Early Childhood Education
At MCDS curiosity is nurtured, while individual strengths are appreciated and encouraged.
Kindergarteners embark on an exciting journey that ends with being able to read, write clear sentences, and problem solve on their own. At the same time, young students develop creativity in art, music, science, and daily Create and Explore time. They explore world cultures and learn Spanish. Kindergarteners make friends and learn to work together. They thrive from personalized attention from experienced, dedicated teachers and finish the year as engaged thinkers, ready to soar!
- Read, write, and spell approximately 250 words.
- Read, write, and solve addition and subtraction equations up to 20.
- Name and locate the seven continents and complete two reports, an animal and a country.
- Read independently, with a partner, and discuss story elements.
- Create hypotheses about scientific questions.
- Identify music notes in preparation for piano lessons in grade one.
From all-school assemblies to classroom meetings to one-on-one moments with teachers and friends, positive character traits like: inquirers, knowledgeable, balanced, communicators, principled, open-minded, caring, thinkers, reflective, and risk-takers are discussed and set as the standard expectation. Kindergarteners benefit from being part of a Pre-K through grade 12 community, including connecting with older role models through “Book Buddies”.
Create, Explore Time & Celebrations
Daily Create and Explore time gives students the freedom to choose activities, build friendships, and develop new talents. During the year, families share their traditions and holidays. Each child has a chance to shine as “Star of the Week”. Children also celebrate with the “Birthday Band” and accomplishments are recognized with monthly “Soar Awards”.
Students develop a solid mastery of the phonograms of the English language as the basis for learning spelling, reading, writing, and penmanship. Daily Reading and Writing Workshops offer group time and individualized support. Writing Workshop starts immediately with students learning how to write sentences and stories. Students share ideas and practice public speaking skills in class, with book buddies, and in front of a larger audience during all-school assemblies. Literary experiences place emphasis on listening to, understanding, and appreciating quality literature of all kinds, including poetry, rhymes, fables, chapter books, and plays.
Kindergarteners begin the Singapore Math curriculum, a world-recognized and acclaimed program emphasizing a deeper understanding of math skills. Students learn math concepts from counting, ordinal numbers, numerical sequences and patterns, place value, shapes, graphing, sorting and classifying, to addition and subtraction, estimation, and money value. Singapore Math is a curriculum that moves from concrete to pictorial to abstract concepts. This sequence is a perfect fit for growing early learners!
History and Geography
Students investigate all seven continents, developing an appreciation for the similarities and differences in cultures. Each continent is celebrated in a unique way as we look at music, dance, art, architecture, habitats, and animals of the area.. Holidays, religions, and historical figures from around the world are studied including Native Americans, Mae Jemison, Gandhi, and Martin Luther King Jr.
Creativity flows in Art, where students delve into projects with every medium from drawing, to painting, to collage, to clay, to weaving, to sculpture. Students are introduced to a diverse set of artists and how art interacts with other subjects they are learning.
Students learn basic musical concepts through singing, playing instruments, moving to music, and listening to different musical styles and composers. Students explore contrasting musical elements and develop confidence in their ability to perform independently and as a group. The concept of musical notation is introduced to prepare students for piano lessons that begin in first grade. Kindergarteners enjoy collaborating with both Lower and Upper school students in school-wide performances throughout the year.
Students conduct hands-on experiments to learn the scientific method. They explore soils and decomposition by preparing and tending a worm compost. They investigate weather phenomena through experiments with cloud formation, ice melting, and the force of wind. They study the planets of the solar system and learn about constructions by examining different building materials to compare strength, flexibility, and balance.
Students learn over 300 Spanish words through games, songs, books, and art activities. Topics include numbers 1–100, greetings, colors, classroom words, animals, days of the week, months, food, weather, parts of the body, and simple questions. Latin American culture is explored and celebrated.
Physical Education and Outdoor Activities
Kindergarteners experience the joy of physical movement as they build on gross motor skills including balance, space awareness, and coordination. Team sports are introduced. Recess time is carefree with ample space to run and climb on the nature-inspired playground. Sledding is a favorite in winter!
Our Primary Years Programme in action:
During our “Sharing Our Planet” PYP unit, Kindergarten students engage in activities to discover how our choices impact our planet. Students explore why it is important to care for Earth as well as discuss ideas of how to take care of it. They take action by committing to new habits that have a positive impact on the planet and eliminate negative impacts. Throughout this unit, students build responsibility as they clean up our school community outdoors, recycle, compost, plant in the garden, use less electricity and water, and much more.
Programme of Inquiry