Early Childhood – Culture and Science
Children are introduced to history, geography, science (biology, botany, and geology), art, and music. These subjects help students understand that they are part of a larger world. Throughout the year, units of study are rotated into the classroom including:
- Scientific topics
In our program, we take advantage of the “outdoor classroom” by:
- Exploring the different seasons on our school outdoor spaces
- Tending to our rooftop garden during the spring.
Cultural Studies in Kindergarten
Kindergarten students delve deeper into the above-mentioned studies. For example, children start by building their own world maps and learning the continents. Then they quickly move to more detailed regional maps that identify each country. Their work also includes:
- Museum visits
- Ballet or Philharmonic performances
- Classroom visits by artists or experts sharing their talents and knowledge
- Exploring plant and animal life in Riverside Park
- Taking field trips to study specific topics at the Bronx Botanical Garden, the Bronx Zoo and/or Central Park
- Reading and writing:
- Sharing picture books
- Creating reports or books
- Reporting to other classes on their findings.
Science in Kindergarten
Kindergarten students explore concepts such as sink and float, and the density of liquids, they also study the different types of leaves and their shape, and much more. They start learning the scientific method by observing, predicting, explaining (making a hypothesis), raising questions, planning and conducting investigations, interpreting evidence, and communicating their findings. The teachers’ job is to encourage children’s curiosity, help them to formulate questions that keep them engaged and develop their observational skills. The kindergarten science curriculum involves asking the right question. A good question is a stimulating question that invites the child to take a closer look rather than to give them the answer.
The science curriculum integrates other areas such as math and literacy, making meaningful connections and organizing their ideas through research, report writing, and presentations. Students learn how to take the information they have gathered and organize it in to charts and visual presentations in order to clearly share their findings with others.
They also discover how to solve problems, estimate, and learn all about patterns and relationships.
Through science, students are also improving the following skills:
- Emotional intelligence: What happens if the student’s prediction is wrong? How do they cope?
- Memory retention: Could the child remember – did the egg sink or float?
- Deeper understanding of age-appropriate scientific knowledge while strengthening their reasoning and thinking skills.