7171 N Pennsylvania St, Indianapolis, IN 46240
A Cooperative Preschool Established in 1960
Tuesdays, Wednesdays & Thursdays, 9 am – 2 pm
Age Requirement: 5 years old by September 1st
The goal for our kindergarteners is to prepare children for first grade, guided by Indiana standards, common core standards, and children’s interests. In our program, children learn through active exploration and social interaction, which is how children this age learn best. While no two days are ever exactly the same, the kindergarten schedule provides comfort in predictable structure and routine. It is a fast-paced day, enabling the children to learn many things in different ways, while accommodating their high level of energy.
Arrival & Floor Games
As children arrive, they place the previous day’s homework in a basket, hang their folders up to receive a new assignment, answer a yes/no question concerning the day’s theme, and greet the teacher. (Note: Homework is typically a fun 2-5 minute exercise that reinforces printing or other fine motor skills.) Children then proceed to the Art Room for floor games (puzzles, quiet board games, etc.) while everyone is arriving.
Every morning the class will gather for a meeting. We greet one another with a song, wake our bodies up with some movement, review our daily schedule and engage in a variety of literacy-based activities to prepare us for our day.
During this hour, children are free to move among the three rooms (Art Room, Block Room, Climbing Room) and engage in whichever activities they choose. Activities such as painting, drawing, play manipulatives, dress-up, giant wooden blocks, and sensory table are always available; while alternating activities may include climbing on the wooden climber, building with gigantic tinker toys, playing a sport, helping mix ingredients for a baking/cooking project, working at a simulated store or other dramatic play, or creating a special art project. This is the time for continuing project work and investigations based on children’s interests.
Every school day, each child is expected to do some work in a journal or a story book. Free expression is encouraged and children are supported to develop handwriting skills. As the school year progresses, children are encouraged to express ideas through pictures, letters, words and sentences.
The children bring their lunches and eat together each school day. Food sensitivities and allergies are accommodated.
As long as the temperature is above zero and it is not storming, children experience outdoor play on the school’s well-equipped, half-acre playground every day. Children are free to play on all playground equipment. They also have access to tricycles, sand toys, sleds, and other seasonal toys. The participating parent and teacher are present around the playground to ensure a safe and fun playtime. We encourage the children to have fun and we expect them to get dirty!
Rest and Quiet Reading
The children lie quietly on carpet squares while lights are dimmed and calming music is played. Each child may bring a soft toy or blanket from home to hold. During quiet reading time, the children quietly read and/or look at books independently or in small groups.
The teacher leads the class in a math lesson utilizing the Wild Math curriculum. Hands-on activities engage multiple senses: sorting and counting objects like pinecones, rocks or seashells; practicing writing in the snow or sand; using bundles of sticks to learn place value. Wild Math can be used outside or inside and accommodates requirements set forth in Indiana and common core standards.
Chapter Book Reading
No matter whether the Kinderbirds end their school day inside or outside, they always finish up with a chapter from whichever story book the class has been engaged in reading. This fosters a love of reading as the children look forward to seeing where the story will take them each day!
Our Kinderbird program uses an emergent approach to curriculum. This means that the projects and topics of in-depth study are not determined ahead of time, but rather are based upon children’s interests and curiosities. Projects are child-initiated, with the teacher/adults acting as guides and sources of information. All projects have some kind of cumulative final presentation that is determined and created by the students. Examples of this can include class books, class museums, performances, art pieces, presentations and more.
We have Forest Kindergarten every Wednesday. We will have a normal morning schedule, eat lunch indoors, play for a short time on the playground and then move as a group to our Forest Classroom for a variety of outdoor activities, writing in nature journals, and exploration. Depending on the day, we will be outdoors between 2-2.5hrs. Once a month, the class meets at Holliday Park and spends an entire day in the forest there.
Our music teacher comes once a week to the classroom and leads the class in a music lesson. This is a very interactive and often physical lesson, in which the children learn about pitch, rhythm, tempo, etc. and frequently have the opportunity to play different instruments.
Once a week, our Spanish teacher comes to the classroom for small group Spanish lesson. The class is divided into two small groups and each group gets a chance to work with the Spanish teacher for an engaging, hands-on, music and story-filled Spanish lesson.