Greenfield School’s kindergarten is a challenging and exciting transitional year for students. We build upon the foundation that is laid in our preschool and begin to prepare for the rigors of lower school. Our smaller classes lead to increased individualized attention and afford teachers the opportunity to respond to the needs of each child.
We have a modified Montessori classroom, where we use a hands-on, kinesthetic approach to learning. Our many manipulative activities help foster the love of learning and are used to reinforce our curriculum. We have four main focuses through the day: Language Arts, Mathematics, Practical Life, and Unit Study.
Reading and Language Arts
This pivotal year focuses on gaining the many critical skills needed to read and write successfully. We use SRA Imagine It! which is a phonics based, comprehensive, and engaging Reading and Language Arts program. It has a structured, prescriptive, and fun platform that's designed to reach all levels of learners. Writing development blends the D’Nealian Handwriting technique with author’s purpose and brainstorming as well as grammar usage and mechanics.
Mathematics in kindergarten continues to focus on building number sense which essentially refers to a student’s fluidity and flexibility with numbers. “Math Talks” include pictorial representations and oral discussions reinforcing student’s knowledge and encourage flexibility with numbers and key math concepts. Lower School (K-4) uses Math in Focus: Singapore Math by Marshall Cavendish. Singapore Math uses a concrete-pictorial-abstract pedagogy with end goal being able to problem solve at the abstract level. Conceptual learning is at the heart of our math instruction and the mastery of concepts is our goal.
Practical life is a fun loving, highly sensorial class and is almost always a student’s favorite time of day. This class emphasizes care of self and the environment in orderly and attentive ways. Artistic expression is highlighted with painting, crafts, and cooking projects. In this busy and productive class students use everyday tools and Montessori activities to practice and hone their fine motor skills.
Through several science and socially minded units of study students in the afternoon are able to learn more about themselves and the world around them. Our unit studies are introduced through literature and Power Points and are reinforced with crafts, cooking projects, music, online videos and writing activities.
The lower school is comprised of Kindergarten through grade 4. Each lower school grade level has a full-time teacher and a full-time instructional assistant.
Objectives and Curriculum
The Lower School primarily focuses on the acquisition of basic number and language skills. Reading is taught through a strongly based phonetic program and uses the Open Court Reading series Imagine It! The Language Arts program places a strong emphasis and high concentration on comprehension skills, vocabulary, grammar, spelling and writing mechanics.
Mathematics is developed as an unfolding structure of numbers rather than just calculations. Math concepts are taught in a sequentially built format to provide concrete concepts and problem solving skills. Lower School (K-4) uses Math in Focus: Singapore Math by Marshall Cavendish. Singapore Math uses a concrete-pictorial-abstract pedagogy with end goal being able to problem solve at the abstract level. Conceptual learning is at the heart of our math instruction and the mastery of concepts is our goal.
Science and Social Studies are taught as separate curriculum areas. These unit studies are taught as part of the home classroom base with a separate text for each subject. Additionally, Greenfield students have a unique opportunity to "explore" science by performing experiments, working on projects and participating in hands on activities in their “Hands-on Science” class twice a week.
Lower School Grading Reporting
Student progress is reported to parents in Kindergarten through grade four by parent-teacher conferences and/or report cards quarterly throughout the year (every nine weeks.) Open communication among students, parents, and faculty is stressed throughout the school year regarding any academic concerns.
In an effort to fulfill the obligations of the Greenfield School Mission Statement and complete the total development of the child, our Lower School students also participate in the following special programs on a weekly, bi-weekly or daily basis depending on the class. Specialty classes are taught outside of the regular classrooms by teachers specializing in their designated area.
Monthly curriculum calendars are provided to all of the specialty teachers. These calendars show the different ideas and concepts being studied by grade level and subject matter. These calendars allow the specialty teachers to offer a variety of activities and learning experiences that reinforce what is being taught in the individual classrooms. In this way, our Lower School is able to provide a comprehensive, cross-curricula experience for our students.
Lower School Students also have numerous opportunities to expand their classroom experiences and learning by attending off-campus field trips and participating in special on-campus events.