The Pines Preschool Kindergarten has one or two teachers (depending on the size of the class). The class size varies from year to year but is always 16 or fewer students. The children are in class for four hours, beginning at 9:00 a.m. and ending at 1:00 p.m. The children eat lunch at school during this time.
The goal of the Kindergarten at Pines is to teach each child to be a responsible learner at his/her own level in a positive, supportive environment. We provide foundation skills through enrichment and discovery and through student-generated products. We use different grouping styles for instruction, but grouping is variable and random; the children are not ability grouped.
Our Language Arts program is eclectic. We use Lippincott, Beginning to Read, Write and Listen, as the basis for our themes. We spend equal time each day, however, doing “Shared Reading.” During Shared Reading, every day for a week we use one piece of children’s literature that relates to our letter sound.
Activities during Shared Reading may include predicting the story, evaluating pictures, listening for our special letter sound, matching letters or words, finding patterns of language, dramatics, singing songs, comparing and contrasting related stories, or expanding into related science or social studies topics. The children use their emerging phonics skills as well in regular journal writing on a designated topic or a free-choice topic. Weekly, each child has the responsibility for dictating a “news” event of our day for our Daily Doings report.
Our Math Program is based on Mathematics Their Way which allows each child to discover, develop and internalize mathematical principles at his/her own rate, using manipulatives, through both group and independent activities. We enjoy patterning, sorting and classifying, graphing, estimating, counting, comparing, adding and subtracting, story problems, place value, fractions, and money. Math stories, graphs, classifications, etc., usually relate to our letter sound.
Other daily activities include recess, story time, and centers for unstructured activities, including art, blocks, crafts, games and workjobs
Weekly events are gross motor class and music class, Weekly reader, Games Day for group games and science discoveries and experiments. We plan our weekly games based on our Lippincott letter.
We have a busy day, but we have fun!