Transitional Kindergarten Program (Monday-Thursday)The T-K program at Messiah is designed as a readiness program for Kindergarten. This Christ-centered program provides opportunities for children 4 ½ to 5 ½ to grow spiritually, intellectually, physically, socially and emotionally. This is accomplished throughout the year with hands-on activities which enhance the children’s love of learning. At Messiah, it is our belief that children are a gift from God and it is our privilege to love and care for them on God’s behalf. We intend to reflect God’s love in the way we teach and care for each child because these early experiences provide the foundation for a lifetime!
Kindergarten age children are in developmental transition and have common attributes that make them ready for a new phase in their education. Many children have been in a preschool program for several years so their needs require a specialized program. Messiah’s Kids Transitional Kindergarten is tailored to meet the characteristics of 4 ½ to 6-year-old children. They are more independent, self-confident, and exuberant about mastering new skills than they were just a year earlier. They are clearly undergoing a transitional period in all domains of their development. A trend in our community is that the academic expectations of kindergartners have increased. For this reason many parents consider formal kindergarten enrollment at 6-years-old rather than the traditional 5-years-old. (The Texas State enrollment deadline is 5 before August 31st) Messiah’s Kids understands this unique niche and uses the Texas State Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) and supplemental quality early childhood curriculum for this age group in planning our program goals and objectives.
At Messiah’s Kids TK, there is a strong emphasis placed on educating the whole child. This approach promotes the total development of each child – spiritual, language, motor, personal/social and intellectual growth. The benefits of this educational method are supported by extensive research, particularly from the Gesell Institute of Human Development. The Gesell Institute stresses the importance of appreciating readiness for any task that has its roots in the biological/maturational makeup of a child. Readiness cannot be produced, sped up or ignored. Therefore, it is imperative that parents and educators understand and respect developmental age – where children are now, not where adults think they should be. This does not mean that children should not be held to high standards and/or have to meet raised expectations; however, these expectations should be based on a sound understanding of what is developmentally appropriate for the various ages and stages of growth. Because we understand the importance of developmental education our teachers are close observers of children’s readiness for new levels of content, skills and activities. The classrooms and curriculum are structured to promote the highest levels of learning for each child, and the school provides enriching and meaningful experiences that allow children to grow more fully within their developmental age – helping prepare them for success in formal Kindergarten and beyond! Daily chapel talks help young children learn about Christ’s love and His redeeming grace.
The curriculum focuses on the joy of learning through quality literature, language development, math components, dramatic play centers and special lessons such as music, art, special guest presenters, Weekly Reader and technology integrated throughout the curriculum.
Transitional Kindergarten Curriculum Overview: Messiah’s TK curriculum includes the following components: Religion:
Group Publishing Curriculum
Participate in daily devotions, prayer and Bible knowledge
Attend daily chapel
Participate in activities that develop an understanding of service
Develop an understanding of Law and Gospel
Recognize their need for a Savior
Grow in their faith, love and commitment to Jesus Christ
Grow in their knowledge of the Bible
Understand how faith is active, not passive and should be an integral part of all aspects of daily life.
Writing, Language Arts, Reading: The LearningWithout Tears kindergarten program incorporates hands-on activities and good handwriting habits to develop strong writers.
We engage students with music, movement, fine motor activities, and child-friendly language. They learn capital and lowercase letter and number formation and how to print using hands-on materials and developmentally appropriate activities. Fine motor work prepares students for pencil and paper success in the student workbook
Children also learn to identify letter symbols, both capital and lowercase, by letter names. They learn how these “symbols” work together to form printed words and how printed words related to spoken language.Our language and literacy program actively teaches syllables, names and sounds of letters, words linked to content, new words in spoken language, how to respond to simple questions, and how to have discussions and share ideas. The program focuses on building rich vocabulary so that children learn a word’s meaning and what a word represents so they begin to understand the network of concepts that goes with it. Children also learn to associate books with reading, ‘read’ environmental print, and ultimately learn the many benefits of early reading and writing. Reading is continually fostered through small group reading opportunities (paper readers), appropriate books during read-alouds, shared reading and writing, and individual reading practice with basic sight word identification. To develop letter sounds and sight word learning, Transitional Kinder utilizes Reading the Alphabet for their student readers and developmental order of letter and sound recognition.
Math and Science: Our Transitional Kindergarten teaches math by following the Kindergarten TEKS (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills). The TEKS are the same state curriculum guidelines used and taught in all public state Kindergartens. You can find the specific TEKS at www.tea.state.tx.us Listed below are the overlying mathematical ideas and processes taught (more detailed descriptions can be found on the TEA website under the Math TEKS, K):
Mathematical process standards. The student uses mathematical processes to acquire and demonstrate mathematical understanding. (problem solving, reasoning, vocabulary)
The student applies mathematical process standards to understand how to represent and compare whole numbers, the relative position and magnitude of whole numbers, and relationships within the numeration system.
The student applies mathematical process standards to develop an understanding of addition and subtraction situations in order to solve problems.
The student is expected to identify U.S. coins by name, including pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters.
Geometry and measurement. The student applies mathematical process standards to analyze attributes of two-dimensional shapes and three-dimensional solids to develop generalizations about their properties.
Data analysis. The student applies mathematical process standards to collect and organize data to make it useful for interpreting information. (collecting, sorting, organizing data)
Science in Transitional Kindergarten is fostered along with math skills through exploration, sensory opportunities, and experimentation. Basics of the Scientific Method are taught as students learn to predict, experiment, change variables, and draw conclusions.
Sight Word Focus – Fry and Dolch Word List The Dolch and Fry word lists are used to generate the sight words suggested. Many of the pre-primer and primer words in the list have been incorporated in the program. Each reader has one or more sight words to focus on within the context of the reader. These are outlined after each suggested theme.
*Extended care options are available at an additional charge.
Kinder Prep vs Transitional Kindergarten -- Which is best for your child?