Strengths and Benefits of Half-Day Kindergarten at Bethany Busy Bee
Kindergarten is the bridge between Preschool and Elementary grades so it is vital that teachers cultivate a love of the learning process. To this end, we believe there are strengths of a cooperative teaching model for Kindergarten:
- 4 different teachers bring with them a passion for different domains of learning
- Mrs. Benedik: Literacy, Mathematics, Social Studies, and creating research based instruction for kids to assist them as they self actualize their learning.
- Mrs. Anderson: Reading, Mathematics, and Writing, individualizing instruction based on students’ needs and taking students as far as they can in their learning.
- Mrs. Pyne: Theater Arts, Music, Languages, Social Studies through exposing young children to cross cultural lessons and global understanding.
- Mrs. Wright: Bible, Christian Theology, Music (piano & singing), Emphasizing optimal environment for healthy brain development in early childhood
- Since Kindergarteners have the opportunity to mature as learners, not just fact holders, a teacher who is passionate about the domain they are teaching inspires a creative thinker and expands the child’s ability to learn in that domain.
Each day, two teachers will co-teach, guiding students to explore, question, wonder and create. Our curriculum themes this year will blend multiple subject areas and allow for interdisciplinary connection. Though both will work together, here is a look at who will lead subjects each day:
- Monday: Mrs. Benedik (Literacy/Math) & Mrs. Pyne (Music History/Dramatic Arts)
- Tuesday: Mrs. Benedik (Literacy) & Mrs. Pyne (Math/Social Studies)
- Wednesday: Mrs. Anderson (Literacy) & Mrs. Pyne (Math/Art)
- Tinkergarten – outdoor Science every other week
- Thursday: Mrs. Anderson (Math) & Mrs. Benedik (Literacy/Social Studies)
- Friday: Mrs. Anderson (Literacy/Math) & Mrs. Wright (Bible/Science)
Benefits to a small class size:
- It allows for individualized learning in every category, including discipline.
- Larger classes require rigorous whole-class discipline systems that may not be sensitive to deeper social and emotional needs, but in a smaller class we can move beyond basic behavioral modification and reach hearts.
- The teacher student ratio ensures each child is attended to and encouraged to grow in both their strength areas of higher interest and their areas of challenge.
Benefits to being connected to the rest of Busy Bee Preschool:
- Kindergartners will participate in all special programs the school offers such as Fall Festival, Thanksgiving Feast, Music programs, and have the option to stay for Lunch Bunch on any day.
- The culture of the school is nurturing and focuses on early childhood development. Kindergartners will glean from these values while also being able to practice leadership and confidence as the oldest students in their school.
Amy Pyne, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday Teacher.
They say “ It takes a village to raise a child” and we found the greatest village with Busy Bee! I remember dropping my son off for the first day of preschool and thinking, “ I really believe they might actually love my child as much as I do!” We love the beautiful hearts of the staff and the way they are all lovingly shepherding the hearts of the students to Jesus! I am so excited to get to officially join the staff this year as a Kindergarten Teacher!
Meg Benedik, Tuesday and Thursday Teacher.
I truly love seeing the joy in a kid’s heart as they learn something new, succeed in something that was once difficult, and share their young imagination with others. Seeing how a child grows in the little moments throughout a day, let alone a year is a wonderful thing! Early Childhood is the stepping stones for a child to learn who they are as a learner and how to practice resilience in so many ways. After teaching reading to 100 fifth graders for a number of years I was saddened by how many kids, at the young age of 10, didn’t see themselves as readers. So, I am excited about the opportunity to help kids build a strong foundation in believing that they can practice, learn, and master hard things before they even seem hard! I have my Masters in Educational Psychology so while in my classroom I try to employ best practices as based on cognitive, social emotional, and evidence-based research. I think it is important to encourage kids to have autonomy in the classroom to create an atmosphere of respect for one another to create a space for them to pursue things they love while also taking a risk to try something new. If there was only one thing, I’d like the kids to remember me by, it would be: That I deeply care for they are now and the person God created them to grow into. That I deeply care for and respect them as parents of their young ones.
Meredith Anderson, Kindergarten Teacher, Wednesday and Friday.
I love seeing the “light bulbs” go on in a child’s eyes when they grasp something they had formerly not understood. It is also a privilege and honor to be a child’s first introduction to education. I hope to spark a love of learning that lasts a lifetime. Each child is different and unique. All children learn different things at different paces and this is a divine design and to be celebrated. Because of this, differentiation in teaching and assessments that are age appropriate are important to me so we can continually meet students exactly where they are and take them to their full potential. If there was only one thing, I’d like the kids to remember me by, it would be that in me they have someone who loves them completely for who they are. I believe in them and see all they are capable of, even when they cannot see it themselves. If there was only one thing, I’d like the families to remember me by, it would be as a collaborator who worked with them to help their child go as far as he or she could in the year they were in my classroom.
Erin Wright, Kindergarten Teacher, Friday.
My philosophy in working with the kids in the classroom is about connection. I desire to learn the unique ways to connect to each child’s heart so that they can learn and grow as a whole person (socially, emotionally, spiritually, cognitively and physically). Learning should be a whole body experience, engaging the 5 senses and the heart whenever possible. If there was only one thing, I’d like the kids to remember me by, it would be that I carried them to Jesus in little ways all throughout the year. If there was only one thing, I’d like the families to remember me by, it would be that I loved their child well.
Home Visit- The First Parent Teacher Conference Sign Up Link: Mrs. Pyne’s Home Visit
Snack Link: Kindergarten Snack Sign Up