||Kindergarten Instructional Guide
is intended to outline the academic goals for the
Kindergarten, identify some of the primary resources
that are used to instruct your child, the duration
and frequency of instruction, and the outcomes that
are targeted to be developed by the end of the year.
We recognize that students learn at different paces
and occasionally in developmental “spurts”.
With this in mind we focus on each child’s individual
progress. This progress is monitored through periodic
skills assessments, teacher observations and classroom
assessments (an inventory of these assessments is
available if you are interested). Instruction is regularly
augmented by the classroom teacher, differentiation
teachers and, if necessary Special Education teachers,
for students that would benefit from additional instruction.
We hope that this document adequately introduces you
to what you can expect over the next 10 months, but
does not replace the opportunity to discuss with you
directly the specific questions you might have in
greater detail and specificity.
Kindergarten uses the Everyday Math
program, which places emphasis on frequent practice
of basic skills through ongoing routines, such as
attendance graphing and calendar, and through mathematical
games. We revisit topics regularly to make sure concepts
keep developing and to enforce long-term skill retention.
Our goals for Kindergarten are based upon national
performance standards or “Focal Points”
as defined by the National Council of Teachers of
Our goal is that students exit kindergarten
with very basic understanding of
Numbers and Numeration: We count
daily; estimate, represent, and compare numbers;
and read and write numbers.
Operations and Computation: We explore
the meaning of addition and subtraction. We develop
and use concrete strategies to solve addition and
Data and Chance: We collect and
organize data, such as our birthday months, and
learn about bar graphs, tables, and tallying. We
also explore basic probability concepts.
Measurement and Reference Frame:
We use nonstandard tools to estimate and compare
weight and length. We learn to identify pennies,
nickels, dimes, quarters, and the dollar bill. We
explore temperature and thermometers. We use calendars
and other tools to track or measure time.
Geometry: We explore two- and three-dimensional
shapes and line symmetry.
Patterns, Functions, and Algebra:
We explore visual, rhythmic, and movement patterns.
We use rules to sort by attributes such as color
or shape, to make patterns, and to play games. We
learn about the +, - and = symbols.
Problem solving: By drawing pictures,
using manipulatives, finding a pattern.
The four components
of Language Arts—reading, spelling, grammar,
and writing—are instructed, practiced, and developed
through daily activities in Kindergarten. Instruction
is delivered explicitly and through the integration
of language skills in other academic areas. The following
concepts are goals of the curriculum:
The kindergarten uses the Wilson
Fundations Program, supported with a rich selection
of children’s literature, to teach word
awareness, syllable awareness, and phoneme awareness
(isolating sounds, identifying sounds, categorizing
sounds, blending sounds, segmenting sounds and
manipulating sounds.) Instruction takes place
in large and small groups and individually.
Our goal is that students exiting
kindergarten have the ability to
- identify upper- and lowercase letters
- know the sounds the letters make
- read and spell some words containing up to
Teaching of comprehension strategies and skills
is ongoing through read-alouds and, beginning
in the winter, guided reading groups. Reading
is an important topic in Kindergarten and is a
constant throughout the year. We work on developing
- group sharing and listening skills
- peer communication techniques
- independent problem-solving strategies
- self-help skills
- responsibility for one’s own actions,
space, and materialsrespect for individual differences
Free play, or Choice, is an extremely important
part of Kindergarten, during which students practice
the above mentioned skills through dramatic play,
Legos, building blocks, games, books, or various
art mediums such as paint or Play dough. Students
begin each day with 30–40 minutes of Choice.
Also important in kindergarten
is learning proper letter formation of upper-
and lowercase letters and appropriate pencil grasp.
We use Wilson’s Fundations program for this.
We also use the Write from the Beginning program,
which progresses through the year as follows:
- drawing pictures and associating random letters
representing words with the pictures
- writing random and initial consonants of
words to complete the drawing, which evolves
to using only initial consonants
- writing initial and final sounds, vowel sounds,
all syllables represented, and eventually multiple
related sentences with many words spelled correctly
This last stage does not always
happen in kindergarten, but our goal is to have
at least one sentence, written with inventive
spelling and some frequently used words spelled
correctly (“trick” or “sight”
words), to complete a student’s writing
activity. Students have a choice at writing time
of creating a journal entry or working on a “mini
book.” This choice often helps to motivate
children in learning to write.
Most Kindergarteners love to talk and share, and
from the beginning are encouraged to share about
their families through photographs and dialogue.
Monday mornings start with a “weekend whip”
in which we tell one thing about our weekend.
Five- and six-year-olds are learning the etiquette
of classroom speaking: when it is an appropriate
time to contribute their own ideas and the difference
between asking a question and making a comment.
In kindergarten science, our goals are for students
to observe, predict, make connections, and record
and analyze data. We have three units of study and
we use Delta Science Curriculum.
Life Cycles. We begin the year
by watching Monarch caterpillars transform to chrysalises
and later see the butterflies emerge. In the spring,
we study the lifecycles of various animals, from
frogs to cows, and often visit a local pond or farm.
From Seed to Plant. We collect
items that we think may be seeds and do some planting
in a tiny classroom garden. We also plant specific
seeds and track the growth of the seedling, learning
the life cycle of that plant.
Investigating Water. During
our final weeks of school, we enjoy exploring water.
We see what happens when we try to divide a water
droplet, learn about absorption by hanging colored
paper in a cup of water, and observe what happens
when a cup of water is left out over time.
Through a partnership with the
Monshire Museum Kindergarten will be participating
in the newest Lyme School Initiative, our Inquiry
Based Science program. Students will work with
Museum Scientists/Educators & their classroom
teacher to cultivate their instinctive curiosity
for discovery by encouraging students to formulate
questions and conclusions based upon personal
observation, analysis and interpretation.
Students are exposed to a variety of topics, which
Families and personal history
Holidays: New Year in America
Mapping: types of maps and their