HomeNewsEvents

Rhode Island Kindergarten Curriculum Project

This innovative curriculum supports children in reaching Common Core State Standards (CCSS) by taking advantage of how young children learn best. 

The Rhode Island Department of Education sponsored a Kindergarten Curriculum Pilot Project during the 2016-2017 school year. Twenty-one kindergarten classrooms across seven school districts implemented an interdisciplinary kindergarten curriculum, developed by the Boston Public Schools (BPS).  This innovative curriculum supports children in reaching Common Core State Standards (CCSS) by taking advantage of how young children learn best.  The grant was funded through Rhode Island’s Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge grant.

The Boston Public Schools curriculum revolves around 90-minute interdisciplinary activity centers. As the BPS Early Childhood Department conceives of them, the centers are designed such that, “children learn through play, projects, peer interaction and hands-on materials. Kindergarteners engage in critical thinking and creativity, integrate concepts, and practice new skills independently and with peers.”

Integral to the effective implementation of centers is a brief but targeted Introduction to Centers in which new activities are described as well as a whole-group Thinking and Feedback session at the end of the centers activity. During Thinking and Feedback, the students follow a protocol as 1-2 students present something they created during center time and their classmates ask questions and provide feedback, building a “culture of feedback” within the classroom. In the protocol, students’ use the following steps: looking, noticing, listening, wondering, and finally, inspiring and suggesting.

The curriculum is comprised of four units, all of which include social studies and science content: Our Community, Animals and Habitats, Construction, and Our Earth. Each week, students focus on a high-quality fiction or non-fiction text that is tied to the unit theme. Teachers conduct multiple read-alouds with each text throughout the week, each with a different purpose.

There is time outside the 90-minute centers block for work on foundational literacy skills using BPS’ Working on Words or a commercial program currently in place within a district. In addition, a key feature of the curriculum is daily story-telling/story-acting time inspired by Vivian Paley.

The BPS kindergarten integrated curriculum which is called Focus on K2 is available at no cost. For further information, view the video about Focus on K2 and read the BPS Guiding/Introductory curriculum document.

GOVERNOR'S KINDERGARTEN CHALLENGE 2017