Meet Ms. Gerringa and Mrs. Backus, kindergarten teachers at Bellevue Elementary
Academics for Young Learners
Reading for Kindergarten:
- The Common Core asks students to read stories and literature, as well as more complex texts that provide facts and background knowledge in areas such as science and social studies. Students will be challenged and asked questions that push them to refer back to what they’ve read. This stresses critical-thinking, problem-solving, and analytical skills that are required for success in college, career, and life.
- Students are exposed to a balanced literacy approach, which focuses on reading, writing, comprehension, speaking and listening.
- Students are exposed to effective reading strategies through read-alouds and shared reading. Guided reading takes place in leveled small groups.
- Phonics and whole language are integrated as the students study the alphabet.
- The students are exposed to sight words throughout the year.
- Writing strategies are modeled through guided writing and practice in kindergarten journals.
- The program is an introduction to reach the objective that all students will recognize all letter names and sounds quickly as well as being able to apply them to their reading and writing.
- Phonics instruction and phonological/phonemic awareness are emphasized, with students becoming fluent in reading short vowel cvc words with beginning and ending blends and digraphs.
- Students are also introduced to the mechanics of writing, including letter formation, punctuation, word spacing and word families.
- The most important aspect of the language arts program is to create an environment where children develop a love of reading and writing.
Mathematics for Kindergarten:
- Kindergarteners enjoy a hands-on approach in their development of mathematical concepts.
- The calendar is taught and reviewed daily throughout the year, as well.
- Students will focus on problem solving strategies using manipulatives to master specific skills.
Students use numbers, including written numerals, to represent quantities and to solve quantitative problems, such as counting objects in a set; counting out a given number of objects; comparing sets or numerals; and modeling simple joining and separating situations with sets of objects, or eventually with equations such as 5 + 2 = 7 and 7 – 2 = 5. (Kindergarten students should see addition and subtraction equations, and student writing of equations in kindergarten is encouraged, but it is not required.) Students choose, combine, and apply effective strategies for answering quantitative questions, including quickly recognizing the cardinalities of small sets of objects, counting and producing sets of given sizes, counting the number of objects in combined sets, or counting the number of objects that remain in a set after some are taken away.
Students describe their physical world using geometric ideas (e.g., shape, orientation, spatial relations) and vocabulary. They identify, name, and describe basic two-dimensional shapes, such as squares, triangles, circles, rectangles, and hexagons, presented in a variety of ways (e.g., with different sizes and orientations), as well as three-dimensional shapes such as cubes, cones, cylinders, and spheres. They use basic shapes and spatial reasoning to model objects in their environment and to construct more complex shapes.
Science and Social Studies Themes for Kindergarten:
- These curriculums are taught through thematic units, integrating reading, writing and mathematical concepts.
Motor Skills for Kindergarten Age Students:
- Many of the Kindergarten activities are focused around building the students fine motor skills as well as building on academic skills.
- Research supports that development of fine motor skills in young children is directly linked to complex brain functions such as language skills. It is important to monitor those skills as they mature and build progress by playing games and activities that contribute directly to that area of development.
- We encourage parents to practice building these skills with clay, cushy balls, tearing paper, pushing across the floor with hands and such activities that build the muscles in the child's hands and upper body.
Social and Learning Skills for Kindergarten:
- We develop social and emotional skills through the use of the Second Step Curriculum for Social and Emotional learning.
- Students learn to become good listeners and take turns talking.
- Students learn to work together cooperatively.
- Students learn to follow school rules.
- Students learn to be responsible and respectful of others.
- We build a culture of community and respect, a "Classroom Family."
Fine Arts for Kindergarten Curriculum:
- Technology Education
- Physical Education
- Instructinal Technology
The students participate in each of these special classes for 1 hour weekly.
Parents are expected to provide healthy snacks for kindergarten. High protein snacks are highly recommended. These high protein snacks should have 4 or more grams of protein and contain little or no sugar. Here are a few ideas to get you started: cheerios, protein bars, granola bars, cheese, and yogurt. Let your creativity soar!
Websites for you and your Kindergartener:
We look forward to working together in partnership with your kindergartener!
We are the Bellevue Bears!