Four Year Old Kindergarten Curriculum
We have adapted the Everyday Math pre-kindergarten curriculum, used in many local school programs for our four year olds. This program is very hands-on and covers all areas of mathematic development. In addition, we try to fuse math into the other areas of the classroom, whether using rulers and shape stencils in the art center, sorting blocks by shapes in the building area, or using the cash register and counting money in the dramatic play area.
We use Handwriting without Tears for our writing curriculum. It is very hands-on and incorporates developing fine motor coordination in addition to handwriting. We will used wooden blocks to build the shapes of letters, chalkboards, and books to practice letter formation. In addition, we write in journals on a daily basis. We encourage the children to do their best work and take the next step forward as they are ready for it, whether they are drawing pictures with teacher dictation, tracing over highlighted words, sounding out words to write on their own, or creating sentences. It will be amazing how their writing changes from September to June.
We base our literacy learning around whole language and try to provide as much exposure to books as possible. We work a lot with phonemic awareness, which is the ability to break apart and play with the sounds in words. This ability is key before phonics skills and reading begins. We do this through rhyming activities, poems, songs, and letter sound games. We also work with letter recognition individually with the children through letter cards. As each child masters their upper and lowercase letters, we work with them to select a variety of words based on their interest, our themes, and from sight words. For those that are ready to begin reading, we use one-on-one time to have a variety of leveled readers.
Emergent Theme Planning
Each unit we do in our classroom is inspired by the children through observation and conversation. We feel that this kind of planning helps the children learn the math and literacy skills even better since they have shown interest in the units. Some of the units we have covered in previous years include: Birthdays, Frog and Toad, Antarctica, Birds (including chicken hatching), and Eric Carle.