Text: Go Math & Simple Solutions. Our math series and instruction uses the guidelines from the Common Core Standards to build Kindergarteners’ early math skills. Our goal is to set an early foundation for students by strengthening basic skills, which they can then expand upon. We focus on counting and identifying numerals from one to one hundred, matching sets of objects to their numerals, greater than, less than, shapes, basic addition, and subtraction concepts. We also supplement with other crucial math skills like money, time, graphing and measuring. We use Smart boards, iPads, games, and many hands on manipulatives to reinforce math lessons.
Text: Harcourt Storytown Series, Michael Haggerty Phonics and Jolly Phonics. The Diocese of Joliet sets rigorous standards for reading and writing using Common Core Standards as a base, while incorporating religious texts into our curriculum. Reading curriculum includes literature, comprehension, phonics, phonological awareness and vocabulary. Our lesson begins each week with a “big book” that is used to reinforce vocabulary, rhyming, story elements and story structure. We also incorporate literacy centers (Daily Five) into our day. This allows the teachers to take small groups for guided reading based on student level, while other students practice various reading, writing and word knowledge skills. In addition, we do weekly journals and creative writing.
Text: Allelu! Growing and Celebrating with Jesus. Religion is incorporated in daily lessons, and the students work on developing and enhancing Christian behaviors of respect, friendship and responsibility. We also attend all-school mass once a month with 5th Grade buddies, as well as all observed Holy Days. Each morning, we pray together as a school by doing the Sign of the Cross followed by the Our Father or the Hail Mary. We use storybook Bibles to read stories from both the Old and New Testaments, and discuss the teachings of our Lord.
Our science curriculum is planned around inquiry-based learning. We use our current classroom themes to encourage children to ask questions about earth science, life science and physical science. We explore various topics such as the five senses, the way things move, living vs. non-living, space, and the human body. Kindergarteners participate in monthly science experiment days, during which parents volunteer their time to help with simple experiments done in small groups.
Social studies units have a heavy focus on community and citizenship. We study church, school, community helpers, how we obtain and trade goods, government and diversity. We often have guest speakers join our class to teach us about their professions and how we can be safe in our community. We focus on acceptance of all people by exploring other communities and traditions in addition to our own. We explore our country’s system of obtaining and trading goods by putting together a flea market, where children are responsible for creating, selling, buying, organizing money, and donating to those in need.
Spelling & Handwriting
Text: Handwriting Without Tears. Our curriculum incorporates the use of songs, dances, fine motor manipulatives (Play-Doh, etc.), wood pieces, and iPad apps. Each letter is introduced to the children as being made up of big lines, little lines, big curves and little curves. The curriculum first teaches all uppercase letters of the alphabet according to the way they are formed. After uppercase letters have been mastered, we learn lowercase letters. The curriculum also outlines lessons on sentence writing, beginning with capitals, leaving spaces between words and using punctuation correctly. Each child works in his/her own workbook throughout the year.
We attend each enrichment class once a week for 40 minutes. These classes include Computer, Spanish, Music, Art, Library/LRC and Physical Education. Students have recess once daily for 15 minutes. We have a half hour for lunch and a small snack in the afternoon. Students also perform in the St. Joseph Christmas Concert and spring VIP Show.
- Bengston Pumpkin Farm
- Brookfield Zoo
- Theatre trip for a play
- Halloween Parade
- Christmas Parties
- Star of the Week Project
- Polar Express Day
- Dr. Seuss’s Birthday
- 100th Day of School
- Snowman Soup
- Gingerbread Houses
- Flea Market