Welcome to another journal entry at last! In this special two part entry we will review what both the Kindergarten and Pre-K classes have been up to since mid May from an academic standpoint and our final school pageant.
In short the three following weeks before our end of the year celebrations saw a massive review in all classes covered up to our current unit. For the older cohort this meant paying particular focus on the family, pet and animal based units. A great deal of time was also spent checking phonic comprehension. As is illustrated by our weekly lesson plans each week we focus on a new letter.
While it is true a few students in the Kindergarten class do know their Russian and English alphabet from A-Z---they merely know the order not the various sounds each letter can not create nor can they name many words that begin with any particular letter outside of what we have studied thus far. This tendency is simply not good enough and an example of the pitfalls of rote memorization over learning for meaning. Much to the enthusiasm students, however, we began using special sensory flash cards (a gift from a great parent) and matching them to their corresponding first, second and last letters. This encouraged a deliberate thought process and attention to detail.
As we are in a state of review in regards to vocabulary students in the Kindergarten section were also allowed to apply what they had learned to their favourite past-time: colouring. It was particularly important during the high tension weeks before the pageant to give students a space to enjoy their school day and learn at a reasonable pace.
Students in the pre-K cohort also took this time to review materials. It should be noted however that their review went at a much slower pace and focused on only few key topics rather a wide breadth of information. Topics reviewed included: the shapes, immediate family member names, pets and familiar songs such as ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’ and ‘Mary had a Little Lamb.’ It became a priority in their English language time spent with Miss. Samantha to allow this group to experience as much pressure-free, free choice play in possible due to the fact that in their Russian and Tatar sections they were memorizing whole dialogues and several songs (quite the feat for any three year old!)
Remember our beautiful indoor garden? With the full transition to summer and the reality that our little plants were growing leaps and bounds outside of their containers, together with staff, our little flowers made their big debut in an outdoor garden where they can continue to thrive in nature and be enjoyed by the children everyday.