Kindergarten teaches reading readiness skills through the multi-sensory reading program Fundations which focuses on phonological and phonemic awareness -- the idea that words are made up of sounds and sounds are manipulated to form words. Writing is another integral part of our reading program. Children use inventive (phonetic) spelling when learning to write and they read their writing back to their teachers. Creating a culture of reading is another important aspect in creating a love of books. Children are read to every day -- picture books, chapter books, poetry, and non-fiction -- and are given time during the day to not only read to themselves, but also with a friend. Students are exposed to live theater, listen to story tapes and music during rest, and participate in choral reading and practice rhyming, opposites, and sequencing. Each kindergartner has a fifth grade reading buddy with whom they meet once a week. Fifth grade buddies read to their kindergarten partners while at the same time forming long-lasting friendships.
Handwriting is also part of our language arts curriculum. Our handwriting program, Handwriting Without Tears, was developed by an occupational therapist and is used throughout the school.