, coins, number lines, or base ten blocks. Pictorial learning uses pictures, drawings, or other forms that illustrate the concept with something more than abstract numbers. Finally, abstract learning requires students to use numerals, strategies, and problem solving methods to solve problems. Math in Focus is a research-based program that focuses on classroom learning, discussion, and practice. It strives to balance conceptual understanding, visual learning, and problem solving.
Curriculum Resource: Math in Focus Parent Resources
Kindergarten students attend one 30 minute P.E. class each week. All elementary students (kindergarten through 5th grade) attend an Extended P.E. session on days that they do not have a P.E. class. Students participate in a variety of developmentally appropriate games and sports throughout the year with a focus on skill development, teamwork, and physical fitness. Elementary P.E. teachers also incorporate learning experiences to develop students’ understanding of nutrition, body systems, conflict resolution, and decision making.
In social studies, disciplinary concepts are divided among the major disciplines of social science: civics, history, economics, and geography. These standards are taught in conjunction with inquiry skills.
The process of aligning social studies to the new Illinois Learning Standards for Social Science takes time. Elementary school will begin the process during the 2017-2018 school year with their focus on the themes that are aligned to the disciplinary concepts for kindergarten through 5th grade learners. Elementary students experience social studies through thematic units and a combination of teacher created units with various textbooks, nonfiction readers, primary sources, and maps. In kindergarten, the theme is My Social World.