Age 3 through 6th Grade

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Junior Kindergarten Overview

JKers doing a science experiment

Junior Kindergartners are eager to learn, take on more responsibility, and explore their environment. 

Apatosaurus. Velociraptor. Tyrannosaurus rex. Triceratops. The Junior Kindergarten highlight that stands out most for children would have to be the unit on dinosaurs which culminates in the annual Dinosaur Dig. After students learn all about the dinosaur age, teachers and parents bury “fossils” in the sand play area. The children love first digging to find them, then carefully cracking them open with a hammer to see what they’ve unearthed.

Of course, Junior Kindergarten isn’t all about dinosaurs. There’s investigating outer space, studying all about Mexico, and learning about alphabet letters and sounds, not to mention counting, measuring, patterning, sequencing, and more.

Junior Kindergarten students are becoming more independent, with new opportunities for developing social skills and friendships. For the first time, they have “buddies” – JKers are paired with third grade students, and do a variety of projects with them throughout the year.

Junior Kindergartners

(children who have turned 4 by July 31) are eager to learn, explore their environment, and take on more responsibility. Age-appropriate, multi-sensory learning continues through a variety of settings, such as whole class and small group instruction and activity-based learning centers. Daily small groups allow for greater depth of learning and differentiated instruction. JK students begin keeping journals to build on emergent literacy skills, and they participate in the school buddy program. Their multi-disciplinary exploration of science takes off with Nature on the Move and units such as dinosaurs and gardening. Junior Kindergarten curricular benchmarks include:

Literature/

Language Arts

  • Listen to high-quality read-alouds 
  • Ask predictive and analytic questions 
  • Learn relationship between letters and sounds 
  • Develop phonemic awareness of sounds, syllables and words
  • I​mprove fine motor skills for handwriting
  • Use multi-sensory approach to letter formation and identification 
  • Write in journals based on readiness of individual children

 

Mathematics

  • Increase number sense  
  • Identify written numerals  
  • Explore half and whole relationships  
  • Explore volume  
  • Sequence events  
  • Compile and compare data in graphs and charts  
  • Sort and classify objects into groups  
  • Gather information and evaluate data  
  • Duplicate and extend simple patterns  
  • Use math software

 

Social Studies

  • Identify how own thinking, feelings and action
    are similar to or different from others  
  • Extend understanding of themselves and world  
  • Experience an international perspective with study of Mexico  
  • Identify commonalities and differences between families and children 
  • Know the function of maps and globes  
  • Research interests in social studies topics

 

Science

  • Explore Missouri wildlife with regular visits from Nature on the Move 
  • Investigate characteristics of dinosaurs
  • Experiment with simple tools 
  • Experiment with objects and materials to gather information and observe reactions 
  • Respect the physical environment and its conservation 
  • Explore physical properties and characteristics, solve problems
    and represent observations of the physical and natural world 
  • Develop critical thinking skills

 

    Music

    • Develop listening skills
    • Expand auditory awareness and discrimination 
    • Experience rhythmic patterns in large and small muscle movements 
    • Practice locomotor and non-locomotor actions 
    • Perform fingerplays, games, songs, rhymes and poems 
    • Explore voice concepts 
    • Play various percussion instruments alone and in groups  
    • Practice speaking and singing into a microphone

    French

    • Learn vocabulary and language structures through listening,
      singing, miming, fingerplays, games and activities  
    • Experience monthly themes 
    • Incorporate movement and activity with vocabulary

     

    Drama

    • Recognize and practice enunciation and projection  
    • Practice giving and taking focus  
    • Learn tools of an actor (imagination, body, voice)  
    • Practice expression of emotion  
    • Learn elements of performing  
    • Sequence story through interactive story telling  
    • Perform Swimmy or The Biggest Turnip Ever

     

    Physical Education

    • Develop spatial and outdoor awareness  
    • Experience rhythmic patterns in large
      and small muscle movements  
    • Practice ball skills, striking, climbing and traversing  
    • Practice locomotor and non-locomotor actions 
    • Learn listening games, Brain Gym, tai chi and relaxation