PRE-K & KINDERGARTEN OVERVEW: Grapes
The Grapes at Trilok work together at the mixed levels of pre-K and Kindergarten learners. These are the young- est of our Trilok Elementary School learners. They study the humanities, the sciences, and the arts as described in the sections below.
THE SCIENCES (Mathematics and Science of Body and Earth)
Math is an opportunity to count everything in life, to measure the observable world in its quantitative details, to organize life with a sense of time and space. Counting articulates itself through the body parts, through objects, through daily number charts, and counting and sorting activities. Children may be found measuring their own classroom through heel-go-toe steps, then through giant steps to compare the results. With great attention paid to geometric shapes, pattern observation and recognition skills develop. Through independent workbooks in Singapore-style Math, children are presented with mathematical problems expressed in picture, word, and num- ber. Rewinding to review basic understandings and ground each new developing milestone, these workbooks offer consistent math practices, upon which the mind can build a reliable foundation. Reading and writing of numbers and letters become integrated literacies. Children learn to work independently at their own speed.
Science opens the doors to the wondrous exploration of nature. Students learn to intentionally explore their senses and to use them as tools for discovery. Love of animals and plants motivates environmental inquiries. They wonder together about the elements of the world and learn to follow that inquiry into sensory exploration, experimentation, observation, and description.
A workbook in Singapore-style Science is used to support the child’s learning processes. This method takes children step-by-step into the joy of scienti c literacy. It teaches children about the human body, its ve senses, and its bodily functions. It leads the children in understanding the self-care their bodies require. It also introduces children to earth explorations such as how air, water, and weather work.
Earth is embraced as a Home for all Life, needing the care and nurture of all human beings. Trilok’s garden cre- ates seasonal opportunities to care actively for the earth and to experience the cycle of plant life as well as the growth of healthy foods. The practices of earth-care including the 3 R’s of reduce, reuse, recycle are introduced and supported through classroom practice.
THE HUMANITIES (Literacy, Social Studies, Languages)
Literacy at this young age weaves together the child’s prior learning of auditory processing with new visual in- formation and action. Song and poetic phrases capture the fun of language on young tongues. Tactile writing experiences, like ngers in paint, bring lively enthusiasm to the new letter-friends. Sound, shape, and “characters” of letters invite children to dive into a lifelong love of language. They discover the visual “cave” of the letter “C,” the waves of the letter “W,” and the mountains of the letter “M.” They anchor their day, in the very special letters that form their name. Letters become a playful world of draw-writing and phonetic reading. Falling in love with letters, the sounds they make and what they can do, children grow words! They grow families of words, nding many that start with a common letter, or nding many that end with a rhyming sound. Families of letters grow poetic story.
Empowered by the purposefulness of letters and words as TOOLS, children grow their communication. They play with these tools to master them. Through story they experience words ying through sentences, and ever higher into wonderful meaning! Through listening to stories, they begin to understand and articulate the elements of sequence, character, and theme. The children study stories and story-makers, including authors and illustrators, as people who are thinking about the world’s children and offering them great gifts. With gratitude and admiration for authors, they gradually cultivate their own voices.
Social Studies invite children into a study of the world. This study grounds young learners in a sense of wholeness about belonging to a peace-making world. Students develop citizenship in the soci- ety of the classroom by learning to make agreements, solve problems, and understand their feelings and others’. Through theatrical play and everyday activity, they practice manners to re ect growing so- cial values. Trilok students weave together a maturing inner world with an ever-expanding outer world.
Children explore themes of Friendship, practicing problem-solving together. They study themes of Home, Neigh- borhood, and Community. Children learn about values and ethics through historical characters such as Trilok’s “House Heroes.”
While children’s ears attune to the primary language of American culture, other languages expand their palate of sounds, meanings, and cultural reference. Spanish is used regularly in the school, as well as taught purposefully at this age, creating an integral bilingual environment. Also, world languages are playfully introduced, through greetings, songs, and games. For children who come to Trilok with English as a second language, learning En- glish through the immersion of class work and play is organic and inevitable.
THE ARTS (Visual Arts, Performing Arts, Movement and Mindfulness)
Vital art classes include Weaving, Visual Arts, and Technology. Along their creative pathways, children are in- troduced to inspiring and historical artists. On local eld trips to Pratt Institute, they notice the art in their midst. Aside from specialized art classes and events, children at this stage handle diverse tools of artistic exploration daily. Their ne motor movements develop as they handle paint, scissors, glue, etc. Creative processes and materials are integrated into the curriculum. Class themes are explored through many tactile mediums of expres- sion. Trilok children engage in caring processes for their art making. They learn to recycle and reuse materials, bringing ecological awareness to the creativity at hand.
PERFORMING ARTS (music, theater, dance, circus)
Within each season, the young children study a wide range of performing arts from Music and Dance to Theater. They participate in artistic processes with professional artists through Trilok School’s collaboration with Trilok Fusion Arts. While gaining skills of motion, presence, and participation, they develop individual and group abili- ties. Musical exploration at this age invites rhythmic motion to manifest intentional sound. Children explore the contrasts of fast and slow beats. The young Grape artists create ensemble theater, music, and dance works each season for public performance.
MOVEMENT AND MINDFULNESS
“Smell one ower.... blow one candle.” Breath awareness bridges the wellbeing of body and mind for the budding learner. The young child gains mastery over their Body and Mind through various practices, including yoga, tai- chi, meditation, gym, dance, and theater. While gross motor skills develop and ne motor skills are honed, con- centration and self-awareness are strengthened. Through group activities, they gain skills in cooperation, team- work, and group awareness. Through the wide range of physical practices offered at Trilok, children explore embodied expression on many levels from play to art to sport. Mindful motion leads every child’s body toward brighter learning vistas within. Children learn to identify their feelings and soothe their woes, both personal and interpersonal, through skills of compassion, self-regulation, and con ict resolution.