Art Alongside the K-2 students that she loves teaching, Mrs. Thomas is excited to be able to work with pre-k students in the art classroom this year! Pre-k students will spend time learning the elements of art with fun chants and songs; building fine motor skills through working with scissors, paintbrushes, and other art tools; and connecting art to literacy with fun projects based on books. Kindergartners will experience their first formal art class as well, and 1st-grade and 2nd-grade students will continue to make amazing art using the elements of art and principles of design they have been learning. Promising 2nd-grade artists will have the opportunity to join an honors art club after school, and students of all ages (even pre-K) will be eligible to have their work displayed in galleries at the Putnam City Schools administration building and at the district’s annual Festival of the Arts. We also hope to host an arts and culture night in early spring to showcase the beautiful art and diverse cultural heritage represented at D.D. Kirkland.
At Kirkland, children pre k thru 2nd grade will learn the fundamentals of music and enjoy activities, dances, and play many kinds of instruments. Pre K students will get an early start learning all about music and having a great time doing so. Some 1st and 2nd graders will form a choir that will carol and sing at Kirkland for special events. At Kirkland, music is a universal language for young ages.
Kirkland Elementary is continuing with the popular “Book Buddies” program. Students in kindergarten and grades 1 and 2 will share their love for reading with pre-k students. Younger students benefit greatly from the program and enjoy learning from older peers at school.
Come Read With Me
Come Read with Me is a literacy program offered by the Outreach Department of the Metropolitan Library System. The program brings together a Project Specialist from the library system and Kirkland students in grades 2 for 20-minute reading sessions once a week in September, November, February and April. Each session begins with a group read-aloud by the Project Specialist, followed by students reading the books they chose. The program is designed to help children find joy in reading.
The “Big Day for Pre-K” program by Scholastic is used in Kirkland’s pre-k classes. The curriculum utilizes the most current research about early learning for preschool classrooms across the country to ensure that all children, including English Language Learners, build the academic and social-emotional foundations they need to succeed in pre-k. The program provides teachers with child-friendly themes and curriculum for the whole school year. For more information about Big Day for Pre-k, click here.
Curriculum for Kindergarten, Grades 1 and 2
The Wonders programs are designed to move students ahead in their reading skills no matter what their level and skills are. The programs use literary and informational texts that range across many genres while focusing students on the same vocabulary, skills, and strategies in any given week.
enVisionMATH builds critical-thinking skills through print and other resources that help all students, regardless of learning styles or abilities, learn through step-by-step visual instruction that helps them “see” the math. Research shows that students of all ability levels using enVisionMATH demonstrate significantly greater improvement than students using other math programs in the areas of math computation, problem solving and math communication.
Social Studies/My World
Pearson’s myWorld Social Studies curriculum encourages students to make personal connections with the content through storytelling, the oldest means for conveying knowledge, but with a digital twist. Research shows that such connections help students retain and comprehend information. The program allows teachers to guide students through exploring concepts, building knowledge, and transfering what they have learned beyond the classroom leading to deeper and lasting comprehension and understanding
Conflict Management Curriculum
Because disagreements are normal when children are together, an important part of growing up is developing conflict management skills.
At Kirkland Elementary students learn to solve conflicts using a program known as Kelso’s Choice. In classroom lessons taught by Kirkland’s counselor, students learn the difference between small problems and big problems. Big problems (if children are scared, feel unsafe or have been physically hurt) always require the help of an adult they trust such as parents, teachers, grandparents, a counselor, etc. For small everyday kind of problems, students should try at least two of Kelso’s Choices to resolve a situation. If they cannot resolve the situation, they should go to a trusted adult.
These are the nine choices suggested in the curriculum for solving small problems:
- Go to another game
- Talk it out
- Make a deal
- Walk away
- Wait and cool off
- Share and take turns
- Ignore it
- Tell them to stop
Learning about these choices will help increase your child’s ability to handle conflict.