KINDERGARTEN CLASS DESCRIPTION
This is a very important transitional time for children (from preschool to elementary school). Our main goal is to make this transition a positive one by providing the children not only with academic skills needed for first grade, but also self-confidence and a good self-image. It is crucial that they succeed at many tasks so that they can feel capable and positive about the school experience. Through 1:1 and small group instruction, the children are introduced to new skills at an individualized pace. Units are based on an integrated curriculum approach. Many subject areas are combined in a lesson or project whenever possible.
Through songs, Bible stories, puppet shows and prayers as well as in our day to day interaction, the children will know of God’s love and care, and know that Jesus is their personal Savior. "The Story" curriculum is used. Worship time is each day and an all school chapel led by the pastor is held once a week.
We encourage each child to grow to his/her full potential and instill in them a joy of learning. There is a balance of activities; individual, small group and large group—quiet and vigorous, all developmentally appropriate. Class rules and procedures are established to guide the children toward greater self-control and independence. There are learning centers for math, writing, science, and art as well as literacy boxes, and an extensive library. There are blocks, a playhouse area, puzzles, games, manipulatives, and a computer. There will also be temporary open ended activities such as a refrigerator box made into a truck or a spaceship.
Reading and writing will be taught through a whole language approach. The children will be read to daily and exposed to written words constantly through classroom experiences across all curriculum areas. Phonics and sight word instruction will both be utilized and each child will be taught according to his/her learning style. Students will eventually read pre-primer books independently. Students will write daily, first words, then sentences and eventually stories using both sight words and longer words phonetically (as they sound).
The class goes on short outings to explore such things as
seasonal changes, the weather, or the tree just outside our
window! Once a month, field trips are taken, usually to
enhance a unit of study. Such trips may include Bush Park
for a science experiment, a pumpkin patch, the capitol building at Christmas, the library discovery room, children’s theater, Chemeketa's planetarium, a local farm to learn about worms, and the Portland Zoo! We have a 15 passenger bus with seat belts for field trips.
The class is taught by Kelly Crabtree. She has an elementary education degree and is certified to teach k-8th grade. She has over 35 years of experience including special education, and has also tutored in reading. She taught pre/k at St. John for 25 years before "moving up" to kindergarten 7 years ago.
The teacher evaluates progress in the following developmental areas; social, emotional, cognitive, physical, and spiritual. Twice a year, in November and April, a written report summarizing progress is written and parent conferences are held to review assessment and discuss ways to further students’ growth and success. The teacher also creates an extensive portfolio containing examples of the child's work and photo pages of the year's highlights.
Parents are encouraged to be as involved as possible. There are usually several parent helpers on field trips, and you are always welcome visitors to the classroom. The children present two programs for their families and friends (one at Christmas and one at the end of the school year). There is also an informal program in the classroom in the spring. We welcome any input you may have to strengthen and enrich our program.
Enrollment is limited to 15 children.