Learning@ISB



EARLY CHILDHOOD

Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten

Our youngest students learn best in a safe and nurturing environment where curiosity and exploration are cultivated. Guided discovery and unstructured play both inside and outside of the classroom provides children with the freedom to creatively choose much about their learning paths. Partnerships with families are essential, as we know that children flourish in a supportive environment in which the child, the family, and teachers work together.

 

 

TYPICAL DAILY SCHEDULE

7:40-9:15 Core Learning Block 1
9:15-9:35 Recess
9:35-10:25 Core Learning Block 2
10:25-11:45 Specialists (Art, PE, World Language, Music)
11:45-12:30 Lunch and Recess
12:30-1:10 Core Learning Block 3

In Pre-K, the curriculum is based on the Reggio Emilia educational philosophy, which believes that children are endowed with “a hundred languages” through which they can express their ideas. The aim of this approach is teaching how to use these symbolic languages (e.g. painting, sculpting, drama) in everyday life. The program is based on exploration and discovery in a supportive and enriching self-guided curriculum. Our early childhood learning environment exposes children to a rich, meaningful curriculum of skills, attitudes, and knowledge through developmentally appropriate activities. The meaningful opportunities and environment come together to encourage the children to be explorers, investigators, and problem solvers in:

LANGUAGE AND LITERACY

Children develop language and literacy through meaningful experiences such as read-alouds, book-making, storytelling, small and whole group conversations, as well as dramatic play. Language learning involves understanding increasingly complex language, using language to express thoughts and needs, as well as developing appropriate conversational skills. Literacy learning focuses on phonological awareness, letters and sounds, concepts of print, listening comprehension, and emergent writing.

MATHEMATICS

Children develop mathematical vocabulary, concepts, and process skills through hands-on experiences such as classroom routines, exploration with manipulatives, games, problem-solving, play, and interactions with the natural environment. Mathematical learning focuses on number concepts and operations, spatial relationships and shape, measurement, classification, and patterns.

INQUIRY AND COGNITIVE

Units of inquiry provide a meaningful context for the integration of science, social studies, language, and math learning. During units of guided inquiry, children learn through investigative experiences using a variety of materials. Science and social studies learning focuses on using tools, developing inquiry skills, and making sense of themselves and the world around them. Cognitive goals include developing positive approaches to learning, remembering and connecting experiences, and symbolic communication.

SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Play is the primary context in which children develop language and social skills. Through play, they learn to regulate their own emotions and behaviors, establish and sustain positive relationships, as well as participate cooperatively and constructively in group situations.

HEALTH AND WELLBEING

The curriculum provides the basis for developing knowledge, understanding, and skills for children to lead healthy, safe and active lives. Students have opportunities to learn about their strengths and simple actions they can take to keep themselves and their classmates healthy and safe.

LANGUAGE ARTS

Balanced Literacy

Recent classroom research shows that literacy develops best when a balanced program is in place. At the center of our program is the reading and writing workshop, which includes a mini-lesson (explicit modeling and guided practice), independent reading or writing, and partner time. In addition to the workshop, the other components of a balanced literacy framework include: Interactive read-aloud, shared reading/writing; Phonics/Word Study; Small Group Instruction (guided reading, strategy lessons, and interventions).

Reading

At ISB, our curriculum aims at creating independent, lifelong readers through the development of students’ comprehension, fluency, and stamina. Kindergarten students will begin with a focus on narrative sense by retelling rich literature by “reading” the illustrations. Throughout the year, students will focus on developing their reading skills and related strategies with both fiction and nonfiction texts.

Writing

Kindergarten students will begin with a focus on storytelling and personal narratives, moving from oral telling about the story they’ve drawn, to labeling and adding words and sentences. Students will develop their skills within the following types of writing: narrative, informational, and opinion. During writer’s workshop, students will engage in the writing process of generating ideas, rehearsing, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing.

Listening and Speaking

Speaking and listening are woven into many areas of the curriculum throughout the year, especially in their partnership work in literacy, math, and science, as they strive to develop skills related to attentive listening, collaborative communication and clear presentation of ideas.

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MATHEMATICS

We believe mathematics is an essential universal language, necessary as a reasoning tool to solve problems and make sense of our world. At ISB mathematical thinkers use reasoning and apply skills to solve problems and make informed decisions about their world. The Kindergarten content standards and practices are:

We believe mathematics is an essential universal language, necessary as a reasoning tool to solve problems and make sense of our world. At ISB mathematical thinkers use reasoning and apply skills to solve problems and make informed decisions about their world. The Kindergarten content standards and practices are:

Counting and Cardinality

Know number names and the count sequence.
Count to tell the number of objects.
Compare numbers.

Operations and Algebraic Thinking

Understand addition as putting together and adding to, and understand
subtraction as taking apart and taking from.

Number and Operations in Base Ten

Work with numbers 11-19 to gain foundations for place value.

Measurement and Data

Describe and compare measurable attributes.
Classify objects and count the number of objects in each category.

Geometry

Identify and describe shapes.
Analyze, compare, create, and compose shapes.

Mathematical Practices

1. Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.
2. Reason abstractly and quantitatively.
3. Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.
4. Model with mathematics.
5. Use appropriate tools strategically.
6. Attend to precision.
7. Look for and make use of structure.
8. Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning.

 SCIENCE

All science units are taught using hands-on, inquiry activities that are designed to further the understanding of the content and foster the natural curiosity of elementary children.

Connections to Our World

This unit explores the use and properties of materials. It is an inquiry into the natural world that surrounds them, how materials are used and interact with each other and their connections within our environment. It focuses on our responsibility to share and conserve both natural and human-made resources.

Growing and Changing

In this unit, students observe how living things change over time. They become gardeners, learning how to care for a community of living plants. Kindergarteners collaborate to identify the needs of plants and how best to provide those basic needs. Through this authentic context, learners develop a deeper respect for living things including their own needs, compare and contrast living and nonliving things, and reflect on how careful observation and recording can show how things change over time.

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SOCIAL STUDIES

Students are encouraged to reflect upon their own cultural identities as well as to recognize and respect cultural similarities and differences within a global perspective. Kindergarten students will develop their social skills through the All About Me lessons, which are woven throughout the day and year as students look at Why am I Unique?, How am I Special?, and How Are We Alike and How Are We Different?

Health and Wellbeing

The curriculum provides the basis for developing knowledge, skills, and understandings for children to lead healthy, safe and active lives. Students have opportunities to learn about their strengths and simple actions they can take to keep themselves and their classmates healthy and safe. This is integrated throughout the year through All About Me and Growing and Changing.