The Maumee Valley Kindergarten program builds on student-inquiry and outdoor learning experiences from previous grades. It is also the true beginning of formal literacy and math instruction. Not only do students learn the basics of writing and reading, but they are also taught how to create writing pieces that engage the readers. They learn how to read in a way that informs their thoughts and ideas. Math concepts are introduced in a relevant way that makes sense and empowers students to use what they have learned. As the oldest age group in the Early Learning Center, Kindergarten is ultimately a place where every student is prepared for success in the Lower School. In addition to the homeroom curriculum, Kindergarten students participate in Spanish, art, music, and physical education programs.
In Kindergarten students begin to receive formal literacy instruction. Kindergarten teachers provide a safe environment for students to start learning to read and write through direct instruction. Maumee Valley implements a holistic Language Arts approach, incorporating components of Teacher’s College Writing and Reading Program and Orton-Gillingham’s multi-sensory approach to instruction. Students have the opportunity to explore and develop in all modalities of language arts instruction, encouraging them to use literacy to express, communicate, and seek new knowledge. Students continue to explore and learn during inquiry-based units, allowing for instruction to occur naturally, led by the students’ readiness and curiosity. As students prepare to move on to the Lower School, they gain the confidence, knowledge, and experience to succeed in school.
In Kindergarten, Maumee Valley students receive a variety of instruction throughout the year including whole group, small group, and one-to-one time. Problem-solving and transferring knowledge to new situations continues to be a focus at this level. Each student’s learning style and aptitude are carefully tracked by teachers to ensure that all students are receiving instruction in a way that best meets their needs and that ensures they are ready for the next stage. By the end of the Kindergarten year, students will understand and be able to apply various mathematical concepts including data handling, measurement, geometry (shape and space), operations and algebraic thinking (pattern and function), and counting and cardinality (numbers).
In Kindergarten students continue practicing prosocial behavior, including cooperating, resolving conflicts with peers, following classroom rules, and listening to adult requests. The expectation is that most students should be able to engage in prosocial behavior throughout the day, and this enables the class to work collaboratively on a deeper level than younger grades. Understanding and regulating emotions is a critical part of a student’s success in school and their general happiness in life. The curriculum in the Kindergarten instills these traits in students so that they may find enjoyment in all their endeavors.