Active Explorers - 5-6 Year Olds
The Kinderclass student shares the ‘magical thinking’ of the Small Schooler and is happy to ‘play’ school and engage in the social community of the classroom. While children at this age have developed greater facility with language and begin to engage in more complex thought, they are still concrete thinkers who learn best through personal experience, active exploration of materials, and colorful stories. Although still egocentric in nature, 5’s are characteristically enthusiastic and eager to please. They are ready for the longer school day and interested in experimenting with the ‘work’ of school as long as there is ample time to play house, build with blocks, and hunt for crickets. 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. Kinder students begin the exciting work of ‘sounding out’ their own stories, listening to chapter books and puzzling out simple words, solving adding and subtracting problems with manipulatives, and exploring the life of the Wampanoag.
School Day: 8:20 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 about books; studying capital alphabet forms and sounds, beginning creative and expository writing; introductory reading activities; communicating honestly and respectfully; developing Spanish vocabulary
Engaging stories, poems, rhymes and songs are woven into the Kinderclass day. The year begins with a study of the capital alphabet, in which letters are introduced through stories and images illustrating letter forms and sounds. Children apply their growing knowledge of sound/symbol relationships to write their own journal stories. Studies in math, science and social studies provide opportunities to experiment with expository writing. 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 Kinder student is guided in the use of honest and respectful dialogue and the practice of peer negotiation. In Spanish, children continue to build vocabulary through game, song and story.
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. Kinderclass students take part in weekly Music classes and sing together at Circle and All School Meeting.
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