Morning meeting consists of greeting (saying hello to our friends), sharing (sharing life experiences through a question and answer process), news and announcements (writing preview of the days activities), and an activity (games or songs that encourage cooperation and a sense of community).
Center activities are weekly stations that include the following:
· Teacher stations
· Writing center
Children are divided into groups of 5 to 6 members to receive small group instruction. Parent volunteers run many of these stations.
We will be implementing a Balanced Literacy approach which balances the amount of direct teacher instruction, with small group student/teacher guided instruction, with student independent reading of books of their choice based on their reading level and interests.
This involves a teacher starting a lesson in large group to provide direct instruction and modeling of the curriculum, which is based on state standards.
Instruction is then differentiated based on the skills of the student through the use of flexible groups. Students are placed in small groups where they receive instruction directed at their instructional level on the topic of instruction. These groups will be flexible based on the topic of the instruction. For example, a child may have high fluency skills but average comprehension skills. This students would be grouped with higher skilled students when the instruction is fluency but with a different group when the topic is comprehension. Current research supports the use of flexible grouping to best meet the needs of individual students.
The third portion of balanced literacy includes independent reading/conferring. Teachers have been equipped with updated classroom libraries for students to self select “good fit” books that match their reading level and interests. Students can also read books that they are currently reading from home. Through the conferring process, teachers will meet individually with the students to discuss the instructional topic through the use of the student’s chosen book. Teachers and students will also assess and discuss progress towards strategy use and set reading goals. Research supports the use of student choice in selecting books they enjoy and fit their reading level.
Our math curriculum is Math Expressions by Houghton Mifflin. Children will learn math in an innovative program that weaves abstract mathematical concepts with the everyday experiences of children. In unit 1, children will explore numbers and count to 10, develop mathematical vocabulary, build their communication skills, and begin solving problems.
The science program provides students the opportunity to learn using both content and process approaches. Science is one of the “center” activities each week. Students explore their world through the science topics of seasons, fabric, wood, trees, paper, plants and animals. Foss Science is our adopted curriculum.
The Kindergarten social studies curriculum examines the students' world through the study of self, family, and community.
The Responsive Classroom philosophy has been adopted to address community building and guidelines for our school behavior. The entire school will learn the C.A.R.E.S acronym as we focus on these positive life skills:
Our curriculum also includes geography. Students will identify land forms found throughout the world.
Engineers solve problems. Lessons include the construction of a Gingerbread Man trap, a sturdy home for one of the three pigs, and a nest for a bird. These lessons provide the children with hands-on experiences where they are encouraged to think creatively while using problem solving skills.
The physical education curriculum is designed to develop skills necessary for healthy living, an understanding of the basic principles involved in both team and individual sports, and an appreciation for good sportsmanship and team participation.
*****Bring your gym shoes!*****
The media center provides students with excellent materials for supplementing the curriculum. Children are offered a wide range of recreational reading and computer skills. Children will be checking out a book each week, please remember to return it on your child's library day.
Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM)
The STEM curriculum is based on Minnesota State Standards. Outdoor learning is embedded in the standards whenever possible. STEM includes the Nature of Science and Engineering, Physical Science, Earth and Space Science, and Life Science.
During art, the all day kindergarten students have the opportunity to create, explore and imagine through a variety of medium and style.
Children will be introduced to basic music terminology with the use of songs and instruments. In addition to music with our music staff, students will have the experience of performing in the annual kindergarten production.
A favorite of most kindergarten students, choice time is a time to play. Play activities include manipulative toys, dramatic play areas, art, writing, snack, music, books, sensory play and social interaction with peers.
Responsive Classroom- Toolbox Tools
Wildwood Elementary uses the Responsive Classroom approach as a way of teaching that emphasizes social, emotional, and academic growth in a strong and safe school community. In addition to this, we have started to use something called "Toolbox Tools" to help support children in understanding and managing their own emotional, social and academic success.