In the current curriculum you will find a broad overview of the major subjects that are taught at the kindergarten level. On a weekly basis the children attend: mass, music, physical education, art, technology, Spanish, and library. Daily activities also include a half hour lunch period and outdoor play.
Kindergarten is very cross-curricular. The lessons incorporate content from multiple subject areas. For example, the November “All Souls Day” memory tree is a project where the children attach names of family members and friends who are in heaven to the tree for daily prayer. This project includes the use of fall colored leaves to augment the seasonal change, the science of leaves turning color, overall color recognition and print skills. Hence, the cross-curricular subjects of religion, science, social studies and language are included.
Kindergarten also relies heavily on centers which are hands-on, developmentally appropriate, cross-curricular activities that teach fundamental skills and foster enrichment through a game format. These self-paced, non-threatening activities afford the opportunity for individualized attention and maximum participation while avoiding the drill-and-kill syndrome. Centers are always one of the favorite classroom activities.
Language Arts Program - Houghton Mifflin Harcourt - Journeys
This is a systematic, clear and precise program teaching the use of sounds of spoken language, beginning with larger units of speech (sentences and words) and progressing to the smallest unit – phonemes (the smallest sound unit of speech – for example, the /d/ in duck)
- The names, shapes and sounds of letters in the alphabet;
- The relationship of spoken words to letters;
- The blending of sounds into words;
- The segmenting of sounds (taking words apart to identity sounds); and
- The application of this knowledge to reading and writing.
These objectives build to overall reading fluency (the freedom from word-identification problems that hinder comprehension). The use of stories/leveled readers coupled with systematic high frequency word drill support this process. Grammar, oral language skills and vocabulary development are also embedded concepts in this developmental reading process.
The goal of writing in kindergarten is to introduce students to the writing process. This includes different genres of writing and English language conventions so they can begin to develop a deeper understanding of writing. Grammar, usage and penmanship are interwoven into this process.
Handwriting Without Tears
To further support penmanship, the kindergarten program uses Handwriting Without Tears. This program was originally an occupational therapy program. However, due to teacher demand, it has been brought into the classroom. It offers a program which minimizes frustration due to its simple, consistent, step-by-step letter formation using a developmental sequence. Manuscript paper in this program is simplified, eliminates confusion and supports correct formation.
McGraw Hill – My Math
Math is taught through hands-on experience using manipulatives. The overall, broad objectives of number and operation concepts include:
- classification and categorizing
- numeral recognition and counting
- number and operations in base 10
- before, after
- addition, subtraction
- length, width
- attributes of shapes
- three-dimensional shapes
- number lines
- measurement and data.
The overall science curriculum strands include:
- Basic skills – think like a scientist, observe, and keep records
- Living things
- Physical properties
- Energy and motion
The overall social studies curriculum strands include:
- Time, Continuity and Change (History)
- People, Places and Environments (Geography)
- Government and Citizenship (Civics, Government, Ethics)
- Production, Distribution and Consumption (Economics)
Note: The seven themes of Catholic Social Teaching
have been integrated into the social studies curriculum.
Religion – Sunday Visitor: I AM SPECIAL
This religious education program for kindergarten children is designed to support parents in educating their children about the Catholic faith by helping children:
- To develop positive attitudes about themselves, their families and friends by discovering and learning more about the many gifts, talents and abilities that God has provided;
- To increase their knowledge and participation in the Church’s liturgical seasons of Advent, Christmas, Lent and Easter;
- To increase their knowledge about God and their friendship with Jesus;
- To increase their knowledge and practice of Christian actions toward others such as taking turns, listening, helping, caring, sharing, loving and thanking others; and
- To increase their appreciation and celebration of God’s love and goodness through Scripture, music and prayer.
This kindergarten program is designed to stimulate the faith development of young children by providing them with the following opportunities:
- Reinforcement in Christian values and attitudes being taught at home;
- Participation in Christian learning experiences and activities geared to their age level;
- An introduction to community worship through active participation in prayer and song; and
- Fellowship and fun with other children their own age.
Because young children learn best through actual experiences, lessons in this program use stories, songs, dramatizations, finger plays, sensory activities, and Scripture and prayers in which participation is the primary component. A kindergarten class is a faith community – one that loves, cares, shares, helps and prays. The supportive and caring staff at St. Patrick’s School is part of what encourages the formation of Christian attitudes and the children’s faith response.
Kindergarten has an extremely active filed trip program. Field trips are incorporated into the ongoing curriculum units and objectives to present real world experiences and broaden experiential backgrounds. They may be used as review or to augment and enhance recently acquired skills or learning. They may also be used as advanced teaching – to set the stage for upcoming curriculum units.
In a typical school year Kindergarten filed trips could include visits to:
- U.F. Center for Performing Arts/Dance Alive (theater experience)
- Lubee Bat Preserve
- Fire Station (fire safety)
- Rooterville Animal Sanctuary
- Homosassa Springs State Wildlife Park
- Depot Park (end of year celebration), as well as any community events or opportunity that lends itself to the learning experience.
We use the school bus on field trips. We wear a distinctive field trip T-shirt on field trips.
Kindergarten participates in many campus events or activities on a year-to-year basis. These activities, although tied into ongoing curriculum units, are also designed to have fun and build memories of the Kindergarten year. We want our students to look back and say, “Do you remember when...?”, as well as foster life-long friendships.
Kindergarten pays particular attention to birthdays. They are celebrated with ceremony, music and dance. All parties are tied to social/emotional growth and provide an excellent opportunity to practice our manners.
Fun Fridays, our weekly closing activity, are designed for review, games, additional messy art and activities tailored to overall student interest.
Activities and parties cover seasonal, patriotic and religious holidays, significant Saints, community sponsored programs, activities linked to literature (Teddy Bear Day, Dr. Seuss’ birthday) and math (100th Day of School).
End-of-year activities foster closure and celebration of accomplishments. Your child will also receive a kindergarten memory book as part of this process. Kindergarten participates in the school wide Pot o’ Gold carnival, Christmas program, Fine Arts Night, Kindergarten graduation program and Catholic Charities food drives.