A full day kindergarten program at Oak Hill Academy allows for plenty of fun and a great deal of developmental learning. A wing of the Center for Early Learning is divided into oversized classrooms and a kitchen area. This warm, open environment and our small class size allow for individual attention as well as opportunities for cooperative learning.
To create a solid foundation in letter and sound recognition, kindergarten utilizes the “Land of the Letter People.” This continuation of the Pre-Kindergarten program uses 26 colorful, friendly characters to make language come alive and literacy grow. Within this program, the children are exposed to literature, journal writing, fine arts, map skills, and handwriting.
Oak Hill Academy believes that the key to literacy is teaching writing as well as reading to kindergarten youngsters. The program used is titled “Writing to Read” and was developed by IBM. It includes use of the computer, work journals, opportunities for creative writing, craft activities, and other centers. The objective is to teach children the 42 phonemes of English speech so that they can write anything they can say and then read anything they have written. During reading time, children are grouped according to their abilities and given the resources to cater to the needs of early readers to those above grade level.
Mathematics is also a subject that is presented daily. Use of the Singapore math curriculum helps kindergarten students to build a strong foundation in mathematical literacy. Through manipulatives, literature, workbooks, and fun-filled activities, the children are exposed to varied ways of thinking and expressing solutions. Lessons take the children from the concrete to the pictorial to the abstract.
The curriculum is rounded out with units in geography, fine arts, handwriting, crafts, and seasonal activities. Physical education which includes swimming is enjoyed four days per week using the main campus facilities. Students also benefit from weekly classes in Spanish, French, science, drama, music, library, and heads-on/hands-on (theme based enrichment).
Technology is very evident in the kindergarten classrooms. Computers with cable ready access to the internet and flat screen televisions fill the rooms. Interactive white boards and document cameras are used on a daily basis to make lessons come alive. I-Pads are available to enrich the curriculum through hands-on technology.
Oak Hill believes every child is unique. Prospective kindergartners are tested for their developmental readiness using the Missouri Kindergarten Inventory of Developmental Skills (KIDS). We find that children who are most successful in kindergarten are those who have reached a five year old developmental level at the time of testing and are moving towards five and one-half by September.
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