The Kinderclass student shares the ‘magical thinking’ of the Small Schooler but has developed greater facility with language and has begun to engage in more complex thought. They are concrete thinkers who learn best through personal experience, active exploration of materials, and storytelling. Although still egocentric in nature, Kinderclass students are characteristically enthusiastic and eager to please. Children are now able to work on a task or sit at Circle for a lengthier period of time but require a good deal of physical activity and outdoor play throughout the day. Kinderclass students begin the exciting work of writing their own stories, listening to chapter books and reading simple books, solving addition and subtraction problems with manipulatives, and learning about the helpers in the community.
School Day: 8:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. with the option of Extended Day through 5:10 p.m.
Speaking and listening; engaging in dramatic play; listening to stories, poems, chapter books; learning concepts about print; studying alphabet forms and sounds, beginning writing; early reading activities; communicating honestly and respectfully; developing Spanish vocabulary
Engaging stories, poems, rhymes, and songs are woven throughout the Kinderclass day. The year begins with a study of the alphabet, in which letters are introduced through stories and activities illustrating letters and their sounds. Children apply their growing knowledge of sound-symbol relationships to write their own stories. Teachers actively utilize the social dynamic of the classroom to develop each individual’s ability to express his/her thoughts, feelings, and needs respectfully and effectively. The very social Kinderclass student is guided in the use of honest and respectful dialogue and the practice of peer negotiation. In weekly Spanish, children continue to build vocabulary through games, songs and stories.
Guided Reading - Guided Reading happens weekly for children Kinderclass through the primary grades. This small group work allows children to read slightly above their “just right” reading level in a supportive group setting. Reading groups meet with the teacher and read texts that are matched with the students’ reading levels. The teacher demonstrates reading strategies and children then practice with teacher guidance.
Reading Support - When students are not meeting the literacy benchmarks that they developmentally could meet, the Head Teacher makes a referral to the Reading Support Teacher. Our Reading Support Teacher is trained in the Institute for Multi-Sensory Institution Orton Gillingham Reading Approach. The Reading Support Teacher meets frequently with students either one-on-one or in small groups using an explicit, sequential, systematic, and multi-sensory approach used to teach literacy. The support program breaks reading and writing into smaller skills involving letters and sounds, then builds on these skills over time. The Teacher will also meet with children for reading fluency and writing support as needed.
Counting; sorting, ordering, matching, comparing estimating; graphing; identifying and creating patterns; making sets; working with whole numbers 1-12; exploring arithmetical operations through story; adding and subtracting using manipulatives; numeral writing, representing and recording number and quantity; exploring size/shape/length/weight/volume
Through discussions, activities, stories, and games, Kinderclass students continue to develop ‘number sense’ and begin to work with basic arithmetical concepts. Children work to develop effective counting principles by counting real objects before applying counting skills to the less concrete. They begin to explore ways to represent mathematical thinking on paper using numerals, symbols, pictorial graphs, and diagramming. Through story and activity, children are introduced to arithmetic operations and their related symbols. They work with solving and recording addition and subtraction problems presented in number stories and games using manipulatives. In conjunction with math studies, art and craft projects provide diverse opportunities to identify and generate patterns, and explore color, shape and measurement.
Social Studies and Science
Learning about life long ago in relation to now -- exploring world of Wampanoag with pertinent projects, writing tasks, field trips and end-of-year presentation; exploring family life and ways to meet basic human needs; developing awareness of the calendar; recording the weather; pictorial mapping; gardening; insects and helpful and harmful creatures of the garden; observing the weather; composting and recycling
The interdisciplinary study of the Wampanoag, the Native American tribe native to Nantucket, provides a rich framework for the Kinderclass school year. Children welcome the wisdom and stories of the Wampanoag, a people who revered the Earth and lived in harmony with the natural world. Through legends, accounts, stories, and field trips, Kinder students learn how these families worked and played and met our common basic human needs. Diverse projects, including stitching moccasins, carving arrowheads, and planting a ‘Three Sisters Garden,’ provide children with hands-on experience and enrich their studies.
Art/Craft/Handwork and Music
Drawing; painting, printing; constructing; working with clay; stitching, weaving; finger knitting; carving; beading, felting, creating collage; singing with finger-plays and movement activities, finger-plays and movement activities; exploring rhythm, volume and tone; making and playing simple instruments
Art is a primary means of expression for the young child. Creating art and crafting with the hands develops fine motor skills, exercises the imagination, and fosters creative thinking skills. Thus, art is integrated throughout the Lighthouse curriculum. Children engage in study related projects which often involve multi-step processes and a variety of mediums and techniques.
In Kinder music class, the students already have some musical skills learned in Small School. Students learn more songs from the American folk canon as well as songs from around the world. Musical games begin to reinforce students’ abilities to feel and create a musical pulse or beat. With early instrument study, students learn about rest position (instrument sits on the floor silently), ready position (holding your instrument but not making sound) and play position. Students work with xylophones, woodblocks, and rhythm sticks to accompany our songs and rhymes.
Nature hikes; playing indoors and out; exercising gross motor skills through running, jumping, hopping, climbing, balancing; developing fine motor skills through craft work, painting and drawing activities