While our DK class will meet solely virtually this year, there are so many elements of our program that will be able to translate to our new medium. DK is a magical adventure and the changes of this year will give us an opportunity to continue our program in a new way.
DK is Developmental Kindergarten. This precious year in between preschool and kindergarten is a year of confidence building for your child. Our goal is to instill in them a life long love of learning. We want to create a strong foundation for your child upon which they will be able to build for many years in the future.
Even while learning from home, we hope to encourage autonomy and independence in our DK children. To that end, each child will receive a DK basket. This is where they will keep all of the DK supplies. It may help them to choose a dedicated place in the home where this DK basket will always be. That way, they will be able to easily find it to bring it to each DK meeting. This should be a child responsibility (though of course the parent can always remind them of it when needed!).
Independence and confidence are so closely related. We work to ensure that your child has these outlets for independence as it is one of the strongest ways to create that foundation for building confidence. That self-confidence is an important DK goal. We want them to be excited for their next step and to feel prepared and ready when the time comes for them to transition into their new school.
MASTERY AS A PROCESS
In order to achieve these goals, our DK emphasis is on experiencing success through age appropriate and fun activities. This year, we will ask the parents to partner with us in many different ways. One element of our DK program is worksheets. As we introduce the children to these worksheets, it is so important that the emphasis is on the process. What that means is that the worksheets are not about getting it "right" or "perfect", it is about exposure.
As parents, we may find ourselves wanting to guide our children to the correct answer or the right way or encourage them to change it and try again. Please DO NOT correct them, and risk undermining their fledgling attempts. Mastery is a process, not a product. Our goal is confidence and it is important for children to be confident in their work, not necessarily correct. We promise you, the correct answers and the right way will come. Be patient. You may find that it helps you to save these sheets (we will supply a special DK binder ) as your children will see the same worksheets multiple times (increased exposure ). It’s exciting to look back to see how far they’ve come.
We hope to provide children with the skills to be successful not only in kindergarten but for their entire lives. We want education and learning to be exciting, not threatening. We want them prepared for the challenges ahead. Children need a strong foundation in order to keep that foundation growing.
Over the course of this year we will be utilizing maps, themes, games, clues and much more….all to build very specific skills. Your children will have the opportunity to be astronauts, paleontologists, reptile rangers…the sky is the limit. This year, more than any other year, this will be an emergent curriculum that will be informed by children’s interests and engagement.
DK LANGUAGE ARTS
Just like in the classroom, our DK day will still begin with library time. For our virtual DK, this means letting your child know that it is time for library time 10 minutes before our DK Zoom begins. Their DK basket will have books for them to use during this time, or they are welcome to bring any book that they choose. They will also have their reading buddy (which we will provide) in their basket. At home, you can encourage independence for this in a few ways.
- Set a timer (on a device like google or alexa, or a timer on your phone) and when it goes off it means it is time to set up for DK and library time. Hearing the timer and the reminder will make this your child’s responsibility to hear it and then prepare, rather than a parent’s job.
- Designate a cozy area for your child to enjoy this special library time. Please note, we do not expect children to be able to read. This is a time to look at familiar books, or perhaps new ones, to enjoy the pictures, and to have continued exposure to letters and words.
LETTERS OF THE WEEK
Just as in Pre - K, we will have letters of the week. This year, with the benefit of 4 meetings a week rather than 2, we have the opportunity to introduce letters in groupings rather than just 1 letter at a time. We will focus on sound and letter formation and our content will be paired with the letter focus.
Over the course of the year there is a focus on exposure to sight words and to word families. In doing so, these concepts are familiar and comfortable for children when they begin kindergarten
Taking the time to read a chapter book to our DK group is always something the children enjoy and read alouds have so many proven benefits. Besides being an enjoyable and calming experience, it builds auditory memory, an important element in preparing children for future auditory based academic environments. It also builds comprehension and conceptualization.
DK SCIENCE + MATH
CALENDAR + CALENDAR CHALLENGE
We use the calendar in DK, as in Pre-K, to begin a familiarity with the number of days in a week, number of days in a month. We also play around with number concepts using the calendar as our visual aid.
MATH CONCEPTS + VOCABULARY
Over the course of our DK days we expose children to the words and concepts of math, including (but not limited to) addition, subtraction, fractions, time telling, geometry, shapes, angles, vertices. As mentioned earlier, this is not about learning these concepts as a skill, this is the foundational building of exposure.
- Problem solving skills
- Exposure to verbal word problems
- Number formation
- One to one correspondence
- Multiple ways of counting (by 2’s, 5’s and 10’s)
Our time together requires much more focus, concentration, fine motor skills, independence, and self-thought than during the regular nursery school day.
As always, this curriculum is flexible and subject to change based on interest and needs.
SCIENCE CONCEPTS + VOCABULARY EXPOSURE BUILDING
We will discuss various science concepts and vocabulary, including earth science, chemistry, physics, and anatomy. These concepts are not taught at this age with retention as the goal, instead we build excitement for the science that surrounds us.
Science experiments are always a part of the curriculum, which we will be able to continue even in a virtual setting. Science promotes curiosity and engagement with the world around us and leads to questioning, critical thinkers — everything we hope to encourage in your children.Virtual DK PDF