At SAMS, the TK/Kindergarten year marks the end of an important development phase and the beginning of what Maria Montessori called the “explosion into learning.” At SAMS, TK/Kindergarteners experience mastery and control over the skills and concepts they’ve practiced during their primary years. This mastery, along with their position as the oldest students, solidifies the students’ self-esteem and develops their leadership skills. This is furhter instilled by giving lessons to the younger children and demonstrating skills at circle time.
SAMS full-day TK/Kindergarten curriculum includes units that combine language, math, art, science, geography, and history. A low student/teacher ratio allows highly personalized teaching as students learn academic skills such as reading, writing and arithmetic using classic Montessori materials.
Language Arts builds on the foundation laid in preschool and pre-kindergarten which sets the stage for the students to master skills such as hand writing, inventive spelling and poetry, as well as, parts of speech and grammar. Students write in their daily journals to practice upper and lower case letters and name writing. Reading is taught through a blended approach of phonics based learning and whole language approach. TK/Kindergarteners learn about word families such as “bat / hat / sat /cat” and can spend a morning practicing word sounds through movement d = dancing like a deer and s = slithering like a snake. Also, students are taught sight words through fun activities to stimulate memorization. TK/Kindergarteners are encouraged to read wordless books or books they have created to the younger children. When ready and to encourage the love of reading and reading comprehension, students are given a book each week to bring home to read with their families.
The TK/Kindergartners embrace their status and role as leaders and role models of the school by being a “buddy” to the incoming new students. They also begin to understand their role within a larger community by collecting coats for a local business that provides free coats to disenfranchised people. Throughout the Kindergarten curriculum there are lessons of social emotional learning through meditation, breathing, using our words, patience and giving heart felt compliments.
Montessori math materials are used to teach the students concepts of number sense, quantity, geometric shapes, concept of time, beginning addition and subtraction. Students learn to identify numbers and write numbers to 30 or higher. Kindergartners are encouraged to complete a calendar page each month to help them to learn how to write numbers to 30 and to better understand the passage of time.
In order to understand our place on Earth, we need to understand the world. A major component of this curriculum is the study of the continents, countries of the world, and culture. Each month, the TK/Kindergartners study one of the seven continents, learning about the animals, cultures, landmarks, and countries that make up that continent.
In the Garden, the students begin to develop a deeper understanding of the natural world they live in through in depth exploration, inquiry, and discovery. A few activities include planning, planting and maintaining their own garden, units of study on the weather systems and the water cycle. The TK/Kindergartners also receive lessons on once living, living and non living classification, vertebrate/invertebrate, and animal classification. Each month they learn about the characteristics of a particular animal classification examples are mammals, birds, insects, fish, amphibians, reptiles and dinosaurs. Additionally, the Kindergartners learn about weather, the Solar System and Space.
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"We also feel lucky that our boys got to attend Kindergarten at SAMS. The Kindergarten provides a warm and loving environment where, in addition to getting the children ready academically for the next step in their education, they also learn the importance of being good people and leaders for the younger children, how to relax their minds and bodies through yoga and meditation and get to experience going on field trips to interesting and thought-provoking places. And so much more..."
- Courtney Minisce Orlick