Kindergarten is a very important year. Truly a transition year between child and student, it lays a foundation for the future.
A Focus on Reading
Our main focus, starting in Kindergarten and continuing for the next three years, is reading. In French, we follow a traditional syllabic method, which has the added advantage of developing strong spelling skills.
The syllabic method allows the lessons to progressively develop the skills of beginner readers. They start with the study of the most simple and common letters, then move on to learning syllables, followed by reading words, phrases and finally whole paragraphs. It is a very precise and accurate method of learning to read.
Developing fluency in the spoken language is also a key objective. Discussions that take place in class are important. By expressing their point of view or participating in a debate, the children learn to develop their verbal skills in French and English. Our teachers encourage and help every child express themselves clearly through storytelling, talking about an event or sharing something that is important to them. By doing this, children expand their vocabularies, learn to express themselves more accurately and improve their listening and reading comprehension skills.
In English Language Arts, research indicates that systematic and explicit phonics instruction is effective for all children. We are using the Wilson Fundations approach. This provides a systematic and explicit approach to reading and spelling with phonics. Our Balanced Literacy Program combines this instruction with the reading of good literature through reading aloud, shared, guided, and independent reading.
Fundations is systematic because it follows a definite sequence for teaching and a definite procedure for teaching concepts.
Fundations is explicit because this program does not leave room for guessing. It teaches all concepts directly.
The children review letters and how to form these letters. They also learn sounds using keywords to help them remember. They will soon move on to blend the sounds into words. As the year progresses, Fundations introduces many aspects of word structure and sentence structure.
Starting in first grade, mathematics is taught in French. The main objectives of our math curriculum are; numbers knowledge, problem solving and mental calculation. Geometry and measurement are also on the curriculum.
The science curriculum is split between the French and English teacher. Topics include plant and animal habitats, earth science, forces and motions, astronomy and space, human body, environment and human impact study
Up to second grade, the social studies curriculum is also split between the French and English teacher. Topics include timeline, maps, civics, economics, and geography.
Starting in third grade the children will follow two curricula, United States history and French history.
Visual Arts, Music and Physical education
Creativity, imagination and sensitivity to arts are very important subjects that we offer at the French Academy.