Balanced Literacy Approach- Our balanced literacy block includes the following components:
*Morning Message-each day the teacher write the message or shares the marker with the students and together they construct a written message. During this time, the teacher is able to teach decoding skills, chunking, and phonic skills.
*Shared Reading- using sight word poems to teach concepts about print (directionality, concept of a word, punctuation, etc.), students join in or share the reading of the poem while being guided and supported by the teacher. Children develop phonemic awareness, decoding strategies, fluency, and the ability to produce as well as identify rhyming words.
*Guided Reading and Stations-while the teacher meets with a small group of students, the other students work independently completing literacy and math tasks. During this time, at least three of the following tasks will be completed by the students each day: Read to Self; Word Work; Work on Writing(kid writing/ independent writing);Work with Teacher; Listen to Reading; Math Games; and Read to Someone.
*Read Aloud- each day the teacher reads at least two books aloud; one book for pure enjoyment purposes and the other book is read each day of the week; this is an interactive read aloud with an emphasis on comprehension strategies and response activities through drawing and writing.
*Writing Workshop Mini Lesson- this is a brief focused lesson on writing skill that students can use in their own writing; I touch on the 6 traits of writing as well as using their own writing samples to teach basic skills.
Handwriting without Tears-This multi-sensory curriculum teaches proper handwriting techniques. "Sentence School" helps teach proper sentence structure and grammar.
Bible-The curriculum, published by the Association of Christian Schools International, presents stories from the Old and New Testaments. Workbook pages reinforce the lessons taught and weekly activities review the story and teach themes such as obedience, honesty, sharing and telling the truth. A Bible memory verse is taught each month. We say/sing grace each day and pray for the needs of families and friends. Children participate in missions projects as well.
Math-We use Everyday Math, which supports the goals of problem solving, practice, and conceptual understanding of skills as well as mathematical reasoning. This curriculum is a hands-on approach that encourages dialogue and discussion, Home Links from the Everyday Math curriculum are provided periodically to establish a partnership between home and school. We also use On-Core Mathematics published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, which lines up specifically with Common Core Standards. Each day, the students participate in a calendar math block where they develop number sense, place value and tally marks.
Art-Our artwork will complement the seasons and themes throughout the year as well as our social studies and science units. Children will also explore patterns, textures, and colors in the form of their own Kinderart book.
Meet the teacher: Kerry Black
Kerry is an educator first and foremost. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and a Master’s Degree in Reading. She worked for eight years as a reading specialist in secondary education and saw firsthand how difficult it can be to remediate students. She felt compelled to reach these students before remediation was their only hope. That’s when she turned to early childhood education. Kerry believes she has more influence on character development and forming good habits if she can reach students in the early stages of development.
Learn more about Kerry in this great feature:
Our science curriculum is developed around Common Core Standards. In addition we use A Closer Look by Macmillian and McGraw Hill. Units include Life, Earth, and Physical Sciences.
Our curriculum is called Exploring Where and Why. Themes include: Working Together; Family, Friends, and Me; Seasons and Holidays; In Town; Me on the Map; Land, Water and Maps; Land Formations; The United States and the World; Patriotic Symbols and Around the World.
Physical Education is held once every other week. It covers spatial awareness, developing gross motor skills, catching/ throwing, parachute and scooter activities. Good sportsmanship and being active for a healthy lifestyle is emphasized. Children also participate in Fitness Stars, a weekly program that focuses on motor skills,balance, coordination and aerobic activity as well as general nutrition and wellness.