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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 has sponsored the Kindergarten Curriculum Project for the past two years. Plans are now underway for the spring 2018 cohort. So far fifty-seven kindergarten classrooms across twelve school districts have been trained in the interdisciplinary kindergarten curriculum, developed by the Boston Public Schools (BPS).

About the Curriculum Project

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. Kindergartners engage in critical thinking and creativity, integrate concepts, and practice new skills independently and with peers.” 

Integral to the effective implementation of centers includes two specific whole group components. The first is Introduction to Centers, a brief but targeted opening in which new activities are described. The second component is Thinking and Feedback which occurs at the conclusion of the centers. Thinking and Feedback is a protocol in which one student or a group of students present something they produced during center time. Peers ask questions and provide feedback, helping to build thoughtful reflection and a “culture of feedback” within the classroom. The Thinking and Feedback protocol requires students to actively engage in the following steps: looking, noticing, listening, wondering, and finally inspiring and suggesting. 

The BPS curriculum is comprised of four units, all of which include social studies and science content: 1) Our Community, 2) Animals and Habitats, 3) Construction, and 4) Our Earth. Built within the curriculum is an opportunity each week for students to focus on high-quality fiction or non-fiction text tied to the theme of the unit. Teachers conduct multiple read-alouds with each text throughout the week, each time with a specific purpose for instruction. In addition, a key feature of the curriculum is daily story-telling/story-acting time inspired by Vivian Paley.

Beyond the curriculum’s center activities, read-alouds, and story-telling/story acting, the students receive direct, explicit, and systematic instruction on foundational literacy skills using BPS’ Working on Words or utilizing a district’s current foundational skills program, along with a specified block of time devoted to writing instruction. 

Access the Curriculum

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

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