The kindergarten program in DoDEA Schools is designed to encourage and support children's social, emotional, physical and intellectual development. Children are involved in daily learning experiences with oral language, reading, writing, mathematics, social sciences, science, technology, health, music, movement, and art. The kindergarten program is a developmentally appropriate, center and standards based program for children who meet kindergarten minimum age requirements (must turn five years old by September 1 of the current school year).
Developmentally appropriate kindergarten classrooms encourage:
- growth of children's self-esteem
- their cultural identities
- their independence
- their individual strengths.
Kindergarten children will continue to develop control of their own behavior through the guidance and support of warm, caring adults. At this stage, children are already eager to learn and possess an innate curiosity. Teachers will provide children what they need to grow socially, physically, emotionally, and intellectually through a center-based approach, which would be exhibited in the following ways:
- Children have access to various activities throughout the day, such as block building, pretend play, picture books, paints and other art materials, and table toys such as legos, pegboards, and puzzles.
- Teachers work with individual children, small groups, and the whole group at different times during the day.
- The classroom is decorated with children's original artwork, their own writing with invented spelling, and dictated stories.
- Children learn numbers and the alphabet in the context of their everyday experiences. Exploring the natural world of plants and animals, cooking, taking attendance, and serving snack are all meaningful activities to children.
- Children work on projects and have long periods of time to play and explore.
- Assessment in the classroom is ongoing and authentic and used for the purpose of planning and monitoring student progress.
- Curriculum is adapted for those who are ahead as well as those who need additional help.
A kindergarten child's physical, social, emotional, cognitive, and language development is advanced through the teaching of the DoDEA content standards within the curriculum.
Individual kindergarten classrooms will vary, but DoDEA kindergarten classrooms will have one thing in common: the focus will be on the development of the child as a whole.
DoDEA Early Childhood Coordinator
4800 Mark Center Drive
Alexandria, VA 22350-1400