The bold type indicates measures of kindergarten readiness, followed by an explanation of how our curriculum stimulates these abilities.
Children entering kindergarten are expected to be able listen to instructions and then follow them.
- We have circle time two to three times during each preschool class. At circle time, children are taught to sit, listen, answer questions and participate in activities. During each preschool class, we play at least one group game, where children are expected to follow the rules and take turns in leading and supporting roles.
Even though learning the alphabet is actually part of the Alberta kindergarten curriculum, most kindergarten teachers expect that children will have at least a rudimentary familiarity with letters and numbers.
- At Canmore Preschool, we encourage kids to become familiar with the letters of the alphabet by singing the alphabet song and others (e.g. “If your name starts with B, stand up”) etc. We also often talk about what sound letters make and find objects around the classroom which start with a specific sound/letter. Arts and crafts also encourage the kids to learn the letters of their names and more.
- We introduce kids to numbers and counting through “Snack Math” (we count boys, girls, children with orange or other color snacks at the tables, notice shapes of the snack foods, etc.). We count how many children are playing in each centre (e.g. “No more than four kids at the pellets table”), we count days of the week, how many days in April have already passed, etc. We do simple problem solving during play, (e.g. “There were three trucks; one moved away. How many are left?”) The children also enjoy playing grocery store, paying with realistic paper money and coins, counting change, etc.
Children are expected to hold a pencil and cut with scissors.
- We practice these skills through daily crafts, both teacher-directed and open-ended. We encourage children to exercise the “tripod” pencil hold and teach them to cut. Many of our students are able to print their name by the end of the 4-year-old program. They practice these skills by signing their crafts, solving mazes, and doing dot-to-dots and coloring pages.
Children are expected to show curiosity and interest in books.
- In each class we have a story time, where the teacher reads two to three books, followed by a discussion. Children are encouraged to “read” books during centre times, sometimes with the help of a tape player or a parent helper.
- At Canmore Preschool, we believe strongly that a child’s curiosity is essential for successful learning, and we nurture this quality through different science projects. These include examining pinecones and shells at our discovery table, making experiments with which objects float and which do not, going on nature walks to observe seasonal changes, and exploring many other topics that captivate children’s imaginations.
Kindergarten teachers greatly appreciate if their students are able to get dressed by themselves and use the bathroom on their own.
- Our students have many chances to practice these skills. We have outdoor days and many field trips where children practice getting dressed and packing their things with very little adult help. They also take pride in using the kid-sized toilets on their own.
Children entering school are expected to be able to get along with others, share and take turns.
- We encourage this on a daily basis during play times, snacks, and group activities. The children learn to work together with others, respecting and honoring each other’s ideas, on group projects like assembling railroads, building with blocks, or painting murals. Also, each day a different child acts as the “Super Helper”, learning to assist the teacher, lead the class, and take turns.
At Canmore Preschool, children are encouraged to enjoy their childhood while at the same time, through games and varied activities, they are being prepared for the learning adventures ahead of them in years to come.