Dear Parents:

Welcome to a wonderful year of learning!  We are excited to begin this amazing educational adventure with you and your child!  We believe that teaching is a mutual partnership between home and school and that together we will prepare your child to lead a life of meaning and purpose within the classroom and beyond.  As your child’s teachers, we will be your guides on an alphabet-driven thematic journey from A to Z where we will learn and discover through stories, songs, music, art, math, movement, dramatic play, technology, and the sciences in a community where all members learn together and from one another.  We will work in large groups, small groups, and individually each day.  Hands-on learning will encourage children to cooperatively explore and problem solve.  Choice time will help students develop social skills, decision making abilities, and foster the four-year-old’s natural sense of curiosity and need for independence.  The K-4 program is designed to help your child grow socially, emotionally, cognitively, and physically in an atmosphere of trust, respect, and kindness.  It is our mission to provide each child with a positive learning experience in an intentionally inviting setting where we will all learn to be the best versions of ourselves!

Your Partners in Learning,

Mrs. Kelly Golich
Ms. Elizabeth McGraw

Language Arts:  Children are natural communicators at work and at play.  The Jr Kinder program strengthens students’ receptive and expressive skills as readers, writers, speakers, and listeners.

Reading:  Students will work toward mastery of letter and sound recognition, identify sight words in pre-decodable and decodable books,  enjoy stories from a variety of genres, make predictions, sequence events, retell stories, make connections to self, text, and the world, and identify the elements of story:  setting, character, plot, and purpose.

Writing:  Students will work on fine motor skills while learning to write upper and lower case D’Nealian letters, work on left to right progression, and use pictures, letters, and brave spelling to record their ideas in journals.

Speaking:  Students will participate in weekly show & tell, daily circle time chat, dramatic play activities, and learn numerous songs and rhymes.  Students will work on questioning skills, expressive voice, making polite requests, and speaking with clarity.

Listening:  Students will participate in phonemic awareness games, actively listen while others speak, and learn to be called on.

Mathematics:  Skills will be taught formally and will be incorporated into daily themes.  An emphasis will be placed on problem solving and logical thinking.  Concepts taught include number identification 1-50, skip counting by fives and tens, place value:  ones, tens, hundreds, calendar skills, addition and subtraction, graphs, patterns, probability, estimation, classification, inequalities, shapes, measurement, time, and money.

Social Studies:  The social studies curriculum embraces the theme of belonging on individual, community, and global levels.  We belong to our family and friends.  We belong to our city, state, and country.  We belong to the world.  Multicultural studies take us on imaginary trips each week, based on letters of the alphabet.  Cross-curricular activities:  art, literature, writing, technology, cooking, music, and movement will give students a taste of these diverse cultures.  In addition, seasonal topics are covered:  Thanksgiving, peace, and patriotism.

Science:  Special topics are covered based on letter of the week.  Students learn to observe the world around them and become problem solvers through the scientific method:  questioning, guessing, testing, checking, and concluding.  Life science, physical science, and natural science are incorporated into our studies.

Art:  Students are encouraged to create using a variety of mediums each day.   Art appreciation is taught while we display and critique our own masterpieces.

Specials: Weekly PE, Technology, Spanish, and Performing Arts classes support what we are doing inside the classroom.

A Keith education at the Junior Kindergarten level strives to be both enriching and engaging to our young scholars.

Kelly Golich

B.A in Elementary Education from University of Illinois
Concentration in Music

Email: kelly.golich@keithschool.net
Phone: 815-399-8823

Kelly shares over twenty years of teaching experience with students, parents, and colleagues in the Keith community. She joined the Lower School faculty in 2007. A graduate of the University of Illinois-Chicago, she received a B.A. in Elementary Education with a concentration in music and a passion for children’s literature. Her lengthy resume includes past positions in Chicago, South Beloit, and the Rockford area as an early childhood educator: Pre-K3, Pre-K4, Kindergarten, and a classroom teacher: grades 2, 3, 4, and a general music teacher for students in all elementary grades. She currently serves as our lead teacher in the K-4 program.

First and foremost, Kelly has the personality of an early childhood educator. She is nurturing, personable, approachable, welcoming, flexible, warm, kind, kid-friendly, and she has a sense of humor. Kelly’s biggest strength in the classroom is the ability to engage students in meaningful, fun, cross-curricular learning experiences through her creativity, musical skill, familiarity with children’s literature, and incorporation of board games, cooking, dramatic play, and more! Kelly is an expert at weaving it all together, and with her diverse teaching experience, Kelly knows where learning begins and where it leads.

Outside the classroom Kelly has taught piano and has worked with children in the dramatic arts. Kelly and her husband have two older children who are actively involved in competitive sports, dance, and theatrical communities. When time allows, she enjoys nature walks, travel, Disney, multicultural food experiences, theater, reading fiction, and family time: guiding her almost-grown children into their next phase of life. Kelly’s dream is to pursue creative writing.


Elizabeth McGraw

B.S. in Elementary Education from Rockford University

Email: elizabeth.mcgraw@keithschool.net

Elizabeth received a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education with middle school endorsements from Rockford University. This is her second year at Keith and her first year with the K-4 class.

Elizabeth’s primary goal is to push her students to the highest levels of academic excellence while enjoying their time in school. She believes that educating a child is one of the greatest honors and responsibilities one can be given. She wants to give her students the tools to think critically and contribute to the world around them to truly develop their thriving young minds. She attempts to make academic work challenging through real world connections. A challenging, yet fun work environment can be expected in her classroom.

In her free time, Elizabeth is an avid fitness advocate, and teaches classes at local fitness centers. She enjoys being active and takes as many classes as she can to improve personal talents and skills.