The Episcopal Day School Kindergarten provides a nurturing and challenging environment for a child’s first more structured formal learning experience. The program incorporates a range of teaching strategies which is beneficial for addressing a variety of learning modes. These including the use of manipulatives, “hands-on” activities, field trips, and community resources. It is further enriched by including art, computer, PE, library, music and Spanish. Chapel services are held twice each week on Tuesday and Thursday. Parents and grandparents are welcome to attend chapel. A resource program is also available on an individual or small group basis, for extra support, or further enrichment.
When children enter Kindergarten at EDS, they begin by developing necessary skills for reading. They learn the sounds (phonograms), listen for rhyming words, and begin identifying beginning, middle and ending sounds as well as beginning blends. This is accomplished with the use of daily “hands on” activities and centers. While working through our alphabet and phonograms, we introduce pre-reading skills including print concepts such as left to right, and top to bottom, progression, title page, table of contents and the definitions of author and illustrator.
Kindergarten uses a series of fourteen books that are part of its shared reading program. This series is combined with a larger series of books used for guided reading. Guided reading occurs in small groups and allows the teacher to present differentiated activities to meet a child at his or her own level. The students also use take-home readers as homework to practice and put their reading knowledge and skills to good use.
Using “The Modern Manuscript Handwriting” concept, we emphasize proper letter formation and correct spacing for both capital and lowercase letters on lined paper.
Kindergartners will learn to label pictures and write simple sentences. As a class, students are exposed to techniques that will enable them to write sentences and short paragraphs, using correct punctuation. The children use a combination of correct and inventive spelling to complete their work.
The Saxon Math curriculum focuses on the use of “hands-on” activities to introduce new mathematical concepts. These concepts include the naming of geometric and plane shapes, recognizing and extending patterns, counting to 100, basic addition and subtraction, and telling time to the hour. Routine review of skills and concepts, plus oral and written assessments, are integral parts of the program to monitor the progress of each child.
Our science units include caring for the Earth and the life cycle of the Painted Lady butterfly. We also focus on animals and their habitats, as well as weather and the four seasons. Kindergarten introduces magnets, and the materials which magnets will attract or repel. Field trips, guest speakers and related whole group and independent activities enhance each of the topics. In addition, sound health and safety practices (personal, playground, fire, threatening weather and stranger danger) are discussed both formally and informally during the school year.
Our social studies curriculum helps children become aware of themselves, as individuals and as members of a family and larger community. We strive to set good examples for each other and discuss positive role models from both past and present. Golden Gator awards are used to recognize students portraying good citizenship and other random acts of kindness (good deeds that are initiated by the student). Kindergartners, as well as the entire student body, participate in International Day. Activities focus on the traditions, language, culture and foods of a particular country. These activities are planned and carried out by teachers and parent volunteers from the EDS PTA. Another very popular event is Field Day which engages the entire school.
Specials (students have all of these classes once each week)