Literacy is integrated throughout the instructional day in all curriculum areas. It is formally taught through small group instruction, centers, and whole group activities. Small group instruction allows teachers the opportunity to guide each child's learning in a nurturing academic environment.
In Kindergarten through Second grade, Wesleyan uses the Orton-Gillingham method to teach phonics, spelling, phonemic awareness, and reading. This multi-sensory program includes sequential and cumulative instruction of phonemic awareness, encoding and decoding. It also includes guided reading, independent reading, and conversational writing.
Our kindergarten handwriting program focuses on pencil grip, letter and number formation, as well as strengthening small motor and visual motor skills.
The foundation of our K-4 mathematics program is Math in
Focus, a curriculum focused on problem solving through real-world and hands-on
experiences.Students are taught to
think critically about math by moving through a sequence of concrete
(manipulatives) to pictorial (bar models) to abstract (formulas/algorithms)
learning.To achieve mastery, students
will learn the “why” behind each mathematical concept before learning the
“how”.The ability to apply knowledge to
routine as well as non-routine math problems is an integral part of
demonstrating mastery of math concepts.
In grades 2-4, math classes are departmentalized and taught
according to ability.Through on-going
assessments and the support of a math specialist/resource teacher, teachers are
able to differentiate lessons to meet the needs of each individual
student.Academic support and enrichment
are both part of the daily math experience in the lower school.
At Wesleyan, we believe success in math cannot be achieved
without mastery of math facts, therefore each grade level has its own math fact
mastery expectations. Research shows students who are able to recall math facts
quickly free up working memory that can then be devoted to more difficult
Science and Social Studies topics are taught in thematic units which provide learning activities that are incorporated throughout the day. Information is taught through the use of experiments, field trips, artwork, hands-on projects, and various media resources. Through these activities, each child begins to realize that God has a unique place for them in His world.
The kindergarten program focuses on familiar stories of the Bible. From the stories of Creation, Noah and the Ark, Jonah and the Big Fish, and Jesus' life and His love for us, teachers use The Beginner's Bible to bring these stories to life, and reinforce Biblical principles in an age-appropriate way.
Students also become acquainted with a monthly core virtue which supports and teaches strong character-building. Each core virtue (i.e., friendship, compassion, service), is specifically defined and has a correlating Scripture. Wednesday chapel services are a special part of our students' week, as they promote a healthy understanding of non-denominational Bible study and
praise. Students sing contemporary Christian songs, learn about godly
character traits through Bible stories, see core virtues modeled through relevant skits, and participate in corporate prayer.
Fundamental movement skills such as running, jumping and basic ball handling are introduced in kindergarten, along with safety rules and practice. Students will participate in health classes which promote awareness of all aspects of personal safety.
Spanish is offered to kindergarteners four times a week. Students learn to function comfortably in a purposefully-structured, immersion-style language program beginning the first week of school. Vocabulary is learned through games, songs, and drama. Language retention is reinforced through a variety of highly-interactive activities that appeal to many of the key intelligences.
Kindergarten classes have weekly art instruction where they are introduced to many different mediums and processes. Emphasis is placed on the creative process, art production, and following directions.
Kindergarten students learn to care for materials; manipulate clay; cut, glue, bend, curl, pleat, and fringe paper; and, print and create collages and sculptures. Children learn to create patterns, identify and use light and dark colors, and draw different types of lines.
Children participate in creative movement, imitating and creating rhythmic patterns on instruments, and body percussion. Emphasis is placed on developing steady beat, listening skills, and singing on-pitch through simple music games and songs. The drum circle is vital to all grade levels.
Kindergarten students are introduced to the library in an orientation where instruction is given in check-in and check-out procedures, care of books, use of shelf markers, and the location of various types of books.
Students are taught: the parts of a book; the classification of books as fiction or nonfiction; the function of authors and illustrators; and, book arrangement by either alphabetical or numeric order. Students learn to independently locate and select a book based on personal interests through browsing. Students experience a variety of literary forms and develop listening skills through read-aloud texts.