Early Childhood Curriculum Overview

Language Arts

    General Overview of ELA in Early Childhood

    General Overview of ELA in PK-K1

  • The standards for Pre-school (PS) and Kindergarten 1 (K1) aim at preparing students for the Common Core State Standards from Kindergarten 2 (K2). See below. The Pennsylvania State progression of standards was used to aid in designing the progression of standards in PS and K1.
  • General Overview of ELA in K2-5

  • The ELA curriculum at KAS is based on the Common Core State Standards.
  • The Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy build on the best of existing standards and reflect the skills and knowledge students will need to succeed in college, career, and life. Understanding how the standards differ from previous standards—and the necessary shifts they call for—is essential to implementing the standards well.
  • The following are key shifts called for by the Common Core:
    • Regular practice with complex texts and their academic language
    • Reading, writing, and speaking grounded in evidence from texts, both literary and informational
    • Building knowledge through content-rich nonfiction

    Overview of Foundational Skills

    The foundational standards are directed toward fostering students’ understanding and working knowledge of concepts of print, the alphabetic principle, and other basic conventions of the English writing system. These foundational skills are not an end in and of themselves; rather, they are necessary and important components of an effective, comprehensive reading program designed to develop proficient readers with the capacity to comprehend texts across a range of types and disciplines. Instruction should be differentiated: good readers will need much less practice with these concepts than struggling readers will. The point is to teach students what they need to learn and not what they already know—to discern when particular children or activities warrant more or less attention.

    Overview of Reading

    The reading standards offer a focus for instruction each year and help ensure that students gain adequate exposure to a range of texts and tasks. Rigor is also infused through the requirement that students read increasingly complex texts through the grades. Students advancing through the grades are expected to meet each year’s grade-specific standards and retain or further develop skills and understandings mastered in preceding grades.

    Overview of Language and Writing

    The standards for K-5 offer a focus for instruction each year to help ensure that students gain adequate mastery of a range of skills and applications. Each year in their writing, students should demonstrate increasing sophistication in all aspects of language use, from vocabulary and syntax to the development and organization of ideas, and they should address increasingly demanding content and sources. Students advancing through the grades are expected to meet each year’s grade-specific standards and retain or further develop skills and understandings mastered in preceding grades.

    Overview of Zoo-Phonics

    Zoo-phonics is a multisensory language arts program used in the Early Childhood Department at KAS for developing phonemic awareness and phonics.

    Benefits of the Zoo-Phonics Program:

    • Students gain a firm foundation of the letter sounds and shapes and soon learn uppercase letters and letter names, and how to apply them to text.
    • The curriculum is age-appropriate, developmental, sequential and playful.
    • It is fully kinesthetic and multi-sensorial—children use their eyes, ears, mouths and bodies to learn.
    • Preschool children will begin sound blending, spelling, and writing by mid-year or earlier.
    • It is excellent for ELL/Transition/Special Ed students —a total physical response at its best because of the concrete Animal Letters and Body Movements.
    • It teaches those important high frequency words, phonetically and easily.
    • It easily teaches other more challenging graphemes/phonemes needed in early reading and writing (blends, digraphs, long vowels, diphthongs, the schwa sound, r – controlled vowels, silent letters, and soft sounds), still keeping learning playful!
    • The Animal letters integrate into calendar, alphabet song, favorite songs, art, music, science, math, dramatic play and physical education.
    • Parents will love their children’s amazing academic growth, and you can train the parents too!
    • Zoo-phonics® provides a complete Language Arts Program that integrates with all other subjects.

    It is designed to reach:

    • Toddlers
    • Head Start
    • Preschool
    • Kindergarten
    • First Grade
    • English language Learners
    • Special Education (all grades)

    Zoo-phonics® and ELL children:

    • Zoo-phonics® supports ELL’s (English Language Learners) by providing instruction and interaction while learning English. It’s visual, auditory, aural and kinesthetic approach supports the ELL’s need to use their eyes, ears, mouths, and bodies to learn how to speak, read, spell, and write. Zoo-phonics® provides explicit instruction in the structure of English, while still teaching in a creative and kinesthetic way.
    • ELL’s need a safe environment where learning how to speak, read, and write will be positively received and reinforced. Zoo-phonics® provides a fun, playful environment allowing ELL’s to take risks as they engage in conversation in English.
    • Zoo-phonics® has been compared to the Total Physical Response methodology because of the concrete Animal Letters and Body Movements. ELL’s actively participate in their learning with their whole bodies.
    • The Body Movement for each Animal Letter helps “cement” the phonemic information into memory.

Mathematics

    General Overview of Math in PK-K1

    The standards for Pre-school (PS) and Kindergarten 1 (K1) aim at preparing students for the Common Core State Standards from Kindergarten 2 (K2). See below. The Pennsylvania State progression of standards was used to aid in designing the progression of standards in PS and K1.

    General Overview of Math in K2-5

    The mathematics curriculum at the Kuwait American School is based on the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), which were written to ensure that math is taught with more depth and that an opportunity for conceptualization of mathematical concepts and finding applications to everyday life is clearly provided. We have made some adjustments (additions and omissions) to the CCSS to meet our learners where they are at and ensure that they have plenty of time to master necessary skills.

    Mathematics | K2

  • In K2, instructional time is focused on two critical areas:
    • Representing and comparing whole numbers, initially with sets of objects.
    • Describing shapes and space. More learning time in Kindergarten should be devoted to number sense rather than on other topics.
Science

    Early Childhood Department – Overview of Science

    The Early Childhood department embeds science into the teaching themes that are spread across the year.

  • Life, Earth, and Physical Science skills are taught across the following themes, which vary slightly across Pre-School (PS), KG 1 (K1), and KG 2 (K2). The themes in which science is embedded include:
    • Families
    • All About Me
    • Apple/Dates
    • Bears/Camels
    • On the Farm/Farm Animals
    • Zoo Animals
    • Animals All Around
    • Dinosaurs
    • Spring Time/Bugs
    • Sea Life
    • Whatever the Weather
    • Autumn/Pumpkins
    • Winter
    • Summertime
    • All About Kuwait
    • Space
    • Circus/Let’s Play
    • On the Go

Social Studies

    Early Childhood Department – Overview of Social Studies

    The Early Childhood department embeds social studies into the teaching themes that are spread across the year.

  • Geography, history, civics, government, economics, culture, lifestyle, and beliefs are taught across the following themes, which vary slightly across Pre-School (PS), KG 1 (K1), and KG 2 (K2). The themes in which science is embedded include:
    • Starting School
    • Families
    • All About Me
    • Friends at School
    • All About Kuwait
    • Community Helpers/ Jobs People Do
    • In the Neighborhood