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George H. Conley Elementary School

450 Poplar Street

Roslindale, Massachusetts 02131

Natalie Thomas' Kindergarten Home Page

Kindergarten Curriculum
Classroom Themes
Parents as Partners
Make Way For Ducklings Project
Places Jake Visited
Links to Websites
Make Way For Ducklings Tour
Pioneer Grant
Lighthouse Grant
Technology Budget



Welcome to the George H. Conley School Kindergarten Class, Room 103 We are located at 450 Poplar Street, Roslindale, Massachusetts Roslindale is a neighborhood of Boston. We are part of the Boston Public Schools. Natalie Thomas is our teacher. She has been teaching at this school for 15 years. The principal is Mrs. Edna Cason. She has been at our school for 2 years.Our class is very proud of the Make Way For Ducklings Traveling Buddy Backpack Project we started this year.

Our class mascot is Jake, the Mallard beanie baby. He is the father in the book, "Make Way For Ducklings." The story takes place in Boston. If you travel to Boston, you may visit the 8 ducklings at the Boston Public Garden.

I hear and I forget

I see and I remember

I do and I understand

Kindergarten Curriculum:Click to top


A curriculum for young children includes every experience, activity and material they encounter in the classroom. Young children learn important skills from classroom routines, interacting with peers, discipline strategiesand manipulating materials. This curriculum provides teachers with a framework for creating a learning environment that assumes constant, often structured but sometimes incidental learning.

Teaching kindergarten children means addressing their social, emotional, physical,intellectual needs as well as understanding and valuing children's connections to family, community, culture, and other out-of-school experiences. Young children are unable to compartmentalize learning into headings such as math, science, language and social studies. They learn more easily and efficiently when experiences are integrated and related to their real lives. Therefore a calendar discussion includes weather changes (science), new vocabulary - day, month, Monday (language), how many days until x (math), and the date of birthday celebrations and important events (family and community information).

Kindergarten children come to school eager to learn new things. They are like sponges ready to soak up life's experiences. But all too frequently in classrooms everywhere children are turned off and shut down within a few weeks of entering the school system. Often, educators fail to greet these eager, motivated people. They present them with inappropriate, meaningless tasks that are time-fillers and thought-killers. They expect children to sit quietly and passively for long periods during which time children become frustrated, tired, bored and confused. Our kindergarten curriculum empowers teachers and children to make choices. Teachers are responsible for learning about each child through a wide variety of observation and assessment tools, in order to plan appropriate curriculum. The recent influx of mandated, test-oriented curricula often has converted learning to a series of unrelated rote exercises. Teachers are viewed as key organizers of curriculum. It enables teachers to build curriculum units based on the needs and interests of class participants. There is an emphasis on self-initiated learning, problem-solving, and thinking skills. A child's positive concept of self as a learner, and the child's motivation, social competence, and constructive attitude toward school are given high priority.

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Classroom Themes

First Days of School All About Me Family Friendship
Fall Halloween Native Americans Pilgrims
Food Thanksgiving Teddy Bears December Holidays
Winter Martin Luther King Jr Space Polar Regions
Groundhog Day Community Valentine's Day President's Day
Air and Wind Farm Plants and Seeds Spring
St Patrick's Day Easter Transportation May Day
Mother's Day Circus Zoo Animals Rain Forest
Sea Life Dinosaurs Father's Day Summer
End of Year Celebration      

Choosing A Theme To Study:

There are no hard and fast rules that indicates themes of study during the kindergarten years. Children will learn as much and as well by focusing on a "Transportation" theme as from a theme focusing on "Farm animals" if each theme meets the following criteria.

  1. The theme must be relevant, meaningful and accessible to the interest and needs of the children. Children must have many opportunities to gather first hand (direct) information about the subject. In an urban setting "transportation" would be a more appropriate theme than "farm animals"; unless the teachers were prepared to make field trips to a farm and/or bring animals into the classroom.
  2. The theme content must be presented in a developmentally appropriate manner. Introducing the working of a diesel engine as part of transportation theme would be inappropriate for children who must experience concrete examples in order to understand a concept. However, children can discuss why all forms of transportation need an energy source (animal, water, wind, or electrical power)in order to move.
  3. The theme must be valid for the children. Children must be able to recognize and apply the concepts, skills and attitudes to their lives. It should be easy for children to talk about the theme and use their new skills both in school and out of school.
  4. The theme must support and encourage the development of specific skills
  5. The subject matter must easily be integrated into almost all of the activity/content areas.
  6. The theme must be broad and complex enough to offer levels of knowledge and skill development, and encourage the use of a variety of resources such as books, materials, people, films and so forth.
  7. Each theme selected at the kindergarten level should encourage children to be aware of cultural diversity, interdependence between people, and cooperative living.


Parents as Partners:click to top

Long before children enter kindergarten, their parents are their first teachers. They help their children with language development. They show them how to dress themselves and become independent. In order for children to experience success in the kindergarten program, parents must continue to be actively involved in their children's learning. Parents need many different opportunities to share with the teacher valuable information about their children, get involved in their child's classroom, and understand how they can support their child's school experience.


Research demonstrates that home and school cooperation has very positiveeffects on children's attitudes toward school. If parents are enthusiastic about their child's school life, the child will become enthusiastic. Suggested below are guidelines for parents to help their young child feel good about himself or herself and function well in both home and school environments. When children feel good about themselves and what they do, they experience success. These guidelines might be summarized in a letter to parents and/or discussed during registration and screening days.


Helping Parents Become Involved With Their Child's School Life

Strategies: Articulating Principles and Goals of Curriculum


  1. Pamphlet handed out at registration and/or screening describing your program and important school information
  2. Letters
  3. Orientation for parents and children to introduce the K program and curriculum before school starts.
  4. Home visits
  5. Phone conferences
  6. Parent conferences
  7. Workshops
  8. Open House in the Classroom
  9. Classroom visits
  10. Teacher comments on work done in school
  11. Bulletin board displays of information relevant to the parents' questions and concerns.
  12. Bulletin boards that relate to children's school work when possible.

Special Roles For Parents in the Classroom:

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