Early Childhood curriculum overview

The primary goal of Gordon’s Early Childhood program is to instill a love of learning in each child.
The program stimulates creativity, encourages problem-solving skills, and promotes work habits that will last a lifetime. 
Reading, writing, math and science are integrated throughout the day, as well as music, library, physical education and visual art. 
Every classroom opens directly onto the outdoors, and full day students enjoy two recesses each day, on playgrounds designed specifically for their needs and interests.
The Early Childhood STEAM Lab introduces Gordon’s youngest students to science, technology, engineering, art, and math and the concepts of the engineering design process through hands-on activities.
In every lesson, teachers use a multicultural curriculum with an emphasis on the real world applications of academic skills. Each student builds a sense of identity and personal voice while learning to value a diversity of ideas, to honor a variety of traditions, and to respect the contributions of all people.


meet the faculty and peek into the classroom at www.gordonschool.org/nursery
Children explore the world throughout a busy day that provides a variety of opportunities for cognitive, physical, social and emotional development.
The classroom has a variety of centers where students work and play.
Sometimes, the class comes together for a lesson; at other times, they may work by themselves, in smaller groups, or join Preschool on the playground.
Activities are open-ended so that materials can be used in a variety of ways to promote a range of experiences and continue to support the natural curiosity of each child. 

meet the faculty, and peek into classrooms, at www.gordonschool.org/preschool
Children build on the Nursery experience, learning about the world through exploration and play, individually, in small groups, or in full class lessons. 
The classroom centers are designed for imaginative play, exploration of simple machines, engineering, blocks, art, writing, sand, and water play.
Students are introduced phonics through the Telian Method.
The iPad is introduced as a tool to support early acquisition of academic skills.
Students’ document their own emerging literacy by maintaining folders with their own original drawings and teacher-assisted writing.

Young Kindergarten
meet the faculty, and peek into the classroom, at www.gordonschool.org/youngkindergarten 
Young Kindergarten is designed specifically for children who turn five years old during the summer or early fall months, young chronologically for Gordon’s Kindergarten but ready for a classroom that enriches their intellectual and social growth.
The program provides a challenging, age-appropriate curriculum that inspires children to think, reason and communicate with others, while also nurturing their social development.
Academic lessons are similar to, but different from, Kindergarten as formal math, reading, writing, science and Spanish instruction begin.
Students are introduced to Math in Focus, the Telian Method for phonics instruction, Handwriting Without Tears, and more.

meet the faculty, and peek into classrooms, at www.gordonschool.org/kindergarten 
This full-day program builds on students’ emerging skills in reading, writing and math.
Children write each day, gradually incorporating proper letter formation and accurate spelling into their journal entries.
Teachers use the Telian Method, which enables children to take the next steps toward becoming confident and capable readers.
The math curriculum, Math in Focus, emphasizes problem solving and introduces basic mathematical concepts through the use of manipulatives and other hands-on activities.
Science is taught through an inquiry-based curriculum and introduces students to scientific theory.
Formal Spanish instruction begins, introducing basic words and phrases as well as culture and geography.

Technology and the STEAM Lab

Preschool, Young Kindergarten and Kindergarten students use iPads and classroom computers in various learning centers.
Teachers identify appropriate ways to integrate technology and use it as an important tool in student learning.
In the STEAM Lab, students have early exposure to the engineering design process in a lab specifically tailored to the needs of early childhood students.
STEAM projects integrate topics in science, technology, engineering, art, and math as the children brainstorm, create, and learn about design and innovation through problem solving.

In Young Kindergarten and Kindergarten, children experience learning a second language and culture in a holistic way.
Spanish is taught twice weekly, and the language is fully integrated into classroom activities.
This approach provides natural conversations and interactions in Spanish and allows the children to gain an ear for the language while creating a perfect connection with Gordon’s multicultural curriculum.

Visual art
Visual art is incorporated in all Early Childhood classrooms, and the Young Kindergarten and Kindergarten children begin visiting Gordon’s visual art faculty in their studios once a week for instruction in color, texture, design ceramics and textiles.
Children use a variety of art materials in group activities and in independent work, with a range of materials in diverse media.
Activities emphasize the process as well as the finished product. 

Students go to the music classroom twice a week to explore pitch and rhythm through songs, games, and creative movement, all drawing on a rich variety of traditions and sources.
They accompany their singing with classroom instruments like drums and xylophones.
As children progress through Early Childhood, they will experience group ensembles, basic part-singing, and simple folk dances.

Physical education
Twice weekly, children go to the Nelson Field House for physical education classes that emphasizes fundamental movement skills.
The classes allow for spirited and purposeful play, introduction of new vocabulary and ideas, and communication skill-building through cooperative games and fitness activities.
Students are encouraged to challenge traditional gender stereotypes, discover new possibilities and capabilities, and celebrate individual self-expression.

The Joukowsky Family Library is both literally and symbolically the center of the school.
The children visit the library once a week to hear books read aloud and to borrow books for the classroom and to bring home.
By selecting their own books every week, students begin the process of becoming thoughtful critical readers.

Each Early Childhood classroom is paired up with buddies from another grade level to spend time with throughout the school year.
In Nursery and Preschool, students are paired with third graders.
Friday mornings are set aside for this buddy time that includes reading a book together, creating an art project, tinkering in the STEAM lab, playing outside and more.
These are cherished relationships that build wonderful leadership skills in the older children while providing younger children with great role models.

Parent communication and progress monitoring
Teachers communicate regularly with parents about daily activities and the growth and development of each child.
In October and March parents have individual conferences with their child’s teacher, and detailed written reports of each student’s progress in all subject areas are provided in December for Kindergarten, and for all Early Childhood classes in June.
Parents can also request a conference with a classroom teacher at any time and teachers welcome this partnership.