Kindergarten Team Page
Kindergarten is a time when we work together to build your child’s educational foundation.Learn About Our Forest Fridays
- English Language Arts
- Social Studies
- Social Skills
- Information Technology
- Library Skills
The English Language Arts program at Marion Cross School seeks to create a community of learners immersed in reading, writing, speaking and listening throughout the curriculum. Through engagement with a variety of developmentally appropriate literature, students develop fluency, exercise analytical skills, build vocabulary, practice comprehension strategies, and make meaning. Across grade levels, ongoing writing instruction and practice provides opportunities for students to develop confidence and skills as they generate ideas, draft, revise, and edit original works in a wide range of genres. Discussion-based classrooms, project based learning, and presentation opportunities, within and beyond the classroom, encourage students to develop and hone communication skills, promoting active participation in the school community and larger society.
The MCS kindergarten language arts program uses an interdisciplinary approach to literacy. The process involves communicating a sense of wonder through students’ senses. It’s about drawing children’s attention to language. Linking their ears, their eyes and their hands with their mind. Reading, writing, speaking and listening are incorporated into all aspects of the kindergarten day.
Storytelling, songs, poetry, read aloud, and dramatic play are used to demonstrate literacy and encourage its acquisition. Kindergarten literacy is about recognizing and writing letters, hearing letter sounds, putting sounds together, and discovering new words. It’s about rhyming and clapping syllables and celebrating language with joy. The program allows time for students to grow and learn at their own pace through exploration, routine, support and guidance.
- General Math
- Numbers and Numeration
- Computation and Estimation
- Data Collection and Analysis
- Identify colors
- Mix primary colors to create secondary colors
- Observe and construct 2-D and 3-D structures
Life Science: Habitats
- Observe and recreate different habitats
- Learn that different habitats support different life systems
Earth Science: Soils, Sun, Air
- Learn about the relationship between one's self and the environment
- Learn about seasons, weather, plant growth, snow & ice
- Learn about the need to care for our environment
Health: Introduction to Human Growth, Development, and Health Learn about the following concepts:
- Individuals differ
- Individuals grow and develop
- Humans need exercise to have a health body
- Humans have emotions
- Schools have basic safety rules
- Body parts have names
- Introduction to the food pyramid
Kindergarteners begin French on the very first day of school. Our emphasis is on oral language, and we discuss all vocabulary in context. Students produce the language as they become more comfortable with our words; we strive for organic output and encourage students to speak when they are comfortable. We cover a wide range of topics including introductions, colors, numbers, animals, transportation, fruits/food, expressing likes and dislikes, and body parts. We listen to videos and songs to hear and practice the language, and use original stories and games in French to capitalize on young children’s need to play and be creative. Français dans la forêt during Forest Fridays allows us to explore language in the environment in new and different ways.
The school counselor, Katie Cormier, visits each kindergarten classroom weekly. We use the Second Step Social Emotional Learning Program to increase students’ school success and decrease problem behaviors by promoting social emotional competence and self-regulation skills. There are four units in the curriculum: skills for learning, empathy, emotion management and friendship skills and problem solving. In addition to Second Step, our amazing local resource, WISE, comes in to conduct Care for Kids lessons, which is a health-based early childhood healthy sexuality and abuse prevention curriculum. Mr. Minelli, MCS’s technology teacher, also comes in to co-teach for two lessons with Katie on internet safety based on common sense media’s digital citizenship program. There are also supplemental lessons focused on kindness, being an upstander (anti-bullying). Puppets, songs, and movement are all used to help practice these skills.
Best practices in education indicate that technology is best incorporated into a student’s education as an embedded “tool” used to support learning in the major curricular fields. This means that tech isn’t something just to “do” for students; rather it is used where appropriate to help students succeed in their other subject areas.
Toward those goals, kindergarten students at MCS regularly use the iPads for various learning opportunities, including as a literacy station in their classroom. This includes several different apps that help with letter formation and vowel sounds. MCS uses the assessment software, Track My Progress, and Kindergarten students are testing in Math and ELA using a computer adaptive test that can help teachers and parents understand the student’s strengths in various areas of these subjects. Kindergarten students also are using Symphony Math to help improve their math concepts and understanding. Along with Katie Cormier, our school counselor, we also use a select group of lessons with Kindergarten students about the topic of safe computer use. These include such areas as computer safety, privacy, and the prevention of Cyberbullying. The lessons come from the highly regarded I.S. site, Common Sense Media.
The main objectives of the library program in Kindergarten are to:
- learn how to take care of library books
- learn how books are organized in the library and why this is important
- learn how to use a shelf marker to put books back where they belong as they are searching for a book to check out
- know there is a difference between fiction and non fiction books and know where these are located within the library
- know where to find general non fiction topics such as pets, dinosaurs, sports, drawing, etc.
- appreciate literature by listening to and discussing stories related to classroom topics, holidays, seasonal, folktales, humorous and other quality literature
The Marion Cross community sings. We sing silly songs and mundane songs, great classics and new “pop” songs with surprisingly profound meanings, songs written by the students and songs in other languages from across the world, and just about everything in between.
MCS students learn all about music in other ways, too. They listen to it, talk about it, write about it, move to it, and dance to it. They learn it “by ear,” they read it on the staff, and they write a fair bit of it on their own, too. They learn to play instruments in the school’s chamber orchestra, band, and electives.
Music in Kindergarten
The students and I spend most of our music time learning new songs, exploring their budding voices, dancing, and playing circle games set to music. They learn to sing, but they also to express themselves in music and be part of a musical community. Along the way they learn to read a few basic rhythm patterns, too.
Kindergarten students start the week with a joyous Sing-Along held by our multi-talented principal, Mr. Bill.
I am thrilled to be able to join the kindergarten students every Forest Friday to sing songs in our beautiful nature area. We sing about the things we see each Forest Friday, the things we are thankful for, and about being together.
The main objective of the physical education program for Kindergarten students is to create an interesting and welcoming environment of physical activities that each student will be eager to participate in. Students are introduced to and given time to explore the following: manipulatives (hoops, different types of balls, jump ropes, small stilts), spatial and body awareness (tag games, small group or partner activities), locomotor activities (running, skipping, galloping, etc.), non-locomotor activities (jumping, rolling, balancing), social skills/sportsmanship (sharing, taking turns, cooperation, going out with no complaints, respecting equipment ), simple fitness, and wellness.