Overall, instruction in Kindergarten is designed to meet each student at their individual stage of development. Large group and small group experiences allow for both heterogeneous and homogeneous instruction.
Reading and Language Arts
Instruction includes lessons and activities focused on concepts about print, phonemic awareness, decoding/word recognition, vocabulary/concept development, phonics, structural features of informational materials, comprehension and analysis of grade level appropriate text. During writing process instruction, students discuss ideas and tell stories while using pictures, letters, phonetically spelled words, and conventionally spelled words to share their ideas and stories. Instruction introduces students to the written conventions of Standard English. Students write capital and lowercase letters of the alphabet while correctly shaping and spacing the letters, and are encouraged to use basic punctuation. Instruction also facilitates students’ abilities to listen and respond to oral communication. Emphasis is placed on speaking in clear and coherent sentences. Students are given opportunities to deliver brief oral presentations about familiar experiences and interests.
The enVisions Math Program is used in Kindergarten. In addition to using the enVisions program, a morning math meeting is held daily to review many math concepts – counting, days of the week, months of the year, continuing patterns, creating/interpreting graphs, place value, and basic addition/subtraction. Large and small group instruction includes number sense, basic computation, sorting/classifying objects, identifying and describing shapes, measurement, and problem solving.
The three core concept areas include explorations of Physical Science: Properties of objects and materials; Life Science: Animals, plants, and their environments; and Earth and Science: Patterns in the weather and the appearance of the sun, moon, and stars. Students learn about concepts of engineering through exploration, planning and carrying out investigations, observation, asking questions, discussion of observations and the analysis of data to solve a problem. Instruction utilizes students’ natural surroundings, specifically the plants and animals in their environment. During a life science unit, students experience the life cycle of a butterfly – observing, and recording their observations of all the stages: small caterpillars, large caterpillars, chrysalides, and butterflies. Culmination of study is a special good-bye ceremony, when the butterflies are set free. While learning about our solar system, students look forward to a field trip to NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.
Instruction focuses on examples of responsible citizenship, our world past/present, symbols of the state/nation, maps/globes, and people in the past who showed honesty, courage, and responsibility. Important celebrations and holidays are recognized as a way of remembering and honoring events and people in the past.
Instruction is centered on the key elements of the Archdiocese of Washington guide, Forming Disciples for the New Evangelization. The five key elements of the guide are: knowledge of the faith, liturgy and sacraments, morality, prayer, and education for living in the Christian community. Lessons focus on students identifying themselves as part of two families, their home family and their church family. Understanding that Jesus loves them and wants them to love others in return. Students are introduced to scripture, the Holy Family, Lent, Good Friday, Easter/the Resurrection story, Advent/Christmas, saints, prayers. Participation in school-wide service projects helps students to understand the importance of helping others.
Enrichment classes: P.E., Art, Music, Technology, and Spanish
Teacher: Theresa Stavish
Theresa Stavish earned a Bachelor of Science from the University of Maryland College Park, a Master of Arts in Education from the University of Maryland Baltimore County, and completed graduate coursework in reading education through the University of Virginia. In 2008, Mrs. Stavish began her career at Holy Cross as the Kindergarten Teacher. Previously, Mrs. Stavish taught Head Start, First Grade, and was a Reading Initiative Teacher while working in Montgomery County Public Schools. She holds a Maryland Educator Advanced Professional Certificate with certification areas in early childhood education and reading specialist.
Mrs. Stavish believes in a faith-based education and strives to merge learning and faith throughout each school day.