Through art activities, young children will develop abilities and skills that will help them in other areas of the curriculum and confidence to express their own thoughts and feelings through art. Through exploration, they will build a knowledge of the objects in the world around them and an appreciation for the art of other people and cultures. The integration of making and enjoying art in the early childhood classroom will result in the all-sided development of the children participating.
French at this level is very visual and auditory, much in the same way one learns their native language as a child. It is learning to listen and repeat the sounds of the French language. Students learn salutations, manners, alphabet, colors, numbers, zoo animals, and learn to respond to questions in French. Traditional French children’s songs are taught.Students learn to listen and repeat the sounds in French in order to engage in basic conversation.
Handwriting Without Tears is a program we use to teach handwriting while helping with fine motor skills. Pre-kindergarten begins with letters that are made from using long lines and short lines. As the year progresses, we introduce letters made with curved lines.
We use wooden pieces to show students how to make letters of the alphabet, whether it be with long lines, short lines, big curved lines or small curved lines. Each student has a “Handwriting Without Tears” workbook to use in practicing each letter as it is introduced.
We teach pre-keyboarding and keyboarding by grade, beginning with the easiest typing skills first and becoming more challenging as children progress through each grade level. The simplified approach ensures consistency as students improve their touch typing skills from pre-kindergarten through third grade.
Our kindergarten keyboarding activities help:
Develop motor skills
Introduce keyboard and mouse functions
Teach left and right hands separately
Reinforce handwriting skills with typing practice and games
Our Pre-K math program focuses on numerous skills: sorting, patterns, numbers 1-20, the calendar, time, measurement, money, addition and subtraction, shapes and problem solving.
We use manipulatives, counters, a workbook and fun activities to enhance learning each of the skills.
The Kindergarten math program is an expansion of our Pre-Kindergarten program. Covered topics are: Positions, Patterns, Classification, Symmetry, Solid Shapes, Numbers through 12, Time and Money, Measurement, Addition and Subtraction, and Greater Numbers.
PreK and Kindergarten Music at Advent offer young students the opportunity to listen, sing, dance and play rhythm instruments as they explore the world of music. In bi-weekly classes, students are taught basic concepts which include vocal singing, musical terms, rhythmic notation and body movement. The children listen to excerpts of classical music and study the Families of the Orchestra. All students participate in the December “Services of Lessons and Carols” which grant them the experience of performing as part of a larger team. Simple music concepts are taught in a fun and engaging way allowing the children to be creative in their expression. In this way, the rudimentary foundation is laid for the expanded musical instruction these students will experience at Advent as they continue to progress through the program of instruction.
NeuroNet is a research-based learning readiness program designed to help students develop fluency in essential reading, math, and handwriting skills. By combining rhythmic exercise with drills in academic skills children can achieve greater fluency in those skills.
Pre-kindergarten students use Neuronet daily in the classroom, helping to “wake-up” the brain. The students watch and mimic exercises seen on the white board. These exercises address attention, handwriting, vocabulary, phoneme patterns and processing. It also focuses on language comprehension, auditory memory and auditory discrimination.
Every school day, pre-kindergarten has 30 minutes of playground time. The playground is located on the first floor of the school. It is an enclosed area only accessible to the students and teachers at Advent. The children love running, climbing on the playground equipment, and riding the tricycles. If you were to walk by the school on any given day, you would hear the laughter and voices of children playing outside. It’s truly a joy to hear!
The Pre-K program begins with the basics of learning the alphabet and the sounds of each letter. We begin each week with a new letter. We have activities for each letter including; our Alphabet Book, “Eating Our Way Through the Alphabet”, as well as phonics workbook pages.
The kindergarten students practice phonics (letters and sounds, written and oral) each day using their Treasures workbooks. Each book is devoted to a letter(s), sight words, theme, and they are sequenced in a specific way so that each concept builds upon the previous. Along with their workbooks, a book is sent home each night for students to read to their parents.
In pre-kindergarten, we teach science and social studies through our weekly readers, “Let’s Find Out.” We discuss the four seasons and the weather that applies to each season. Each day we talk about the temperature and the weather forecast. Other topics for discussion include various life cycles and plants.
In Kindergarten, science is an integral part of the weekly routine, whether introduced formally or on the spur of the moment. The Scientist of the Week program is a fun way to introduce the students to Science. Parents help make a lab coat out of a white pillow case which the students in turn wear during science throughout the year. Each week a new child is chosen to be the Scientist of the Week. This child will take the special science bag home and will, with the help of his family, choose an age-appropriate experiment to share with the class at the end of the week. Every child will be Scientist of the Week at least two times during the year.
In Pre-K, we approach the writing process on an individual basis. The pre-kindergarten teachers recognize every child learns differently and at a different pace. For some students, it may be learning how to write the letters of the alphabet, while others are learning to write words and sentences. We encourage our students to write words from our “word wall” and to illustrate them; understanding it is part of the writing process.
Kindergarten students learn the writing process using the writing program Writer’s Workshop. Children learn how to put their thoughts into writing, the mechanics of writing sentences, how to share writings, how to make a rough draft, edit, and rewrite, and how to publish their writing into a “book.”
It was COLD in Birmingham on the morning of the Mercedes marathon a few years ago! Nevertheless, I bundled up and went out to cheer on one of my Advent colleagues AND saw a few of our students doing the same!! We truly are a family in the best sense of the word!
I LOVE teaching middle-school History! I am fortunate in that I discovered my love for the subject first - Earning a fellowship to the graduate program for History at Vanderbilt, which gave me the opportunity to teach freshman students. I quickly realized that while I enjoy the research and writing, it is the analysis, discussion, and give-and-take of ideas with students that is my PASSION!
I continue with the research and writing, and I have had a couple of things published. (My history of Homewood was published in 2001.) My students know that history is something we DO together as well as something we study. In my courses they enthusiastically study, research and write history. This approach was recognized by the Alabama Association of Historians when they named me state history teacher of the year in 2007. And "the beat goes on" . . .
It is my GREAT blessing to be able to contribute to the mission of the Advent in ALL the ways that we love and teach these special kids!!!!!