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 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.
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.