Look Inside


There are two Kindergarten classrooms with 22 students and two gradehead teachers in each.

About Kindergarten

List of 9 items.

  • About Kindergarten

    The primary goals of the Kindergarten program are for children to develop self-confidence, enthusiasm for learning, respect, and appreciation for others. We emphasize the development of social skills and encourage children to cooperate in a number of ways throughout the school day. The curriculum is designed to accommodate the wide range of learning styles and skill levels which the children bring to the classroom. Throughout the day, children work individually, in small groups, and as a whole class.
  • Language Arts In Kindergarten

    Speaking, listening, reading and writing are inseparable parts of language development. Our program incorporates all of these elements.  Mastery of language is a continuum, which extends over a number of years and happens for all children at different ages depending on their maturation, experience and learning style.  The goal of the language arts program is to nourish a love for words and books, build specific skills, and help children gain confidence in their own abilities. Teachers offer a range of opportunities for children to explore language. Children listen to stories and poetry, sing songs, write, and play phonetic games. Aspects of the language arts curriculum are also reinforced through the Fundations program.
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  • Mathematics In Kindergarten

    The goal of our mathematics program is to help children construct their own mathematical knowledge through meaningful learning experiences. Students solve problems, develop sound reasoning, and communicate their mathematical thinking in written and oral forms. They make connections to mathematical ideas and real-life experiences, and explore multiple representations. We encourage children’s interest in mathematics while building their confidence and strengthening their skills.

    Our program emphasizes the use of concrete materials such as dice, pattern blocks, Unifix cubes, and other math manipulatives. The content areas we cover include: number sense and operations, algebra (patterns and relationships), measurement, data analysis and geometry (shapes and spatial reasoning).
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  • Science In Kindergarten

    (One 45-minute class each week) 

    Kindergartners are natural scientists and engineers. Their days are filled with opportunities to build, take apart, sort, observe, compare, question, and experiment. The students travel to the Lower School science lab in The Hub once per week for one hour. The science specialist works with the gradeheads to integrate science into the curriculum. In keeping with their Thematic Study, "All About Us," the science themes consist of a study of how we use our five senses to learn about the world, as well as an exploration of the organ systems within the human body. Science activities are hands-on explorations, and include: making nerve cells, using prisms to create rainbows, building noisemakers, designing ears, and constructing models of the heart and lungs.
  • Library In Kindergarten

    (One 60-minute class per week)

    When Kindergartners visit the library, the librarian reads aloud a variety of stories on a single theme with an eye to diversity of content, characters, and style. Discussions focus on making connections between the books we read and students’ own lives, other books, and their world. Children have an opportunity to “browse” and choose books from the shelves. They can look alone, share with each other, or ask a librarian to read to them.
  • Music in Kindergarten

    (simultaneously meets with Movement, 75-minute block classes twice a week)

    Kindergarten students continue their exploration of and immersion in a wide variety of musical experiences including singing, dancing, listening, and playing age-appropriate rhythm instruments, among many others. Students will continue to be exposed to the tremendous cultural diversity in music, learning more songs in different languages, and listening to selections from different cultures. As the year progresses, students will become familiar and comfortable with new musical concepts and terms such as same/different, verse/refrain, piano/forte, do-re-mi, etc. For several weeks in the winter, students will participate in acting out The Carnival of the Animals by Camille Saint-Saens with costumes, props and musical accompaniment. As in the other grades, repertoire is prepared for once-per-cycle lower school assemblies as well as holidays and special events including Thanksgiving, Winter Holiday, Black History, May Day and Closing Day.
  • Art In Kindergarten

    Children are offered various art projects in their classroom and use a wide variety of media, such as tempera paints, watercolors, clay, wood, and collage/recycled materials. Art areas are set up in classrooms to provide students with opportunities for exploration, experimentation, and self-expression. Students learn and practice different artistic techniques.  Our curriculum, as well as children’s experiences, provide the subject matter for much of their work. Through hands-on activities, classroom teachers help children build skills and develop a passion and respect for art.
  • Movement Education in Kindergarten

    (simultaneously meets with Music, 75-minute block classes twice a week)

    Movement Education in Beginners and Kindergarten helps children to develop personally, socially and cognitively through a variety of movement activities. Students are presented with various locomotor, non-locomotor and manipulative skills, and are introduced to movement concepts that incorporate spatial awareness, levels, and patterns. Students also learn about the importance of being physically active and begin to recognize physiological signs associated with participation in moderate to vigorous physical activity (e.g., sweating, fast heart rate, and heavy breathing). In our classes, we focus on the importance of following directions, playing fair, and interacting positively with classmates regardless of personal differences in ability. Students are encouraged to participate, explore and have fun in a safe, non-competitive and respectful environment.
  • Kindergartners in the Lower School Community

    Assemblies in the Lower School are scheduled once per week for 40 minutes. The music component of assemblies includes community singing, performances by Shady Hill students and performances by outside musical groups and Visiting Artists. Music at assemblies extends the music curriculum and deepens students’ understanding of music as cultural expression. Classroom sharing is also an important focus of assemblies. The emphasis is on sharing works-in-progress from all areas of the Lower School. Preparation for sharing is part of the learning process and sharing in front of a larger group in a safe, supportive environment helps children develop confidence in projecting their voices and effectively presenting their work. Outside presenters come from the arts, sciences and humanities and make a connection to the wider world.

    Most often the entire Lower School (Beginners through Grade IV) will meet together in the Assembly Hall from 8:35 to 9:15 on Friday.


    Each Kindergarten class is partnered with an Eighth grade class.  Partners meet regularly to play and do activities together.


Kindergarten Faculty

List of 9 members.

  • Photo of Anthony Amoroso

    Anthony Amoroso 

    K Gradehead
    Bank Street College of Education - M.Ed.
  • Photo of Elizabeth Anderson

    Elizabeth Anderson 

    K Gradehead
    Williams College - B.A.
    Lesley University - M.Ed.
    TTC '86
  • Photo of Vanessa Phifer

    Vanessa Phifer 

    Kindergarten Gradehead
  • Photo of Sarina Tcherepnin

    Sarina Tcherepnin 

    K Gradehead
    Oberlin College - B.A.
    Lesley University - M.Ed.
    Shady Hill School
  • Photo of Erin Warwick

    Erin Warwick 

    Music Teacher
    University of Hartford - B.M.
  • Photo of Brendan Murphy

    Brendan Murphy 

    PE Teacher
    University of New Hampshire - B.S.
  • Photo of Tracy Polte

    Tracy Polte 

    Science Department Chair
    Princeton University - B.A.
    Lesley University - M.Ed.
  • Photo of Marya Outterson

    Marya Outterson 

    Kindergarten Literacy Specialist
    Northwestern University - BA
    Loyola University of Chicago - MSW
    West Virginia University - M.Ed.
  • Photo of Susanna Paterson

    Susanna Paterson 

    Simmons College - M.L.S
    University of Virginia - B.A.
This is more than a school — it's a beginning.
If Shady Hill is the right place for your child, there's no better place to start.
617.520.5260      178 Coolidge Hill  Cambridge MA 02138           Association of Independent Schools in New England