Reflections on Kindergarten

We are all longing for a bit of normalcy these days! Remember way back when – when we were in classrooms and on campuses? Oh – the good old days – days we certainly hope to return to soon!

With that in mind, we wanted to highlight one of our sweetest Lower School classes – our Kindergarten – and reflect on all of the ways it is so special here at Brookstone!

So what makes Kindergarten at Brookstone so special?

Our Head of Lower School, Leigh Anne Floyd writes,

Kindergarten at Brookstone is a magical place. Our Kindergarteners are actively involved in the learning process as they develop a love for learning in a fun and nurturing environment. Meanwhile, thanks to the workshop approach, our teachers individualize their instruction to meet students where they are.  No other school in our area is able to offer such instruction. A Brookstone kindergarten is the best place a child can be to lay the foundation that is needed as they begin their academic journey.

A day in our Kindergarten class makes for an exciting time of exploration and growth. It’s filled with immersive, hands-on learning experiences that children thrive on. Academic subjects are taught using the workshop model: a time for short, targeted, direct instruction; independent and collaborative practice; and reflection or sharing. (For more information about the workshop approach, click here.)

We also recognize that “choice” and “play” are the forces that drive learning in early childhood, and we strive to weave those elements of these into every aspect of the curriculum. “Choice” is part of our collaborative practice where children work in self-selected texts, write about their own topics, and solve problems using different manipulatives and strategies. It is an integral part of developing academic independence. 

Our Brookstone Kindergarteners are also given ample opportunities to move and play throughout the day, both free play and more directed play during centers, recess, physical education, and the opportunity to walk around our beautiful campus to their specials such a MASTER lab, music, and art.

The physical, emotional, social, and mental growth a Brookstone kindergartner experiences during the course of the school year is unlike the growth experienced in any other grade. It is a unique and precious time. Our boys and girls are prepared to enter First Grade with a sense of independence, self-reliance, self-confidence, and a smile. Kindergarten at Brookstone is extraordinary in every way!

Want to know what our teachers think? Here is what they have to say.

Kindergarten is such a rewarding year, especially at Brookstone.  I love getting to watch the boys and girls grow throughout the year from timid Pre-K students to confident learners ready to take on the next challenge – First Grade! Our students leave kindergarten as decoders, readers, analytical thinkers, mathematicians, and compassionate, articulate human beings. 

A Brookstone kindergarten classroom is filled with love, laughter, and empathy, as well as exploration and discovery. Classes are student-centered, and students’ curiosities and interests are taken seriously. Students are encouraged to make mistakes and challenge themselves along the way. They spend time daily one-on-one with teachers and in collaborative groups with other students, learning how to examine their ideas and dive deeper into subjects. Kindergarteners are taught to ask, “Why?” and, “How?”

A Brookstone kindergarten student quickly sees that school is a fun and exciting place to learn and grow. Intentional learning activities, purposeful play, service learning, character education, and social interactions across campus allow our students to grow academically, physically, emotionally, and socially and leave kindergarten prepared for first grade.

But don’t just take our word for it – let’s hear from our parents!

Kindergarten at Brookstone gave my daughter the perfect balance of nurture and play with academic challenge and growth. 

Having two very different children with two very different needs in Kindergarten, we were impressed with the teachers’ abilities to focus on the individual needs of our girls. One of our children was behind in reading but ended the year fully blossomed and flourishing. Our other daughter was able to really excel in math and reading putting her ahead of the curve for 1st grade. We loved both of our experiences and know Brookstone has provided our children with the tools for success.

Kindergarten at Brookstone was more magical than I even know how to put into words! The teachers made a very conscious effort to get to know my son on an individual level. In doing so, they spent the entire year lovingly challenging him where he was weak and enthusiastically cheering him on in his strengths.  At the end of the year, my son was completely prepared for the new demands of first grade and yet had so much fun at school that he didn’t even realize how much he was learning! I love, love, love (I could keep going…..) Brookstone.

Brookstone’s Kindergarten program was wonderful for my son. He’s started to really think about things. He’s beginning to strategize, formulate plans, and problem solve. I love Brookstone’s approach with young kids. It’s an approach that translates into success outside the classroom.

Brookstone School began the first day of kindergarten with creating a relationship with the students, teachers, and parents that was based on open communication and a shared mission. They are committed to making a safe environment to learn, explore, and have fun. It didn’t take long to realize that Brookstone was a great choice for our family. Because they respect and challenge my daughter, she has been able to grow academically, build self-esteem, and show grace under pressure.

Last but not least, what could be better than hearing from our precious students themselves?!

I loved Pre-K, but then when I went to Kindergarten it was extra fun, and I got to be a brave speller!

I loved kindergarten because I got to learn a lot of new things like math, popcorn words, research, and reading.  We got to eat lunch in the cafeteria which was really fun.  But best of all was making new friends.

I learned how to read in kindergarten! Mrs. Huwe taught me. Now I read chapter books, like “Jack and Annie.” And boy are they delightful!”

I loved everything but the fire alarm. My teachers keep me safe. I feel good because my teachers are kind and they love me.

My teachers and my friends make kindergarten the best. If I had to pick what I love most about Kindergarten, it would be math. I love it. I also love reading, and of course, I love recess!

I liked my teachers and I liked my friends and I liked my teachers because they taught me a lot of new stuff and Mrs. Doerr had a new joke every single day! That is a lot of jokes!

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Kindergarten at Brookstone offers our sweet students an amazing educational experience that they will never forget. For a more in-depth look at the philosophy behind what we do in Kindergarten and the Lower School as a whole, click here to read Why We Do What We Do – Lower and Intermediate Schools.

For more reading about Brookstone, you can click here for Brookstone’s Virtual Packet and visit this blog post for our Virtual Tour.

 

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