TK & Kindergarten
In the areas of earth, life, and physical sciences, kindergarteners study weather and climate; plants, animals, and their environments; and forces: pushes and pulls.
Students in kindergarten are introduced to basic spatial, temporal, and causal relationships, emphasizing the geographic and historical connections between the world today and the world long ago. The stories of ordinary and extraordinary people help describe the range and continuity of human experience and introduce the concepts of courage, self-control, justice, heroism, leadership, deliberation, and individual responsibility. Historical empathy for how people lived and worked long ago reinforces the concept of civic behavior: how we interact respectfully with each other, following rules, and respecting the rights of others.
Kindergarteners use Benchmark Curriculum. In addition, thematic units are followed to help reinforce English language arts skills. For example, students learn about fairytales and fables. Students work in small reading groups where they learn foundational reading skills and ways to decode words/sentences. In kindergarten, students learn how to blend and segment words, read and write simple sentences, and identify high frequency/sight words. Kindergarten teachers lead daily read alouds and play music to help students better learn letter sounds, spell color words, and recognize common sight words.
Kindergarteners use the school-provided Bridges Curriculum. This program includes hands-on manipulatives and activities to keep students engaged. Students learn to recognize numbers, understand that numbers represent amounts, and discover how to sort and count. Students also learn to add and subtract fluently. In addition, a daily calendar helps students better understand and identify a variety of patterns.
Units of Inquiry:
- Who we are is explored through Friendship
- Where we are in place and time: Earth through Geological concepts, including core of the Earth, fossils, dinosaurs, and more
- How we express ourselves: Fairy Tales and Nursery Rhymes
- How the world works: Seasons and Weather
- How we organize ourselves: How food gets from the farm to the table
- Sharing the planet: Study of the Coral Reef
Kindergarten students learn inside and outside of the classroom. Students learn about safety, science, math, and language during field trips to the fire department, Sonoma County Ag Fair, Duran Beach Mud Flats, and a local pumpkin patch. Students are also exposed to arts and culture during walking field trips to local events and an annual viewing of the Nutcracker.
Kindergarten is an amazing year of excitement, firsts, challenges, and successes. The kindergarten team at Park Side has established many traditions to build community and celebrate educational excellence. Students and families participate in many events including family house day, a gift hat celebration, harvest festival, winter sing-along, a Valentine tea party, kinder flea market, spring fling festival, and an end of the year swim party.