Programs
Academic

Kindergarten

About Kindergarten

Kindergarten at Open Window School is an exciting adventure. We embrace and celebrate the curious minds and boundless energy of five- and six-year-old gifted students. As we welcome our new kindergartners into the school, we help them get to know their new OWS community through many partnerships with other grade levels including first grade buddies during Movement class, second grade reading buddies, and eighth grade Pizza Friday buddies. As they learn about their community, kindergartners also learn more about themselves as they work to answer the big question "Who am I?"  

Additionally, kindergarteners learn what it means to be part of a classroom community through a carefully constructed scope and sequence of experiences that focus on social and emotional learning. Students learn how to name their feelings, how to express their feelings appropriately, and how to listen to others when they express their feelings. Students also begin learning about mindfulness and how to be fully present in a situation. Understanding what it means to be mindful and to practice being mindful teaches students to refocus – a process that helps minimize overreactions or being overwhelmed by a situation. Recognizing how formative the first year of school is, the Open Window School Kindergarten experience nurtures and inspires our youngest students as they begin their journey through school. 

List of 5 items.

  • Language Arts

    The Language Arts program is designed to nourish emergent readers and writers while developing literacy at all levels.  Language arts concepts are integrated throughout the kindergarten curriculum. Kindergarten classrooms surround students with books and environmental print, nurturing their curiosity through carefully chosen independent and group language activities. Students select from authentic reading and writing choices, working independently toward personalized goals, while the teacher meets individual needs through whole-group and small-group instruction, as well as one-on-one conferring. Twenty minutes of nightly reading at home is an important piece of the learning-to-read process. 
      
    The development of a strong phonemic awareness is also a focus for every student and is supported by Words Their Way word study. Writing is integrated throughout the curriculum and occurs daily including writing journals, reader response activities, and Handwriting Without Tears lessons. Communication skills are emphasized through class discussions, cooperative group experiences, personal interactions and during social-emotional skill lessons.  
  • Math

    Based on the Bridges in Mathematics program, instruction includes hands-on, experiential activities that push students to explore mathematical patterns, solidify a deep understanding of numeracy, and investigate both their own thinking processes as well as those of their classmates. Students also participate in collaborative problem-solving activities and games which serve to further deepen this mathematical understanding through social learning and strategizing. Assessment is ongoing and informs the content and pacing of math instruction 
  • Science

    Devoted strictly to kindergarten through fourth grade learners, the Open Window Lower School Science Lab offers inquiry based, hands-on experiences for young students. Capitalizing on the natural curiosity and zeal for learning of gifted students, the lower school science curriculum develops not only a solid foundation of science skills but a passion for all things scientific. Scientific investigations cover four domains over the course of kindergarten through fourth grade: the physical sciences; the life sciences; the earth and space sciences; and engineering, technology and applications of science. 
     
    Kindergarten classes begin their year with an introduction to scientific investigations in a unit called Thinking Like a Scientist. Students learn to ask questions, define problems, make observations and analyze data through units such as Five Senses and Food and Insects. These topics are integrated closely with homeroom projects and activities. 
  • Social Studies

    Who Am I? is the overarching question that guides the kindergarten social studies curriculum. Students explore their passions, interests and qualities that make themselves unique and special. The culminating event for this unit is a parade, where students design their own floats, complete with decorations and symbols that represent each individual member of the class. Quite literally, the entire school turns out for this parade. A family potluck, featuring the favorite foods of each student, brings the kindergarten students and their families together for a favorite fall celebration.

    The Kinder "Garden" 
    Nutrition, Food as a Resource, and Dream Gardens 
    Throughout the second half of the school year students learn about nutrition. We look closely at our lunches and talk about the different food groups. We continue by exploring where food comes from, how it gets to the grocery store and our dinner plates. Finally, we put all of this knowledge together as we plant our own school garden, research crops that grow well in the Pacific Northwest and collaborate to create our very own "Dream Gardens."  

  • Spanish

    The lower school exploratory Spanish program follows the natural sequence of language learning: understanding > speaking > reading > writing.  Understanding and speaking are the primary focus.  The program is designed to provide both an introduction to another language and an appreciation of another culture prior to the more academic middle school Spanish curriculum. Consistent with how a child learns his or her first language, the Spanish curriculum encourages a learning environment in which the language directly relates to the students and their surroundings, reflecting their needs, interests, and everyday life.  Students are exposed to Spanish-speaking cultures through stories, songs and a study of customs. An appreciation of other societies and cultures is fostered through the study of the Spanish language. 

Sample Schedule

8:15-8:30 Morning Work 
8:30-9:00 Literacy Centers 
9:00-9:30 Morning Meeting/ SEL 
9:30-10:00 Science 
10:00-10:30 Snack/ Recess 
10:30-11:00 Social Studies 
11:00-11:30 Writer's Workshop 
11:30-12:00 Recess 
12:00-12:30 Lunch/ Read Aloud 
12:30-1:30 Math 
1:30-2:00 Technology 
2:00-2:30 Snack/ Recess 
2:30-3:00 Problem Solving 
3:00-3:15 Pack-Up/ Class Jobs 

Kindergarten Teachers

List of 4 members.

  • Esther Magnotti 

    Kindergarten Teacher
  • Aileen Granstrom 

    Associate Teacher, Kindergarten
  • Trudy Tauscheck 

    Kindergarten Teacher
  • Kimberly Workman 

    Associate Teacher, Kindergarten
Open Window School provides a challenging academic curriculum blended with nurturing support from teachers that prepares students for long-term success.