The Hamilton School District believes that children learn best when there is a strong partnership between home and school. Working together we create optimum learning experiences for children. We hope this curriculum guide will assist you in supporting your child’s learning.
The Hamilton School District kindergarten program for four- year-olds emphasizes developmentally appropriate activities which address the individual needs and differences of each student. Children will be engaged in meaningful experiences through an interactive learning environment that promotes a love of learning.
Four-year-old kindergarten assessments are based on evaluations of student work products, teacher observations and classroom assessments using learning progression rubrics aligned to Wisconsin’s Model Early Learning Standards (WMELS). The assessments provide parents and teachers with measures of student progress in the following developmental domains or areas: social and emotional development; language development and communication; cognition and general knowledge; health and physical development; and approaches to learning.
Parent-teacher conferences provide an opportunity for you to review assessments and discuss your child’s progress with their teacher. You will also receive a written progress report in January and June that will summarize your child’s learning. Discussing work products with your child is another excellent opportunity to stay in touch with what your child is learning in school.
Social and emotional development
Children will work on developing social and emotional skills throughout the school day. Through interactions with peers and adults, the students will work on skills such as sharing, taking turns, cooperation, collaboration, developing self-control, as well as carrying out one, two, and three step directions.
Children are provided opportunities to work on their social skills during learning centers as well as in the gym, the large group play area and the outdoor play area. Interactions and activities will assist children in developing positive self-esteem and promote the desire to learn.
Language development and communication
Language development and communication are at the center of the four-year-old kindergarten curriculum. Children are provided with meaningful opportunities to develop phonological and phonemic awareness—the ability to identify and manipulate individual sounds in words. Children will engage in learning activities around hearing single sounds in words, segmenting, blending syllables, and rhyming.
The classroom also provides a print-rich environment that invites students to explore and appreciate letters, words, and books. Children will be engaged in a variety of literacy activities throughout the school day including listening to and looking at books, noticing print in the environment, reciting rhymes, singing songs, and responding to a book or a poem. They will develop their knowledge of concepts of print including naming letters and letter sounds.
They will also develop writing skills as they begin to apply what they know about letters and sounds. It is through these activities that students learn that reading and writing are useful and meaningful ways to communicate.
Cognition and general knowledge
Mathematics and science concepts are taught throughout the day using real world applications. Children participate in calendar routines, graphing and counting, and science exploration as they engage in activities to form explanations based on trial and error, observation and explorations. The focus for developing cognition includes: identifying basic shapes; comparing and ordering by size; exploring with measurement tools; identifying numbers; understanding one-to-one correspondence; rote counting to 20; recognizing and creating patterns; writing numbers; and making observations to form explanations.
Health and physical development
Children will be provided with opportunities to develop small muscle skills. Activities necessary in the development of small muscle skills include cutting, zipping, using pencils and crayons, building with blocks and assembling puzzles.
A variety of small manipulatives are available throughout the classroom for the children to explore and use. Activities that develop large muscle development include running, skipping, hopping, jumping, balancing and throwing. Children will practice these skills in the large group area, gym and outdoors (weather permitting).
Approaches to learning
Fostering a love of learning through positive work habits is an important component of your child’s learning. Displaying curiosity, risk-taking, and a willingness to engage in new experiences will be encouraged and nourished in the classroom.
Children will also develop positive work habits such as following directions, staying on task, cleaning up and listening.