Kindergarten Picture


Lindie Keaton warmly guides her class of five and six-year-old explorers. Her philosophy is that children are efficient, able learners who pose the questions they need to have answered. Lindie actively observes each child and provides them with the materials, opportunities and activities needed to understand and grow. One of her goals is for the Kindergartners to become excellent problem solvers.

Exploration and play, within safe, age-appropriate limits, are seen as the best ways for children this age to learn. The children are encouraged to touch, manipulate, experiment, contemplate and assimilate their experiences through play. As Lindie says, "Kindergarten is where the real movers and shakers of the world reside, and they need lots of opportunities to do just that!"

As with all age groups, the Kindergarten participates in Art & Science classes, spends time hiking in Glen Helen, learning in their forest classroom, creates stories and plays, and is guided in other explorations of the class's choosing. Kindergartners also go swimming bi-weekly at the Antioch College Wellness Center pool.



Kindergarten Newsletter/Blog


Kindergarten Newsletter

  • How math in Kindergarten happens
    Written by
    Every once in awhile a Kindergartner will ask, "Why don't we do math?" What they are usually wondering is why subjects aren't segregated, with me the teacher announcing the subject and then giving paper and pencil problems to solve. The mainstream idea is that this is how people learn. While there is value and need to learn paper and pencil calculations, this isn't how children this age learn best. I usually answer with something like, "Oh, I thought we were doing math every day. What kind of math are you wanting to do?" On a couple occasions children will ask for me to generate problems, usually addition, on paper for them to write solutions. No one has ever asked more than once. So, how does math happen in Kindergarten? This, from the Kindergarten goals document, gives the foundation. "The children always arrive in Kindergarten with a large math vocabulary. They talk about hundreds, thousands, millions, a google and infinity. Many of them can count to 100. The gap between what they can say and what they understand is enormous. We keep the vocabulary and play with it (e.g. How long would we all have to stay at school if they really could have infinity crackers for snack?). But the experiences that I try to build into the day for the kids are concrete, functional, useful ways to use numbers when living together with other people. Math is used at snack. The kids will ask, 'How many people are here today?' I try to answer with a math problem. 'Usually we have twelve, but two children aren’t here today.' They may ask, 'How many apples do we need?' I’ll answer, 'We have ten people and we cut each apple into four pieces.' I vary the cups we use to measure with. Sometimes the one cup measure stays in the cabinet, and we cook with ½ and ¼ measures. How many will we need to measure one cup of flour? The room job chart changes every day. At the beginning of the year, I hear, 'Tomorrow I’ll be sand toy helper.' In the spring I hear, 'I can’t wait for next Tuesday. I’ll be day-offer.' The calendar, clock and timer also help the children place themselves in time. 'When the real clock looks like the pretend clock, it will be time for snack.' Many of the ways we use math come the children’s questions. 'How high is our ceiling?' We estimate and answers run from 15’1” to 'about as high as a kite when you first start to fly it.' We measure it then. We also use our bodies, hands, and feet to measure. 'How far can a jack rabbit jump?' We research the question and measure. Then we see how many times we would have to jump before we could go as far as the jack rabbit does in one hop. Sometimes math grows out of the children’s activities. When the children run across the golf course I ask, 'How big did I look when you were over there?' 'About as big as an ant standing on its hind legs.' 'Can you make me look smaller?' They take off across the golf course again and run back yelling, 'We did it! You were just the dot above an I.' Sometimes the children need math to bring a plan to fruition." This year's Kindergarten group decided to plan an egg hunt for Ee days. One child remembered the plan from last year and suggested I bring 36 eggs again. In this way they worked backwards to figure out how many eggs each child could find to make it fair. I filled half the eggs with items I had at my house. How many eggs still needed filled? How many could each Kindergartner fill to make it come out even? After the final 18 eggs were filled by Kindergarten made surprises, the children received their instructions for finding their four eggs, so that each person would find a fair amount of the fillings--one egg should be two colors, one egg should be yellow, and two eggs should be any other solid colors. This was a lot of categorizing, counting, and keeping track! They did it, but one solid colored egg (not yellow) remained elusive--either that or I miscounted to begin with we decided. No matter, one of the previously found eggs was filled again and re-hidden, so that everyone had their fair share. Though there have only been a few egg hunts planned in the 18 years I've been with Kindergarten, it has periodically happened over our history here at Antioch School. The Kindergarten goals math section concludes with this story of a Kindergarten long ago. "On a particularly in-and-out spring day we sat in a circle on the rug to plan an egg hunt. The kids decided to count to see if everyone was there. Counting in a circle was just too funny and soon we had 109 Kindergartners in the room. 'We couldn’t stop,' one child said. 'Numbers are really fun!'"
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