The Kindergarten program at Kentucky Avenue School is rooted in the principles of Responsive Classroom. We believe that social education is as important as the academic curriculum. We recognize play as an integral part of a child's development. Consequently, our program fosters a balance of play and academic work. We believe that the greatest cognitive growth occurs through social interaction. Children learn the most when they are engaged in meaningful ways with others. A primary goal of the Kindergarten program is to create a community in the classroom where children recognize and value the strengths and interests of themselves and of others.
We believe that how children learn is as important as what they learn. Therefore, we strive for a balance between teacher-directed and child-initiated experiences. Children have an opportunity each day to initiate learning and explore ideas based on their interests in open ended ways, while working together to communicate ideas, collaborate, and build understanding. Students explore the elements of reading, literature, music, art, science and mathematics. We explore ideas surrounding changes in seasons and traditional seasonal celebrations and engage in related activities and projects, while remaining flexible to encompass emergent learning through children's ideas and interests.
To supplement this more natural mode of learning specific reading and math programs are used. Physical Education is part of the classroom routine with daily exercise. Daily outdoor recess is an important part of the day. We walk to Mellon Park on Friday afternoons in the Fall and Spring and to Shadyside Boys and Girls Club in the winter for physical education. While music and art are part of the daily routine the children have a vocal and movement class and a formal art class once a week. The children also begin their study of Spanish with two sessions per week. Our Kindergarten students have opportunities to work with children in our primary grades program. The children participate in community service projects throughout the year.