"A Professional Learning Community focuses on learning rather than teaching,
works collaboratively and holds itself accountable for results."
- Richard DuFour
Saint Mary Kindergarten
PRESCHOOL 3s AND 4s
The purpose of Early Childhood Education, in general, is three-fold: to provide an opportunity for socialization, to lay the foundation for grade school learning, and to foster the natural curiosity of children by encouraging thinking, questioning, and wondering.
Our Saint Mary Pre-K programs use an integrated and spiraling curriculum to deliver instruction to our youngest learners. An integrated approach allows teachers to present children with information and support learning throughout the day. If the class is learning about apples, they might weigh them in science, create a graph of favorite types of apples in math, and listen to stories about apples, write or dictate something they know about apples, or act out the story of Johnny Appleseed in language arts. Our themes and integrated approach to curriculum enable teachers to cater to multiple modalities of learning.
Because preschool-aged children vary developmentally from one another, we use a spiraling curriculum model. This means that skills are presented multiple times throughout the year, in order to meet students where they are developmentally. For example, patterning is a concept that is revisited throughout the preschool program; in September students might create patterns with apples, in October with pumpkins, etc. This allows students who are ready to create patterns in September to do so, while exposing all children to the concept. In October, more children will be ready to understand patterning while others might begin mastering or extending the concept. Our spiraling curriculum model allows teachers to differentiate instruction for individual learners.
At Saint Mary School we offer both full-day and half-day options for Kindergarten. Our programs are academic in nature and take into consideration the development of Kindergarten-aged children by including both grade level learning and leveled learning opportunities for students. Our Kindergarten curriculum is aligned with state of Illinois and Archdiocesan learning standards and is designed to be holistic, as teachers support cognitive, social and spiritual development, during every school day.
In class, students work in both large and small group settings. Large group work allows teachers to develop community within the classroom and scaffold students in their social interactions with each other while smaller groups allow our teachers to differentiate learning and deliver instruction in exciting, meaningful ways that engage children in the learning process. At Saint Mary School, Kindergarten is a place where students are inspired to learn and grow to their fullest potential.
The Saint Mary Kindergarten program is comprehensive, including core content areas such as religion, language arts (reading, writing, speaking and listening), phonics, writing, handwriting, mathematics, and social studies and science concepts. Additionally, our Kindergarten students participate in high caliber programming in music class, Phys.Ed., Spanish, art, technology and library.
EARLY CHILDHOOD LEARNING COMMUNITY FACULTY AND STAFF
Learning Communities allow educators who teach the same students or similar content areas to articulate with each other and maximize student learning. The ECE Learning Community at Saint Mary School consists of Preschool and Kindergarten teachers who work collaboratively to engage students, increase understanding and inspire learning.