The full day pre-kindergarten and kindergarten program encourages learning and curiosity, emphasizing respect for self and others. These programs introduce students to OLQHS and prepare them for success in its larger community. Pre-kindergarten students must be 4 years of age by September 30 of the school year in which they plan to start. Below is information about the different activities and materials our pre-k and kindergarten teachers use to create a full, enlightening and structured curriculum for our youngest students.
Each morning all students gather on the rug for “circle time.” During circle time they will discuss the days of the week and the months of the year and sing songs. Learning to use a calendar they look at the specific date and talk about the weather of the day. In circle time the teacher introduces the letter of the week, and they discuss the sounds it makes and words beginning with that letter. Rhyming words are also explored during this time. This is a great way to start the day and sets the standard for the lessons they will learn throughout the day and week.
The children will have time to rotate between Centers each day. Some of the Centers in each classroom include reading, writing/drawing, blocks, computer and letters.
Small Group Time
Small group time is used to work more closely with individual students. While the other children are playing independently in centers, the teacher will bring 3 to 4 students to the table to work on an activity. During this time, teachers are able to assess how students are progressing on an individual level and make sure their needs are being met. It also allows students to have one-on-one instruction.
Writing / Reading
OLQHS pre-kindergarten and kindergarten use the Spalding Method educational philosophy of The Writing Road to Reading program. This philosophy is child centered, so the physical and mental well-being of students is the primary concern. High expectations for all children are central to the philosophy. These principles of learning and instruction are applied throughout the spelling, writing, and reading curricula.
Handwriting Without Tears / Get Set for School is the program used throughout pre-kindergarten and kindergarten to help students master writing their letters. This curriculum includes three complete programs: readiness and writing, language and literacy, as well as numbers & math.
In pre-kindergarten, children work with numbers 1-20. The lessons focus on recognizing and writing numbers, as well as learning to count groups of numbers. Learning about shapes, patterns and sorting is also a part of the pre-k math program.
Science involves looking at the world around us. Students learn about the five senses and how we use them every day. The concepts of weight and measurement are also introduced, teaching them to compare and contrast objects based on weight and size. Students will also participate in several science experiments throughout the year, which focus on using their senses and heightening their awareness of science and nature around them.
Religion is a part of their daily lessons in both pre-k and kindergarten. Students learn prayers and Christian values through bible stories, as well as the meaning and importance of Catholic holidays and celebrations. Students actively participate in Mass, all-school masses and religious programs throughout the year. Pre-kindergarten students attend mass monthly, and kindergarten students attend once a week, on Thursdays.
Pre-kindergarten & Kindergarten Special Activities
In addition to the classroom and enrichment activities, OLQHS students have the opportunity to participate in many events throughout the year. Here are some, just to name a few!