For Ages 4.9 and Up: We opened our first Junior Kindergarten classroom in 2008. This once-small class has grown into a highly sought-after innovative program recommended for children ages 4.9 and up by September 1st.
Is it a Fit for Your Child? Most of those who enroll in Junior K have already attended Preschool and Pre-K, but are still too young for public school Kindergarten. It is also often the choice for children who have just turned five or whose parents believe would benefit from an “extra year”.
Taking Your Child as Far as They Can Go: With all of the children a bit older than in a typical Pre-K classroom, we really work to present them with engaging learning opportunities to build upon previously acquired skills.
- Writing: Most children attending Junior K have had some experience with a Preschool and Pre-K curriculum. Our role is to meet each child at their current skill level and build from there, honing skills that will support them in Kindergarten and beyond. We will introduce beginning sight words through active play, provide daily opportunities for sharing ideas through writing, or help them read consonant-vowel-consonant words.
- Reading: Read-alouds, literacy activities, chances for looking at books alone and with teachers, and exposure to many genres of literature: that’s what your child will experience at Tobin every day. Language arts and writing activities are a part of our daily curriculum.
Science & Math
As with Language Arts, many Junior K students come to us with a strong foundation. Your child will work with their teacher to add skills in science and mathematics.
- Mathematics: Your child will work on math activities throughout the day – including addition, subtraction and double-digit numbers – in a playful, engaging way to keep learning fun!
- Science: Your child will explore the world around them, expanding vocabulary and building background knowledge to support a strong future interest in Science and Engineering.
- Animal Science: Your child will explore nature and learn about respect for the animal kingdom through weekly Animal Science lessons with Matthew Coughlin, affectionately known to the children as Mr. Matt.
- Technology: While not offered as a separate subject area, our Junior K students use iPads to support their content learning. At Tobin we always use technology with thoughtfulness and educational purpose.
- Your child will learn American Sign Language (ASL), Spanish, and Mandarin at Tobin. With daily practice of familiar concepts, manner words, and new vocabulary, your child will enhance brain flexibility by learning that a word or idea can be expressed in numerous ways.
- Specialist Educators in Mandarin and American Sign Language visit these classrooms to refine your child’s skills.
- Junior K children also join school-wide celebrations for Chinese New Year and Cinco De Mayo – a great opportunity to explore other cultures and see how others view the world.
Social Emotional Learning
- Learning Respectful Behaviors: In Junior K, your child will continue to build a strong set of respectful behaviors that go a long way toward future success. Children are encouraged to follow a routine, share toys with classmates, and work together with classmates on a group goal or plan. Our teachers encourage students to learn about their emotions and share them in a safe, respectful way. We also set the stage for self-regulation and executive function skills that will prepare your child for the years ahead – in a nurturing, warm environment – one of our areas of emphasis here at Tobin.
- Music and art every day: Our youngest learners explore visual arts and music daily in their classroom.
- Your child will also have a monthly visit with Stacey Peasley, our Music specialist.
Physical Education & Wellness
- Get Moving: Moving is a way of life for Junior K children, and we give them ample daily opportunity to run, climb, jump, bounce, dig and play! Come to our early childhood playground, which offers a wide-range of active play, along with large group games, seasonal water and snow play. We also have a large turf field. Your child has two outside opportunities each day, weather permitting, as we understand that young children need to move to learn.
- Yoga: Your child will take a yoga class twice per month: not only fun, but a great way to practice flexibility and breathing techniques that can support self-regulation.
- Zumba: Your child also participates in a monthly Zumba class.
At Tobin we respect each child as an individual, knowing that they learn and develop along their own timeline. As education professionals, our teachers are well-versed in child development and supporting children’s individual learning goals.
- Assessment Tool: We are proud to use Teaching Strategies Gold at Tobin. This research and evidence-based assessment tool provides a thorough look at each child’s current development and allows teachers and parents to work together to set goals for future learning.
- Teachers make observations throughout their day using iPads to take photos and notes of children’s progress over time. These daily observations become a digital portfolio of your child’s learning during their time at Tobin. You are invited in for parent-teacher conferences three times a year to set goals and review progress. In addition, we encourage you to talk to us at any time – we want to build an active partnership with you throughout the year.