Kindergarten

An effective kindergarten program is broad enough in scope to accommodate the varying ranges in rate, timing and learning development that exist in young children. These needs center upon the whole child—mentally, physically, emotionally, socially and spiritually! Our kindergarten program is planned by teachers who know about the ways young children learn best. These are natural ways for children to use their capacities, to grow and to learn many skills. The St. Vincent de Paul kindergarten program captures this natural process through planned opportunities in these areas: 

 

Spiritual Development

The kindergarten year is a wonderful time for teachers to support families in developing the Catholic identity of their children. It is a time to celebrate simple rituals and the traditions of the Church. Kindergarten is a time to introduce the children to a beginning faith vocabulary and provide a readiness for future catechesis in the faith of the Catholic Church. Religious growth will include:

  • A natural sense of wonder and awe that will foster a sensitivity to the sacred
  • Forming an image of God
  • Experiencing God’s love through parents and teachers and clergy
  • Prayer that comes naturally and an enjoyment of ceremony, liturgy, and ritual
  • Becoming comfortable with formal and spontaneous prayer
  • Interpreting Bible stories and other stories literally 

 

Language and Literacy Development

Language development involves speaking, listening, writing and reading. Young children are excellent language learners. They have learned to communicate comfortably with others and are already very aware of written language.

During the kindergarten year, students experience the enjoyment of reading while they learn the foundational strategies and skills that will enable them to read independently. Students learn these enabling skills of phonemic awareness, letter names, sound-letter correspondences, decoding skills, high frequency vocabulary, and comprehension skills as they listen and respond to a variety of texts.

They enjoy listening to stories, relating characters and events to their own life experiences, dramatizing stories, and responding to stories through art and writing activities. They can extend their oral language skills when given opportunities to express themselves, and they can learn how language is recorded to convey experiences and ideas as they observe their experiences and ideas being written. Kindergarten students will engage in word play, listen and respond to children’s literature, and build reading and writing concepts, skills, and strategies. In our kindergarten program, children have the opportunity to:

  • Listen to and join in the reading of stories, songs, poems
  • Respond to stories through discussion, drama, art, music and movement
  • Work on projects collaboratively with other children
  • Explore sounds, letters, words, etc.
  • Experiment with writing by drawing, copying, manipulating magnetic letters
  • Browse through self-selected books and magazines.
  • Dictate stories
  • Read stories

 

Mathematical and Scientific Development

The five-year old child acquires an understanding of mathematics and science through repeated experiences using concrete, manipulative material. The use of dittos and workbooks is limited, as these often result in only superficial gains which mask deficiencies of understanding. Scientific and mathematical development occurs when children have opportunities to:

  • Sort and classify
  • Count
  • Match
  • Measure
  • Solve problems of interest to the child
  • Recognize numerals
  • Become aware of time intervals and spatial relationships
  • Develop number concepts
  • Explore, question, observe, predict, discuss the world around him (living things, color, shape, size, texture, etc.)

 

Physical Development

The physical development and well-being of each child is very important to his overall growth and development. The kindergarten teacher recognizes that the young child is still developing his physical stature as well as attitudes toward good health. The program allows opportunities for each child to:

  • Develop muscular control and coordination
  • Develop a sense of rhythm
  • Find acceptable outlets for tensions and emotions
  • Learn to care for his body and value physical health
  • Learn and practice rules of safety
  • Find enjoyment in participating in physical activities

 

Social and Emotional Development

Learning is an extricable part of the concept of self. No learning occurs that does not involve feelings, and what is learned affects a child’s concept of self. It is the role of our teachers to provide a climate in which democratic living is practiced, and one that is happy, realistic, interesting and friendly where each child can:

  • Learn from the group
  • Share and take turns
  • Practice politeness and thoughtfulness and respect

 

Creative Expression

The kindergarten child needs many ways to express personal thoughts and feelings. As verbal expression develops so must expression through art, music, dance/movement, creative dramatics and literature. The children will have opportunities to:

  • Explore body movement through music
  • Use their voices in singing
  • Explore different art media—paint, clay, crayons, etc.
  • Express themselves creatively
  • Learn about famous artists
  • Understand the world about them through creative dramatics; role play, puppets.

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