Early Childhood and Kindergarten
Early childhood children learn mainly through play and interactive activities. Early childhood teachers capitalize on children’s play to further language and vocabulary development, improve social skills, and introduce scientific and mathematical concepts. Designing interactive and collaborative activities enhance and strengthen the learning process for these children. Serving as important components of the Early Childhood Curriculum (ECE), creative play and hands-on activities serve as a precursor to promote the basic academic concepts of letter recognition, phonics, numbers, and the awareness of nature and science.
Parents receive a performance assessment report four times a year. The report includes information and documentation of their child’s skill development, knowledge, behavior and accomplishments demonstrated throughout that period of time. Assessments focus on content, standards and goals addressed in the curriculum. In addition to summative assessments, informal assessments involve the child, the child’s family, the teacher, and the school administration, providing a comprehensive view of the child’s academic progress.
Curriculum and Instruction
ECE 1 students range in age from 18 months to 24 months. Focusing on the development of age-appropriate social skills and becoming familiar with standard classroom procedures serve to address the needs of these students. Students engage in guided and free play, music and movement, fine and gross motor development and academic basics while learning to take turns, share spaces and resources, and regulate emotions. Providing a strong learning environment while keeping Christ at the center of all instruction and care elevates the ECE 1 program to a higher level.
The ECE 2 classroom provided learning opportunities appropriate for a two-year old’s abilities. As the children explore the classroom and playground area, they grow socially and physically while extending language skills. Throughout the school day, children learn the routines of Circle Time, develop an understanding of God during Jesus Time, build a knowledge base through themed activities and practice beginning toilet skills.
The ECE 3 classroom environment supports three-year-old children as they develop cognitive skills and practice good decision making. Science and discovery activities stimulate curiosity as children learn valuable lessons about themselves and the world around them. Art and music activities encourage individual expression. Lesson plans include music and movement, creative art, story time, and writing. An introduction to letters and numbers support children as they develop reading, writing and spelling skills. Providing theme-related projects throughout the school year, students extend and enhance their knowledge base as they study a wide variety of topics.
The ECE 4 classroom environment provides multiple opportunities for Pre-Kindergarten students to grow socially, cognitively, and spiritually. Learning experiences, such as daily circle time, daily choice play time, Jesus Time, outside play time, math activities and letter practice create a balanced day of learning for these children. In our Religion curriculum, Enduring Faith, ECE 4 students learn about the Bible and faith. Using puppets, crafts and special lessons, children discuss how God is present in our daily lives. Various hands-on activities such as play-doh, sand play, cutting and gluing, coloring, painting and block building serve to strengthen both fine motor and cognitive skills. Students in ECE 4 participate in Music, PE, and visit both the school library and the Sewell Mill Library. Spanish is taught in ECE 4 for part of the year.
The Kindergarten classroom provides a place for students to learn about all the wonderful things that God has created in our world and beyond. Integrated throughout the Kindergarten subject areas, God’s Word and His involvement in our lives serves as a strong foundation to support their academic, spiritual and emotional growth.
Using Concordia’s One in Christ, the children learn a variety of Old and New Testament Bible Stories, including the Creation, Sin, the Flood, Jesus’ birth, Jesus’ miracles, His death, resurrection, and ascension to Heaven. Bible hero stories provide real-life applications and connections through role playing, music and crafts. Daily prayer, a weekly memory verse and Wednesday Chapel enhance the weekly topics, allowing students to know and receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior.
The Scott Foresman Reading Street curriculum include lessons that focus on developing oral language, vocabulary and comprehension skills. The curriculum uses fiction and non-fiction literature to extend and enrich the learning process. Students study the following elements: character identification, story setting, plot, illustrations, sequencing, classifying/categorizing, comparing/contrasting, predictions, main idea, fantasy/reality, cause/effect, and conclusions.
Word Work serves as a complimentary component to Reading Street. Word Work addresses letter recognition, letter sounds, letter patterns, blending sounds and sight words, helping students develop and extend their reading and writing skills. During Grammar Time, students use these tools as they work with parts of speech, capitalization and punctuation activities.
Kindergarten focuses on writing uppercase and lowercase letters, letter size, the form of the letters, and spacing of letters/words in sentences. The children use the Zaner-Bloser font style when learning to write.
Saxon Math serves as the math curriculum tool used in Kindergarten. The skills taught with this program spiral throughout the year, resurfacing throughout the school year to promote mastery of each skill. Some of the major topics covered include the following: identifying and using whole numbers; counting by 1’s, 2’s, 5’s and 10’s; recognizing geometric shapes and their attributes; recognizing, completing, and creating patterns; understanding charting and graphing; telling time; identifying/counting money; and simple addition/subtraction. Manipulatives, music, role playing and related math center activities serve to enrich the learning experience for students.
Discovery Works serves as the curriculum resource for Science. Topics of learning include living/non-living things, rocks/minerals, senses, body parts, pushes/pulls, landforms, habitats, daytime sky/nighttime sky, seasons, weather, plants, nutrition, resources and conservation.
Social Studies Weekly-American Foundations provides a variety of topics of study. Students learn about topics including: rules, families, community helpers, maps and globes, Pilgrims/Native Americans, U.S. History – Presidents, Patriots and Monuments, Good Citizenship, U.S. Holidays, Money, Needs/Wants, Spending/Saving and Consumers/Producers.