In TK, students build a strong foundation in concrete mathematical thinking based on experiences with numbers and counting, patterns, and shapes. Students explore, solve problems, and create meaning by using manipulatives like attribute blocks, tangram shapes, geo-boards, unifix cubes, beads, and counters. Students talk out their ideas in small groups, explaining their strategies and articulating their thinking.
Religion is regularly integrated into the school day through traditional and spontaneous prayer, class discussion, student interactions, and conflict resolution. TK students are encouraged to act as Catholic leaders in their families and class community by learning to make choices that reflect Gospel values. During Religion class, students learn about Bible stories and Catholic traditions through read-alouds, arts and crafts, songs, and dramatizations.
TK students enjoy their morning snacks and lunches outdoors on the terrace. There is an emphasis on community building and outdoor play, both on the play structure and the yard. Outdoor play during recess and lunch is safe and supervised, yet unstructured and child-directed, with ample opportunities for recreation, exploration, and cooperation.
Sharing is an integral part of our TK day. Each week, students are invited to share a small object or keepsake from home. Both the presenters and the audience build their oral language skills by describing and asking questions about the objects being shared. TK students also become effective communicators through age-appropriate public speaking opportunities, including leading the class as Star Student of the Week and participating in the schoolwide Speech Contest.
TK Science standards are integrated into thematic units that appeal to children’s natural curiosity about the world around them. With a strong emphasis on sensory experiences, students observe and explore natural phenomena including light and shadow, plant and animal life cycles, weather and seasons, movement, and energy. Experiments and play-based exploration are supplemented with literary and informational texts that are shared and discussed in collaborative conversations that allow students to make connections between life and learning.
The focus of Social Studies instruction in TK is to build a foundation for students to understand their place in time and space and as members of the various communities family, school, and neighborhood. Through integrated units, students develop an ageappropriate sense of self and awareness of their own feelings and choices. Literary and informational texts are explored through the lenses of personal experiences and good citizenship.
Arts and crafts, as well as music, chants, dance, and fingerplays, are integrated into each thematic unit. Students make connections across the curriculum as they use their imaginations to explore each unit’s theme in creative ways. Art and Music are also taught as standalone subjects with specialist teachers from the Visual and Performing Arts department.
Music focuses on basic musicianship, including pitch and rhythm, singing, and listening. Music skills are built through discerning differences among all types of music. These building blocks will be carried throughout their music curriculum and lifelong learning.
Visual Arts allows our youngest artists to explore a variety of different mediums while working towards mastery of color, line, shape, pattern, rhythm, balance, and emphasis in their own art. Students are given creative opportunities to experience historic and current art while observing these artistic elements and principles and developing personal preferences. TK will learn to share what is art, where it lives, and how to talk about it with others.
TK students develop gross motor skills, balance, and coordination within a structured Physical Education program. With a goal of making fitness fun, the P.E. class focuses on the physical development and locomotor skills along with cooperation and acceptance through team play, games, and developmentally appropriate sports activities.
At the TK level, the Spanish program introduces vocabulary and basic conversational skills through stories, games and real-life situations. Students engage with the specialist teacher and one another in Spanish through songs, chants, and repetition in an age appropriate setting that is appropriate for learners at all levels of proficiency.
TK students engage with technology in strategic and age-appropriate ways. Technology is integrated into the school day in all curricular areas through the use of projection carts that makes whole-group learning exciting and accessible to all students. Students also have access to iPad minis which they use in small groups to practice targeted Language Arts and Math skills, learn songs and chants, and view primary sources in Science and Social Studies.
TK students engage in schoolwide service learning opportunities, including Bake Sales and Buck-a-Stuff Days, which focus students’ attention on our class-sponsored cause. TK families support an organization called New Life Beginnings which provides shelter and parenting, life skills, and job training programs for needy women with children.
In TK, students have the unique opportunity to develop both their socioemotional and academic skills in a supportive environment that nurtures the whole child. With a thoughtful balance of structure and play, children explore and build understanding through concrete experiences and guided practice. There are frequent opportunities for children to learn by doing. Whether reenacting the Mass, building models of cities and farms, observing how their shadows change throughout the day, or “subtracting” cookies from the cookie jar, students are active, engaged, and developing a love of learning.