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Early childhood educators use a term called “scaffolding” to describe how children best learn.  Scaffolding essentially means breaking a learning concept into tiny parts or steps in order to help young children digest and learn the larger concepts.  Somerset's Kindergarten program’s learning concepts (or curriculum, if you will) is based almost exclusively on scaffolding.  When a concept is introduced (typically on Mondays), we spend the rest of the week building on the concept.  Many skills are mastered in a day or two, but some require more time.  For example, the first concept we teach is recognizing and spelling color words.  The concept is taught through a song and a book, which is practiced daily.  Children work within the group to find the color word in the book, sing the song aloud, and complete learning activities to connect the color word with concrete materials.  The lesson is complete when the children take their own color wordbook home (usually on Fridays) and sing/read it to their parent(s).  Once the color words concept is complete, we move on to “sight words” that are a necessary reading and writing skill for kindergarteners.  We use scaffolding, again, to introduce the specific words with pocket chart stories.  As the week progresses, we ask the children to highlight the sight words, spell them aloud, and send home the pocket chart story to be read to their parent(s). 

 

As the school year progresses and the children practice these reading concepts, we send home sight word lists (“homework”) for the children to practice; when they are proficient, the children read the lists one-on-one to a teacher.  As the lists are mastered, easy reader books are sent home for practice and then to read to a teacher. 

 

In the Kindergarten program we also learn about specific authors and illustrators.  Many of our art activities that complement these authors/illustrators take several days to complete; we also read a book by the featured author/illustrator every day.  

 

Early in the school year, the children are given a math journal, which we use to introduce (by scaffolding) math concepts.  Students are usually given a math journal topic several times a week.

 

We strive to instill a strong sense of community (a.k.a. “school family”) by sending home special items on a regular basis to allow the children to share about their interests, hobbies, family, etc.  We do the Star Student board (similar to Pre-K), an activity called “Me in a bag,” rhyming bags, Pete the Cat (a stuffed animal character from a book we introduce) visits the students’ homes for a week, as well as a Mystery Box.  All of these activities strengthen the home-school connection.

 

We feel that if a student regularly misses school, the sense of community will be more difficult to attain and the scaffolding of learning concepts will take more time.  We hope this gives a clearer picture of the importance of five afternoons for the Kindergarten program.


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Somerset Early Childhood Center, Inc.
1385 S. Adams Rd.
Rochester Hills, Michigan 48309
contact us
Preschool:+1 (248) 375-2140
Pre-Kindergarten:+1 (248) 375-9255
Director:+1 (248) 375-9071