St. Theresa School offers a developmental and social Kindergarten One program. The program is designed to promote learning and development in each of the following areas: social, emotional, physical, language, and cognitive. Development of self-help skills while encouraging independence is a natural outcome of the program. Knowing that each child develops at his/her own rate, the OWL (Opening the World of Learning) curriculum in conjunction with teacher designed activities are used to encourage each child’s development. The curriculum is engaging, developmentally appropriate and fosters growth in each child. The curricula incorporate the Massachusetts standards for pre-kindergarten which are promoted through daily activities of play and exploration.
In Kindergarten One, the children start each day with a morning prayer and the sign of the cross. The “SEEDS” magazine is used to help us understand the weekly Gospel. Virtues are reinforced and celebrated school wide. Prayers are said before snack and lunch. In December, Kindergarten One students join the rest of the school community in attending the monthly first Friday Masses.
Literacy skills are developed through the OWL curriculum. This program focuses on literacy using picture books and weekly vocabulary words. In addition, the students focus on a letter of the week to develop letter recognition and awareness of beginning letter sounds. Sound /symbol (letter/ sound) skills are further developed through listening, speaking, rhyming and handwriting activities. All of these help to build a phonemic and phonological awareness, which is the foundation for early literacy skills.
The OWL curriculum places a special focus on developing number sense and early math skills. The program uses manipulatives to help the children learn math with concrete objects. They use puzzles, shapes, colors and numbers to bring math to life in the classroom. The use of the daily calendar helps children develop counting, sequencing and number recognition.
Science in Kindergarten One is discovering the world around us. Thematic units of study include the always changing, New England weather; life cycles of plants and butterflies; the seasons; shadows; the moon; planets and stars and the Earth and what living things need to survive.
In Kindergarten One, the day begins with the Pledge of Allegiance. The OWL curriculum brings social studies into the classroom. The books used introduce the children to history and social studies through a child’s eye. Lessons and activities focus on families, school, community, state and country. The community we live in and “community helpers” are emphasized in our social studies program. National, State and Catholic holidays are introduced and discussed from a child’s perspective to help the children understand the world around them.