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Kindergarten

Kindergarten is a time to engage in learning through hands-on activities and explorations while learning how to socially interact with peers through play.

Emphasis is placed on social emotional learning through natural interactions and playing with one another. Teachers help students understand Who’s Wise Words of Kindness, Respect, Responsibility and Safety in action. Students have opportunities to participate in class discussions and lessons by answering and asking questions, demonstrating their learning and teaching others. The school day is broken into blocks of learning time where integration of all subject areas is common. Students may be engaged in a study of tulips by reading books about tulips, planting bulbs in the fall, writing and drawing about the tulips as they grow in our outdoor gardens in the spring, as well as measuring and counting the number of cubes tall their tulip is each time they visit the garden.

two mcs kindergarten students sitting and reading

Students are taught in large and small group direct instruction as well as 1:1. They are encouraged to work with partners playing learning games, reading to one another and listening to each other’s ideas. Students are exposed to daily read-alouds of quality literature, songs, chants and poems. Students learn foundational literacy skills including letter sound correspondence, formation of letters, rhyming, blending and segmenting words, spelling, and reading and writing high frequency sight words to become readers and writers. Students have access to a variety of engaging decodable texts and practice reading these in their individual book boxes. The Illustrative Math lessons focus on counting, comparing groups of objects, connecting quantities to numbers, flat and solid shapes, addition and subtraction, writing number expressions, composing and decomposing numbers to 20 and number writing. Students play math games, explore math concepts with a variety of manipulatives and learn to share their thinking with their peers. The science units of study include learning about weather patterns, pushes and pulls: forces and motion and learning about living things and life cycles such as tulips, garlic, pumpkins, forest plants, trees and animals. Social studies topics include identity of self, family and culture, class rules, school rules, responsibility, needs and wants, winter traditions, maps and mapmaking. Science and social studies lessons are taught using books, videos, hands-on activities, art and field trips. We go to Cedar Circle Farm in the autumn to learn about pumpkin life cycles and The Montshire Museum of Science in the winter to coincide with our forces and motion unit. 

Kindergarten Schedule

Forest Fridays

Every Friday morning all of the Kindergarten classes dress for the seasonal weather and head out to our outdoor classroom just a few minutes walk from our back playground. The Milton Frye Natural Area offers accessible gravel trails for all students to explore and access our shelter and fire circle, as well as a vast forest of coniferous and deciduous trees and a variety of native plants. The focus of this weekly adventure into the forest is on exploring the natural world using the five senses. Nature provides a range of purposeful contexts that the students can become involved in. There are a few vernal pools to explore the properties of water as well as sightings of wildlife such as birds, slugs, insects, squirrels and the evidence wildlife leaves behind such as an eaten pine cone or scat. These resources give students tangible ways of working with and in nature to increase their connection to it. 

kindergarteners around the fire in the forest


The students observe the seasonal changes weekly from their Sit Spots, where they quietly reflect and make observations to share with their small groups. Throughout the morning discussions arise spontaneously as new discoveries are made. Students take ownership of their learning by asking questions and teachers and students learn together. Our Environmental and Experiential Education Coordinator joins us each Friday to further the educational experiences. Each week three nature stations are offered for the students to rotate through. This might be counting pine cones and recording number expressions in their nature journals, creating nature art, snowshoeing on the large network of trails, cooking shared snack over the outdoor fire, drawing and writing in their nature journals, tapping maple trees and collecting sap to be boiled in our sugar house, identifying trees, making fairy houses, exploring pushes and pulls using natural items, mapping our forest area, playing Camouflage or making stick forts. Some investigations might take the whole school year as we explore the changes that occur in nature over time. Our overarching goal for the MCS Forest Friday curriculum is to explore the natural world and encourage the students to be lifelong stewards of nature. We are grateful to live in such a beautiful part of the world with amazing natural resources right behind our school! 

We need three parent volunteers per week in the forest helping out in the stations as well as assisting with our fire. The year ends with a culminating Celebration of Learning focusing on what the students have been studying and learning in the forest and classroom that is directly related to their science and nature discoveries.

Talari Anderson

Kindergarten Teacher

Heidi Freeman

Kindergarten Teacher

Katie Fritschie

Kindergarten Teacher
three staff members outside in winter time

 

MCS Kindergarten Teachers

two kindergartners working on planting flowers
MCS student planting in the garden
Students working at a table
students circled up on the green with a staff member