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Kindergarten

Characteristics of the Kindergarten Student
Every child is an individual who grows and develops at his/her own rate. Children in the same grade may be expected to differ widely from others in the group. There are, however, general characteristics which apply to most of the children at a certain age group.

The kindergarten child may:
Be curious and active.
• Be shy and reserved.
• Act anxiously about being separated from care givers.
• Display many emotions.
• Be impatient.
• Show independence.
• Enjoy interactions with other children and adults.

The kindergarten child needs:
• To feel secure and loved.
• Routine.
• To feel accepted.
• A secure and safe environment.
• Choices, at both active and quiet times.
• Opportunities to exercise large and small muscles.
• To share toys and take turns while playing.
• To be read to DAILY.
• Good nutritional habits with ten or more hours of sleep each night.
• Opportunities to communicate and opportunities to be listened to.

As parents, you can help by:
• Showing interest in the child’s activities.
• Providing good food, the opportunity for plenty of sleep, and a quiet time each day.
• Providing encouragement, regular study time, and a place with no distractions for school work.
• Understanding that children make errors in the process of learning.
• Inviting other children to the home (providing group play).
• Talking with your child about new experiences.
• Helping your child develop unselfish attitudes.
• Notifying the school of problems in the home that cause emotional stress for a child (i.e. divorce, illness/death in family member or family pet)
• Monitoring your child’s progress by having close contact with the teacher and knowing the school and classroom program.
• Showing your child how to use telephone emergency response systems, such as 911.
• Discussing how medicines should be taken (only under supervision of responsible adults and health care givers).
• Establishing limits that fit your child’s age and following through with consequences and/or rewards.
• Limiting television viewing and encouraging active, creative play.
• Attending orientations and Kindergarten Round-Up.
• Providing nutritious snacks.
• Providing the best preschool experience.
• Exposing your child to a print-rich environment.
• Showing an active interest in your child’s education by volunteering in the classroom or at home.
• Teaching personal information (telephone number, address, birthday).


CA English/Language Arts Standards

The English-Language Arts curriculum provides students, through their study and understanding of literature, with intensive experiences in listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Students progress at their own individual pace through levels of mastery.

The kindergarten grade student will…

READING

Word Analysis, Fluency, and Vocabulary Development
• Identify the front cover, back cover and title page of a book.
• Follow words from left to right and top to bottom of a printed page.
• Explain that printed materials provide information.
• Recognize that sentences in print are made up of separate words.
• Distinguish letters from words.
• Recognize and name all upper and lower case letters.
• Identify phonemes (small units of sound) by recognizing whether sounds in a series are different or the same, or recognizing the number of sounds in the series.
• Blend vowel-consonant sounds orally to make words or syllables.
• Identify and produce rhyming words in response to spoken words.
• Distinguish orally stated one-syllable words into beginning or ending sounds.
• Count the number of syllables in a word and sounds in syllables.
• Match all consonant and short vowel sounds to appropriate letters.
• Read simple one-syllable and high frequency sight words.
• Understand that as letters of words change, so do the sounds.
• Identify and sort common words from basic categories (colors, shapes, foods).
• Describe the common objects and events in both general and specific language.

Reading Comprehension
• Use pictures and context to make predictions about story content.
• Connect information and events in texts to life experiences.
• Retell familiar stories.
• Ask and answer questions about essential elements of text.

Literary Response and Analysis
• Distinguish fantasy from realistic text. Identify different genres, including everyday print materials such as storybooks, poems, newspapers, signs and labels. Identify characters, settings and key events.

WRITING

Writing Strategies
• Use letters and phonetically-spelled words to write about experiences, stories, objects or events.
• Write consonant-vowel-consonant words.
• Write using a left-to-right, top-to-bottom progression.
• Write uppercase and lowercase letters independently, attending to form and spatial alignment.

LISTENING and SPEAKING

Listening and Speaking Applications
• Understand and follow one- and two-step oral directions.
• Share information, opinions and questions, speaking audibly in coherent, complete sentences.

Speaking Applications
• Describe people, places, things, location, size, color, shape and action.
• Recite short poems, rhymes and songs.
• Relate an experience or creative story in a logical sequence.

ENGLISH LANGUAGE CONVENTIONS (oral and written)

• Recognize and use complete and coherent sentences when speaking.
• Use phonetic knowledge and sounds of the alphabet to spell independently.

As parents, you can help by:

Reading to your child daily.
• Creating an awareness, while reading, that written words tell something.
• Setting an example by reading.
• Talking with your child daily about what he/she did at school.
• Providing supplies (pencils, crayons, scissors, glue, and paper) to practice writing and drawing stories together.
• Saving and reviewing books sent home. Saying, reading, and singing nursery rhymes or songs.
• Taking your child to the library, getting a library card, and using it weekly.
• Discussing the books being read at school. Reading and talking about other books read at home.



Mathematics

By the end of kindergarten, students understand the consistency of small numbers, quantities and simple shapes in their everyday environment. They count, describe and sort objects, and develop a sense about properties and patterns.

The kindergarten student will…

Number Sense
• Understand the relationship between numbers and quantities.
• Understand and describe simple addition and subtraction situations.
Use estimation strategies in computation and problem solving that involve numbers that use the ones and tens places.

Algebra and Functions
• Sort and classify objects.

Measurement and Geometry
• Understand that there are properties such as length, weight, capacity and time and that comparisons can be made by using these properties.
• Identify common geometric objects in their environment and describe their features.

Statistics, Data Analysis, and Probability
• Collect information about objects and events in their environment.
• Record data on simple graphs.

Mathematical Reasoning
• Make decisions about how to set up a problem.
• Solve problems in reasonable ways and justify their reasoning.

As parents, you can help by:

Practicing counting, reading, writing numbers with your child.
• Sorting clothing, dishes, silverware, and other things at home and naming how they can be sorted.
• Clapping patterns with your child.
• Using household items, such as silverware, to make sequence patterns.
• Playing dominoes and card games with your child.

 


History/Social Science

Students in kindergarten are introduced to basic spatial, temporal and causal relationships, emphasizing the geographic and historical connections between the world today and the world long ago. The stories of ordinary and extraordinary people help describe the range and continuity of human experience and introduce the concepts of courage, self-control, justice, heroism, leadership, deliberation and individual responsibility. Historical empathy for how people lived and worked long ago reinforces the concept of civic behavior: how we interact respectfully with each other, following rules, and respecting the rights of others.

The kindergarten student will…

• Demonstrate an understanding that being a good citizen involves acting in certain ways.
• Recognize national and state symbols and icons such as the national and state flags, the bald eagle, and the Statue of Liberty and be exposed to patriotic songs.
• Put events into temporal order by using a calendar, placing days, weeks, and months in proper order.
• Understand that history relates to events, people, and places of other times.
• Demonstrate a basic understanding of neighborhood, community and school.
• Develop simple mapping skills.

Character Education
The district’s character education program seeks to instill in students habits of the heart, mind and will that contribute the development of a “person of character.” Six core values have been adopted to guide and systematically address ethics in the instructional program, as well as in the school community.

• Trustworthiness
• Respect
• Responsibility
• Justice and Fairness
• Caring
• Citizenship

As parents, you can help by:

Discussing daily news during dinner.
• Discussing family heritage and traditions.
• Selecting folktales and stories about different cultures for story-telling time.
• Reading to your child traditional folktales, biographies of famous Americans, and stories based on historical events.
• Singing American patriotic folk and traditional music.
• Attending parades.
• Visiting national parks and landmarks.

 


Science

The district science program encourages children to comprehend the nature of the physical universe (the interdependence and the connection) in a laboratory setting. Major science themes (Energy, Evolution, Patterns of Change, Scale and Structure, Stability, and Systems and Interactions) and the scientific thinking processes (observing, communicating, comparing, ordering, categorizing, relating, inferring, and applying) are crucial to the sciences.

The kindergarten student will demonstrate an understanding that…

Earth Science
Changes on the earth can be observed and can affect our lives.

• The earth’s orbit around the sun and its daily rotation create the time frames of day and night.
• Sunlight affects the temperature of the environment. Living things need varying amounts of rain (water).
• Because all living things depend on land, water, and air people need to protect these resources.

Life Sciences
Living things have characteristics and behaviors that distinguish them from non-living things.

• All living and non-living things have observable characteristics.
• All living things can be classified by certain characteristics.
• Living things have basic needs in order to live and grow.
• Diversity can be observed in living things.

Physical Sciences
Matter and energy have observable characteristics.

• Matter can be classified by various characteristics.
• Matter can be measured.
• Light, sound and motion can be observed.

As parents, you can help by:

• Donating consumable items requested by the classroom teacher.
• Starting a rock collection.
• Attending family science nights.
• Read science-based literature at home.
• Visit science-themed sites during family outings (Aquarium, zoo, Sea World, the beach, a farm)
• Watch nature programs on television and discuss afterward.
• Sharing care of family pets.

 


Physical Education Standards

The physical education program provides students with opportunities to achieve motor skills and movement knowledge, develop a positive self-image and recognize personal achievement, and develop social skills of respect and acceptance of others.

The kindergarten student will…

• Understand that skill improvement comes with practicing a skill many times.
• Demonstrate the ability to throw, catch, kick a variety of objects in personal space.
• Demonstrate the correct technique for fundamental locomotor and nonlocomotor skills.
• State how to increase balance (using a wider base of support).
• Describe that heart and breathing rates are increased when performing vigorous exercise.
• Participate in a variety of fitness development exercises.
• Identify the growth changes occurring in their bodies.
• Participate in a variety of movement activities leading to personal feelings of success and achievement.
• Experience the shapes and sounds of their environment through interpretive play.
• Play alone in personal space without interfering with others.
• Interpret time and space through physical activity (before, after, during).

As parents, you can help by:

• Practicing skipping with your child.
• Jumping rope with your child.
• Playing with a ball or bean bag with your child.
• Practicing throwing, catching, hitting, and kicking a ball.
• Setting a healthy example.

 


Health Education

The health curriculum provides students with opportunities to explore concepts in depth, analyze and solve real-life problems, and work cooperatively on tasks that develop and enhance their conceptual understanding. It also provides students with the knowledge and skills that can lead to lifelong positive attitudes related to health.

The kindergarten student will…

• accept personal responsibility.
• demonstrate respect for, and promotion of, the health of others.
• understand the processes of growth and development.
• use health-related information, products, and services.

As parents, you can help by:

Setting a healthy example.
• Help students develop healthy grooming, hygiene, eating and sleeping habits.
• Providing appropriate health care.

 


Visual and Performing Arts

Dance, music, drama, and visual arts are a means to develop personal dimensions within the learning process; thus, they provide the necessary curriculum balance in developing the whole person. They are integrated throughout the curriculum, though at times become subject-centered fine arts classes.

The kindergarten student will…

Dance
• Communicate an understanding of dance through creative expression, aesthetic perception and valuing, and dance theater heritage.
Examples:
• Create a simple repeatable dance
• Engage in rhythmic movement
• Experience the creative process of dance
• Attend or participate in a school production

Music
Express and communicate an understanding of music by creative expression, aesthetic perception, and valuing.
Examples:
• Sing songs with limited range
• Experience playing with percussion instruments
• Become aware of differences in pitch
• Distinguish between singing and speaking
• Experience music of various cultures

Drama
• Communicate an understanding of drama through creative expression, aesthetic perception and valuing, and drama theater heritage.
• Begin to participate in story dramatization
• Move as an object or storybook animal
• Reproduce sounds individually or with others (rain, wind, thunder, wind, etc.)
• Begin to acquire a sense of drama through storytelling and improvisation

Visual Arts
• Express and communicate an understanding of visual arts by creative expression and aesthetic perception and valuing.
• maintain a portfolio with art work produced throughout the year
• create a number of products that represent an initial understanding of the design elements: line and color
• be introduced to drawing, painting, and constructing techniques using pens, tempera, crayon, and watercolor

As parents, you can help by:

Exposing child to cultural experiences.
• Modeling and expecting appropriate audience behavior.

 

Technology

Our vision is to prepare students for a changing future through the expanding use of technology that serves as a catalyst for learning. To this end, students will regularly use computers and other educational technologies. Through a district network, teachers have access to electronic mail and both teachers and students have access to selected educational sites on the Internet. In first grade, the major focus is on beginning computer skills.

The kindergarten student will…

Computer Hardware and Software
• operates selected hardware
• use selected software
• use pull down menus

Technology Etiquette
• follow district policies
• obey copyright laws
• demonstrate proper care of equipment

Technology Skills That Improve Learning
• begins keyboarding
• use draw tools
• enter text use curriculum software appropriately

As parents, you can help by:
• Providing experience with educational software programs at home or the library.
• Providing supervised Internet access at home or at the library.

The Move to Common Core Standards

Educational standards describe what students should know and be able to do in each subject in each grade. In California, the State Board of Education decides on the standards for all students, from kindergarten through high school.

Since 2010, 45 states have adopted the same standards for English and math. These standards are called the Common Core State Standards. Having the same standards helps all students get a good education, even if they change schools or move to a different state. Teachers, parents, and education experts designed the standards to prepare students for success in college and the workplace.

The California Department of Education helps schools make sure that all students are meeting the standards.

  • Students and families who are looking for more information may visit the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) Web page for Students, Parents, and Guardians.
  • Education professionals who want to learn more about the standards and find resources to support student attainment of the standards should visit the CCSS and Educators Web page.
  • Below you will find information about the standards and the CCSS-related activities taking place in California.

The Standards