Kindergarten

Welcome to Kindergarten! I am looking forward to a fantastic year and we have so many great things planned for our students!  Keith Country Day School Kindergarten curriculum is aligned with the Common Core Standards.  You will see students master concepts while using critical thinking skills in all areas of learning.

Kinder Schedule (click at left to view)

Language Arts

The kindergarten curriculum delivers instruction using the Daily 5. The Daily 5 allows students to work on five areas of learning during the language arts block.  Each day, we have 90 minutes dedicated to reading workshop.  During this time, everyone is expected to engage in all five areas, which include: Read to self, Read to Someone, Listening to Reading, Word Work, and Work on Writing.  Read to self is generally done as a whole group after we have had our focus lesson of the day.  During our focus lesson, a new CAFE (Comprehension, Accuracy, Fluency, Expanded vocabulary) strategy is taught.  I model the strategy using a variety of literature, emphasizing language expected to be used with each strategy. We engage in whole group discussions, partner turn and teach, and small group sessions. Our goals for read to self are to increase our stamina and activate several different CAFE strategies as we read.  Read to someone is a great tool to encourage discussion about what we are reading.  Students are taught one way to read to someone each week and we practice every day.  The ways to read to someone are EEKK(elbow elbow knee knee), Choral reading, You read to me, I read to you, read the same book, read a different book, and check for understanding. After each way is taught and modeled successfully, students are invited to choose which way to read with their partners.  Listen to reading is done at our computer station or listening center.  Students are expected to be listening and tracking their reading the entire time of the rotation.  Word work is designed to offer choices to students.  We have a shelf dedicated to word work in our room.  Every time I teach a new word work activity, it is added to our shelf.  Students get to select which activity they would like to work on and are responsible for their learning. This time is used for building words, practicing sight words and word families of the week, and developing phonemic awareness skills independently.  Working on writing is the last component of the Daily 5.  Again, different writing choices are slowly introduced and added to our writing center.  Here, students can practice writing letters, creating stories, work on a journal entry, make a postcard, or use dry erase boards to practice letter formation or illustrations using labels.  It is critical to offer choices as we have a wide variety of ability and learning styles within our classroom community.  Every day, children are put into groups and we go through these five rotations, selecting the activity they want to work on.  Please visit TheTwoSisters.com website for more information on the Daily 5 and CAFE.  They have weekly newsletters you can have emailed to you with great resources!

Math

Keith Country Day School uses the EnVision math series.  Kindergarten has 16 topics of the year, paced in a way to allow flexibility in the classroom, based on needs.  We use manipulative tools every day, Smartboard lessons and activities, and art projects to learn new concepts.  Every topic is introduced with a learning video that engages the students and prepares them for what we will be focusing on.  Each new topic also comes with a topic story, which is a great language arts connection and tool to introduce the new vocabulary.  These are highly interactive and encourage critical thinking.  Kindergarten works on concepts such as numbers 0-5, 6-10, teen numbers, and numbers through 100 in the first quarter.  We move into addition and subtraction, decomposing numbers to 10 and then decomposing teen numbers.  We also cover measurement, sorting, classifying, and categorizing data, shapes, positional words, money and telling time.  Our year wraps up with Step Up to grade 1 lessons to prepare the students for the next level.  Every night, math assignments are sent home based on performance in class and level of need.  Assignments cover concepts learned that day as well as review what has been learned throughout the topic.  Each topic ends with a topic test.

Social Studies

Keith Country Day School strives to develop and foster a sense of community.  Through our kindergarten curriculum, students will learn what a community is, how it works, and who is in a community.  Unit 1 How Can we Learn to Get Along? is covered during the first quarter of school.  Students will learn how citizenship helps contribute to a safe and orderly community.  They will practice rules and demonstrate helpful behaviors modeled by community and national leaders.  This unit is designed as an introduction to being a productive and positive member of a classroom community.  Unit 2/Quarter 2 will focus on Community, Jobs, and Choice: An Introduction to Economics.  Students will build on their knowledge of when and where people live to help understand how to live.  Students will identify jobs that are performed within their community and how different jobs provide goods and services people need.  Students will also learn how to distinguish between needs and wants and will practice making choices and thinking of the results/consequences of those choices.  Unit 3 focuses on Where in the World Are We?  Quarter three will have students beginning to explore the concept of where. We will learn key words associated with location and use maps and globes to begin to understand how our Earth looks and where we fit in this great big world.  We will learn our address, phone number, and talk about the city and state we live in.  Our mentor text for this unit is called Me on the Map.  Our last unit of study focuses on history.  Students will learn to distinguish the past from the present and recognize when people lived.  Students will learn about famous Americans and important holidays throughout the year, but will build their understanding of past, present and change during this unit of study.  Each unit will have a performance task that will be completed both inside and outside of class.  These will be used as assessments to demonstrate what was learned during each unit of study.

Science

Kindergarten science is highly observational and investigative.  The students will begin their study of trees and what is made from trees that we use every day.  Students will explore a variety of materials and classify objects based on properties.  Kindergarten will also study the life cycle and parts of a tree, how a tree is beneficial to the Earth and how to take care of our trees.  After the tree unit is complete, students will learn about living organisms, primarily water life and insects.  Students will again classify and sort a variety of living plant and water life based on various characteristics.  Journal entries will be used regularly to record observations and thought processes.  We are very fortunate to have the Atwood Outdoor Education staff here with us to foster the science curriculum inside and outside of our classroom!

I hope you navigate to this page often as I will post important updates and reminders every week!

Stephanie Johnson

Kindergarten
B.S. in Family and Child Studies from Northern Illinois University
M.A.T. in Elementary Education from National Louis University — Wheeling

Stephanie Johnson is entering her second year. Stephanie grew up in Illinois and started her educational career at Jefferson Elementary before joining the Learning Tree in Huntley, IL as a preschool teacher. She is an expert in developing thematic units for young students and believes in a hands-on learning style through the use of manipulative and sensory exploration. She has a B.S. in Family and Child Studies from Northern Illinois University and a M.A.T. in Elementary Education from National Louis University.

Email: stephanie.johnson@keithschool.net