THE KINDERGARTEN PROGRAM
The Bronxville Kindergarten provides a stimulating, rich environment that integrates the various skill areas of language arts, mathematics, science and social studies with a Kindergarten child’s active curiosity and inclination to explore, experience and discover. Children are natural learners who learn from things that make sense to them. Our Kindergarten incorporates developmentally appropriate learning activities that honor the individual child’s way of thinking. The Kindergarten classroom has a wide variety of materials that are appealing, organized and accessible to the child. Within a secure environment the children learn, work and play while sharing, problem solving, thinking critically and creatively, accepting responsibility and becoming independent. The Kindergarten day is organized to provide children with the opportunity to learn through play, exploration and an introduction to more formal academic concepts. On a daily basis, the children are immersed in activities that help them understand and apply fundamental number and numeration concepts, essential letter/sound identification skills, and reading and writing readiness behaviors. Classroom activities are organized within thematic units of study that are highly engaging and interesting to the Kindergarten child and foster independence and cooperative learning.
The largest block of time during the Kindergarten day is Work Time (or Workshop Time as it is called in some classrooms.)This block of time is organized to provide the children with the opportunity to learn through discovery, application, creative play and curriculum based academic activities. The classroom library is inviting and provides opportunities to browse and apply developing reading behaviors. A home living center provides opportunities for dress-up and spontaneous imaginative play. The block area facilitates cooperative and creative building of structures. The writing area encourages children to take risks and express their thoughts through a variety of authentic writing experiences. Self expression is encouraged and celebrated in every area of the kindergarten classroom whether a child is working on drawing a map, labeling a building or writing an enticing menu. The computer area provides children with the opportunity to use technology to explore a variety of interdisciplinary activities. The children may use their classroom time in the computer center to facilitate letter recognition,vocabulary development, sight word recognition, various math concepts or learn to manipulate various drawing and graphic tools. While the children are working with their various classroom work jobs, the teacher works with individuals and small groups. This may also be a time for supervised art projects, science experiments, story dictation, and other reading, writing and mathematics activities.
A typical day in Kindergarten includes a meeting, work time, a snack, outdoor play and a time to work with one of our specialized teachers—either in the regular classroom or in the art room, library, music room, science room, gymnasium or computer lab. Special area teachers and Kindergarten teachers work together to provide a rich and varied program that enhances classroom instruction. Outdoor play takes place on the playground, located outside the rear door of most of the Kindergarten classrooms. Meeting time is when the class comes together, curriculum is taught, ideas are shared, strategies planned and groups decisions made. It may also be a time for singing and playing group games. It can also be a time for collecting and recording information. It is always a time for the class to experience itself as a unique, cooperative community of learners. Literature is placed high in the order of priorities. Books extend insights, deepen wisdom and enrich the minds and hearts of children. During story time the teacher may read a book, tell a story, or introduce a poem. This is also a time for sharing pictures and stories composed by the children in class. Occasionally older children visit and read books to the Kindergartners.
For more detailed information about the Kindergarten program, please see the pacing guides, as well as the progress report.