Welcome to Junior Kindergarten! The four-year old program places an emphasis on the students’ continued social and academic development in preparation for kindergarten. Daily themes driven by the alphabet incorporate all academic areas: literacy, mathematics, technology, science, social studies, music, movement, and art. A hands-on learning environment invites students to participate in large group, small group, and independent activities. Flexible groupings and individualized attention nurture the needs of each child.
Junior Kinder Rotational Schedule (click link at left to view)
Literacy: Children are natural communicators at work and at play. Our program strengthens students’ receptive and expressive skills of reading, writing, speaking, and listening.
Reading: Students will master letter and sound recognition, identify sight words in pre-decodable and decodable books, listen to stories, predict, sequence, and retell stories, make connections to self, other text, and the world, explore a variety of genres, and define the elements of story: setting, characters, plot, and theme.
Writing: Students will continue to develop their fine motor skills while writing in D’Nealian, work on left to right progression, and use pictures, letters, and brave spelling to journal ideas.
Speaking: Students will take an active part in show & tell, circle time activities, and dramatic play while learning numerous seasonal skits, songs, and nursery rhymes. They will work on formulating questions, using expressive voice, making polite requests, and speaking with clarity.
Listening: Students will play with the rhyme, rhythm, and sound of words in phonemic awareness games, actively listen while others speak, and learn to be called on.
Above all, students will develop an early love of literacy set by the example and guidance of caring staff.
Mathematics: Mathematics instruction at the four-year-old level focuses on the identification and application of numbers while learning to problem solve and think logically. Concepts are incorporated into the daily themes and taught formally. Concepts include number identification 1-100, skip-counting by 5 and 10, place value: ones, tens, hundreds, calendar skills, addition and subtraction, graphs, patterns, probability, classifications, estimation, inequalities, shapes, measurement, time, and money.
Social Studies: The social studies curriculum embraces the theme of belonging to our world personally: family and friends, regionally: city, state, country, and globally: multicultural studies. An imaginary trip is taken abroad each Friday, based on the letter of the week. Cross-curricular activities: art, literature, writing, cooking, music, movement, and language give students a taste of these diverse cultures. In addition, seasonal topics cover Thanksgiving, peace, and patriotism.
Science: The science curriculum is driven by the seasons. In fall, we cover apples, acorns, leaves, and pumpkins. In winter, we cover hibernation, snow, and ice. In spring, we cover planting and weather. Alphabetical topics include air, bubbles, color mixing, dinosaurs, dental health, exercise, fossils, fire safety, healthy bodies, magnets, polar animals, rocks, solar system, universe, volcanoes, and zoo animals. Students learn to observe the world around them and become problem solvers through the scientific method of questioning, guessing, testing, checking, and concluding in mini labs such as sink or float, solution vs mixture, and solid-liquid-gas.
Specials: Outside of the classroom, students participate in PE class, computer lab, Spanish, French, and the performing arts.
A Keith education at the Junior Kinder level strives to be both enriching and engaging to our young scholars.
B.A in Elementary Education from University of Illinois
Kelly has been teaching for 16 years with past jobs in Chicago, S. Beloit and Rockford. The Chicago native has taught junior kindergarten, kindergarten, second and fourth grades as well as music for K-5. Kelly has lived in Rockford for 17 years. She and her husband have two children. They enjoy traveling, hiking, the theater and family time.