Transitional Kindergarten provides a bridge between a more flexible play-and-learn environment and the more structured academic settings of today’s kindergarten classrooms. TK classes offer learning opportunities that use small group settings, hands-on learning, and a language-rich environment to prepare students for school success. The “gift of time” the program provides helps students meet the social and academic expectations necessary for the traditional kindergarten class the following school year.
Integrated and Diverse Activities
The day is balanced with large group, small group, and individual opportunities, indoor and outdoor activities, active and calm time, including free choice and teacher-directed lessons. Learning opportunities surface throughout the day, interwoven with carefully planned curriculum based in the developmental tasks of the age and the interest of the children. There is a natural flow to the day that allows children time to explore and experience their world. Emergent curriculum flows from the children’s discoveries.
Social and Emotional Development
Social emotional development is a corner stone in the TK program. Children are encouraged and supported in learning to solve problems, negotiate, and work toward reciprocal relationships with their peers. The social emotional component is foundational and critical for optimizing development. Attachment, emotional awareness, self-regulation, and resilience provide the child with a strong sense of self that allows them to fully develop their potential across all learning domains.
The TK program supports children’s learning in all developmental domains. Teachers gain an understanding of the individual child’s progress through careful observation and documentation of their growth. Preparation of curriculum and instruction is based on the teacher’s knowledge of child development coupled with these observations. In order to support quality curriculum development and a carefully planned environment, the following elements are present:
Physical Development – large and small muscle skills, perception and sensory awareness, and good nutritional habits
Social Development – awareness of others and building relationships, social competency
Emotional Development – self-awareness and self-control
Cognitive Development – thinking, problem solving, exploration, discovery, creative and imaginative activities
Ethical/Moral Development – empathy, responsibility, respect, self-regulation, and decision making
Communication Development – spoken language, listening, multiple language development, non-verbal, technology use, written language and comprehension
The quality curriculum is driven through assessment and observation of the children’s interests and developmental tasks. The program supports the development of each child’s cognitive and language skills by supporting emerging literacy and numeric development through materials and activities suited to the developmental level of each child. Learning for the young child is based on their experiences, the process of learning, and the discoveries that unfold.
The Physical Environment of the TK program includes carefully planned spaces that encompass all aspects of development. Learning Centers include:
• Blocks and items to manipulate
• Dramatic play
• Creative expression
• Science experimentation and discovery
• Literacy (books, writing materials, etc.)
• Large motor/small motor activities