New School Preparatory Kindergarten
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Kindergarten

Kindergarten at New School Preparatory is a rigorous academic program which includes reading instruction, journal writing, mathematics, science, social studies, and Spanish. In addition, students have music, dance, physical education, and structured computer classes.

In a healthy social and emotional environment, children feel safe to risk as they learn. Students' individual needs are recognized and this allows them to become strong and independent learners.

Language Arts

A competent reader is one who has mastery of phonics and can read for meaning. Phonics instruction at Kindergarten depends on the child's level. Some children need to consolidate their sound-letter associations. Others, who are competent readers, need the challenge of higher level reading and comprehension activities. Our approach allows us to meet the intellectual needs of each child.

At all levels of instruction the goal is reading for meaning. Main idea is stressed as children explore stories read for character and plot. Author study includes the works of writers such as Rudyard Kipling and A. A. Milne.

Poetry is explored for the beauty of sounds and meaning conveyed with different images, structure, and style.

Writing
Journal writing occurs daily and focuses on writing as an extension of speech. Communication through writing allows children to develop vocabulary and to think about what words they need to use to convey ideas and feelings.

Spanish
The increasingly bilingual nature of the United States and our pluralistic society mean that it is more important than ever for today's students to speak a second language.
All New School Preparatory students receive daily Spanish instruction from a second language specialist as part of the school's standard curricula. The curriculum follows the philosophy and standards of the American Council of Teachers of Foreign Language. [Click to see standards]

The Arts
The arts are an integral part of the New School Preparatory curriculum. Each week there are two periods of music and one period of dance that focus on drama, song, rhythm, and movement.

Mathematics
The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics guidelines and a problem solving approach to mathematics form the basis of the mathematics program at New School.

Conceptual understanding is critical to a strong mathematics foundation. Concrete materials help the students explore ideas and concepts. Students learn to reason mathematically moving from the concrete to the abstract. They learn how to measure, manipulate data, and graph to present information.
Math learning is progressive. Students should fully understand one step before they progress to the next. Math drills are emphasized to ensure mastery, while problem solving encourages students to use math to solve real-world problems.
At New School, each student works at his/her own pace. This allows advanced students to learn concepts and skills beyond grade level placement.

Mathematics Guidelines for Kindergarten

Number and Operations

  • Count with understanding and recognize “how many” in sets of objects
  • Develop understanding of the relative position and magnitude of whole numbers and of ordinal and cardinal numbers and their connections
  • Connect number words and numerals to the quantities they represent, using various physical models and representations

Algebra

  • Sort, classify, and order objects by size, number, and other properties
  • Analyze how both repeating and growing patterns are generated
  • Use concrete, pictorial, and verbal representations to develop an understanding of invented and conventional symbolic notations
  • Describe qualitative change, such as a student’s growing taller

Geometry

  • Recognize, name, build, draw, compare, and sort two- and three-dimensional shapes (naming of three-dimensional shapes occurs in Grade 5 Curriculum Focal Points)
  • Describe attributes and parts of two- and three-dimensional shapes
  • Describe, name, and interpret relative positions in space and apply ideas about relative position
  • Describe, name, and interpret direction and distance in navigating space and apply ideas about direction and distance
  • Find and name locations with simple relationships such as “near to” and in coordinate systems such as maps (this use of coordinate systems is not identified as a focal point or connection)
  • Create mental images of geometric shapes using spatial memory and spatial visualization
  • Recognize geometric shapes and structures in the environment and specify their location

Measurement

  • Recognize the attributes of length, volume, weight, area, and time (time is not identified as a focal point or connection)
  • Compare and order objects according to these attributes

Data Analysis and Probability

  • Pose questions and gather data about themselves and their surroundings
  • Sort and classify objects according to their attributes and organize data about the objects
  • Describe parts of the data and the set of data as a whole to determine what the data show

Science
Science has an integral relationship with mathematics. Both stress logic, conceptual thinking, and problem-solving. Science skills build on students' curiosity and intuition. Students learn to observe, make predictions, and work with variables as they formulate and test hypotheses.

The science program at New School Preparatory is inquiry based and follows the standards and position statement of the National Science Teachers Association (www.nsta.org) and the National Science Education Standards as abstracted [here].

At New School the science program provides opportunities for students to develop understandings and skills necessary to function productively as problem solvers in a scientific and technological world. First hand exploration and investigation and inquiry/process skills are nurtured.

Social Studies
The social studies curriculum is designed to help develop the children's understanding of themselves as individuals, as members of various groups within society, and as members of a global community. The curriculum helps students develop an appreciation for diversity and enables them to acquire the cultural fluency necessary for successfully engaging within the larger world.

The curriculum is based on the ten thematic strands that form the basis of the social studies standards of the National Council of Social Studies (NCSS) described [here].

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