St. Michael Kindergarten
At St. Michael School, our Kindergarten program is based on a philosophy to meet each individual where they are educationally, and differentiate their learning process to meet their needs for success.
Students in kindergarten begin to develop the skills essential for success throughout their school career. A child’s reading, writing, critical thinking and processing skills all have their foundation in the kindergarten year. At St. Michael School, our kindergarten program provides many opportunities for our students to grow and develop academically, emotionally, and with confidence to problem solve.
Kindergarten students attend school daily from 8:20 am to 3:20 pm, the same hours as our 1st through 8th grade students. They take part in our school’s hot lunch program, weekly school Masses, Veteran’s Day program, Christmas Program, Catholic Schools Week celebrations, Warrior Day, and all other school-wide events.
St. Michael’s Kindergarten curriculum is based on Indiana state standards.
The most important component of our curriculum is our “Daily 5” – five literacy-based activities which combine together to build our daily 90 minute reading block. The activities include: Read to Yourself, Read to Someone, Listen to Reading, Spelling/Word Work, and Working on Writing. Our leveled reading program allows for individualized instruction according to each child’s needs. By the end of the year, students will master at least 125 sight words. Instruction in phonics, basic grammar and sentence composition are built into the program.
Our math series inspires critical thinking by introducing early on the concepts which lead to future skills in algebra and advanced math. At the same time, students learn number identification and writing, basic math facts, and concepts of money and time. We incorporate lessons in science and social studies through our reading curriculum as well.
Our faith-based instruction allows our students to learn about the wonders of God’s creation throughout their day. The children learn their prayers, attend Mass weekly, and learn to model Christian behavior and to grow in their love of God and understanding of their faith. Students also have the opportunity later in the year to lead school Masses in scripture readings, bearing gifts up to the altar, and petitions of prayers.
In addition to instruction in their kindergarten classroom, our students also experience weekly classes with our teachers who specialize in Spanish, computers, multi-media/library, art, music, and physical education.
Besides academics, kindergarten is also the year that lays the foundation for future school performance. Students begin to adapt to a daily schedule and routines, as well as accepted modes of behavior in school. Weekly assignments of classroom “jobs” teach responsibility, classroom procedures and leadership skills. This may be some children’s first experience in a classroom setting, and for others it will be the most extended time spent away from home daily. Our goal is for our students to have a positive introduction to the school setting.
After establishing and understanding a classroom routine, parents are invited (who are Virtus-trained) to volunteer to assist in our classroom learning centers. Other parent involvement opportunities in kindergarten include chaperoning field trips and helping with classroom parties.
Our classroom is equipped with Smartboard technology capabilities, used consistently for better enhancement of any lesson and instruction. We are excited to be meeting the goal of one to one individualized technology with new Chromebooks. These computers will better assist our students by allowing differentiated lessons to meet each student’s needs. This is accomplished through classroom usage, computer lab instruction, and after school tutoring to better help understanding.
Special Projects and Events
Students in Kindergarten complete several special projects throughout the year. Although our curriculum is ever-evolving, our popular projects remain consistent. Each child has a turn being honored as the “Student of the Week”. They create a display that explains “All About Me,” and have a chance to bring in a few special items from home to better explain who they are and what makes them the special individual they are. They present their project in front of the class.
During the Advent season, we share our “Joy Box”. This a long tradition that is very special to our kindergarten families. Each student has the opportunity to bring the joy box home for a prayer service with his or her family, and by the time Christmas arrives, we all know each other a little better and feel prepared to celebrate this joyous holiday.
St. Nick’s Night is a special event hosted by SMS’s Social Committee, exclusively for our kindergarten class. The students gather on a Friday evening near the feast of St. Nicholas in December, and enjoy snacks, crafts, games, and a magical visit from the bearded man himself.
In January, we celebrate the 100th Day of School. The students each create a wearable item featuring one hundred of one of their favorite things. We have a special parade at the end of the school day where the children model their creations, and parents and family members are invited to share in this celebration.
In the spring, all that we have learned about reading and writing in kindergarten is displayed at our annual Poetry Tea. Each student learns the many facets of poetry writing. The children choose their very own style of poem, write the poem, and present the poem at a special event for our families.
By the end of the school year, our Kindergarten students have grown in leaps and bounds. They are ready to take their skills in reading, writing, math and all other subjects on to the wonderful world of 1st grade!