The Primary School

kindergarten_.jpgThe Children’s Garden offers a half-day Kindergarten Program (9:00am until 12:15pm) and full-day Kindergarten (9:00am until 3:00pm) as a component of our Primary School Program for children ages 5-8. We design our Primary School curriculum to encourage active exploration and to cultivate a child’s natural sense of wonder. Our child-centered curriculum meets and exceeds the Virginia Standards of Learning and is based upon integrated thematic units in which literature and the language arts figure prominently.

Most importantly, we strive to present an abundance of opportunities for the children to learn through immersion in their own experience. Our approach encourages children to make connections and to appreciate the unique yet related aspects of our world.

One recent study, for instance, was designed around a student’s question: “I wonder where the garbage goes?” During this two week unit, the students engaged in such activities as:

Language Arts: explaining the definitions of key terms, discussing and retelling stories and poems such as Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax, Barbara Cooney’s Miss Rumphius, and Shel Silverstein’s “Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout”

Math: estimating the rates at which certain materials decompose, graphing the actual rates of decomposition, and using symbols to convey concepts such as addition, subtraction, greater than, and less than

Science: building a model landfill, a worm composting bin, and conducting decomposition experiments by varying conditions within the model

Social Studies: collecting litter on the school grounds and separating recyclable materials from waste; talking with a guest speaker from the Solid Waste Authority

Art: constructing a garden built entirely from recyclables and discarded materials

Music: writing a class song about waste and recycling that incorporates elements of rhyme and meter

Drama: acting out physical processes such as decomposition and recycling; using our bodies to form letters and spell key terms

Physical Education: completing a theme based obstacle course designed from recycled items

Self-awareness: describing ways in which our choices influence each other and our local and global communities