• Berwick

Hear what's happening in our Kindergarten!

Berwick Academy is incredibly fortunate to have an amazing group of faculty working with our students. In the Lower School, teachers communicate regularly with parents about what their children are experiencing in the classroom. Our Kindergarten teachers  recently sent out a parent update and here is what's in store for our students in the coming weeks:

Each day we try to allow plenty of time for the children to have the opportunity to play and create.  During this, often unstructured free time, the children are able to make choices about what they would most like to do.  The children build structures in the block area, make lunch and grocery shop in the dramatic play corner, construct mouse houses, traps, and puppets in the creation station, listen to books on CD at the listening center, play school using the whiteboard, or simply sit and look at books on the rug. We also enjoy playing outside as often as possible. Even on our coldest days, we will get outside for a brisk nature walk around our snowy campus. These play times are critical because they provide opportunities for the children to problem solve with their peers. We have been pleased to see what a kind, caring, and supportive group of children we have in Kindergarten!

In math this month, we have begun Chapter 6, Numbers to 20, in Math in Focus.  We are working on developing one-to-one correspondence, the concepts of one more and one less, and greater than and less than. During the course of this unit, the students will be working with tens frames, enabling us to begin truly understanding how larger numbers are built.  The work we will be doing in this unit will help provide the foundations for working with numbers to 100, coming up in February!
Our literacy groups are well under way. In phonics, we are continuing to work on beginning sounds, and noticing patterns in words. Each day, we do different letter and sound sorts to provide practice discriminating between the beginning sounds in words.  After our word study time, we break into three small reading groups.  During these guided reading times, we are focused on teaching the strategies children need to learn in order to untangle tricky words as they read.  Our current focus is bringing books to life. We are practicing using our “reading powers” to help us become better independent readers. Students are focusing on pointing under each word they are reading, recognizing their sight words, using the pictures for clues, sounding out words, and noticing the punctuation on each page. We continue to enjoy sharing our reading skills with our friends during partner reading time. The single most important thing you can do to help at home is to read to your child each night.
Kindergarteners love to write and we write as often as possible!  Writing workshop time begins with the children coming together for a mini-lesson where we give explicit, direct instruction in the skills they need.  Right now, the children are in various development stages in their writing.  Some children are primarily drawing pictures and we are encouraging them to label their drawings.  Other children are working on saying their words and stretching them out, writing the letters that they hear. Many students are even writing their own books, learning to stretch their writing across the pages just as real authors do.  Writing workshop is always a favorite time of the day for the children!
We are so pleased to report that our Handwriting Without Tears program is working effectively!  The children’s letter and number formation, spacing, and sizing is improving on a daily basis. We will continue reinforcing and practicing throughout the remainder of the year.
We will begin a new unit of study in social sciences month! Kindergarteners will be learning about wintering animals and hibernation. The essential questions we will be considering include: Which animals hibernate during the winter months? How do animals prepare for the winter season?  We will enjoy many fiction and nonfiction books about wintering animals and create projects to represent our learning. Please feel free to send in any books you may have at home to share, we’d love to borrow them.  We are looking forward to seeing where our student’s interests take us with this unit of study!

Learn more about our Kindergarten teachers

Families who are interested in learning more about our Kindergarten program are encouraged to attend our upcoming Admission Play Date on Tuesday, February 6 from 8:45-10:30 a.m. More information below:

We believe it is important for your child to experience our classroom, engage with his or her peers, and in turn, for our teachers to observe your child and assess his/her fit with our educational program. While your child attends class, parents have the opportunity to learn more about Berwick Academy and the Lower School curriculum with Lower School Director Joel Hawes. 

Contact Sarah Gurry for more information or to RSVP at 207.384.6301 or sgurry@berwickacademy.org


Serving Maine, The Seacoast of New Hampshire, and the North Shore of Massachusetts

Berwick Academy, situated on an 80-acre campus just over one hour north of Boston, serves 600 students, Pre-Kindergarten through grade 12, from Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine. Deeply committed to its mission of promoting virtue and useful knowledge, Berwick Academy empowers students to be creative and bold. Berwick strives to graduate alumni who shape their own learning, take risks, ask thoughtful questions, and come to understand and celebrate their authentic selves.  Founded in 1791 and rooted in a tradition of college preparation, our culture of innovation prepares students for a complex and dynamic world.