At the kindergarten level, our language arts curriculum builds on young children's curiosity and enthusiasm. It is based on the understanding that young children learn best when they can construct meaning in a context-rich environment. Our work on literacy and language development builds off of the social and cognitive skills of speaking and listening. We see language acquisition not as linear concept, but rather a dynamic process that the student moves through on the journey towards becoming literate. In our classrooms, apprenticeship, imagination, the social context, and student’s active engagement become the foundation for literacy acquisition to occur. Our approach allows students to make the meaning necessary to sustain enthusiasm and interest in literacy by learning how the parts connect to the whole.
Central to our work with children is the notion that exposure to practical activities that arouse a deeper level of engagement and curiosity in a child are vital educational experiences. We believe that the more varied and meaningful experiences a student has with language the greater capacity a student will have to manipulate letters and words into meaning. Our curriculum encourages a heightened and more sophisticated level of engagement among our students through its invitation for role-playing and performance. While many stories are initiated by a teacher, others are informally dramatized and brought to life through daily play among the children.