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Gig Harbor Academy Kindergarten Curriculum Guide

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Published by admissions, 2019-09-19 12:26:47

GHA Kindergarten Curriculum Guide

Gig Harbor Academy Kindergarten Curriculum Guide

Keywords: Kindergarten,Gig Harbor,Washington,ELementary school,best school,private school

Curriculum Guide

Kindergarten

253.265.2150
gigharboracademy.org
6820 32nd St NW, Gig Harbor, WA 98335


Gig Harbor Academy
Gig Harbor Academy is committed to providing the highest quality
education to all students. One way to provide a quality education is with
an effective curriculum that reflects high standards and high expectations.
Thus, GHA has developed rigorous content standards aligned with
national guidelines. But even the most rigorous standards cannot make
schools and students successful without the support of parents.
Each grade level’s curriculum guide is designed to inform parents of
GHA’s expectations for students in the major curriculum areas: reading/
writing, mathematics, and science. These expectations are aligned with
the curriculum that is used by the classroom teacher for daily instruction.
These curriculum guides also provide examples of what your child should
know and be able to accomplish upon completion of each academic year.
GHA believes in educating the whole child, therefore these expectations
are the foundation upon which we build the educational experience for
each student.
Because of learning styles and differences, we know that not all children
reach the same expectations at the same time. If at any time you wish
to talk about your child’s educational progress, classroom teachers are
always available to speak with you directly. GHA believes that all children
can learn if parents and schools work together.

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Kindergarten Curriculum Guide

Reading Writing and Speaking

GHA’s English Language Arts Learning Expectations are adapted from
three professional organizations: National Council of Teachers of English
and International Reading Association’s document, NCTE/IRA Standards
for the English Language Arts, and the National Association for the
Education of Young Children’s document, NAYEC Position Statement
and Standards. GHA’s kindergarten program builds on young children’s
curiosity and enthusiasm and is based on the understanding that young
children learn best when they can construct meaning in a context-
rich environment. It is in this environment that children have many
opportunities to engage in constructive pretend play, look at books and
be read to, listen to stories being told in person and through multimedia,
use the classroom library, dictate and dramatize stories, see, create and
use a wide variety of print in everyday classroom activities (signs, notes,
lists, labels), express ideas and feelings, ask questions, play with language,
and listen to the ideas, feelings and questions of others.

Balanced Literacy

Gig Harbor Academy employs a balanced literacy approach to reading
and writing acquisition. A balanced literacy program contains all
of the components necessary for students to master written and oral
communication. It includes teaching phonics, spelling patterns, grammar
and writing skills, reading and comprehension strategies, presentations,
performances, and much conversation and discussion about reading and
writing. In the classroom, there is direct and indirect reading and writing
instruction, through modeled, shared, guided and independent reading
and writing experiences. Children are given direct instructional support
and a variety of daily reading and writing experiences that promote
student engagement in the complex process of becoming independent
readers and writers.

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Gig Harbor Academy

In a balanced literacy classroom, teachers provide Individualized support
that may include re-teaching and prompting for reading and writing
behaviors as young children begin to read. As children mature in their
reading abilities, they learn about the different story elements, such as
Characters– Setting– Problem– Main events– Resolution. Character
Sketching helps students focus on how the main character’s personal
traits often direct the action of the story. Children are given ample
opportunities for group discussions which encourage their engagement.
Under the guidance of the teacher, students help each other to unravel
confusing concepts.
A key component of a balanced literacy program entails scaffolding
instruction in order to make learning to read and write less problematic
for all children. One example of scaffolding is guided reading where the
teacher works with a small group of students that are on the same reading
level or have similar instructional needs. Students usually have their own
texts and the teacher works with the students on skills and strategies.
Guided reading includes mini-lessons with a targeted focus that meets
a specific need of a particular group of students. A mini-lesson could
include phonics, word attack skills, comprehension skills/strategies, or
grammar
During shared reading time, the teacher will often assess what students
have learned and give them time to reflect on their own learning. This
develops responsible learners and accountability.
Emphasis will be placed on having the students build and use listening and
speaking vocabularies through participation in oral language activities
employing poems, rhymes, songs, and stories. Kindergarten writing
reflects the students’ oral language and will write their ideas through
drawings, scribbles, letter strings, letter approximations, and dictation to
adults.

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Kindergarten Curriculum Guide

Reading

Students will match sounds to letters and make meaning of written words.
• Develop knowledge of sound-letter correspondences (consonants/
vowels)
• Build a basic, beginning sight word vocabulary,
• Understand story sequence,
• Begin to use decoding strategies, i.e., picture cues, context clues,
and phonics skills,
• Print lowercase and uppercase letters,
• Dictate a group of sentences related to an idea or group of
illustrations.

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Gig Harbor Academy

Writing

Writing in kindergarten is both student initiated and teacher initiated.
Student initiated projects could be making lists, sending cards, writing
group stories, etc. Teacher-initiated writing could be writing the steps for
a science project, writing sight words, writing about their weekend, etc.

• Form most letters correctly
• Use phonemes and letter knowledge in phonetic spelling.
• Show some awareness that writing has conventions.
• Use complete sentences when dictating ideas or information.
• Begin to write labels, signs, or captions for drawings and models.

Speaking

• Develop an ability to share thoughts in both a large and small group,
share information, speak in a voice others can hear, and express
thoughts logically.

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Kindergarten Curriculum Guide

Mathematics

GHA math standards are adapted from the National Council of Teachers of
Mathematics (NCTM), Principles and Standards for School Mathematics.
Mathematics in kindergarten places emphasis on developing the
concept of number by counting; combining, sorting, and comparing
sets of objects; recognizing and describing simple repeating patterns;
and recognizing shapes and sizes of figures and objects. Students will
investigate nonstandard measurement, collect data, and create graphs.
The idea of fractions will be introduced. The development of problem-
solving skills has been integrated throughout the kindergarten math
program to enhance each child’s logical thinking.

Number and Number Sense

The focus of instruction with number sense is to promote an understanding
of counting, classification, whole numbers, place value, fractions, number
of single-step and mult-istep computations. These learning experiences
allow students to engage actively in a variety of problem solving situations
and to model numbers (compose and decompose), using a variety of
manipulatives.
Students recognize the relationship between numbers and quantities.

• Count to 100 and beyond, count beginning at any number, count
backward 20-0, count to100 by one’s and ten’s.

• Order numerals 0-20, be exposed to odd/even and beginning place
value.

• Compare quantities (more. less, same as, etc.), work on addition/
subtraction of quantities through story problems, concrete objects,
and number lines.

• Know mental calculations (addition/ subtraction) and estimation/
approximation.

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Gig Harbor Academy
Algebra
Instruction algebra at the kindergarten level is to observe, recognize,
create, extend, and describe a variety of patterns. Students will experience
and recognize visual, kinesthetic, and auditory patterns and develop
the language to describe them orally and in writing as a foundation to
using symbols. They will use patterns to explore mathematical and
geometric relationships and to solve problems, and their observations
and discussions of how things change will eventually lead to the notion of
functions and ultimately to algebra.
Students sort and order objects according to attributes (color, size, shape,
etc.)

• Identify, describe, and extend repeating patterns.

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Kindergarten Curriculum Guide

Measurement

Measurement instruction in kindergarten focuses on developing the
skills and tools needed to measure length, height, weight/mass, capacity,
and an introduction to money. Measurement at this level often comprises
measuring and estimating real objects so children can see the usefulness
of measurement in their daily lives. They gain deep understanding of the
concepts of measurement when handling the materials, making physical
comparisons, and measuring with tools.
As students develop a sense of the attributes of measurement and the
concept of a measurement unit, they also begin to recognize the differences
between using nonstandard and standard units of measure.
Students identify and measure attributes of objects

• Measure with non-standard units.
• Understand comparative measurement, i.e., same, longer, heavier/

lighter, etc.
• Associate significant time period within the context of a whole day,

and be exposed to calendar activities, i.e., day names, sequence of
months, day number, etc.

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Gig Harbor Academy

Geometry

Geometric ideas in kindergarten help children systematically represent
and describe their world as they learn to represent plane and solid
figures through drawing, block constructions, and verbal language. The
focus of instruction at this level is on observing, identifying, describing,
comparing, contrasting, and investigating solid objects and their faces;
figures, and exploring symmetry, congruence, and transformation.
Students name, describe, compare and contrast objects of two and three-
dimensional shapes.

• Identify, describe, and trace plane geometric figures and compare
the size (larger, smaller) and shape, i.e., circle triangle, square, etc.

• Describe the location one object relative to another (above, below,
next to) and identify representations of plane geometric figures
regardless of their positions and orientation in space.

Data Analysis

The focus of statistics instruction at this level is to help students develop
methods of collecting, organizing, describing, displaying, and interpreting
data to answer questions they have posed about themselves and their
world.
Students organize and represent data to formulate a response to a question.

• Read a simple graph or chart and base conclusions on it.
• Conduct surveys and vote using tally marks.
• Display gathered data and represent in object graphs, picture

graphs, and/or tables, and will answer questions related to the data.

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Kindergarten Curriculum Guide

Science

GHA follows the Next Generation Science Standards developed by The
American Association for the Advancement of Science, National Science
Teachers Association, and National Research Council.
The science learning expectations in kindergarten help students formulate
answers to questions such as: “What happens if you push or pull an object
harder? Where do animals live and why do they live there? What is the
weather like today and how is it different from yesterday?”
Students are expected to develop understanding of patterns and variations
in local weather and the purpose of weather forecasting to prepare for, and
respond to, severe weather. Students are able to apply an understanding of
the effects of different strengths or different directions of pushes and pulls
on the motion of an object to analyze a design solution.

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Gig Harbor Academy

Students are also expected to develop an understanding of what plants
and animals (including humans) need to survive and the relationship
between their needs and where they live. In the kindergarten learning
expectations, students are expected to demonstrate grade-appropriate
proficiency in asking questions, developing and using models, planning
and carrying out investigations, analyzing and interpreting data,
designing solutions, engaging in argument from evidence, and obtaining,
evaluating, and communicating information. Students are expected to
use these practices to demonstrate understanding of the core ideas as
detailed in the learning expectations below.

Forces and Motion

• Plan and conduct an investigation to compare the effects of different
strengths or different directions of pushes and pulls on the motion
of an object, i.e., pushes or pulls could include a string attached
to an object being pulled, a person pushing an object, a person
stopping a rolling ball, or two objects colliding and pushing on each
other.

• Analyze data to determine if a design solution works as intended
to change the speed or direction of an object with a push or a pull,
i.e., problems requiring a solution could include having a marble
or other object move a certain distance, follow a particular path,
and knock down other objects. Examples of solutions could include
tools such as a ramp to increase the speed of the object or a structure
that would cause an object such as a marble or ball to turn.

Sun Warms Earth

• Make observations to determine the effect of sunlight on Earth’s
surface, i.e., Earth’s surface could include sand, soil, rocks, and /or
water.

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Kindergarten Curriculum Guide
• How could a person reduce the warming effect of sunlight on an

area, i.e., structures could include umbrellas, canopies, and tents
that minimize the warming effect of the sun.

Weather

• Use and share observations of local weather conditions to describe
patterns over time, i.e., qualitative observations could include
descriptions of the weather (such as sunny, cloudy, rainy, and
warm); examples of quantitative observations could include
numbers of sunny, windy, and rainy days in a month. Examples of
patterns could include that it is usually cooler in the morning than
in the afternoon and the number of sunny days versus cloudy days
in different months.

• Ask questions to obtain information about the purpose of weather
forecasting to prepare for, and respond to, severe weather, i.e., local
forms of severe weather.

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Gig Harbor Academy
Plants and Animals

• Use or observe a model to represent the relationship between the
needs of different plants or animals (including humans) and the
places they live, i.e., relationships could include that deer eat buds
and leaves, therefore, they usually live in forested areas; and, grasses
need sunlight so they often grow in meadows. Plants, animals, and
their surroundings make up a system.

• Use observations to describe patterns of what plants and animals
(including humans) need to survive, i.e., patterns could include
that animals need to take in food but plants do not; the different
kinds of food needed by different types of animals; the requirement
of plants to have light; or, that all living things need water.

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Kindergarten Curriculum Guide

• Construct an argument supported by evidence for how plants and
animals can change the environment to meet their needs, i.e., plants
or animals changing their environment could include a squirrel digs
in the ground to hide its food and tree roots can break concrete.

Earth’s Resources

• Communicate solutions that will reduce the impact of humans on
land, water, air, and/or other living things in the local environment,
i.e., human impact on the land could include cutting trees to
produce paper and using resources to produce bottles. Examples
of solutions could include reusing paper and recycling cans and
bottles.

Engineering and Technology

• Ask questions, make observations, and gather information about a
situation people want to change to define a simple problem that can
be solved through the development of a new or improved object or
tool.

• Develop a simple sketch, drawing, or physical model to illustrate
how the shape of an object helps it function as needed to solve a
given problem.

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Gig Harbor Academy

Social Studies

Social Studies at Gig Harbor Academy has inquiry at the heart of
instruction. Teachers use questions to spark curiosity, guide instruction,
and deepen understanding of topics being investigated. Each inquiry unit
takes root in a compelling question that draws from one or more of the
social studies disciplines of civics, social studies and history. Children are
naturally curious about the complex world they inhabit. But they quickly
become disengaged when instruction is not engaging nor meaningful.
Intentionally teaching social studies in an inquiry approach and having
compelling questions drive student investigations builds critical thinking,
problem solving, and participatory skills that makes learning not only
more engaging but also more relevant.

Civics

• Understands the purpose of rules in the classroom and school.
• Remembers the people who make and carry out rules in the

classroom and school.
• Understands the key ideals of justice and fairness within the context

of the classroom community.
• Applies the ideals of justice and fairness when making choices or

decisions in the classroom or on the playground.

Social Studies Skills

• Understands how to ask questions about the classroom and school
community.

• Understands one’s point of view.
• Evaluates the fairness of one’s point of view.
• States own viewpoints and listens to viewpoints of others.

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Kindergarten Curriculum Guide
History

• Understands and creates/observes time lines to show personal or
school events in a sequential manner.

• Retells and explains personal history.

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Gig Harbor Academy

Spanish

The ultimate goal of Spanish at Gig Harbor Academy is students’
acquisition of the speaking skills needed to interact in Spanish in real-
life situations. The curriculum is organized around broad themes such
as family members, greetings, animals, alphabet, shapes, and colors.
This allows students to connect the language they are learning to
meaningful content. Lessons in Spanish are planned to include a wide
range of culture-rich, age-appropriate activities, such as singing, dancing,
rhyming, playing Spanish educational games, and using iPads with
students working independently, in pairs, and in groups.

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Kindergarten Curriculum Guide
Spanish class incorporates materials that encourage young students’
interaction and involvement with the language, including stuffed
animals, puppets, storybooks, videos, and games. Students are engaged
in activities, such as storytelling, that emphasize the gradual acquisition
of language rather than the memorization of vocabulary and rules. Also,
incorporated into lessons are cultural activities, such as introducing the
foods, music, and dance that are enjoyed in Spanish speaking countries.
Spanish is used in the classroom as much as possible both by teacher and
student. If a student asks the meaning of a word in the foreign language,
the teacher uses both gesture and description to explain the word, rather
than reverting to English.

Most students at Gig Harbor Academy are beginners to Spanish and have
had no previous instruction in the language. It is our intent to teach Spanish
in an engaging and fun way so that students, over time, will develop the
ability to do such things as greet and respond to greetings, express likes
and dislikes, make requests, and begin to provide information. We do
this through various topics such as family, shopping, directions, food and
customs, places and events. As a culminating educational experience, all
students participate in an annual Spanish festival performance.

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Gig Harbor Academy

Art

Gig Harbor Academy has implemented an approach to education referred
to as Discipline Based Arts Education. (DBAE). DBAE is an approach
developed by The Getty Center for Education in the Arts. DBAE continues
to be an outstanding framework which insures that all students receive an
excellent and ongoing study of the arts. It also involves the integration
of visual art into any curriculum in order to enhance overall learning.
DBAE presents a time proven art curriculum involving the following four
components: aesthetics, art criticism, art history and art production:

Art Production:

The production of art guides students through higher levels of thinking,
imagination, and contemplation. The production of art conjures
imaginative and critical thinking processes. The production of art
expresses our deepest understanding of our visual world. The creation of
art in any form is the expression of the heart, mind, spirit, and hand. Art
helps children understand other subjects more clearly – from math and
science, to language arts and geography…and much more.

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Kindergarten Curriculum Guide

Art History:

Art history has given us a peek into an understanding of past cultures
and times. By studying art history we begin to realize the connections
which help us make sense of the world. Not only do students begin to
understand art history, they begin to connect the dots relating to our
physical, spiritual, and soulful life on this planet.

Art Criticism/Analysis:

One may look inside of oneself and love a particular piece, and another
may not. Analysis and criticism simply speaks about it. There is a
difference between liking a work of art and understanding its relevance to
the big (art world) picture. This process involves higher levels of thinking.
Art criticism and analysis often goes hand in hand with the beginnings
of aesthetics.

Aesthetics:

The values and ideas of “what is beautiful” is a highly personal one. Students
begin to understand the relationship between what is personally beautiful
and what is more beautiful as a collective society. Critical thinking skills
are used in aesthetics as we endeavor to design and create our personal
environments as well as to personally respond to architecture and public
spaces.
All grade levels work with a variety of materials and methods which are
age appropriate. By the completion of 5th grade, all GHA art students
have a solid foundation in visual art which well prepares them for middle
school art classes.

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Gig Harbor Academy

Physical Education

The Physical Education program at Gig Harbor Academy offers a
comprehensive and skills-based health curriculum. We are committed
to helping students understand the benefits of lifelong fitness. Gig
Harbor Academy students engage in activities that include movement,
cooperative games, locomotor skills, balance, manipulative skills and
spatial awareness..
The health portion of the curriculum exposes students to intrinsically
relevant issues and the importance of making healthy choices. It
offers a variety of differentiated instructional strategies creating a safe
and inclusive environment for all students to be successful. Positive
sportsmanship is taught and encouraged throughout the year.

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Kindergarten Curriculum Guide

Technology

The objective of technology enrichment at Gig Harbor Academy is two-
fold, digital citizenship and creating information:

Digital Citizenship:

Digital citizenship is the appropriate, safe, and responsible use of
technology. In the lower grades we ask questions such as, “How do you
safely go places on the computer?”, “What can you do when someone
is mean to you online?”, “How can you use the alphabet to find things
online?”. In the upper grades, questions such as, “Which keywords will
give you the best search results?”, “What kinds of responsibilities does a
good digital citizen have?” are asked.

Bridging the Gap Between Consumption and Creation:

At Gig Harbor Academy we wish to teach creation rather than only
consumption of information. Even our youngest children have now been
raised with electronic devices and use them intuitively. However as adults
we daily use computers to write documents, organize data, and automate
tasks. Our technology program is designed to bridge that gap between
consumption and production, and do so in an exciting and meaningful
way.
To that end there are a number of fundamental concepts to outline
and build upon step-by-step. Among these are articulating a problem,
expressing a concise and specific solution, then developing a logical and
elegant procedure to carry out that solution. We will explore how large
problems can be broken down to simple tasks and handled in turn or in
parallel through teamwork.
At Gig Harbor Academy there are several devices and robots available
that allow for the introduction and exploration these ideas with even
some of the youngest students. Scratch, an environment developed by
scientists at the MIT Media Lab is utilized. Students can program and
share interactive media such as stories, games, and animation.

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Gig Harbor Academy
As children explore Scratch, they learn to think creatively, work
collaboratively, and reason systematically. They also use math and language
in a meaningful and motivating context, supporting the development of
early–childhood numeracy and literacy.
In the upper grades structured languages are introduced, where specific
commands or phrases are used to accomplish the solutions we have
designed. Students work hands-on with core computational concepts
such as iteration and conditionals, and math concepts such as coordinates,
variables, and random numbers. When students learn about variables
in traditional math classes, they usually feel little personal connection
to the concept. But when they learn about variables in Scratch, they are
used immediately and meaningfully, whether they control the speed of an
animation, or keep track of the score in a game they are creating.
As they learn about the process of design a student will start with an idea,
create a prototype, debug it when things go wrong, get feedback from
others, then revise and redesign it. This spiral leads to new ideas, which
lead to new projects, and so on. Designing animation, games, or stories
through Scratch enables students to express themselves more fully and
creatively, develop as logical thinkers, and understand the workings of new
technologies they encounter everywhere. The problem-solving habits
they develop will help them achieve and overcome throughout their lives.

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Kindergarten Curriculum Guide

Music

The objective of the Gig Harbor Academy music program is to develop
joyful musicians who are confident and accurate singers, controlled and
accurate rhythmic performers, and inquisitive listeners who are sensitive
to the expressive and historical qualities of music.
In each class, students are given the opportunity to: sing focusing on
tune, pitch, and expressiveness; read: developing skills from identifying
notation symbols to reading complex notation; listen: to quality music
of many genres and cultures; move: reinforcing beat, and form, and
exploring Laban’s themes of movement; and to play instruments:
improving instrumental technique from shakers and sticks to drums and
pitched percussion, to ukulele and recorders.
Beginning in preschool, GHA students are introduced to a variety of ways
to make music with their voices and bodies through stationary gross-
motor movement, locomotor movement and lots of vocal exploration.
From prekindergarten to first grade, students follow the First Steps in
Music curriculum and participate in a “musical workout” of eight different
activities in each class. Second through fifth grade classes are guided by
the Conversational Solfege curriculum and focus on reading notation as
they improve their musical skills. Fourth and fifth grade classes also add
recorders and The Complete Recorder Resource to their music classes to
increase their technical abilities and study music theory in greater depth.
The music program also includes two large music performances each year,
plus several opportunities to perform musical selections at our “Colors”
all-school gatherings and other school events.

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Empowering every child
through joyful discovery

Gig Harbor Academy
6820 32nd Street NW, Gig Harbor, WA 98335

253-265-2150
www.gigharboracademy.org


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