At St. Madeleine Sophie School, we adhere to all learning standards when educating our students. Each content area follows a curriculum based on those standards and is enhanced by the SMS community. Below is a quick look at the content studied by Kindergarten students and some of the resources that will be used to help your child succeed in those areas. Students address all learning standards in large group lessons, small groups, and one-on-one instruction throughout the day. Kindergarten students become more independent as the year moves on and as confidence builds more peer to peer learning also occurs in the classroom.
English Language Arts
St. Madeleine Sophie School uses the Scott Foresman Reading Street series in all grades therefore allowing each grade level to build upon what was started the year before. At the Kindergarten level, we use certain aspects of this program along with supplemental materials to guide your child’s literacy experience. Children are exposed to print each day and in a variety of ways from our morning message to books read aloud. Kindergarten students begin reading books on their own early in the year using Reader’s Workshop model. Writing also occurs each day through daily practice. Children are encouraged to write through Writer’s Workshop and dramatic play. They spend time writing using sound spelling and correct spelling of sight words. Being an attentive listener and a clear speaker is vital for Kindergarten success. Daily practice and craft projects require children to listen and follow directions. Hand in hand with listening is speaking. Kindergarten students must learn to speak in turn and use correct vocabulary. They share about what they read and write during the above mentioned workshop times.
SMS Kindergarten students are following the “Guiding Kinders Math Workshop” program as created by Deanna Jump and DeeDee Wills. These women are renowned kindergarten teachers that have created a hands-on math program that builds on concepts and skills so children can really master them by the end of the year. A big component of Kindergarten math is an understanding of numbers and therefore it becomes an ongoing focus for the year. The program uses a “buddy” method where children work together to play math games and practice concepts.
Kindergarten students at SMS participate in daily prayer along with the RCL Benzinger Stories of God’s Love series. This program is a series of lessons based on Scriptures where children learn about God’s love through stories and activities. As a supplement, we also pay special attention to the seasons of Advent, Christmas, Lent, The Three Days, and Easter. During the month of May, we learn about Mary, which culminates with out May Crowning. Kindergarten children also attend Mass with the school each month.
Science is taught thematically in Kindergarten at SMS, which means scientific concepts are incorporated in to themes that correspond to the time of year. These themes can last for one week or continue through the month. Science skills are based on a series of discoveries. Some of the Kindergarten themes include: Living things vs. Nonliving things, the five senses, weather, health and safety, the environment, force and motion, and the life cycles of different living things, including plants and insects.
Like Science, Social Studies is also taught thematically and integrated along with other subjects. National holidays, economics (needs vs. wants), and American Symbols are the main units taught in Kindergarten social studies. We also learn about maps and how to read them. The focus in Kindergarten is on helping students to develop an awareness of themselves. The children are central to social studies learning with social interaction as a vital part of the program.
Kindergarten students have many opportunities to branch out from the regular content areas. They participate in Spanish, art, music, and physical education every week. They also visit our library to hear a story and choose a book to borrow. Kindergarten children have time in our technology lab to work on skills.
Opportunities for Kindergarten Students at SMS
* Drama Club
* Movement/Dance Class
* Participation in Science Fair and Social Studies Exhibition
* Advent and Lenten Retreats
* Attend Mass Services with the school
* Participation in school-wide service projects
* Academic Workshops- On three afternoons a week, children are broken up in to small groups and work with teachers and volunteers on topics covered in class with a focus on literacy and math activities.