Curriculum and Instruction
At KDay, our focus is on the whole child. We have selected academically rigorous, scientifically-proven curriculums developed by leaders in the fields of mathematics, literacy, and phonics which our teachers supplement with their own lessons and projects to ensure all children are being provided the support they need to meet their full potential.
In addition to planned academic learning, our teachers also love finding meaningful learning opportunities in the environment that surrounds us and developing hands-on, emergent curriculum based off these experiences. For example, this past fall a dying tree had to be removed from our grounds. The students were able to watch from a safe distance and teachers used this as a ‘jumping off point’ to teach about trees, their health, the heavy machinery used to remove them, and the operators of those machines and the tree climbers. Students read books and learned how to tell a tree’s age by their rings, relating it to their own lives. The students loved the unit and still regularly discuss the stump stool that sits on our playground.
Academic growth is only one focus at KDay. We also believe that socioemotional growth is of the utmost importance for growing children. We feel one of the best ways to develop age-appropriate socioemotional competencies is for children to simply play with their peers. The discussion, cooperation, compromise, and occasional disagreement that naturally occur while children are playing enables children to learn about their own emotions and those of their peers. They may make a mistake but teachers are always close by to help children develop language to negotiate and solve problems.
Click below to read about our academic curriculum and how we teach it.
We utilize the Investigations 3® mathematics curriculum which has been designed to meet Massachusetts standards and will teach students about numbers and operations, geometry, measurement, and data. Designed to be taught workshop-style with children learning in a hands-on manner, math is no longer a dreaded subject and oftentimes students prefer math to even free play! This scope and sequence describes in more detail the skills your students will master throughout the year with the help of our teachers.
We supplement Investigations® with additional in-house developed activities created to teach students foundational skills we feel are important to know entering first grade such as number formation, number verbalizations, how to use a calendar, and more.
To teach literacy we utilize the Lucy Calkins Units of Study® which our skilled teachers supplement and adapt with additional activities and lessons to best teach each individual group of students. Designed to meet Common Core and Massachusetts curriculum standards, students learn reading and writing workshop-style and are taught many styles of writing (such as ‘show and tell’ writing) and about their reading super powers (such as their ‘picture power’, using the images in books to help decipher the text). Though not taught explicitly, children’s letter and spelling development greatly improves throughout the school year and children leave passionate and confident in their skills as readers and writers.
Our teachers utilize Fundations®, a scientifically proven phonics, spelling, and handwriting program, and supplement with activities and lessons developed in-house. Fundations® is designed to be taught as whole-class lessons, small groups, and with teachers and students working one-on-one. It also includes plans for intervention and differentiation which help us meet all students where they are at. During the school year kindergarten students work on letter formation, phonological and phonemic awareness, sound mastery, vocabulary, fluency, comprehension strategies, and more.
Our teachers have developed their own unique science curriculum to meet Massachusetts standards in a fun and explorative way. Students learn about the scientific method, data collection, comparing and contrasting in an age-appropriate way. Each season students investigate New England’s unique ecosystem while completing projects. Teachers instill a love of science in children with numerous experiments and by exposing children to scientific tools such as magnifying glasses, microscopes, scales, and more.
We incorporate physical education, arts, music, dance, and drama into our curriculum. These specials serve many purposes as we foster growth of the whole child and prepare your child for a successful transition to first grade. Our arts curriculum provides children with opportunities to explore budding interests and develop passions they previously did not know they had. Our physical education classes give students a chance to move and be active while learning about how to maintain a healthy body and lifestyle.
How and why do we assess students?
We utilize Teaching Strategies Gold to assess student growth and plan informed curriculum. This assessment program allows teachers to track each child’s development on a continuum in every developmental domain in an effort to meet each child’s individual needs. Furthermore, Teaching Strategies Gold’s Creative Curriculum for Kindergarten is aligned with the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks for English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, and Social Emotional Development and Approaches to Play and Learning, making it an excellent tool to ensure our students are getting all they need to thrive in Kindergarten and leaving prepared for first grade.
How are assessments shared with parents?
Teachers regularly update each child’s Teaching Strategies Gold profile and conduct three conferences each year to share these reports and discuss your child’s progress over the preceding three months. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic these meetings will be held via Zoom for the 2020-21 school year.
That said, you will hear from us much more frequently than that. We are honored to be trusted with your child’s schooling this year and view parents as our most valuable educational partners. We communicate frequently via email and phone about our observations and to make sure parents are aware of their child’s successes as well as any areas for growth that have been identified. Parents are also kept aware of what is going on in the school through newsletters and other email communication.