Kindergarten/1st Grade Highlights
Our Kindergarten/1st grade or "K/1 room" experience is often described as "magical." Visit the classroom and you may find yourself entering a completely different environment. The students may transform their classroom into a rainforest complete with a giant Kapok tree suitable for sitting in to ponder the secrets of the rainforest. Later you may enter the inhospitable environment of space where you will find the K/1 students putting the finishing touches on their solar system model or manning the cockpit in preparation for launch of their "life-size" space shuttle.
Students imagine, plan, and help to construct and paint these elaborate projects to immerse themselves in their unit of study. Additional benefits include teamwork, cooperation, and creativity. Perhaps the most important benefit the students gain from these science and social studies projects is a "can do" attitude that will lay the foundation for the rest of their education at Countryside. The students retain their imagination and excitement and learn to transform their dreams into reality as they mature and progress through their later years here. The scope and breadth of the ideas in the middle school science fairs, invention fairs, and family engineering night are readily apparent manifestations of the experiences and inspiration from their K/1 years.
When the children study a country or time period, all academic subjects are integrated with the study of that country or time period. For instance, while in ancient Egypt, the math groups measure pyramids, use the Egyptian number system (fortunately base 10!) and play ancient Egyptian games using a variety of math skills. During Reading/Writing Workshop time, the children read books about Egypt and write about Egypt. The children also enjoy writing using hieroglyphs!
The children work in math and reading groups according to achievement level, and study a world language (Chinese or Spanish). They also have PE, music and Creative Dramatics. In addition, each year the K/1 students plan and implement a service project where they eagerly use their talents to help others in need.
“What I treasure most is the wonderful warmth and sense of community.There is a real sense of belonging here.”
- parent of a Kindergarten student
Some highlights of K/1:
- Sailing the "seas" in our Ocean Show
- Learning Chinese or Spanish
- Doing hot chocolate math
- Building the Great Pyramid
- Combining community service with basic economics in our pizzeria or bakery projects