LANGUAGE AND LITERACY
The Country Day School language arts program encourages and broadens each child’s interest in written and spoken language. The curriculum develops a love of language and literature and provides reading readiness skills in a developmentally appropriate manner. Children are introduced to letter names, letter shapes and letter/sound relationships through meaningful and age-appropriate games and activities. Literacy and language opportunities include a wide variety of multi-sensory activities and are integrated into all curricular areas throughout the day.
Language activities for the four-year-olds include:
- Oral expression including articulation, vocabulary, sentence structure and conversational skills
- Identifying and generating rhymes
- Understanding the association between letter sound and letter symbol
- Story comprehension and retelling skills
- Identifying and naming most upper and lower case letters
- Understanding of beginning sounds
- Developing understanding of concepts of print
The goal of the CDS mathematics program is for the children to develop understanding and insight into the patterns of mathematics through the use of concrete materials and real-life experiences. The program works to help young children see relationships and interconnections in mathematics and to enable them to deal flexibly with mathematical ideas and concepts.
Mathematical activities for the four-year-olds include:
- Aggregates (few-more, more-less)
- Rote counting and counting objects
- One to one correspondence
- Identifying numerals up to 20
- Recognizing and naming numbers and shapes
- Sorting objects by attributes
- Seriating by size
- Recognizing, creating, and extending patterns
- Sequencing skills (1st, 2nd, 3rd)
- Nonstandard measurement and developing understanding of standard measurement
Throughout the school year CDS children use their five senses to explore scientific themes and ideas. Every science lesson incorporates hands-on activities to teach concepts related to each child’s interests and experiences. Studies of life science, environmental science, and physical science are included. Country Day School is very fortunate to have four beautiful acres of grounds on which to learn about science. Areas such as the ten playgrounds, the nature trail and the butterfly garden are perfect spots for everyday scientific exploration and discovery. The science curriculum is taught both in the classroom and in the science room with the science enrichment teacher once a week.
The science program at CDS focuses on the following school-wide units with different age-appropriate activities at each level from the twos through kindergarten.
- Color and Light
- Measurement and Mapping
- Neighborhood Habitats
- Properties of Matter
- Movement and Machines
The children at Country Day develop a foundation in social studies by exploring concept of self, family, school, neighborhood, community, town, city and country. Our goal is to explore how we organize ourselves and how we fit as contributing members of the school environment and in our society. Across the CDS Social Studies school-wide curriculum we will explore how people work, live, learn and play together to build a peaceful community. We will emphasize how community members depend on one another and focus on kind, fair, safe, and responsible attributes.
Areas of emphasis in social studies for our four-year-olds include:
- Investigating concept of self, family, school, neighborhood, community, town, city and country
- Encouraging kind, fair, safe and responsible characteristics
- Understanding diversity through exploration of similarities and differences, ex: reading two different versions of the same story, sharing families cultural celebrations, exploring books and materials that demonstrate differing abilities, gender roles and cultures
SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Social skills are woven through every aspect of the curriculum as children in every program learn how to develop and sustain friendships, resolve conflicts, take pride in their accomplishments and work together to achieve success in a classroom and school environment.
Areas of emphasis in social and emotional development for our four-year-olds include: • Increasing self awareness and self-confidence
- Expressing and managing emotions
- Forming and maintaining friendships
- Practicing waiting and turn taking
- Adapting to changes and making transitions
- Resolving conflicts with peers with teacher support
- Self care and care of belongings
- Following rules and routines
The Country Day School art curriculum gives the children opportunities to explore materials and media and discover works of art through observation and process-oriented activities. As the children experiment they are encouraged to be creative, realize artistic talents, solve problems and work collaboratively.
The art curriculum is taught both in the classroom and in the studio with the art enrichment teacher once a week.
Areas of emphasis in art for our four-year-olds include:
- Artist studies
- Elements of art including: line, shape, color, texture, mood
- Using materials such as water color, paint, collage, pastels, crayons, markers, pencils, paper, scissors, chalk
- Working independently and collaboratively to create individual and whole group projects
The music programs at Country Day School focus on developing a love of music in the students. To accomplish this, each day the children sing, play musical games and fingerplays, listen to various genres of music, play instruments, and move to music. These creative explorations occur both in the classrooms and in music enrichment classes with our music specialist.
The four-year-old classes participate in music activities which include:
- Recognizing pitch (high/low)
- Using our four voices (talk, whisper, sing, shout)
- Moving to and keeping a beat (rhythm)
- Determining intensity (loud/soft, getting louder/softer)
- Using simple instruments
The development of a positive self-image and the enjoyment of physical activities are important aspects of the CDS curriculum. Gross motor skills are practiced and refined through exciting games and activities. Children cultivate their fine motor skills with developmental tools like resistant clay and over-sized tweezers. The four year olds also participate in age-appropriate activities from the Handwriting Without Tears curriculum.
Fine and gross motor activities for four-year-olds offer opportunities to:
- Develop balance standing on one foot
- Throw, kick and catch playground balls both underhand and overhand
- Run with a coordinated gait
- Use a tripod pencil grip to write and draw
- Move through simple obstacle courses
- Copy, trace and cut shapes
The library curriculum at CDS is designed to promote a love of reading as well as an introduction to book sense and library skills. Children will develop listening skills, become active participants in storytelling, and have the opportunity to engage with a variety of books and stories through use of props, songs and finger plays. Throughout the year certain themes will inspire activities across the age groups, such as celebrating Dr. Seuss, seasonal changes and holidays, exploration of particular regions, or an author or illustrator of the month.
At the four-year-old level, skills emphasized include:
- The role of the author and illustrator
- Parts of a story
- Comparing the works of a particular illustrator
- Contrasting different versions of common fairy and folk tales
- Library organization
- How books are written and made
The children at CDS are introduced to the Spanish language through songs, games, pictures, finger puppets, and flannel board stories. The curriculum builds on concepts that are meaningful and age-appropriate to both the children’s interests and the classroom curriculum. The children have Spanish with the Spanish language enrichment teacher once a week and vocabulary is practiced in the classroom and playground setting with the guidance of the classroom teachers.
School-wide topics for the Spanish enrichment include:
- Numbers to 10
- Body parts