"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world". Nelson Mandela
4-Year Old Preschool Class
Early Education at North Whidbey Kid's Academy is a dynamic, multidisciplinary program that is taught through a combination of structured activities and free exploration. Our integrated approach incorporates literacy, math, science, and the arts into units creatively designed for group learning and social development. We support students’ cognitive, emotional, and physical needs through a reassuring routine that bolsters learning, acceptance, inclusion, and confidence. Students flourish in this exploratory, muti-age environment where self-care, wellness, and kindness aren’t just the focus of an individual class, but approached as the foundation for long-term success. This emphasis on character education in tandem with developmentally appropriate learning prepares our youngest learners to inquire thoughtfully and express themselves freely without fear of failure. Pre-kindergartners are preparing for the adventure of a lifetime in school. North Whidbey Kid's Academy Pre-kindergarten and preschool program are designed to get them ready by teaching letters and words, math concepts, and valuable social skills.
Small-group instructions, independent play in an organized atmosphere, and whole-group activities help children gain the right skills to hop, skip, and jump into kindergarten.
North Whidbey Kid’s Academy Early Childhood (Pre-K and Kindergarten) program reflects our innovative approach to learning anchored in a curriculum that is research-based and foundational-based, attending to children’s intellectual, social, emotional and physical development. The Pre-K and Kindergarten curriculum integrates joyful, child-centered play, structured with a clear educational and developmental purpose, alongside academic challenge, emphasizing the development of emergent literacy and mathematical concepts and skills. Beyond the classroom, the Early Childhood program encompasses a rich and broad educational experience as children participate in a variety of specials including: Science, Art, Music, Physical Education, and STEM classes (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematical Development). With the purpose of enhancing learning, technology is integrated into the classroom where Kindles, iPads, and Chromebooks are utilized both as a tool to develop skills and a vehicle for the creative expression of ideas. Consistent with North Whidbey Kid’s Academy’s educational philosophy, learning is anchored in the teacher-child relationship.
The Early Childhood program is an integral part of North Whidbey Kid’s Academy– a school focused on academic excellence and dynamic interactions between students and teacher.
The Pre-K language arts curriculum is designed to nurture children’s love of literacy and storytelling, while developing an understanding of alphabetic principals and print concepts. Combining a whole language and skills-based approach, the Pre-K classroom constitutes a language rich environment enhanced through daily read aloud, built around over 200 award-winning children’s book and monthly author studies. In Pre-K, writing is experimental, sound-based, and incorporated into children’s play, social studies activities, and the daily routines of classroom life.
In Pre-K the curriculum explores foundation mathematical skills and concepts as children develop an understanding of quantity, number sense, and numerical relationships. Math is integrated into the classroom, through materials such as blocks, puzzles and manipulatives, and mathematical thinking is nurtured through children’s play and classroom activities (such as calendar time).
At North Whidbey Kids Academy each student develops a mastery of early academic skills, continued character development, and a greater understanding of the Common Core Standards. Educational standards are the learning goals for what students should know and be able to do at each grade level. Educational standards help teachers ensure their students have the skills and knowledge they need to be successful, while also helping parents understand what is expected of their children. High standards that are consistent across states provide teachers, parents, and students with a set of clear expectations to ensure that all students have the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in college, career, and life upon graduation from high school, regardless of where they live.
The language arts curriculum in Kindergarten through second grade focuses on developing and strengthening foundational literacy concepts and skills, as children enter the world of readers and writers. We implement the Read Well program and Tara West Literacy programs. Both are a research-based phonological/phonemic awareness, phonics and spelling program that promotes critical thinking, speaking and listening skills as well as develops children’s vocabulary. Children also participate in guided reading groups that combine whole language, balanced literacy, and skill-based instruction. Consistent with North Whidbey Kid’s Academy’s educational philosophy, these groups are ability-based but incorporate flexible grouping to account for the individual progression of each child as she or he learns to read. Along with guided reading, time is set aside for reading books aloud to the whole class, as well as for children to explore books independently and with their friends. Beginning in second grade independent reading is introduced as a daily routine in the classroom. Process writing, introduced in Kindergarten, takes children through the stages of planning, writing, editing, and publishing their written work. Research and expository writing are introduced in second grade. In conjunction with the Read Well program, first grade students begin the transition from sound spelling to more conventional spelling as they focus each week on mastering particular phonics patterns, while cursive handwriting practice begins in second grade.
In Kindergarten through second grade, we focus on the Common Core Learning Standards. Through various activities, students focus on hands on activities to develop computation and problem-solving skills alongside a pedagogical approach that harnesses peer interaction to stimulate and foster critical, inquiry-based and creative thinking. In the classroom, teachers model mathematical concepts, with the goal of leading students to make lasting connections between concrete materials, visual representation and abstract algorithms. Instruction encompasses whole group direct instruction and modeling, small group cooperative learning and practice, and independent work. Through the skillful use of questioning, flexible grouping, individual support, and the use of various activities, teachers are able to differentiate instruction to meet the needs of a range of learners. The classroom instruction is also organized around big ideas, such as number sense and place value, ensuring that children not only learn the algorithms related to addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, but also understand why and how individual algorithms work.
North Whidbey Kid’s Academy’s social studies program is designed to help children develop the skills of a social scientist while nurturing an increasing awareness of self, others, society and the surrounding world, in the present as well as the past. In Pre-K through second grade, the social studies curriculum encompasses an increasing circle beginning with family and the classroom and moving out to the school, local community, and those beyond. Families, culture and traditions, the classroom and school take the center stage in Pre-K, Kindergarten, first grade, and second grade as children learn through hands-on activities and through their interactions with people and the environment in and around the school.
North Whidbey Kid’s Academy’s science program incorporates a spiral curriculum exploring topics in the physical, life and earth sciences. Hands on activities, experiments and observations of the natural world are at the core of the curriculum, harnessing children’s inherent curiosity and inquisitiveness as they explore natural phenomena, discover scientific principles, and develop an appreciation of nature. Children concurrently explore what it means to be a scientist, internalizing the basic science process skills of observation, classification, measurement, prediction, testing, forming a hypothesis, theory building, and recording and sharing information.
The Pre-K through second grade curriculum covers various topics including: air, water, and soil; seasons and weather; astronomy and the solar system; food chains, plant anatomy and animals; and magnets, sound, color and light.
North Whidbey Kid’s Academy’s technology program is fully integrated into the classroom with technology learning embedded in language arts, math, science, social studies, and music content. Children learn through doing as new programs, technologies, and apps are introduced through specific curriculum units. Once introduced, these become part of an ever-expanding technology toolbox that teachers and children draw upon to enhance learning and demonstrate understanding. This approach offers opportunities for children to explore and develop competency with a variety of programs, technologies and apps. Digital Citizenship and Internet Safety are an integral component of the technology program at NWK Academy beginning in Pre-K and continuing through second grade. Topics discussed include keeping personal information private, cyber-bullying, being kind online and net etiquette, and being a responsible digital citizen. In Pre-K through first grade, children use Kindles and iPads, learning their terminology, care, and navigation, as they are introduced to a variety of apps for practicing skills in language arts and math. Children use apps to record themselves reading books as a way of practicing their fluency, expression, and pace. Digital storytelling apps such as Pixie are also used for children to create stories and to narrate presentations. As they develop competency, children are given free access to the iPads to use to record and share ideas, and to document their learning. In first through second grade, children use Kindles, iPads, as well as Chromebooks to develop and practice keyboarding skills, explore multimedia sites to demonstrate and share their learning, integrate graphic organizing applications to enhance their writing and presentations, and access various educational websites for practicing, enriching and extending learning in Math, Social Studies, Science and Language Arts.
The Pre-K through second grade visual arts curriculum draws upon children’s inherent developmental desire to explore materials and express themselves through the arts. At the same time, the curriculum helps young children develop and master fine and gross motor skills, and coordination through continued use of a variety of tools and materials. More challenging projects utilizing new materials, tools, and techniques are introduced as children’s motor skills and competencies develop. Concepts explored include color, shape, texture, and line recognition, which encompass the basic elements of design. Children practice following a sequence of directions, develop good work habits, and learn the proper use and care of materials while appreciating their work as well as respecting the work of their peers. The curriculum encompasses opportunities for independent and cooperative work while incorporating both two- and three-dimensional projects.
In Pre-K through second grade children develop a love of singing and an appreciation for music as they master new musical concepts and skills. Meter, form, and the musical phrase are taught using creative movement, singing, playing classroom instruments, and conducting. Curriculum integration in math, social studies, language arts, and science enables children to make connections with the world around them.