4K Curriculum Summary
Jolly Phonics is a child-centered method of teaching and enhancing literacy skills, using multi-sensory experiences such as music, touch, and movement. In 4K, students are exposed to twenty-six core letter sounds, and a few digraph sounds. Each week, students focus on a letter sound, learn a hand or body movement symbol to accompany the sound, and participate in a song or rhyme that showcases that letter sound. Our goal in Jolly Phonics is for students to be experience all letter sounds and begin working on discriminating letter sounds, using the sound/symbol connection.
Show and Share
The 4K team encourages a weekly Show and Share time, which accompanies our Jolly Phonics program. Students are encouraged to bring in an appropriate item from that begins with the same letter sound that the class is studying. Typically, there are two Show and Share days per week, one for boys and one for girls. Families work together to write clues about the mystery Show and Share item. Goals for Jolly Phonics Show and Share are for children to recognize and discriminate beginning letter sounds, model the movement symbol for that letter sound and participate in the letter sound song. Other goals for this time include using whole sentences, practicing turn-taking, utilizing listening skills, and developing questioning and answering skills.
Handwriting Without Tears
Handwriting Without Tears is a multi-sensory handwriting program that breaks down writing into simpler tasks for our youngest learners. HWT uses a common language of big and little lines and big and little curves to write all twenty-six uppercase letters. Students participating in HWT work on pencil grip, aiming on paper, and distinguishing between big and little, curve and line. In 4K, students also work from top to bottom, and also from left to right with the help of Smiley Guy, who shows us where letters start. HWT also promotes the use of a multi-sensory approach. 4K students use play dough to form letters, chalkboards and wet sponges to write letters, magnet lines/curves to stamp the letters and wooden pieces to form letters. In addition, students also learn how to use lines and curves to create shapes, and a special character named Mat Man (who is made of shapes) aids in drawing development. The goal for Handwriting Without Tears is to aid in the fine-motor development of students in the arena of writing without frustration.
Conscious Discipline is a positive classroom management strategy that helps promote a School Family culture. The purpose of Conscious Discipline is to teach students communication and social-emotional skills needed to manage their own bodies, handle peer conflict, assert themselves, and encourage pro-social behaviors. Conscious Discipline aims to internalize seven key skills in students: composure, encouragement, assertiveness, choices, empathy, positive intent and consequences. Our goal in Conscious Discipline is for our students to keep our School Family safe. Students are encouraged to seek out helpful choices, utilize a Safe Space when needed, practice breathing strategies for calming, problem-solve, and accept natural consequences.
Feeling BuddiesThe Feeling Buddies is a social-emotional curriculum under Conscious Discipline that promotes the development of self-regulation. In the Feeling Buddies curriculum, students learn to identify emotions. Emotions are presented to students through use of face, body and voice signals, which students work on recognizing in themselves and others. Students also learn calming strategies to implement when emotional responses are triggered. In addition, students work through focusing activities to get their bodies ready to learn, connection activities to build community, and problem solving techniques that students are able to use within daily interactions. During this process, students use the buddies as tools, and teach the buddies the process of emotional management in order to strengthen their own internal skillset. Our goal for the Feeling Buddies curriculum is for students to identify emotions in themselves and others, and practice the 5-steps to self-regulation.