St. Thomas More Cathedral School follows the Curriculum Guidelines of the Diocese of Arlington Catholic Schools. The core curriculum consists of instruction in the following subjects: religion, reading, language arts, mathematics, science and social studies. Students also participate in the following special classes weekly: art, Spanish, library, technology, physical education and music.
Kindergarten Curriculum Overview
- Balanced approach of learning through play embedded in academic focused pedagogy
- Curriculum programs: Comprehension Toolkit, Daily 5, Café, Writer’s Workshop, Everyday Mathematics, Writing Our Catholic Faith, Wise Skills and Words Their Way
- Three recesses per day
- Attend Friday Mass with school beginning in October
- Performances and special events include: America Sings Concert, Fall Festival, Baby Jesus Shower, Christmas Pageant and Manners Tea
Religion: Kindergartners study religion daily through prayer and stories about Bible heroes. Students participate in the All Saints Parade, Baby Jesus Shower, Christmas Pageant, Stations of the Cross, Bible Plays and the Mysteries of the Rosary. Students are assigned a Prayer Partner, an older child to befriend and guide your child in their faith practices, especially during singing practice and weekly Mass.
Language Arts & Reading: The Comprehension Toolkit introduces strategies with the goal of meeting each child exactly where they are and help them to grow into a lifelong reader. Instruction occurs in small reading groups as well as whole class lessons using the Daily 5 reading format. Students learn comprehension and listening strategies, practice journal writing and oral language skills such as speaking, listening, presenting information and small group discussions.
- Read to self
- Read to someone
- Work on writing
- Listen to reading
- Word work
The teacher will assess each child’s strengths and greatest needs as a reader in order to best plan for each student’s instruction using the CAFÉ method. CAFÉ is an acronym standing for the 4 most critical components of reading:
Comprehension Accuracy Fluency Expand Vocabulary
Word Study: Word study is a developmental reading, vocabulary and writing (spelling) program, which includes the five stages of spelling development to correspond with reading and writing objectives. In Words Their Way students are assessed for their word knowledge and will be placed in differentiated small groups. Word study develops early literacy components such as phonological awareness, alphabet knowledge, letter-sound relationships, word patterns and vocabulary knowledge.
Math: Kindergarten uses the Everyday Mathematics program to foster number sense through a problem-solving approach with age-appropriate activities based on everyday situations. Developed by the University of Chicago School Mathematics Program, the curriculum takes advantage of students’ intrinsic motivation to learn and builds upon their knowledge by presenting key mathematical ideas over time in slightly different ways. Teachers work with students individually, in small groups and as a whole group in order to differentiate learning.
Social Studies: Students will examine current events and develop an appreciation for themselves as a unique individual as well as recognize that others have likes and dislikes. Children learn to respect other cultures and develop positive attitudes towards the community. Kindergartners begin to understand economic tendencies such as the importance of work in society, wants vs. needs and the exchange of money for goods. Children learn to use maps, identify patriotic symbols, explore concepts of leadership and religious freedom, plus learn their address and phone number.
Science: Students investigate senses, chart daily weather conditions and observe properties of matter. They will also explore the concept of sink and float, learn about life cycles and the basic needs of all living things. Students explore space and conduct experiments to acquire the idea of scientific method.
Handwriting: Kindergarten uses the Writing Our Catholic Faith series and letter formation is also instructed through the lexicon of the Handwriting Without Tears curriculum.
A variety of differentiated instruction methods are used including cross-curricular units, cooperative groups, direct instruction, discovery learning and hands-on activities. Homework is assigned to review lessons and practice skills.
The instructional program is supported through the following: Title I Program, Resource Program, Educational Field Trips, Guest Speakers, Community Service.
SAMPLE Kindergarten Daily Schedule
- 7:45 – 8:00 Arrival – Student Activities
- 8:00 – 8:10 Opening Prayer / Pledge / Songs
- 8:10 – 8:30 Math–Calendar
- 8:30 – 9:00 Reading – Whole group and small group activities
- 9:00 – 9:15 Restrooms / Snack
- 9:15-9:35 Recess
- 9:35-10:50 Reading—Small group activities and whole group read-aloud
- 10:50 – 11:05 Lunch Recess
- 11:05 – 11:25 Lunch
- 11:25 – 11:40 Restroom / Afternoon Prayer /Weather Graphing
- 11:40 – 12:10 Rest
- 12:10 – 12:50 Math–Small Group and Whole Group Activities
- 12:50 – 1:20 Science/Social Studies
- 1:20-1:40 Recess
- 1:40 – 1:55 Afternoon Snack
- 1:55 – 2:25 Specials: Music, Art, Computer, Spanish, Physical Education, and Library are offered weekly on a rotating schedule
- 2:25 – 2:55 Religion
- 2:55 – 3:10 Reading/P.A.T
- 3:10 End of Day Closing / Prayer
- 3:15 Dismissal