Kindergarten

Kindergarten is a happy, busy place where children build the solid foundation for a lifetime of learning. This year we have two Kindergarten classes.

Language Arts


A rock-solid foundation

 In "Daily 5" literacy activities, Kindergartners spend time each day reading to themselves, working on writing, reading to someone else, listening to reading, and doing "word work." Instruction is one-on-one in phonics and whole language. In reading groups, Kindergarteners listen to and discuss literature above their reading level. Using the Lucy Calkins Writing Workshop approach, they practice formal and informal speaking and listening. Kindergarteners begin with “think, draw, write,” and use conventional and invented spelling. They share their work at a Publishing Party and Poem in Your Pocket Day.

Mathematics


What do numbers mean?

Kindergartners gradually and methodically build their mathematical foundation, deepening their understanding of what natural numbers mean. They begin with one-to-one correspondence and move on to basic addition and subtraction within five. Students are introduced to the concept of place value through the transformation of ten, as they seek to fully understand why a 9 becomes a 10, and what the two digits represent. Kindergartners also practice recognizing and creating patterns, and they develop abstract thinking with "number partners" exercises.

Science


Naturally curious

Kindergarten Science focuses on the following topics: the five senses, trees, habitats, seasonal changes, space, the rainforest, basic anatomy, and dinosaurs. The selection of “high-interest” topics for young children builds on their natural curiosity about these topics and fosters students’ ability to think scientifically. Project highlights include dissecting a pig’s heart, observing the transformation of a caterpillar to a monarch butterfly, and searching for dinosaur fossils on the spring Outdoor Ed adventure.

Social Studies


Exploring communities

In Kindergarten, students explore the groups in which they naturally belong (self, family, and community) and begin to see that they are part of a greater whole. By visiting vital components of a community, (the fire station, police station, hospital, library, court house, bank, etc.) children begin to see the community as an extension of themselves.

Foreign Language


Listening & Speaking

Kindergartners learn French for half the year and Spanish for the other half. In First Grade, they choose a language to continue to study throughout their Country Day journey. Through consistent exposure, simple conversations in class, and an engaging curriculum that is based on stories and performance, children gain a solid foundation in listening and speaking. 

Technology


GETTING COMFORTABLE

Kindergartners become comfortable and independent in the computer lab. Through games and activities, they practice mouse and keyboard skills they'll need to advance through the Lower School curriculum. They learn to negotiate the keyboard using the Keyboard Without Tears program. They also embark on an initial study of coding. Using Lightbot, students learn to sequence directions and look for patterns, which reinforces lessons from the classroom.

Art


Shape, color, texture

Kindergartners are introduced to shape, color, and texture as tools for visual expression. They explore lines and patterns in a class mural and work with shapes, texture, and watercolor techniques. Students study 3-d form in a clay snowman sculpture. They learn about portraits and the proportions of the face in a colorful self-portrait. In May, students apply a variety of art techniques to create alligator sculptures for the annual Kindergarten Alligator Parade, a lively display of our school's love of art.

Music


developing appreciation

Kindergarteners develop an appreciation for music. Nursery rhymes and songs they sing in music class help reinforce what they are learning in the classroom. Kindergartners are front and center in the Holiday Sing concert performance, a special occasion that helps develop their confidence on stage. They're introduced to classical music during “brain breaks”  and develop movement through dance and acting out songs. 

Drama


Stage voice

Kindergartners are introduced to William Shakespeare and the Globe theatre, and they perform their own abridged version of Macbeth in the school's annual Shakespeare Festival. They also sing and dance on stage at the Wheeler Opera House in the All-School Play. Drama classes feature activities and games to increase their awareness of movement as a means of expression. They develop a rudimentary understanding of stage voice and have many opportunities for public speaking throughout the year.

Physical Education


Games & skills

Kindergarten students engage in a variety of games and skill building to promote a healthy lifestyle and a sense of fair play. Children develop gross motor skills through building both spatial and body awareness. They learn proper techniques for throwing, catching, kicking and hitting balls. As they tackle obstacle courses and other challenges, they improve balance and agility. All the physical education activities emphasize teamwork. Highlights of the program include canoeing on the ponds and skiing with classmates and parents on Buttermilk on winter afternoons.

Outdoor Education


The journey begins

Kindergarten students experience their first outdoor education trip in late September, a day that combines all the elements of ACDS's Outdoor Education program: exploring, learning about nature, cooperating to pitch tents, and singing around the campfire. They receive the journals they will write in on each of of two trips per year through Eighth Grade. In May, they travel to Colorado National Monument for a hike and overnight campout. On each trip they learn more about our core values of character, respect, responsibility, community, and perseverance.

Projects & traditions


Kindergarteners are enthusiastic about their many new adventures. From the weekly Lower School Assembly to the annual celebration of the 100th Day of School, from field trips to the end-of-year Regatta and picnic, the Kindergarteners are on the go with activities throughout the year. Their writing is included in the Aardvark Review, the ACDS literary magazine, and they are paired up with the Fifth Graders in the school buddy program. Parents join in for many project presentations, special celebrations, and Kindergarten events. 

Aspen Country Day School
85 Country Day Way Aspen, Colorado 81611
Phone: 970.925.1909
Time to consider ACDS

Our PreK to Eighth Grade school in the mountains of Colorado

The Way School Should Be

With a balance of nurture and rigor, children become their best

The Power of Three

Rigorous academics, creative arts, outdoor education

A welcoming community

Our motto, de amicitia: in the spirit of friendship

Out into the wide world

Alums carry the Aardvark spirit far and wide

A culture of generosity

Many ways to help make Country Day's future even brighter

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