Building the foundation for Kindergarten. A PreKindergarten year at Kensington School is a pivotal year of essential curriculum.
Cognitive Learning Programs Jolly Phonics Reading and Writing
Fun-filled and child centered, Jolly Phonics is a multi-sensory approach to reading and writing that builds confidence and motivation for beginning readers. Memorable actions and songs, accompanied by colorfully illustrated big books, help every child recall letter sounds and blending. Key foundational skills of this phonics based program include letter sounds, blending, listening for sounds within words, and identifying “tricky words.”
Kensington School’s Handwriting Without Tears Printing Book
Children progress from the basic letter formation of the preschool year to the “tripod” grip and flow of letter formation. Guided by the letters in their individual Jolly Phonics books, each child is able to grow their printing skills. Children have ownership of their very own printing book. Illustrating and practicing letter formation in their Kensington School Printing Book, they create a record of their individual skill development.
Math Starts Lending Library
Utilizing the award-winning MathStart® book series, “Math Starts with Kensington” is a new and original mathematics curriculum developed specifically at Kensington School. Each math storybook, a total of 36 in all, focuses on a specific mathematical concept and becomes a springboard for interactive and meaningful learning. Children enjoy reenacting the stories and investigating a myriad of concepts through games, activities and enticing manipulatives. Whole group discussions, small group visits to the SMART Board, and working in pairs at the math center add to the thought-provoking math learning experience.
Scooter the Traveling Bear, Segment 2: My World
Scooter loves to travel. Will it be Washington, D.C. in North America, Brazil in South America, Asia, France, or perhaps Australia? Wherever he travels, Scooter shares his experiences with his friends at Kensington School. Scooter sends postcards and “treasures” to spark discussion about different countries and cultures. Using maps, SMART Board and journals to track his travels, the children discover there is a big wide world for exploration.
Project Based Learning
Collaborating with their teachers, the children determine a topic that is worthy of investigating. Through Circle Time conversations and literature, children exercise their individual creativity and bring their ideas to a classroom topic web. The study of everyday topics becomes relevant and interesting to each child as they take ownership of the investigation.
Science, technology, engineering, art, and math are made accessible through authentic, meaningful experiences. Examining a “field site,” asking questions of “expert visitors,” as well as benefiting from extensive resources such as the SMART Board and literature, children have extensive opportunities to make detailed observations. As their own curiosity leads them to construct greater personal knowledge of the world, children discover the value of the skills they put into practice.
Documentation and representations fill each child’s individually created PBL Documentation Box or Folder – a treasured keepsake of their unique learning experiences- for each completed PBL topic.
Kensington School’s Mindfulness Curriculum
Step into the world of a child and you will find yourself very busy! There are friends to meet, toys to play with, new environments to explore, and information to process! Our mindfulness curriculum is carefully created to calm the mind and body of our children. Through teacher-led classroom activities, we count our “in and out breaths,” talk about how we feel, relax our bodies, focus on our senses and learn how to be present. These important life skills gain self-esteem, concentration and body awareness as our always working brain grows, manages our emotions and controls our behavior.
Observation is a fundamental skill for scientific inquiry. Just as scientists use not only words, but also rely on drawings, photographs and diagrams; we too incorporate these valuable science tools that foster scientific thinking. Observational drawing encourages the children to tell a story as they “take their lines for a walk.” Children will study monthly themes that will have them looking more closely and ask more questions as they take their time, study their subject, and wonder as 3D objects become 2D drawings on paper.
Music Classes and a Musical Program
Children gather around the piano to share songs, fingerplays, and rhythmic activities. Our music teachers introduce a variety of instruments and movement games to enhance listening skills. The children joyfully share their musical fun and skills in two musical performances for parents.
Circle time with Senora keeps linguistic agility alive and well! Young learners absorb sounds and intonation patterns naturally. Introduced to Spanish through songs, games, and stories, children enhance memory, creativity, and problem-solving skills.
Building balance, strengthening muscles, developing focus – the benefits of yoga stretches abound. Our yoga instructor patiently and carefully guides the children in active poses and games.