Our Kindergarten Classroom
River Hills Kindergarten is a private full day Kindergarten dedicated to giving young students the best possible start to school. Our class is small in number never exceeding 15 and offers a full day of fun and exciting hands on kindergarten instruction. Because we keep our class size small our teacher, Miss Udelhoven is able to give each student the individual attention needed to foster a quality experience and develop a true love of school. Our classroom is equipped with developmentally appropriate materials and equipment to enable the children to learn and grow.
Although most of our activities and interactions with the kindergarteners take place in their classroom we also give them physical activity education in our large muscle room where climbing, jumping, balancing, riding, and cooperative play through games and sports and much more are encouraged. The playground which is enclosed and designed for kindergarten provides a safe and exciting outdoor experience for the children. In addition we take the children for walks outside when appropriate to explore and learn about the world around them.
Our program also provides before and/or after care for students enrolled in our kindergarten. Before school care is within our preschool program is a fun and relaxing atmosphere before school begins and includes breakfast. After school care is fun and playful time with friends giving the children a review of the days lessons in a relaxed atmosphere.
Because communication is the key to keeping parents involved and aware of their child’s activities and growth while at the center we will provide the following:
* A daily folder containing corrected daily school work, notes about upcoming classroom activities.
September-November: letter homework, January-June: reading log with reading homework.
* The opportunity to develop relationships between the classroom and the families through our family events and activities.
* Parent/teacher conferences two times per year covering each child’s development and growth.
* Report Cards are sent home 6 times per year and must be reviewed, signed and returned by parents.
* Frequent conversations between teachers and parents either in person, email or by phone.
Young Preschool and Pre-K Curriculum Statement
Children in the Preschool years are curious, creative, and playful. Their world is full of exciting and interesting ideas to explore and learn about. They need variety in activities, freedom to explore and experiment, a safe environment in which to make mistakes, and engaging units or projects to get involved in. Children of this age benefit from a combination of individual, shared, and teacher-led activities.
The role of the teacher includes: (1) understanding the learning goals for the age group and how to help each child achieve them, (2) knowing as much about each child as possible in order to provide the variety in the classroom, (3) preparing experiences to match each child’s individual likes and learning styles. Children of this age learn by doing, not by being told what to do. They must have firsthand experiences. We ask ourselves the following when we are tempted to do something for the child, “Who needs the practice, me or the child?”
To help children develop toward each learning standard, we provide materials and activities that the children may not have used or mastered. These activities must be appropriate to each level of ability and be challenging but not frustrating.
The materials in the classroom must provide immediate feedback to the child. Building with blocks, throwing a ball, pounding play dough, and pouring water all provide immediate feedback and problem solving situations. These activities are the most effective learning materials. In addition, we provide creative and literacy experiences that encourage exploration, writing, and reading.
We teach American Sign Language and Spanish within our classrooms as an additional means of developing children’s language skills.
We provide plenty of time to explore, play, and experiment. For learning to occur, it takes time and repetition. Children learn as they engage in sustained amounts of play and exploration.
The teacher’s role during play time is connected to the child’s learning and developing. We extend children’s learning by routinely sharing in activities chosen by the children. We observe, share, converse, and extend learning during the shared activity. We acknowledge the child’s efforts and talk about how far she’s come. It’s during this time that authentic assessment notes are made and level of development is observed. But, it’s also at this time that the child’s learning is moved farther along to what she can do on her own.
Socially constructed knowledge is knowledge that children and teachers create together. We provide many opportunities for conversation, sharing ideas, asking questions, and helping each other. We watch for times when children can become peer tutors; each child is an expert at something. We help children use that expertise to help others in the classroom.
Classroom lesson plans contain enough information so the teacher feels prepared, yet flexible enough to make room for children’s questions and “side trips”.
Christian Curriculum Statement
Our Christian Curriculum is based on the following Christian Character Qualities: Forgiveness, Gentleness, Compassion, Thankfulness, Responsibility, Love, Humility, Initiative, Contentment, Obedience, Patience, Generosity, Joyfulness, Orderliness, Discernment, Reverence, Diligence, Perseverance, Christian Example, Respectfulness, and Self Control.
Our Christian Curriculum includes using the “Hands On Bible” materials and themes. This curriculum serves as a foundation for the lessons taught throughout the year. Each classroom adds its own unique activities to implement these themes.
The preschool and kindergarten classrooms participate in Bible Club once a month during the school year. For this activity, the children typically gather in the sanctuary for a special Bible lesson. Bible Club focuses on a special topic. The children will learn more about the Bible through songs, stories, and activities at this time.
Summer VBS Camp is our curriculum for each of the summer months. Our summer programming takes on more of a summer camp feel. Bible curriculum during this time is developed on a VBS curriculum and its themes are extended throughout the entire summer.