Five-Year-Olds (Transitional Kindergarten)
Age Range: 4.9-5.3 years old (as of September 1st)
Schedule: Mondays 1:30pm-4:30pm; Tuesdays-Fridays 12:30pm-4:30pm. Care available as early as 8:30am until as late as 5:30pm.
The Little School Transitional Kindergarten (TK) is designed for children who have completed preschool and are ready for a challenging, captivating year before they enter elementary school. An in-depth study of art, music, dance, literature, and theater forms the year’s curriculum, and is an entirely unique experience from both children's preschool years as well as from kindergarten. For each unit, children:
- conduct research on the subject through field trips, guest artists and planned in-class experiences,
- freely explore the subject through the use of dramatic play and other preschool/kindergarten activities,
- produce a culminating performance or activity to be shared with families and schoolmates.
As with all Little School classes, TK balances social, emotional and academic learning, with a specific lens towards readying our oldest learners to begin kindergarten in all aspects of their development and a goal of each child to leave knowing that they have something to contribute to a learning community. Our strong social emotional curriculum comes to forefront in these programs. Children learn how to solve conflicts with peers, how to solve problems in a community, how to be a part of a community, how to self-regulate, gain self-awareness of learning and social style, and a vast toolbar of social and emotional tools.
Children in the TK program are also ready to use their blossoming academic interests and capabilities in different ways. The TK classroom is rich with developmentally appropriate preacademic learning opportunities, including:
- Skill-building techniques to develop numeracy and literacy skills
- Embedded and relevant writing opportunities
Deep dives into engaging content
Development of learning strategies (a focus on how children find the answer to a question, rather than the answer as an unquestioned endpoint)
Children as co-curriculum planners with teachers to develop specifics of what they want to explore
Refining of executive function skills such as working memory, cognitive flexibility, and inhibitory control.
Because many children graduate to kindergarten directly from the MFAM class, the TK classroom often serves as a major entry point to The Little School, admitting between two and eight children each year. This infusion of new children gives an energetic life to the TK classroom.