Kindergarten - PowerPoint

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					Why do so many children develop a
negative attitude toward learning and
the school experience?
 St. Christopher’s Philosophy
• Our view of the child

• A child centered curriculum

• The role of the teacher
“Children are strong, rich, and capable.
  All children have preparedness,
  potential, curiosity, and interest in
  constructing their learning, negotiating
  with everything their environment
  brings to them.”
                     -Louise Boyd Cadwell
  Children are smarter than we
       give them credit for!
o Young children are amazingly observant
o We should never “dumb them down” and
  lower our expectations of their
o They are naturally curious and therefore
  capable of controlling their own learning
            Two types of learning…
Rote memorization                 Discovery and personal
• Learn by hearing/drilling the     understanding
  same information over and       • Learning by doing (talking,
  over                              drawing, constructing,
• i.e. letters, numbers, states     painting, touching,
  and capitals, math formulas,      experimenting)
  phonics                         • Children understand
• Rote memorization helpful to      concepts in their own way, at
  teach some types of               their own pace, and within
  information                       their own developmental
• Many subjects in schools          ability (schemas)
  taught by rote memorization     • Allows for deeper
• Learning is static                understanding and
                                    connections of bigger ideas
• Representation of learning is   • Learning is a result of the
  shown by performance              experience and is dynamic
• The way a child understands a concept
• Schemas constantly change as children
  learn and experience life
• Children are egocentric and use their
  own experiences to connect ideas and
  concepts i.e. the concept of family
• Each child understands things in his/her
  own time and way and in relation to
  his/her own life experiences
        Two types of questions…

• Answer is either      • Open ended with no
  right or wrong          exact right answer (I
• Typically used with     wonder…)
  rote memorization     • Promotes deeper
  information             understanding of
• Intimidating/boring     concepts
  to some children      • Young children
                          respond well to this-
                          but lose this ability
                          during school years.
          Two types of activities…

• Expected outcome           • Creative and individual
  (everyone’s looks the        (each one is unique)
  same)                      • No right or wrong way
• A right and wrong way        to do the activity
  to do the activity (i.e.   • Allows for
  worksheets, matching         experimentation with
  games)                       tools and materials
• No personal attachment     • Personal pride in the
  or pride in the result       result
“March comes in like a lion and goes
out like a lamb.”
date   temperature    weather
 1         27           sunny

 2         31           sunny

 3         24        partly sunny

 4         29          cloudy

 5         31          cloudy

 6         31           snowy

 7         33           snowy

 8         35           sunny
“Teachers facilitate children’s exploration
  of themes, work on short-and long-term
  projects, and guide experiences of joint,
  open-ended discovery and problem
  solving. Teachers listen and observe
  children closely. Teachers ask
  questions; discover children’s ideas,
  hypothesis, and theories; and provide
  occasions for discovery and learning.”
               -Louise Boyd Cadwell
           Our Teachers…
o Share the role of leader with the children—
  don’t always have to be “in total control” of
  every situation
o Ask and encourage the children to ask
  questions-but do not always give answer
o Use words like “I wonder” and “what do you
o Are excited and involved
o Find “teachable moments” throughout the day
        Smaller Class Size
• Smaller child-to-teacher ratio allows
  time for the children to explore their
  interests with small groups as well as in
  a whole community
• Time and staff available to help support
  a child’s individual needs- whether it be
  extra help or additional challanges
 Learning Begins on Day One
• Natural progression for our preschoolers- make
  a seamless transition to Kindergarten
• No need to spend the first few months learning
  the ropes because they are already experienced
  with our rules, routines, and expectations
• Less time spent on discipline issues
• Reduced number of transitions (25-35% of an
  average school day is wasted with transitions!)
• Less wasted time=more active learning time
  Child-Centered Curriculum
• The focus is on the process, not the product
• Through documentation (photos, children’s
  drawings, transcripts) the parents will feel
  like they are truly part of the experience and
  the children will feel like valuable members of
  our community
• The children will be given the freedom to be
  who they are- young children! Time allowed
  every day for active outdoor play and
  meaningful indoor play
• It’s not all about worksheets and spelling
Child Centered Curriculum cont.
• The curriculum focuses on the whole child and
  integrates all of the subject areas
• The day isn’t spent “clock watching” to ensure
  time for all subjects every day
• The integrated curriculum would cover all of
  the Michigan Kindergarten Standards and
  Benchmarks- using real life connections
  rather than textbooks
Child Centered Curriculum cont.
     The School Community
• We would still go on the monthly field
  trips as a whole school
• As the oldest children in the school, we
  would occasionally work with the
  younger children- sharing our skills and
  talents (reading, plays, puppet shows,
  art projects, etc)
       Instilling Confidence,
     Independence, and Love of
• Our hope is that our students go into first
  grade with not only all of the academic skills
  necessary, but also a love of learning, the
  ability to ask questions and think for
  themselves, the ability to work confidently
  and independently, and overall to feel like a
  valued member of their learning community.
• You can’t get that in “the blue reading group!”
          Parent Involvement
• Parents would be encouraged to be involved in their
  child’s education
• Parents invited to help out, share talents and skills
• Smaller class size would allow for more daily face-to-
  face communication with teacher
• “Daily News” written and sent home as often as
  possible, eventually having the children participate in
  the process
• Documentation (digital photos, dialogue, quotes,
  children’s art and projects) designed to represent daily
  Schedule and Tuition Costs
• Kindergarten would run Monday thru
  Friday 8:30-12:00 (8:15 drop off)
• Extended care (before and after school)
  available at an hourly rate
• Vacations would follow the MAPS school
  year calendar for vacations (spring
  break, Christmas), but not for in-
  services, conference days, etc
    Schedule and Tuition Costs
• $62.50 weekly
• $250/month
• Tuition will be charged monthly and due
  before the first week of each month
• Before/After School rates will remain
  hourly and be billed weekly
          So what’s next?
• We need no less than ten letters of
  commitment (Kindergarten eligible for
  2008-2009) by May 16th with a cap of 16
  total students enrolled
• We plan to form an advisory board,
  consisting of community members,
  parish members, educators, and parents
  for governance and accountability of the
  programs (pre-school and Kindergarten)
Additional Questions or
Thank you for coming!