The commitment to academic excellence, which fosters the intellectual development of all students, is an integral part of the mission of our school.
The Pre-Kindergartener is introduced to our Catholic faith through an age appropriate curriculum called “SEEDS.” The weekly Pflaum Publication follows the lessons and gospel of the Catholic liturgical year. The emphasis is caring for one another and “Following in Jesus’ Footsteps.” The class participates in group discussions, songs, and stories related to basic Christian doctrine. Our goal is that the child “grows” (thus the name “SEEDS”) in their knowledge and relationship with Christ. They are also taught the following prayers: The Sign of the Cross, The Our Father, The Hail Mary, The Guardian Angel, The Glory Be, and several mealtime Graces.
The Pre-Kindergartner is just beginning to understand that they are part of a bigger world. The children are introduced to different countries and cultures through books, movies, food, art, and music. Additionally, the concept of “community” is emphasized.
The Pre-Kindergartner begins the year with an introduction to numbers, shapes, patterns, size, and spatial relationships. As the year progresses, they are exposed to more abstract math concepts including: simple addition and subtraction, fractions (whole/half/quarter), and simple weight concepts. These are presented using “hands on” experiences and activities are enriched with age-appropriate worksheets.
Science units are based on Natural Science Topics including: human growth and health, plant growth, insects, and water animals, weather, properties of matter (solid/liquid/gas), and safety. Projects allow the children to explore materials and observe outcomes.
The Pre-Kindergartner is given time for dramatic play, group discussions, individual sharing, and small group activities; to stimulate language development. Whole language and phonics are used as instructional techniques to present the alphabet and beginning letter sounds. In hopes to develop a love for reading there is daily reading time, where a variety of theme or Bible related books are read to the children. They also always have the opportunity for individual book exploration and listening to Books on Tape, in the reading center. The weekly “newspaper” the WEEKLY READER, is provided to the children. This publication contains a variety of interesting “age appropriate” topics.
Our primary focus is on improving fine motor skill development. The importance of holding the pencil correctly and appropriate body positioning for writing, is emphasized. It is the Denelian Alphabet and numbers that are taught, with the philosophy being an easier transition to cursive writing, when introduced in Elementary School. The Pre-Kindergartner also works hard to perfect the writing, of their name. And, it is felt that….. “Practice does make perfect” in this area of the child’s development.
The Pre-Kindergartner is provided the environment and opportunity for creative expression and improvement of fine motor skills. We offer exploration of shape, color, texture, and visual relationships through a wide variety of art media. Our motto in Art is: IT IS THE PROCESS, NOT THE PRODUCT.
The Pre-Kindergarten curriculum is THEME BASED. The focus of each week’s activities is driven by the theme. A number of developmental centers are established to help the child learn through experiences. The centers include:
- Reading & Listening
The purpose of center activity includes:
developing happy independent learners, as well as, improving the ability to work and get along with others.
Pre-Kindergartners participate in singing, musical games, and experience the use of instruments. The focus is on beat, rhythm, and melody. Singing enhances the children’s awareness of the sound and ability of their own voices. There is much music exposure in the classroom, in addition to a Music Class, which is offered 1/week with the St. Joseph/Marquette music teacher.
Physical Education (P.E.)
The emphasis during the course of the year is large motor skill development through planned recess times, classroom movement activities, and 1/week “formal P.E.” with the St. Joseph/Marquette Physical Education Instructor.
The Pre-Kindergartener has the opportunity to experience the interactive Smartboard and an introduction to the computer, keyboard, and mouse through a variety of exploration/educational computer programs.
The Pre-Kindergartners learn the concepts of how to take care of themselves. Emphasis is placed on eating healthy foods, drinking plenty of water, brushing teeth, personal hygiene habits, exercise, etc., to help their bodies grow and stay healthy. Units on personal safety, respect and manners are also included in this curriculum.