K English/Language Arts
In Kindergarten, students develop a foundation in reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Core resources in our language arts programs are the Heggerty phonemic awareness program and phonics program, Orton-Gillingham multisensory Reading and Spelling programs, Targeted Reading Intervention for students who need additional support, Heidi Butkus phonics program, and Handwriting Without Tears.
Reading instruction is multi-sensory and begins with phonemic awareness (manipulating sounds), letter recognition, and word study work (decoding and spelling words). Kindergarten students read in one-on-one, small-group, and whole-group settings while learning strategies that include decoding, stretching out words, and beginning comprehension skills. Instruction is differentiated for each individual student to meet their learning needs.
Writing instruction begins with developing and strengthening fine motor skills and teaching correct letter formation. Kindergarten students are taught to write phonetically through the use of journal-of-the-day prompts and the Step Up to Writing program, which uses outlines to learn how to write a 5-8 sentence paragraph on a given topic. Through small group and whole group instruction, writing time provides emerging readers and writers opportunities for creativity, one-on-one instruction, and individual assessment.
Handwriting: We use the Handwriting Without Tears curriculum, a research-supported, developmentally appropriate, multisensory approach to handwriting instruction. The focus is consistent letter formation to build a foundation where students can concentrate on expressing thought instead of letter formation. To reach this goal, we focus on lessons and activities that have a visual, auditory, and kinesthetic component that links the eyes, hands, and brain together to establish consistent and comfortable letter formation.
Listening and speaking skills are a focus of development throughout the year. Kindergartners learn to interact in structured and impromptu discussions, present their work in front of their peers, and speak into a microphone in front of assembly to share their New Year’s resolutions.