King-Murphy

Kindergarten

 2019-2020

Dear Parents,

I am looking forward to your child entering our kindergarten program next year. The first years of elementary school are so important to a child’s school experience. During these early years, the beginnings of academic learning are established and children develop life-long habits and attitudes about learning. The kindergarten program at King-Murphy reflects a belief that children are active learners. They build meaning and understanding by making connections with their existing knowledge and through inquiry. King-Murphy is an accredited International Baccalaureate School and offers the Primary Years Programme; an internationally recognized program with student-driven inquiry at the heart of the curriculum (see attached information).

Our kindergarten students bring varied experiences, interests and needs to the classroom. The goals of our program are to foster the educational, social, emotional, and physical needs of children. These goals include:

Children in kindergarten learn concepts and skills essential to ensure their readiness to begin first grade. Parents are encouraged to support their child’s learning by assisting them in the curriculum areas.

Language Arts/Reading

King-Murphy uses a literacy program developed Lucy Calkins and the Teachers College of Reading and Writing in NYC. The program uses a workshop approach for reading and writing instruction. The goal is for students to become confident, life-long readers and writers who display agency and independence.  In our  reading program, students will:

Writing

Students will be given daily opportunities to write and be introduced to several genres through the Lucy Calkins’ curriculum.  In our writing program, students will:

Mathematics

King-Murphy uses Everyday Mathematics curriculum. Everyday Mathematics focuses on developing children’s understandings and skills in ways that produce life-long mathematical power. The curriculum emphasizes the use of concrete, real-life examples, repeated exposures to mathematical concepts and skills, and use of multiple methods and problem-solving strategies to foster true proficiency and accommodate different learning styles.  Children will develop an understanding of mathematical concepts and skills through games, the use of manipulatives, partner work,  and some traditional pencil and paper activities. Students will:

Science and Social Studies:

Science and Social Studies are taught through integrated units of inquiry. Students will have opportunities to participate in investigations and develop observation skills. Please refer to the section that follows to review the units of inquiry for kindergarten.

Social Emotional Learning (SEL):

Social-Emotional learning is the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions. King-Murphy uses a Social Emotional Learning curriculum, Empowering Education (K-6), which provides a framework for our SEL instruction. Students participate in weekly lessons to develop understanding and skill in self-management, social-awareness, self-awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making.

Art/P.E./Music

Kindergarten children participate in Music, Art, and Physical Education on a rotating schedule. In addition to special classes, the kindergarten classroom lends itself to art, music, and movement experiences. The children perform a holiday program in December and again in May and take part in a variety of art projects as well.

Spanish

Kindergarten students will participate in an interactive Spanish class as part of their specials program. Classes in Spanish are attended every other week throughout the year. By using an integrated curriculum, students acquire a second language in a way that is fun and natural. Students become risk-takers, learning that making mistakes is part of the learning process when acquiring a second language. Students will be encouraged to speak by using dialogue and simple words, in keeping with their natural cognitive development. In addition to exposure to the language, students will be introduced to the Hispanic culture (foods, music, dance, and celebrations).

Kindergarten is truly an amazing year of change. At King-Murphy we believe that when children are in an environment that is conducive to learning and expected to learn, they will. All this is done at a level appropriate for their age, respecting each child’s unique situation and individual strengths. Students are continually challenged to deepen their understandings and knowledge. Throughout this growth, they are still playing, having fun, and making friends.

If you have further questions about the kindergarten program at King-Murphy, feel free to contact me at (303) 670-6121. I can also be reached via email at the address below. Visitations to our kindergarten are welcome. If you would like to schedule a parent observation, please contact the office at (303) 670-0005.

An informal Open House is scheduled for Friday, May 10th 2019, at 3:35 p.m. This is a time for you and your child to see the classroom and get more information about our program. Please mark your calendar!

I look forward to working with you and your child next year!

Sincerely,

           

Polly Fisher

paulyne.fisher@ccsdre1.org

The International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme and Units of Inquiry

        King-Murphy is an accredited International Baccalaureate School and offers a Primary Years Programme of Inquiry (PYP) for children K-6. This internationally recognized program focuses on the total growth of the whole child. PYP touches hearts as well as minds and encompasses the social, physical, emotional, and cultural needs of the child through an inquiry-based program.

Structured inquiry is the leading vehicle for learning in the PYP. Inquiry, interpreted in the broadest sense, is the process (initiated by the learner or the teacher), which moves the learner from his or her current level of understanding to a new and deeper level of understanding. This can involve:

Five transdisciplinary themes provide the framework for the exploration of knowledge. The themes and the units of inquiry for kindergarten follow:

 Theme: How We Express Ourselves

Central Idea: Problems can be solved peacefully.                                                                                                                                                                      

Lines of inquiry                                                                           

                                                                 

 Theme: Where We Are in Time and Place

Central Idea: Lifestyles (what we eat, wear, where we live and transportation) are determined by our location and available resources.    

                                                                                                                                                                  

Lines of Inquiry:

 Theme: How the World Works

Central Idea: Living organisms play important roles in the cycle of life.

                                                                                                                                                                 

Lines of Inquiry:                                                                           

balance scale Theme: Who We Are

Central Idea: Fairness and respect for diversity help achieve equal opportunities.

                                                                                                                                                             

Lines of Inquiry:                                                                          

 Theme: Sharing the Planet

Central Idea: Forests are necessary for life on earth.

Lines of Inquiry:                                                                          

                           

IB Learner Profile

The International Baccalaureate learner profile describes a range of human capacities and responsibilities that go beyond academic success. They imply commitment to help all members of the school community learn to respect themselves, others, and the world around them.

The following attributes of the learner profile are taught and reinforced  throughout your child’s school experience. The profile aims to develop learners who are:

We recognize that there are no specific indicators to show when a child is ready for kindergarten. However, these are some general skills and areas of exposure that will make the transition into kindergarten easier for your child.

Ten Signs of a Good

Kindergarten Classroom 

(from the National Association for the

Education of Young Children)

  1. Children are playing and working with materials or other children. They are not aimlessly wandering or forced to sit quietly for long periods of time.

  1. Children have access to various activities throughout the day, such as block building, pretend play, picture books, paints and other art materials, and table toys such as legos, pegboards, and puzzles. Children are not all doing the same things at the same time.

  1. Teachers work with individual children, small groups, and the whole group at different times during the day. They do not spend time only with the entire group.

  1. The classroom is decorated with children’s original artwork, their own writing with invented spelling, and dictated stories.

  1. Children learn numbers and the alphabet in the context of their everyday experiences. Exploring the natural world of plants and animals, cooking, taking attendance, and serving snack are all meaningful activities to children.

  1. Children work on projects and have long periods of time (at least one hour) to play and explore. Filling out worksheets should not be their primary activity.

  1. Children have an opportunity to play outside every day that weather permits. This play is never sacrificed for more instructional time.

  1. Teachers read books to children throughout the day, not just at group story time.

  1. Curriculum is adapted for those who are ahead as well as those who need additional help. Because children differ in experiences and background, they do not learn the same things at the same time in the same way.

  1. Children and their parents look forward to school. Parents feel safe sending their child to kindergarten. Children are happy; they are not crying or regularly sick.