Our Transitional Kindergarten Program is designed for children between ages four and five. This program is designed to be a preparation for children who are ready to go to kindergarten upon completion; or children can be on a two-year program, allowing the gift of time before kindergarten. If your child misses the September 1st cut-off for kindergarten, they will be on our two-year track in this program, which is taught by credentialed K-5 teachers with special training in early-childhood, Handwriting Without Tears, and STEM practices.
During this phase of development, children are making the connections between their world and how they can affect it. They are blossoming into young inquisitive learners who delight in responsibilities and goals.
Emphasis in this class is on developing emotional, social, creative, physical and intellectual goals. Research shows the lasting benefits of intellectual goals are better predictors of later academic success. Intellectual goals include reasoning, analyzing, predicting, questioning, creativity, and a range of moral sensibilities. These are similar to academic goals which include more concrete skills such as knowing the days of the week, the calendar, writing words and memorizing facts.
Preparing students for kindergarten and a joy of learning requires a balance of skills, including: intellectual, academic, creative, social and emotional.
We engage our students in literacy, writing, science, artistic expression, coding, math and engineering, through hands-on exploration, technology, and play. Concepts are experienced, played with and integrated into the minds of young learners. We emphasis the importance of children understanding and recognizing the purpose in what they do, create, and learn. Students conduct experiments in our outdoor laboratory and express their newly found skills in their own creative way. Documentation of projects and learning is captured by the children using photos and video from classroom ipads, those images are sent to parents by their child using our unique software program and app. This increases students connection to home and demonstrates their ability to share and discuss what they are creating and learning.
Classroom learning centers are altered weekly to reflect the weekly ‘Planned Possibilities’ and to maintain a fresh level of curiosity and interest for students. Children explore and work in large groups, small groups, and independently of one another through a balance of teacher-directed and child initiated activities. Students have access to Ipads and a technology center for learning the beginning fundamentals of coding and for math and logic programs.
Children learn to write and explore literacy skills through The Handwriting Without Tears® program. This curriculum draws from years of innovation and research to provide developmentally appropriate, multisensory tools and strategies. Following research that demonstrates children learn more effectively by actively doing, our classroom materials address all styles of learning.
Students who graduate from our TK class score in the ‘advanced’ and ‘very advanced’ scale of the Bracken Assessment. The Bracken Assessment is used to determine whether children are prepared to begin kindergarten. Our results indicate that 95 percent of Gratitude Garden students mastered 90 percent and above on the Bracken School Readiness (BSRA) concepts. The Bracken Assessment is administered to all students ready to transition into kindergarten in May of their graduating year.
- This is a full-day program, beginning at 8:30am and ending at 2:00pm. We ask students to arrive between 8:00 and 8:15 so they may play outside before the first morning circle begins (8:30am).
- TK is limited to 20 students with TWO credentialed teachers who hold degrees