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Southmoor Kindergarten

Kindergarten at Southmoor provides a stimulating environment where children are actively involved in learning all day.

Academics are learned and practiced, through interactions with other students, music, media, manipulatives, as well as old fashioned paper work.

We believe that it is important for kindergarten classes to have structure as well as clear expectations for students.Our students have ownership of the classroom and its contents. They also have responsibility for using materials appropriately and putting away materials when they are finished.

Our day begins with a morning meeting. We use the Promethean boards to practice shared reading as we sing our songs and perhaps learn new ones.The Poetry Book is an important part of our literacy instruction.

The children learn several new songs or poems each week. Studies have shown that music and rhythm more actively engage all parts of the brain. They delve into the text finding sight words, anchor words, rhyming words etc. Repeated singing or reading helps children develop voice-print match, sight word familiarity, and fluency. Singing together also helps us establish our community. And connects the classroom to the home as children bring home their notebooks on weekends to read and sing to their parents.

We follow the DPS Balanced Literacy Plan including daily whole group reading lessons, small group guided reading, and individual conferencing with students. After children’s reading skills are assessed, they are grouped by level (4-6 students) for reading instruction. Writer’s workshop includes specific skills lessons and shared or guided writing at the beginning of the year moving to independent writing toward the end of the year. Phonics instruction is an important part of both reading and writing instruction.

We use the Everyday Math program adopted by Denver Public Schools. Everyday Math in kindergarten consists of daily practice with numbers and manipulatives and a variety of games with numbers and math concepts. The goal is for children to become comfortable manipulating numbers and shapes and begin to see patterns. We explore 2 and 3 dimensional shapes and numbers to 100, create and combine sets, skip count by 2's, 5's, 10's and 25's, become familiar with coins, clocks and calendars. The program encourages young students to see the math that is around us everyday.

Kindergarteners go to lunch and recess from 11:40 - 12:30 each day. students may either bring a lunch from home or eat the lunch prepared in the lunchroom which includes the fruits and veggies bar. After lunch we have 20 minutes of DEAR time Drop Everything And Read), a quiet time for relaxing and independent reading. In the afternoon students attend special classes in Art, Music, and P.E. We visit the computer lab and library once each week as well.

Young children learn through play. We try to honor this fact by supporting our students’ learning. One way that we do this is by including 30-40 minutes of centers activities each morning and afternoon. There are 8 centers in the classroom and students may choose where they would like to work. Structures are in place to ensure that children visit a variety of centers. They are designed to support the learning that we are doing in the classroom and the activities at each center change as we change areas of study. Students are taught how to do the activities and expectations are clear. Centers include: math, construction, dramatic play,tub table, art, painting, word work, writing, computers, library, and Promethean Board.
We strive to ensure that every day is a special day in kindergarten!