At University School of Milwaukee, kindergarten is a transitional year, when students move up from the Preschool grades and more focus in placed on academic preparation, while still valuing the very important role of learning through play in the student experience. More emphasis is placed on free choice for children as they work on their problem-solving skills through peer interactions.
Our kindergarten teachers and assistant teachers work with and observe their students throughout the entire school day, working hard to meet children where they are in their educational journeys as they continue to grow and develop. Kindergarteners join their 3rd grade “buddies” for activities and socialization throughout the year, start to learn independence with hallway cubbies outside the classroom, and build confidence through meaningful projects like their end-of-year business creation.
The kindergarten curriculum in USM's Lower School combines core subjects taught by grade-level teachers with many additional classes taught by specialist instructors.
Subject-area outcomes are an important part of how our curriculum is developed and how our students are evaluated. The following lists, broken out by subject area, provide some examples of student outcomes for the end of the kindergarten year.
While kindergarteners have the chance to connect their learning to the outside world through many different field trips and guest speakers each year, the locations and people vary from year to year based on child interest and learning. In recent years, students have traveled to many different types of local farms, enjoyed visits from Johnny Appleseed, visited the Milwaukee County Zoo, hosted guest authors and illustrators, and visited many different types of local businesses as part of their economics unit. The kindergarten Thanksgiving feast is always a highlight each year, as children write and share their works on things they are thankful for. The kindergarten year wraps up with a milestone event, with each kindergarten class researching, staffing, and opening its own business to others in the school and outside guests. The businesses created by these children, which in recent years have included ice cream shops, toy stores, and wellness spas, among many others, are incredible!