What is Kindergarten For?
Standards are high at Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church. We follow guidelines for highest-quality Nursery, Preschool, and Kindergarten education as established by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). Our program was accredited by the NAEYC in 2002 and we completed Re-Accreditation in 2008.
Through the Board of Education of the United Methodist Church, we completed requirements to achieve The W.I.S.E. Award(Wonderfully In Search of Excellence) in 2005. Wesley Memorial School also follows all curriculum guidelines of the Common Core Standards as adopted by the Department of Public Instruction of the State of North Carolina.
Our teachers are professionals with early childhood/elementary education degrees and experience. Wesley Memorial School is administered by our church acting through a Weekday Board of Directors. Friedrich Froebel, the “Father” of the Kindergarten, wrote about 1840 that: The Kindergarten shall give them employment suited to their nature, strengthen their bodies, exercise their sense, employ their waking minds, make them acquainted judiciously with nature and society, cultivate especially the heart and temper, and lead them to the foundations of all living—to unity with themselves. Froebel’s language sounds quaint in our high-tech world, but the purposes he suggested are still sound.
Today the content of a quality Kindergarten program remains essentially what it was in Froebel’s day—a “garden” where children may grow naturally and may develop their own distinctive personalities and talents in a child’s world. Experience and Scientific studies of children are constantly providing updated information. We are better able than in Froebel’s time to provide a program which meets the needs of the child in his first years of school.
Our responsibility goes beyond that of a public or private Kindergarten. As an outreach of our church, we are obligated not only to offer a program consistent with the highest type of early childhood education but also to provide an atmosphere and program in which teachers and children are learning to live in a Christ-like way.
In approaching our task, we keep in mind the child’s total growth—social, emotional, spiritual, mental, and physical. By their signatures on the registration forms, parents indicate their willingness to cooperate with the Christian emphasis of our Kindergarten; to attend parent-teacher conferences; and to participate in other planned opportunities (such as class programs and parent workshops) as will bring about better understanding between teacher, parent, and child.
And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom, and the favor of God was upon him.”
General Program Objectives:
- To provide many opportunities for social development and adjustment to group living.
- To promote development of good health habits.
- To instill habits, appreciations, and attitudes which serve as standards of conduct in work and play and
as guides to worthwhile use of time and materials in and out of school.
- To provide opportunities for self-expression through language, music, art, and play experiences.
- To provide situations in which the child can succeed, and through success build confidence in his own ability and worth.
- To develop an atmosphere in which creativity is stimulated.
- To develop a feeling of adequacy through emphasis on independence and good work habits.
- To lay foundations for subject matter learning and intellectual growth.
We follow curriculum guidelines provided by the Department of Public Instruction of North Carolina and based on sound principles of early childhood growth and development through criteria established by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).
The United Methodist Curriculum is interwoven throughout our units of study. Planned experiences during each unit of study will further each child’s understanding of:
- Reading and language arts
- Social studies
- Health and safety
- Physical education
The concepts gleaned from these learning experiences are as unique as each child. It is the objective of each teacher to meet each child’s needs at his particular level so as to enhance his/her self-worth and capitalize on his/her learning potential, and help him/her find a responsible place in the world. To help the children learn at their individual levels, the teachers will use many tools—such as workbooks, puzzles, beginner readers, phonetic awareness games, hands on math and science manipulative, books and stories, music, computers, iPads, nature walks—and all our facilities make possible. Our curriculum may be described as “streams of experience” flowing through the child’s lifelong educational path, even into adulthood.
An Overview of the Kindergarten Curriculum
This overview is taken from the Kindergarten Common Core State Standards which are required to be taught in all North Carolina Public Schools. We carefully follow this same Course of Study in planning for the Kindergarten Fives Program at Wesley Memorial School.
- Names likenesses and differences among animals
- Learns about weather changes throughout the year
- Describes objects by color, size, shape, and texture using five sense
- Learns how to use simple tools
- Learns how to use tools and measurements to describe their environment and world
- Computer Skills
- Identifies and discusses correct and responsible use and care of computers and resources
- Uses a computer for learning to read, write, and organize information
- Uses teacher-selected Internet resources/information to enhance learning
- Displays good citizenship and correct behavior at school and other social environments by use of the following character traits: honesty, respect, responsibility, self-discipline, courage, and integrity
- Identifies how individuals, families, and groups are alike and different
- Describes the importance of rules and laws
- Recognizes and describes changes in self, families, schools, and communities
- Learns about famous people, holidays, and special days of diverse cultures
- Uses simple maps and models to locate familiar places
- Identifies examples of how families and communities work together to meet their basic needs and wants
- Recognizes how technology is used at home, school, and in the community
- Learns how to develop healthy habits through
- Good diet
- Learns to be careful with medicine
- Becomes aware of the health risks of smoking and other drug addictions
In order to be ready for first grade in reading, writing, and math, kindergarten students should master the North Carolina state required skills b y the end of kindergarten. On the following pages and after each skill area are examples that measure how well students understand and apply what they have learned.
Key Ideas and Details
- With prompting and support, ask and answer questions about key details in a text.
- With prompting and support, name the author and illustrator of a story and define the role of each in telling the story.
- With prompting and support, identify characters, settings and major events in a story.
Key Ideas and Details
- With prompting and support, ask and answer questions about key details in a text.
- With prompting and support, retell familiar stories, including key details.
- With prompting and support, identify characters, settings, and major events in a story.
Craft and Structure
- With prompting and support, ask and answer questions about unknown words in a text.
- Identify the front cover, back cover, and title page of a book.
- Name the author and illustrator of a text and define the role of each in presenting the ideas or information in a text.
Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
- With prompting and support, describe the relationship between illustrations and the text in which they appear (e.g., what person, place, thing, or idea in the text an illustration depicts).
- With prompting and support, identify the reasons an author gives to support points in a text.
- With prompting and support, identify basic similarities in and differences between two texts on the same topic (e.g., in illustrations, descriptions, or procedures).
Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity
- Actively engage in group reading activities with purpose and understanding.
- Demonstrate understanding of the organization and basic features of print.
- Follow words from left to right, top to bottom, and page by page.
- Recognize that spoken words are represented in written language by specific sequences of letters.
- Understand that words are separated by spaces in print.
- Recognize and name all upper- and lowercase letters of the alphabet.
- Demonstrate understanding of spoken words, syllables, and sounds (phonemes).
- Recognize and produce rhyming words.
- Count, pronounce, blend, and segment syllables in spoken words.
- Blend and segment onsets and rimes of single-syllable spoken words.
- Isolate and pronounce the initial, medial vowel, and final sounds (phonemes) in three-phoneme
(consonant-vowel-consonant, or CVC) words.(This does not include CVCs ending with /l/, /r/, or /x/.)
- Add or substitute individual sounds (phonemes) in simple, one-syllable words to make new words.
Phonics and Word Recognition
- Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words.
- Demonstrate basic knowledge of letter-sound correspondences by producing the primary or most frequent sound for each consonant.
- Associate the long and short sounds with the common spellings (graphemes) for the five major vowels.
- Read common high-frequency words by sight (e.g., the, of, to, you, she, my, is, are, do, does).
- Distinguish between similarly spelled words by identifying the sounds of the letters that differ.
- Read emergent-reader texts with purpose and understanding.
Text Types and Purposes
- Use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to compose opinion pieces in which they tell a reader the topic or the name of the book they are writing about and state an opinion or preference about the topic or book (e.g., My favorite book is...).
- Use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to compose informative/explanatory texts in which they name what they are writing about and supply some information about the topic.
- Use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to narrate a single event or several loosely linked events, tell about the events in the order in which they occurred, and provide a reaction to what happened.
Production and Distribution of Writing
- (Begins in grade 3)
- With guidance and support from adults, respond to questions and suggestions from peers and add details to strengthen writing as needed.
- With guidance and support from adults, explore a variety of digital tools to produce and publish writing, including in collaboration with peers.
Research to Build and Present Knowledge
- Participate in shared research and writing projects (e.g., explore a number of books by a favorite author and express opinions about them).
- With guidance and support from adults, recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question.
- (Begins in grade 4)
Range of Writing
- (Begins in grade 3)
Speaking and Listening
- Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about kindergarten topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.
- Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions (e.g., listening to others and taking turns speaking about the topics and texts under discussion).
- Continue a conversation through multiple exchanges.
- Confirm understanding of a text read aloud or information presented orally or through other media by asking and answering questions about key details and requesting clarification if something is not understood.
- Ask and answer questions in order to seek help, get information, or clarify something that is not understood.
Comprehension and Collaboration
Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas
- Describe familiar people, places, things, and events and, with prompting and support, provide additional detail.
- Add drawings or other visual displays to descriptions as desired to provide additional detail.
- Speak audibly and express thoughts, feelings, and ideas clearly.
- Demonstrate command of the conventions of Standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
- Print many upper- and lowercase letters.
- Use frequently occurring nouns and verbs.
- Form regular plural nouns orally by adding /s/ or /es/ (e.g., dog, dogs; wish, wishes).
- Understand and use question words (interrogatives) (e.g., who, what, where, when, why, how).
- Use the most frequently occurring prepositions (e.g., to, from, in, out, on, off, for, of, by, with).
- Produce and expand complete sentences in shared language activities.
- 2. Demonstrate command of the conventions of Standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
- Capitalize the first word in a sentence and the pronoun I.
- Recognize and name end punctuation.
- Write a letter or letters for most consonant and short-vowel sounds (phonemes).
- Spell simple words phonetically, drawing on knowledge of sound-letter relationships.
Conventions of Standard English
Knowledge of Language
(Begins in grade 2)
- Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on kindergarten reading and content.
- Identify new meanings for familiar words and apply them accurately (e.g., knowing duck is a bird and learning the verb to duck).
- Use the most frequently occurring inflections and affixes (e.g., -ed, -s, re-, un-, pre-, -ful, -less) as a clue to the meaning of an unknown word.
- With guidance and support from adults, explore word relationships and nuances in word meanings.
- Sort common objects into categories (e.g., shapes, foods) to gain a sense of the concepts the categories represent.
- Demonstrate understanding of frequently occurring verbs and adjectives by relating them to their opposites (antonyms).
- Identify real-life connections between words and their use (e.g., note places at school that are colorful).
- Distinguish shades of meaning among verbs describing the same general action (e.g., walk, march, strut, prance) by acting out the meanings.
- Use words and phrases acquired through conversations, reading and being read to, and responding to texts.
Vocabulary Acquisition and Use
- Know number names and the count sequence.
- Count to 100 by ones and by tens.
- Count forward beginning from a given number within the known sequence (instead of having to begin at 1).
- Write numbers from 0 to 20. Represent a number of objects with a written numeral 0-20 (with 0 representing a count of no objects). Count to tell the number of objects.
- Understand the relationship between numbers and quantities; connect counting to cardinality.
- When counting objects, say the number names in the standard order, pairing each object with one and only one number name and each number name with one and only one object.
Counting and Cardinality
- Understand that the last number name said tells the number of objects counted. The number of objects is the same regardless of their arrangement or the order in which they were counted.
- Understand that each successive number name refers to a quantity that is one larger.
- Count to answer “how many?” questions about as many as 20 things arranged in a line, a rectangular array, or a circle, or as many as 10 things in a scattered configuration; given a number from 1–20, count out that many objects.
- Identify whether the number of objects in one group is greater than, less than, or equal to the number of objects in another group, e.g., by using matching and counting strategies.
- Compare two numbers between 1 and 10 presented as written numerals.
Operations and Algebraic Thinking
- Understand addition as putting together and adding to, and understand subtraction as taking apart and taking from.
- Represent addition and subtraction with objects, fingers, mental images, drawings, sounds (e.g., claps), acting out situations, verbal explanations, expressions, or equations.
- Solve addition and subtraction word problems, and add and subtract within 10, e.g., by using objects or drawings to represent the problem.
- Decompose numbers less than or equal to 10 into pairs in more than one way, e.g., by using objects or drawings, and record each decomposition by a drawing or equation (e.g., 5 = 2 + 3 and 5 = 4 + 1).
- For any number from 1 to 9, find the number that makes 10 when added to the given number, e.g., by using objects or drawings, and record the answer with a drawing or equation.
- Fluently add and subtract within 5.
Measurement and Data
- Describe and compare measurable attributes.
- Describe measurable attributes of objects, such as length or weight. Describe several measurable attributes of a single object.
- Directly compare two objects with a measurable attribute in common, to see which object has “more of”/“less of” the attribute, and describe the difference. For example, directly compare the heights of two children and describe one child as taller/shorter.
- Classify objects and count the number of objects in each category.
- Classify objects into given categories; count the numbers of objects in each category and sort the categories by count.
Number & Operations in Base Ten
- Work with numbers 11-19 to gain foundations for place value.
- Compose and decompose numbers from 11 to 19 into ten ones and some further ones, e.g., by using objects or drawings, and record each composition or decomposition by a drawing or equation (such as 18 = 10 + 8); understand that these numbers are composed of ten ones and one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, or nine ones.
- Describe objects in the environment using names of shapes, and describe the relative positions of these objects using terms such as above, below, beside, in front of, behind, and next to.
- Correctly name shapes regardless of their orientations or overall size.
- Identify shapes as two-dimensional (lying in a plane, “flat”) or three-dimensional (“solid”).
Analyze, compare, create, and compose shapes.
- Analyze and compare two- and three-dimensional shapes, in different sizes and orientations, using informal language to describe their similarities, differences, parts (e.g., number of sides and vertices/“corners”) and other attributes (e.g., having sides of equal length).
- Model shapes in the world by building shapes from components (e.g., sticks and clay balls) and drawing shapes.
- Compose simple shapes to form larger shapes. For example, “Can you join these two triangles with full sides touching to make a rectangle?”
Special Experiences Just for Our Kindergarten Fives!
Fives enjoy many trips throughout the year for the purposes of enriching their background of experiences and learning more about our units of study. Parents sign a permission slip and are given information prior to each trip. Transportation is provided in our church Minotaur bus. Trips are always taken during the school morning—leaving from school and returning by 1:00 pm. Our field trips may vary year to year, but include visits to places such as:
- Sci-Works Discover Center and Planetarium in Winston Salem
- High Point Museum and Historical Village
- Children’s Carousel Theater in High Point (2 live performances)
- Greensboro Nature Science Center and Petting Farm
- Farmer’s Market
- Fire Station
- Millis Health Education Center
- Piedmont Environmental Center
Computer use and iPads in each classroom
reinforce letter and word recognition, math, creative thinking and problem-solving; also promotes eye-hand coordination and simple keyboarding skills. Computers also used for individual and small group research of study topics.
“Let’s Find Out” Newspaper subscription by Scholastic
brings the latest news information to Kindergarten children in an appealing, easy to read format. We will incorporate use of this newspaper and activity pages into our class lessons at school.
weekly visit for book check-out and story-time session with guest readers emphasizes love of literature and responsibility of caring for books.
weekly Chapel Time is a special and important part of our continual faith building. Chapel is led by our pastors of Wesley Memorial and by our Directors on a rotating basis.
Spanish Language Lessons
occur one session per week during the school day. Children will be exposed to conversational Spanish, as well as basic concepts in using Spanish alphabet, numbers, calendar, sizes, and shapes. Our Spanish Language Instructor is teacher, Lenis Dau. She will also introduce children to diversity in culture, music, dance and traditions as we seek to appreciate the different ways people around the world enjoy their celebrations.
Sight Word Baggies
Each child will have baggies of printed word cards that will become his/her individual word file. New words are added on an on-going basis, as child’s readiness for more complex words occurs. Your child will dictate or copy words that he/ she is learning to read. The words will be used for independent writing of sentences and creative stories and will make reading individualized and meaningful.
Kindergarten homework offers opportunity for child to share at home with mom and dad – thereby reinforcing the concepts learned at school. Folders also serve as a communication tool between families and teachers.
Common Core Curriculum Workbooks in Phonics, Language Arts & Math
Individualize learning at each child’s own level of skills and understanding. Workbooks are used for one-on-one instruction of child with teacher – not as a class group activity.
V. I. P. (Very Important Person)
Each child’s name is randomly chosen to be our VIP of the week! Child chosen will bring in photos of him/herself and of family, and the entire class participates in creating an experience chart story about this friend. Other special privileges are included in the week for our “honoree!” Every child will get a turn!
Lunch at School
every day! Children bring their own meal in a lunchbox or a bag, including beverage. (No soft drinks or “fast food” meals.) Children will eat in the classroom with their own class group.
Hot Lunch Fridays
Offered every Friday: Menus will be sent home monthly. Child learns responsibility of bringing in lunch money to purchase the meal; or may decide to pack own lunch from home as usual. Hot Lunch Fridays are served downstairs in the big Dining Hall or the classroom, where children practice selecting food choices and the manners expected when eating in a large group setting. All Kindergarten classes eat together. Parents volunteer as our “Lunchroom Helpers” to serve the meals.
Drama, songs, and creative arts give boys and girls opportunity to share what they have been learning with their families. Kindergarten programs will be presented at Thanksgiving, Christmas, and end-of-year.
In addition . . . ,
there will be a special program to honor Dads & Step-Dads (Uncles & Grandpas, too!) at our “Dad’s Day Luncheon!”
Moms & Step-Moms (Aunts & Grandmas, too!) will be honored at our “Mother’s Day Tea!” Invitations made by the children for each program will indicate dates well in advance of each event.