Teaching and Learning in Kindergarten
Our standards-based curriculum, which guides both teaching and learning in our classrooms, is built upon the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education curriculum frameworks and the Common Core State Standards. Science and social studies concepts are woven into the literacy curriculum through a thematic approach, which includes a careful curation of high-quality literature on grade-level relevant topics.
In kindergarten, much emphasis is placed on the development of social-emotional competencies. Interpersonal relationships are fostered through regular cooperative activities and play. Our curriculum and instructional approach is reflective of the Massachusetts Standards for Preschool and Kindergarten Social and Emotional Learning and Approaches to Play and Learning.
Additionally, through the Fundations curriculum, all students are provided with researched-based, systematic, and explicit phonics and word study instruction as well as practice with other foundational literacy skills, including phonemic awareness, high frequency word study, reading fluency, vocabulary, comprehension strategies, handwriting, and spelling.
Falmouth is currently in the process of selecting a new math program that will guide instruction in grades K-4.
This combination of sound curriculum and research-based instructional strategies helps to ensure that ALL kindergarten children develop a solid foundation for growth, advanced learning, and later success. To make sure each child acquires that foundation, we regularly assess and provide extension, enrichment, or intervention in each subject area, when needed. Our kindergarten classrooms are a welcoming transition into the elementary school setting and a positive experience for students as they begin their educational journey.
WHAT IS ASSESSMENT?
We believe that children should be supported and valued for the prior knowledge they bring to the classroom that is based on their family and life experiences. We also believe that assessment should always be developmentally appropriate. As a result, we use a variety of assessments in the classroom to gauge students’ current understandings and plan an approach to continued learning.
Assessment is the process of observing, recording, and documenting what your child knows and can do. We use this information to help your child(ren) reach their greatest potential by incorporating what we learn about your child into our daily instructional plan. This means that we try to structure the learning day so that each child has an opportunity to engage in work that is challenging, interesting, fun, and individualized to their needs.
DO KINDERGARTEN STUDENTS RECEIVE A REPORT CARD?
Our Kindergarten report card is one way we communicate with families regarding each child’s progress. Kindergarten students receive report cards two times each year. This formal report is typically sent home in January and June. However, we welcome any opportunity to discuss your child’s progress with you. The Kindergarten report card provides information on the whole child (i.e., social skills, readiness skills, and academic progress). During the scheduled conference time in December, and at any other time during the school year, parents/guardians are encouraged to share their thoughts and ideas about how their child(ren) learns best. Information about your child(ren)’s development is kept confidential and will only be shared with you, as the child(ren)’s parents/guardians. The skills listed on the Kindergarten Report Cards are based on end-of-year expectations. We encourage you to ask your child’s teacher if you have any questions.
WHEN SHOULD I SHARE CONCERNS WITH MY CHILD’S TEACHER?
Teachers are open to families’ suggestions about how best to work with a child. Developing a strong and trusting partnership between families and the school district is vital to academic and social-emotional success of each of our learners. As a parent/guardian, you should always feel free to share your concerns with the classroom teacher. By simply contacting the teacher and setting up an appointment, you can share concerns and collaboratively problem solve solutions.
Our educators work with many families and have busy schedules. Please be mindful of their time and their daily work requirements. Unexpected visits are discouraged as it often disrupts daily scheduling or planned meetings.
WHAT IF MY CHILD'S FIRST LANGUAGE IS OTHER THAN ENGLISH?
During the registration for your child, there is a form that allows you to select in which language you would like to receive all of your communication from the school. Then all notices and forms will go out to you in your preferred language. You may also request any communication in your preferred language at any time.
WHO GETS TO SEE MY CHILD'S SCHOOL WORK?
Classroom-based assessments are viewed only by staff who are directly involved in the child’s education can access this information, and it is with the knowledge of the classroom teacher. Parents/Guardians always have access to any information about their child. If a parent/guardian is interested, they may schedule a meeting with their child’s teacher to discuss what the teacher has collected or documented.