The Foundation for a Meaningful Life
Kindergarten - Grade 9 in Southborough, MA
Academics
Primary School

Kindergarten

Kindergarten

The goal of the Kindergarten program is to foster children’s social and emotional growth as they learn to work in a group situation away from home. Across the curriculum, Kindergarteners work cooperatively and collaboratively to solve problems, explore, play, and learn. They build independence through self-directed work and activities. Inside and outside structured play helps them learn to navigate social relationships, explore personal interests, and develop interpersonal skills. Through a close-knit classroom community, and guided by the Responsive Classroom Curriculum, a pro-social competency program, students learn to follow agreed-upon rules as they become accustomed to the routines and procedures of the school environment. A family-style lunch also provides time for students to interact with classmates and teachers, advancing peer relationships, manners, and communication skills. Students who complete the kindergarten program will be knowledgeable about the routines and demands of the school environment, as well as how to be cooperative and productive members of the greater Fay community.

Download: Kindergarten Course Overview

List of 10 items.

  • Mathematics

    Mathematics in the Primary School addresses both mathematical content and processes. Children learn in a collaborative setting, using hands-on tools that help them explore key concepts. The focus is on problem solving, reasoning, making connections, and representing and communicating mathematical understanding. Children also develop their mathematical thinking in the following areas: number and operations, algebraic thinking, geometry, measurement, and data analysis.
     
    Through whole group, small group, and individual discussions, as well as hands-on activities, the curriculum increases in complexity throughout the year. Teachers encourage students to explain their thinking and reasoning using words, numbers, and pictures.
     
    Students who successfully complete the kindergarten mathematics program will be able to demonstrate knowledge in the following categories:

    Number and Operations
    • Applying one-to-one correspondence
    • Skip counting by 10s, 5s, and 2s
    • Recognizing, reading, and forming numbers
    • Using manipulatives to express numbers and perform operations
    • Applying estimation skills
    • Computing simple addition and subtraction problems
    • Using comparison vocabulary to compare quantities of objects
    Fractions, Decimals, Percents
    • Composing/decomposing plane or solid figures to develop understanding of the part-whole relationship
    • Composing/decomposing groups of items to develop understanding of the part-whole relationship 
    Measurement
    • Using standard and non-standard tools of measurement
    • Identifying and describing coins
    Geometry
    • Identifying and describing basic geometric shapes
    • Sorting and comparing objects using observable attributes 
    Data Analysis & Probability
    • Collecting and showing information in a bar graph
    • Using graphs to answer simple questions
    Algebraic Thinking
    • Identifying, creating, and extending simple patterns

     
     
     
  • Language Arts

    Reading
    The goal of the kindergarten language arts program is to foster a love of reading and literacy. Reading readiness skills are supported through a variety of activities, materials, discussions, and daily routines. Students are immersed in a print-rich environment, where they have ample opportunities to practice and strengthen literacy skills through read-alouds, small group work, whole group activities, hands-on projects, play, and inquiry-based learning. Through a variety of activities, students develop sound-symbol correspondence and alphabetic principles. Phonics and phonemic awareness instruction is woven throughout the day and differentiated for each child. Students build reading comprehension and fluency skills through listening to stories, sequencing activities, working in small reading groups, and reading individualized books leveled according to their instructional needs.

    Writing
    Writing is also a primary focus of the kindergarten curriculum. Students participate in a systematic approach to phonics skills, spelling, and handwriting. Students use invented spelling while participating in writing activities, inquiry writing, personal writing, and play-based writing at dramatic play. Students who complete the kindergarten language arts program will have a solid foundation of early literacy skills and will be prepared to continue literacy instruction in grade one.

    Word Study
    At this level, students begin to build the independent skills necessary to study and understand new words. They use invented spelling and practice identifying letters and their sounds, including vowels and consonants, basic suffixes, blends, and digraphs. Students learn that each word contains a vowel, and they memorize basic grade-level sight words. Inventive play helps students build the habits of mind needed to segment words into letters, segment sentences into words, use pictures to figure out words, use the first letter to guess words, stretch out words to sound them out, and “chunk” words.  Regular practice reinforces these habits.
     
  • Social Studies

    In Kindergarten social studies, each child develops an understanding of himself or herself and how an individual fits into the larger community. Students explore the classroom community, the neighborhood community, and the world beyond. Students learn that everyone has a role to play in making a group work well and that each member brings something unique to the group. Students also explore the various roles people play and aspects of diversity within a community as they learn about celebrations and traditions in other cultures. 
     
    Students who successfully complete the kindergarten social studies program will be able to demonstrate knowledge about:
    • Who they are as an individual
    • How family structures vary and may be different from their own
    • The roles and relationships people have within a community
    • The importance of tolerance and respect in the classroom and in the wider community
  • Science

    The Primary School science curriculum is inquiry-based and project-based. Its practices have been adopted from the National Research Council’s A Framework for K-12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas (2012). Students who demonstrate success in primary school science courses will be able to:

    - ask questions that encourage further investigation
    - record observations and ideas using pictures, numbers, and writing
    - share observations and ideas with peers
    - compare and sort objects according to similarities and differences
    - follow oral instructions for explorations
    - recognize that scientists work in groups
    - use tools appropriately to observe, draw, and describe objects

    In the kindergarten science program, children discover scientific principles through processes of inquiry, investigation, and research. Children explore weather, forces, simple machines, properties of matter, and local fauna. The also participate in other investigations throughout the year that are sparked by students’ interests.
  • World Languages: Spanish and French

    Fay’s Primary School World Language program is based on the F.L.E.X. (Foreign Language Experience) approach. Students study both French and Spanish, each for half of the school year.
     
    For both Spanish and French, students in kindergarten are introduced to basic greetings and daily expressions related to the classroom. They also learn descriptive adjectives, such as color, size, and feelings. They are exposed to basic vocabulary related to numbers 1-20, days of the week, body parts, shapes, and action verbs. Games, traditional Francophone and Hispanic literature, and nursery rhymes are used to teach and reinforce the classroom material. The classroom routine includes greetings, circle time for storytelling, play and songs, and art projects. Cultural celebrations are highlighted in the kindergarten program, and the children learn and observe important cultural celebrations, including Mexico’s Independence Day, Christmas in Latin America and Spain, Le poisson d’avril, and Mardi Gras.
  • Art

    The goal of the kindergarten art program is to nurture creative thinking, problem solving, and expression. Children learn about themselves and the world around them as they explore, observe, discuss, create, and reflect. They learn about the world of art by exploring the work of past and current artists, and they also participate in activities that help them develop and implement their ideas. Children develop fine motor skills and gain confidence in their ability to express themselves visually as they work in a range of media that includes pencils and pens, paints, paper, clay, and textiles. Children also learn safe and appropriate media process steps as they begin to develop skills in working with a variety of art materials and tools.
  • Music

    The music curriculum in kindergarten is based on the philosophy of Hungarian composer Zoltán Kodály. Through singing, movement, listening, and games, children learn about the many characteristics of music. These include fast and slow sounds, long and short sounds, loud and soft sounds, and high and low sounds. This will prepare children to learn the notation for rhythm and pitch as they move into grade one. Students are exposed to simple folk songs from all over the world, as well as masterworks such as Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf and Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. Children make emotional connections to music and gain self-confidence by singing alone and with their classmates. It is our hope that music in kindergarten will be a joyful experience that will set the stage for a lifetime of music appreciation.
  • Library

    In kindergarten, children become familiar with the library through in-depth explorations of each of its various sections beginning with picture books and moving through poetry, folk tales, and fairy tales. Kindergarteners learn about the parts of a book, identifying the author and illustrator, and then practice locating the book in a particular section of the library. Kindergarteners also explore their personal interests, develop a sense of who they are as readers, and practice responsibility as they browse and select books to check out.
  • Physical Education

    The physical education program in kindergarten focuses on strengthening children’s physical fitness and health, all while continuing to develop motor skills. Classes meet four days out of a six-day rotation. Students learn about the benefits of a physically active lifestyle through activities that focus on balance, spatial awareness, motor skill development, cooperation, and sportsmanship.  Students also practice basic sports skills like throwing, catching, and kicking.
  • Wellness

    In kindergarten, the goal of the wellness program is for students to learn about themselves as how they relate to others. Homeroom time is set aside daily to address important topics such as sharing, advocating for one’s needs, conflict resolution, and accepting others’ differences. The Responsive Classroom Curriculum, a pro-social competency program, provides students with a structured, safe, and consistent environment in which they can develop communication, self-control, and interpersonal problem-solving skills. Students begin to practice mindfulness by identifying and talking about their feelings. Students who successfully complete the kindergarten wellness program will have practiced the following skills:
    • Advocating for themselves
    • Independently problem solving with peers
    • Developing a vocabulary for conflict resolution
    • Practicing basic social skills such as greeting one another
    • Using manners and other general social courtesies