Our kindergarten academic curriculum builds a foundation for students in math, science and social studies. Those subject themes and building blocks are then spiraled into each subsequent grade level. Every kindergarten teacher works with an aide to ensure that all students are engaged properly, and are adjusting completely, to their first year of school.
Our Kindergarten curriculum consists of the following subjects:
Basic Knowledge Acquisition (BKA)
Basic Knowledge Acquisition includes phonics, reading, and writing with a thematic background of social studies and science. During this time, students read and write about social studies and science, perform experiments, and discuss diverse cultures, all while developing vocabulary and language skills. The goal behind our integrated course approach is to reinforce the logical connections that exist between different courses. We have found that integration of courses early on can increase topic retention and comprehension, improve critical thinking skills, and make abstract topics more relevant and concrete for students. Splitting courses too early in a child's education can cause confusion; we have found that students often have difficulty applying topics taught in one course to another course. Further, course integration can strengthen areas where students struggle by drawing on the areas in which students are strong.
Saxon I Math
Starting kindergarteners in Saxon I Math gives students a head start on day one, introducing basic math facts within the Saxon math framework that they will be seeing throughout their time at BASIS Independent McLean. Because most mathematics at this level involves basic math facts, the kindergarten math class is considered separate from science.
Physical Education (P.E.)
P.E. is scheduled every day and focuses on improving students' coordination and developing their abilities in running, catching, jumping, and other motor skills. Classroom lessons also regularly involve physical activity to ensure maximum student engagement.
Art is integrated throughout the kindergarten curriculum. Classroom projects introduce students to the physical arts, regularly involve cutting, coloring, and pasting, and also assist in the development of fine motor skills. This course is taught thematically, exploring how artists and learners respond to the concepts of communication, community, movement, technology, and self. Students paint, draw, sculpt, and create while making cross-cultural connections. Art is designed to inspire students to explore and develop creative and innovative ideas, preparing them for a variety of future interests as well as establishing an overall appreciation for the arts.
Performing Arts students explore diverse themes of historical and contemporary significance. Students study elements of music, dance, and theatre. An emphasis is placed on active participation, improvisation, performance, and creativity. The Performing Arts course teaches students to develop critical thinking skills, diversity in expression, and to make meaningful cultural connections, preparing students for academic and lifelong success.
Foreign language acquisition has been shown to improve critical thinking, increase creativity, and stimulate learning in many different subject areas. Mandarin instruction integrates language development with the study of Chinese culture and history, allowing students to better appreciate other cultures in addition to their own.
Concepts taught throughout the course include the appropriate use of, and reason for using, engineering tools, as well as teamwork and communication. This exciting, hands-on subject focuses on the following themes:
Technical Core: an ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering
Experiments: an ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data
Engineering Problems: an ability to develop problem statements and solve well-defined engineering problems
Contemporary Issues: an ability to explain the impact of historical and contemporary issues on the identification, formulation, and solution of engineering problems