We admit eight new Kindergarten students each year.
There are two Kindergarten classrooms with 22 students and two gradehead teachers in each.
List of 8 items.
The primary goals of the Kindergarten program are for children to develop self-confidence, an enthusiasm for learning, and a 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. Individual, small group, and whole class activities are used throughout the curriculum.
Social/Thematic Studies Social interactions among children are central to the Kindergarten curriculum. Our goal is to enable children to work and play together in a respectful and cooperative way. Through discussions, activities, meetings, and, most importantly, through play, children build social skills and develop an understanding of what it means to be a member of a community. Throughout the year, kindergarteners will be involved in the thematic study, “All About Us.” We look at the various groups to which we belong, focusing on what it means to be a member of a family, a classroom, and the Shady Hill community.
Our throughlines for the year are:
How do I respect myself?
How do I respect others?
How do I respect the environment?
How am I the same as other people?
How am I different from other people?
To what communities do I belong?
Each Kindergarten class is partnered with an Grade VIII class. Partners meet regularly to play and do activities together.
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. We see mathematics as an integral part of the children’s learning experiences at school and home.
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).
Our math program is flexible enough to be able to respond both to differences in learning styles and variations in the readiness of our students. It is informed by the ThinkMath! curriculum, and supported by our lower school math coordinator, Megan Porter. Below are listed some of the benchmarks we have for kindergarteners over the course of the year. These are by no means all of the topics we cover, but rather an overview of some of the skills we expect children to master by the spring.
Counts by ones, fives, and tens to 30 and beyond
Uses one-to-one correspondence to count
Recognizes numbers to 30 and beyond
Accurately forms numbers 0-30
Reasonably estimates the number of objects in a group
Recognizes, extends, and creates patterns
Sorts and classifies by attributes
Demonstrates spatial reasoning skills
Collects, sorts, and analyzes data
Generates problem-solving strategies
Articulates and represents mathematical thinking
Science In Kindergarten
Kindergarteners are natural scientists and engineers. Their days are filled with opportunities to build, take apart, sort, observe, compare, question, and experiment. There is a science center located in each classroom. In addition, a science specialist visits once per week for one hour and 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 senses to learn about the world as well as 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 45-minute class per week) When Kindergarteners visit the library, the librarian reads 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 book and students’ own lives, other books, and their world. Children have an opportunity to choose books from the collection and share them with each other in the library or ask a librarian or teacher to read to them.
Music in Kindergarten
(Two 30-minute classes each 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.
Movement Education in Kindergarten
(Two 30-minutes classes per 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 having rules and playing fair and begin to apply them with little or no reinforcement. Students are encouraged to participate, explore, and have fun in a safe, non-competitive, and respectful environment.
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.
Kindergartners in the Lower School Community
The entire Lower School (Beginners to Grade IV) meets together in the Assembly Hall for a 40-minute assembly on each Day 3. The music component of assemblies includes community singing, performances by Shady Hill students, and performances by outside musical groups. Music at the assembly extends the music curriculum and deepens students’ understanding of music as cultural expression. Classroom sharing is also an important aspect 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. Sometimes assemblies are used for performances, such as class productions, Visiting Artist performances, or other outside performers or speakers. Outside presenters come from the arts, sciences, and humanities and make a connection to the wider world.
List of 11 members.
Bank Street College of Education - M.Ed.
Elizabeth J Anderson
Williams College - B.A. Lesley University - M.Ed. TTC '86
Tutor and Kindergarten Literacy Specialist
Wesleyan University - B.A. Bank Street College of Education - M.Ed.
Wheelock College - B.S. Simmons College - M.A.
Physical Education Teacher
Keene State University - Bachelor's Keene State University - M.Ed.
Maternity Leave Reading Teacher
Northwestern University - BA Loyola University of Chicago - MSW West Virginia University - M.Ed.
Vassar College - B.A. U. Washington - M.A.
Tracy C Polte
Science Department Chair
Princeton University - B.A. Lesley University - M.Ed.
Brandeis University - B.A. Simmons College - M.L.S.
Oberlin College - B.A. Lesley University - M.Ed. Shady Hill School
Physical Education Teacher
University of Maine - B.S. University of New England - M.Ed.
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.