Jr. Kindergarten (Age 4)
Welcome to JK at Brandon Academy.
This class utilizes a theme-based cross-curriculum and explores letters, sounds and sight words. The core subjects of the pre-kindergarten program include social development, math readiness, language development, science and social studies. The program is enriched weekly by music, physical education, Spanish, art and computers. Weekly themes are used to integrate all areas of the curriculum. Emphasis is placed on developmentally appropriate activities, both active and passive using both fine and gross motor skills. This is accomplished in both large and small groups as well as individualized instruction to appropriately meet the needs of each child.
Our pre-kindergarten program shows a great emphasis on social development. We strive to teach the children to display self-confidence, build self-esteem and develop a sense of independence. We will encourage them to try new things, accept and respond to authority and to be respectful and considerate of others. We practice appropriate social habits each day such as sharing, cooperation, respect, self-control, honesty and compassion. We want each child to learn about friendship and fairness, compassion and caring and to accept the differences in others.
Our math program combines hands-on activities, cooperative learning and independent practice. Our goals are for the children to be able to identify and write numbers 1-20 and compare using terms like more, less and equal. They will learn to do basic addition and subtraction using numbers 1-10, understand patterning, simple fractions, graphing and weights and measures. They will learn to solve picture and story problems, understand 1 to 1 correspondence for counting and simple problem solving, and be able to identify and classify items by size, shape and color. They will develop a knowledge of the calendar with skills to include counting, sequencing and ordinal numbers as well as the ability to identify days, months and seasons.
Our language arts program combines listening and communication skills as well as fine motor skills. Students are introduced to upper and lowercase letters, letter sounds, blending sounds, sight words and reading readiness skills. They practice handwriting, letter formation, basic printing skills and daily journal activities. We assist children in using the proper pencil grip and writing their words from left-to-right. Students are taught to rhyme words, list word families and recognize words that begin with the same letter sounds. Children are encouraged to speak clearly, communicate in sentences and expand their vocabulary. Stories, poems, fingerplays and songs are recited to the children daily. Students are able to listen and comprehend stories describing the main idea, details, characters and predicting what will happen next.
Our science program coincides with our weekly themes which include animals, our 5 senses, dinosaurs, health and nutrition, insects, life cycles, weather and seasons, magnets, habitats, planting and growing, the rainforest, planets, the earth and ecology. Our hands on experiments include exploration, prediction, observation and discussions on cause and effect. Results are discussed and recorded on chart paper.
Our program also includes field trips to the farm, a pumpkin patch and occasional nature walks. In the classroom we make snow, observe caterpillars turn into butterflies and raise our own ladybugs and moths. Cooking is included in our science unit as children learn to measure, combine ingredients and observe the changes that take place.
Our social studies units are theme based. Some topics include all about me, families, community helpers, safety awareness and careers. Students also begin to identify and understand different countries as well as their cultures, languages, religions and holidays. Many books are used to reinforce these topics as well as parent volunteers and speakers to discuss their family’s traditions. Cooking and art projects are included to give children a hand on experience to help them gain an understanding of the unit studied.
The study of historical people is included in our social studies program. This includes Christopher Columbus, Johnny Appleseed, Martin Luther King Jr. as well as important presidents. We also expose children to different holidays such as Veteran’s Day, Labor Day, President’s Day and more. Classroom books and the Scholastic help us reinforce these topics.
Daily enrichment groups consist of 5-6 children who show the ability to excel in math and/or reading. Twenty-minute sessions include working with manipulatives, visuals and writing activities. The reading group works on blending sounds, core reading skills and sight words. Math groups explore beginning addition and subtraction with hand-on materials. Students are continually evaluated for placement in groups to meet their individual academic needs.
What’s special about JK?