The Kindergarten Experience
Celebrating the curiosity of the youngest learners in Lower School.
Early literacy experiences are designed so that children fall in love with stories and language, while building confidence in their own communication skills. The literacy curriculum is a comprehensive approach to language including many strategies for phonics, reading, writing, and auditory language skills. Through a multisensory approach to phonics, students are taught letter sound correspondence and how to blend sounds to form words. The literature component addresses multiple levels of development from emerging to independent readers. Students build vocabulary and print awareness through exposure to rich children’s literature. Students increase vocabulary to enhance comprehension. Additionally, they begin to see themselves as authors and engage in a variety of writing opportunities. Kindergarteners are guided towards developing independent work habits and time management skills in preparation for securing a strong foundation for becoming a lifelong learner.
Our Kindergarten students begin each day with real-world, relevant math experiences from counting classmates to discovering patterns in time, money, and data collection. A major focal point of the Kindergarten mathematics curriculum incorporates counting, comparing, and ordering numbers 1-100, using movement, speech, and manipulatives. Students practice reasoning with numbers and moving flexibly between numbers as they ask questions and encounter big ideas in mathematics, developing their problem solving, reasoning, and proof skills.Through number talks, investigations, and calendar time, students develop a strong number sense, use authentic math vocabulary to explain their thinking, and develop perseverance in challenging problems. Students compare objects by measurable data through the contexts of time, money, geometry, graphing, and problem solving. Our young mathematicians use their creative thinking and solution seeking skills to explore, understand and communicate in-depth mathematical concepts.
Science and Engineering
Through observation and discovery work, kindergarteners use their five senses to identify patterns in the natural world, record and communicate their observations, and engage in scientific discovery. They begin with an inquiry-based approach to science as they explore who they are and the world around them. Our young scientists carry sketch notebooks and present weather reports in front of a green screen. They learn about healthy choices in their lives and why it’s important to eat healthy food. The skills of an ethical decision-maker are intentionally taught at the beginning of the year, giving a foundation to the other Mount Vernon mindsets. Science exploration is often integrated with math, maker, and the arts, empowering children to be true innovators.
Students’ sense of self is shaped by experiences that are unique to each one as well as common to our community. They explore past, present and future points in time. They read and design maps as representations of place. Finally, they identify basic needs and distinguish between needs and wants. Kindergarten students have their own responsibilities within our classroom and school; they experience how to work collaboratively as part of a community. They also participate in local service learning to make an impact in their own city.
Kindergarten students also participate in Science Lab, Maker Design and Engineering, Performing Arts, Visual Arts, Spanish, Media, and Christian Education, as part of their 5-week Connector rotation. They also participate in Physical Education and recess daily.
Expeditionary Learning Experiences
The Atlanta Zoo
Center for Puppetry Arts
The High Museum
Children’s Museum of Atlanta