Ms. Mary Myron
Tennessee ACEI (Association for Childhood Educational)
2009 Classroom Teacher Excellence Award
|Welcome to University School Kindergarten!|
The approach to learning in the kindergarten classroom is inspired by the Reggio Emilia Principles. Central to this approach is the image of the child as having unique strengths and potentials, and that the child has the right to construct the knowledge through exploration and interactions with their teachers and peers. Strong emphasis is given to cooperative collaborations and interactions in project work, the role of the families, the role of the classroom environment and the role of the teacher. The Reggio principles are combined with that of the Responsive Classroom to create a classroom environment that nurtures character and caring, as well as, provides dynamic learning opportunities for all children.
The curriculum in the K-Kid room is based on best practices in teaching in early childhood. Tennessee State Curriculum requirements are addressed along with each child’s individual developmental needs to create dynamic learning opportunities for each child and the class as a whole. The approach to learning in the kindergarten classroom is inspired by Reggio Emilia Principles. These principles strongly emphasize the image of the child as having unique strengths and potentials, and that the child has the right to construct their learning through exploration and interactions with their teachers and peers.
The Responsive Classroom Approach is one that fosters safe, challenging and joyful classrooms. We build a caring classroom community by determining our class rules at the beginning of the year. We then work throughout the year to build our abilities to cooperate with each other. We learn caring behaviors and problem solving techniques both socially and academically. Logical consequences are used for times when behaviors need to be readjusted.
Reggio principles are combined with those of the Responsive Classroom model to create a classroom environment that encourages and nurtures character and caring and provides a learning environment that is respectful of all.
Our language arts curriculum in kindergarten includes building reading and writing skills. The primary team at University School uses Guided Reading and Guided Writing in part developed by the work of Gay Su Pinnell and Irene Fountas. We have also been fortunate in being able to study with Dr. Lester Laminack for further professional development.
Our math curriculum is an innovative new one by the Wright Group called Growing with Mathematics. Our science curriculum is inquiry based using hands on, interactive kits. Science and social studies are taught within the overall curriculum theme. Some of the themes we study in kindergarten are:
Getting to Know Each Other
Autumn and the Harvest
Spring and New Growth
Art, music, guidance, health, and physical education are an important part of the curriculum that helps the whole child to develop. These important learning opportunities are addressed in related arts classes and also within the classroom in the learning centers.
Assessment in kindergarten is ongoing each day as I check to see how each individual is developing and how the group is coming together as a whole.
Grades K-3 use a comprehensive approach to evaluating and reporting progress to our student’s families. Each child is evaluated in the following areas:
• Personal and Social Development
• Language and Literacy
• Mathematical Thinking
• Scientific thinking
• Social Studies
• The Arts
• Physical Development
A summary report is compiled in each of these areas of learning. It includes brief comments from the teacher about the child’s progress, strengths, and area of concern. This is sent home four times a year. A portfolio of the each child’s work is also kept in order to show the progress and the process of the learning as it happens throughout the year. A conference is also offered at each reporting period, as well as, upon request anytime during the year.