Students in the Lower School have the opportunity to create artwork based on imagination and through observation of familiar objects and scenes. They learn how to manipulate materials to combine the elements of art and principles of design to communicate their own ideas in two and three dimensional art. Throughout their Lower School years, students demonstrate increasing skill in the use of art tools and materials. They learn how to recognize different artists’ styles and types of art, share personal interpretations of the meanings conveyed in various works of art, and use basic self assessment strategies to improve their own art work.
The Early Learning Center’s Junior Kindergarten class builds off the skills and concepts introduced at the Prekindergarten level through data handling, measurement, geometry (shape and space), operations and algebraic thinking (pattern and function), and counting and cardinality (numbers). Teachers continue to provide opportunities for students to understand and master various mathematical concepts through fun and engaging learning experiences. Reasoning and problem-solving are also key components of the curriculum at this age. Teachers pose problems to the class, building upon student interests and previous experiences, to draw the children into a discussion and guide them through the process of investigating and testing hypotheses.
The Maumee Valley Junior Kindergarten class supports the skills of observation, organization, and problem-solving. The transition to symbolic expression has begun. Students practice using writing and drawing to express their thoughts and feelings. Small and large group work becomes more meaningful as students exchange ideas with each other. At this age, students start to develop preferences for certain children in the class and ultimately wrestle with the idea of “who are my friends?” Through careful scaffolding, teachers use this new level of interaction between students to empower them to learn from each other, develop empathy, and enhance their ability to function as a cohesive group.
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.
Maumee Valley’s Prekindergarten class uses various learning contexts (small group, large group, and one on one) to provide focused mathematics time that is relevant and meaningful to students. Young children have varying levels of mathematical understanding and, as the year progresses, teachers build on their understanding by providing formal vocabulary to these concepts as well as introducing new ideas within the context of their play. Teachers pose questions about student’s play that engages them and allows them to begin to understand such concepts as data handling, measurement, geometry (shape and space), operations and algebraic thinking (pattern and function), and counting and cardinality (numbers).
The Prekindergarten class emphasizes process, decision-making, personal responsibility, and communication. At this age, students are making the transition from parallel play to cooperative play. They learn what it means to be part of a group and how we can all help and learn from each other. Meeting time becomes an integral part of the curriculum as students learn to listen, to express their ideas, and to solve a problem working together as a group.