Kindergarten students begin most days by worshiping the Lord in song, followed by time together clustered on the classroom rug listening to a Bible story. Some days, the rug is abandoned, and students build the walls of Jericho out of blocks, or act out a scene from another familiar Bible story. Other days, the teacher may use God’s word as a tender teaching tool to address social issues in class, or to affirm in each student the beauty and value they possess simply because they are a child of God. Our Bible curriculum covers a range of topics, from Creation and the Patriarchs to Christ’s birth, death and resurrection as well as several of the parables of Jesus.
In kindergarten, the language arts encompass a wide range of activities that make serious learning fun! Emphasis is placed on encoding and decoding 54 phonograms, and then using this knowledge to both read and write simple words. Alliterative play is added as students encounter sounds and words in poetry, songs and classical literature. Simple sentences are constructed, and by the end of Kindergarten, students are well on their way to a solid base in reading and writing. Woven into the language arts program are thematic units including: Caldecott Winners, Dr. Seuss Day, Beatrix Potter, Fairy Tales, friendship stories and seasonal favorites.
Math is an area where the merging of classical understanding of child development and content retention really shines. As proverbial sponges, kindergarten students are capable of memorizing and absorbing a lot of concrete math information. While this may conjure up images of dry drill and practice, the opposite is quite true. Kindergarten students jump, sing, and even “rap” their way to the memorization of foundational math concepts. Whenever possible, games are played and hands-on lessons are crafted so that math time is informative and fun. Some of the more pertinent math concepts covered in Kindergarten are: odd and even numbers, ordinal numbers, basic addition facts, adding two-digit numbers without regrouping, and exploring money as well as geometrical patterns and shapes.
Students learn general concepts about the continents and the oceans as well as basic land forms. Units on Native Americans and U.S. presidents are also covered. United States’ symbols such as the liberty bell, the bald eagle, and more, help to create a growing understanding that these young ones are part of a great nation. Skits, plays, stories, crafts, and songs weave throughout all the history and geography units, and parents are often eager audience members for creative presentations.
Science is a favorite among the Kindergarten students. Whether it’s a class field trip to the Life and Science museum, students and volunteers working in our on-site lower school garden, or a guest speaker coming to the classroom, we seek to instill an early love for the joy of science. In Kindergarten, students study plants and animals. Teachers take advantage of our beautiful campus to introduce all kinds of nature study: indigenous tree identification, local song birds, native flowers and common pond dwellers.
While the Kindergarten classroom teacher often integrates art into center and craft times, students are also exposed to formal Art instruction each week. Taught by a veteran classical, Christian educator, Art is a truly integrated subject that combines historical and biographical sketches in an atmosphere of fun, creativity, and purpose. Content includes: basic elements of art such as line, shapes, two-dimensional vs. three dimensional shapes, texture, space, balance, unity and focus. Students begin to develop sophisticated art knowledge as they evaluate and critique art, as well as classify art into still life, abstract, landscape, and more.
Music theory, history, and performance combine during Music class twice a week, and the principles of the Kodaly method are followed. Taught by a Kodaly-trained teacher with years of knowledge and expertise, students play games of all kinds as they demonstrate knowledge of: loud v. soft, fast v. slow, sources of sound, steady beats, accents, simple and compound meter and more. Highlights of our music program include Christmas and Spring Concerts; the kindergarten students always charm the crowd!
At Trinity, students experience formal Physical Education classes twice a week. Kindergarteners are always excited on PE day where the following concepts are emphasized: loco motor skills such as running, jumping, hopping, and galloping; ball handling skills such as throwing, overhand, catching and dribbling; directional words, body parts, equipment care, and more. Additionally, the topics of cooperation and good sportsmanship are intentionally taught and modeled.