Kindergarten Curriculum

*Please note that for the 2016-17 school year we are excited to be returning to a fully-integrated multiage model in which we will offer combined Kindergarten/First Grade classes with two lead teachers per homeroom.
Click here for information on the benefits of multiage classrooms.



Kindergarten classrooms are busy with literacy activities throughout the day. We utilize the Continuum of Literacy Learning by Fountas and Pinnell as our core curriculum. Students are introduced to phonics patterns and phonemic awareness as a regular component of literacy instruction. As the confidence of the early reader grows, teachers differentiate instruction through Guided Reading groups and small group lessons. Sight words and basic reading are integrated into reading bags that come home weekly. Comprehension strategies are key to the child already decoding fluently.

Writer’s Workshop (by Lucy Caulkins) encourages Kindergarten writers to better organize thoughts and sentences now that letter sounds are being mastered. We abdicate spelling rules to allow the highest amount of creativity. Children are using writing and drawing to respond to literature, demonstrate their learning, ask questions, and communicate with each other.


John Van de Walle, Kathy Richardson, Marilyn Burns, and Constance Kamii heavily influence our approach to Mathematics. We believe that Early Years math should be hands on, purposeful, daily, and fun. Everyday Math, by the University of Chicago, is the foundation of our math instruction.

Throughout the year, children repeatedly experience concepts and skills in each of these mathematical strands: Problem Solving and Application; Numeration; Operations and Computation; Patterns, Functions, and Algebra; Geometry; Measurement, and Reference Frames; Data and Chance. Each exposure builds and extends children’s understanding. The three levels of skill and concept development used by Everyday Math are Beginning, Developing, and Secure.

Communication and work ethic are both important parts of math as well. We want children to stretch their thinking and share their strategies and approaches to solving math equations beyond traditional algorithms. Every class counts the days of school and a 100th day of school museum is
opened in January where children can share collections of 100 things.


Science is incorporated into the Kindergarten classroom within the International Baccalaureate IB units and through regular hands-on experience and experimentation. True to the IB model, science instruction is woven into the curriculum as it applies to the topics being discussed. From interacting with a table full of sea creatures during their Oceans unit to using ipad technology to communicate their learning on what our campus animals need to be healthy, our students are immersed in science learning that is significant, cross-disciplinary, and relevant to the world around them.

Social Emotional Learning

The Kindergarten classroom is a range of levels of emotional development based on a number of factors. Parenting style, physical development, sibling experience, and former school settings all play into where each child is with emotional development. Daily factors such as sleep, hunger,
growth, and family disruptions all combine into how each child feels coming in each morning. In addition, Kindergarten is the last frontier of egocentricity. Children are even more capable of empathy and we expect them to demonstrate even more kindness and consideration for others than they have before.

Our teachers know young children and have developmentally appropriate expectations for behavior. Positive Discipline (by Jane Nelsen) methodology is a balance of firmness and kindness without punitive measures. We choose to help children develop the language and strategies they need to get their needs met and connect with others. While a teacher may have a child sit close by to calm down a few minutes if upset, we do not use “time out” or punishment with children learning to make good choices. We help children to share with each other, to talk to each other kindly, and to enlist their teacher’s assistance with social navigating in the day to day.

Continuing to develop self-regulation, managing conflict with friends, and task initiative are important over the Kindergarten year. Independence and self-advocacy are necessary to successfully meet expectations for work output or group dynamics. Our expert teachers utilize a wide range of strategies to help children listen and focus whether in large group, small group, one on one, even at Meadow time (recess).

When a child is having consistent challenges, we develop a personalized awareness plan with that child and family in an effort to better support this development. If it is not successful, we will enlist the support of our Student Support Team to make suggestions on how we can improve or whether outside support would be useful. Sometimes, High Meadows Kindergarten is not the least restrictive setting for a child struggling beyond our means with behavior, impulsivity, or aggression and counseling out of the program is deemed appropriate.

Motor Skills

Our expectations for fine motor strength continue to grow age appropriately. Handwriting without Tears supports the child to transfer his or her knowledge of forming uppercase letters to now practicing lowercase. Additional, activities, play, and instruction assist students in building muscle strength necessary to mastering handwriting.

International Baccalaureate PYP

The PYP curriculum provides the School the framework for the year through six units of inquiry.

The six Kindergarten units of inquiry are as follows:

  • Communities
  • Transportation and global interdependence
  • The universal values in stories from around the world
  • Healthy habits
  • Weather
  • Ocean study

In addition, all Kindergarten students begin to learn and use the words associated with the PYP Attitudes and the Student Profile. The children engage in self-reflection after each unit and work with teachers to choose pieces for their PYP portfolio.


Kindergarten students are old enough to engage in the reflection process after PYP units of study. They can also decide what work is their best work or best effort. Teachers are observing and recording their behavior and choices across the day. Teachers also employ more formal forms of
assessment such as the Fountas and Pinnell Benchmark Assessment system to determine guided reading levels.

Watching children at work and play, listening to the comments and questions they make, and noticing their improvement or challenges is the key to assessment in Early Years. Teachers are experts in the uneven timing of the young learner’s development and not quick to rush or accelerate children’s learning vertically to higher grade level work. Rather, it is typically better to broaden the child’s knowledge and skill horizontally—adding depth to their thinking and communication skills rather than encouraging precocity. This is also integral to the child building a high frustration tolerance, becoming a risk take, and developing self-esteem as a learner.


High Meadows School | 1055 Willeo Road, Roswell, GA 30075 | Phone: 770.993.2940 | Fax: 770.993.8331
Contact | Site Map | Home My.HighMeadows.Org