The Incredible Journey Starts This Fall for Four-Year-Olds!

The Incredible Journey Starts This Fall for Four-Year-Olds!
Posted on 03/08/2021
This is the image for the news article titled The Incredible Journey Starts This Fall for Four-Year-Olds!Every day, our District focuses on equity through deeper learning, fosters a sense of belonging, and educates the whole child so that every learner achieves success.  For four-year olds, the incredible journey starts this fall!

“Our four-year-old kindergarten program consists of five important curricular areas. The primary focus will be on social and emotional growth which will be interwoven throughout all curriculum areas,” explains Leadership for Learning Director, Deidre Roemer. “Our program helps our littlest learners begin development in language arts, mathematics, fine motor skills, large motor skills and work habits. Each area is addressed through daily learning experiences which integrate science, social studies, art, music and health activities.”

Social-Emotional Growth
Each day, learners work on developing social and emotional skills through interactions with peers and adults. “We focus on skills such as sharing, taking turns, cooperation, collaboration, and developing self-regulation skills,” said Roemer. “Interactions and activities are centered around assisting children in developing positive self-esteem and the desire to learn.”

Language Arts Development
Language arts is at the center of the four-year-old kindergarten curriculum and classrooms provide a language-rich environment that invites students to explore and appreciate letters, words and books. “Our students are engaged in a variety of literacy activities throughout the school day.  They’re listening to and looking at text -- noticing print in the environment, reciting rhymes, singing songs, and responding to a book or a poem,” explains Roemer. “Learners begin naming letters and letter sounds and through activities learn that reading and writing are useful and meaningful ways to communicate.”

Mathematics Development
Mathematics concepts are taught throughout the day using real world applications and children participate in calendar routines, as well as graphing and counting activities. “Our focus for developing mathematics includes: identifying basic shapes, identifying numbers 0-10, understanding one-to-one correspondence, rote counting to 30, recognizing patterns and writing numbers 0-10, creating a number sense and understanding patterns,” adds Roemer.

Fine Motor & Large Motor Development
Activities such as cutting, using pencils and crayons, building with blocks and assembling puzzles are used to help develop small muscle skills.  A variety of small manipulatives are available throughout the classroom for the children to explore and use.  Activities such as running, skipping, hopping, jumping, balancing and throwing are part of large muscle development. Children practice these skills in the large group area, gym and outdoors (weather permitting).

Work Habits
Teaching positive work habits is an important component in a child’s learning. Teachers help learners develop positive work habits such as being empathetic to one another, following directions, problem solving through a task, and have a growth mindset.  “Littles” begin learning, creating, and problem-solving. They learn to work with others and make friends through group activities and cooperative play.

“Four-year old kindergarten is such an important step for young children.  Research shows it improves children’s health and well-being, helps develop strong social skills and encourages a love of learning. Children who go to a four-year old kindergarten program are more independent and confident and are more likely to make a smooth transition to elementary school. The journey starts now - and that is so exciting!” adds Roemer.