At Sweetwater Episcopal Academy, we’re dedicated to making sure each day is new and exciting for our students. We create a nurturing environment filled with art, technology, nature, community, and the opportunity for spiritual growth.
There are many things all of our students get to do every day, but some are specific to certain age groups. If you’re curious about what a day in the life of a K4 and kindergartener looks like, here’s an inside look:
Starting the Day at Home Base
All of our students, including K4 and Kindergarten, begin each morning in their designated homeroom classes, where they are welcomed with school announcements, the Pledge of Allegiance, morning prayer and class meetings. It is a safe space for anyone who wishes to share a prayer intention with peers, as well as a chance to set the tone and social expectations for the day, rooted in kindness and empathy.
Next Stop: Academics
All of our academic programs are designed to make school fun and interactive for every age. K4 and Kindergarten classes allow teachers the special privilege of encouraging young minds to fall in love with learning and the infinite new tasks accomplished each day while gaining knowledge and confidence.
We set high expectations for students as they work through our accelerated academics at Sweetwater Episcopal Academy. However, when students arrive in K4 or Kindergarten, we believe it is important to recognize that each student comes in with different ability levels.
Every K4 and Kindergarten class at Sweetwater Episcopal Academy has two teachers: a lead teacher and an assistant teacher. This setup allows our lead teacher to provide small group instruction at your child’s ability level, tailored to their strengths and areas for growth. In K4, students rotate between different centers in Reading and Math that involve working with the lead teacher, working with the assistant teacher, and working at two independent centers. In Kindergarten, when students are not at the teacher table, they are able to practice previously taught skills in fun engaging centers set up around the classroom. The full-time teaching assistant circulates the classroom during center times, providing individualized instruction that ensures no child is forced to keep moving without mastering the information needed to progress to the next level.
At the end of the year, K4 students are proficient in writing their uppercase letters, lowercase letters and name. By the end of the year, Kindergarten students are able to write at least three to five sentences completely on their own. They are able to work on sequencing, not simply copying things off the board. At this stage, they are prepared to take the steps necessary to become independent writers.
Recess for the Restless
Let’s not fool ourselves—children this age are fidgety. It’s in their nature. No matter how mentally or emotionally stimulating a class may be, K4 and Kindergarten students need to be physically active. Every day. That’s why they have their own playground that is well utilized on a daily basis.
Additionally, our K4 and Kindergarteners have their own garden where they learn to tend and plant flowers. K4 students watch caterpillars transform into butterflies, and Kindergarteners even grow their own vegetables and herbs (which they get to use as ingredients for their pizza party)!
Positive Discipline with 5 Stages
In K4 and kindergarten, we do grouping and regrouping. Everyone has their individual strengths and weaknesses, so we group and regroup students to give them a chance to discover what they excel at.
And with that comes our five stages of positive discipline:
- Purple = “Today, I exhibited supernova behavior!”
- Blue = “Today, I exhibited shining-star behavior.”
- Green = “I’m ready to learn.”
- Yellow = “I need to make a change in the way I am acting.”
- Red = “I will make a better choice next time.”
At the start of the day, everyone begins on green. If they have a great day, they stay on green, but if they try extra hard, they are promoted to blue or purple. In K4, students earn treasure box rewards on blue and purple days. Kindergarten students receive coins for the positive colors (one for green, two for blue and three for purple). This way, they are encouraged to behave well in class while also learning about saving their coins to redeem something from the treasure box later on.
For our educators, there are many reasons to love teaching at Sweetwater. Learn more about why they find such joy in their jobs by reading Inside SEA: Why I Love Being a K4 Teacher. Or, for more information about the day-to-day life of our students, check out our blog: A Day in the Life at Sweetwater.