# Kindergarten - 2nd Grade Overview

**The Pennsylvania Department of Education provides the following explanation to inform families of appropriate expectations for children. An explanation of each component of the classroom learning environment is explained as guidance to assist learning at home.**

**Reading Focus**

Reading involves the use of pictures, symbols, and text to gain information and derive meaning, and writing is used for a variety of purposes. Children should be exposed to a variety of books to acquire new information and for personal fulfillment. Children apply a wide range of strategies to comprehend, interpret, evaluate, and appreciate text. Children draw meaning from their prior knowledge and experience, their interactions with others, their knowledge of word meaning, and their word identification strategies. Children vary their use of the spoken and written language to communicate effectively with others. One of the first building blocks of reading is phonemic awareness; this is one of the best predictors of early reading achievement. Children should be developing this awareness in the early years by listening to rhyming stories and songs and engaging in word play activities.

Components:

- Emerging reading involves the use of pictures, symbols, and text to gain information and derive meaning.
- How do I acquire and practice pre-reading skills?

- Effective readers use appropriate strategies to construct meaning. Critical thinkers actively and skillfully interpret, analyze, evaluate, and synthesize information. An expanded vocabulary enhances one’s ability to express ideas and information.
- What is the text really about?
- How does interaction with the text promote thinking and response?
- Why learn new words?
- What strategies and resources does the learner use to figure out unknown vocabulary?

- Audience and purpose influence a writer’s choice of organizational pattern, language, and literary techniques. Effective research requires the use of varied resources to gain or expand knowledge.
- What makes clear and effective writing?
- Why do writers write?
- Who is the audience?
- What will work best for the audience?
- Where can one find information to answer questions?

- Active listeners make meaning from what they hear by questioning, reflecting, responding, and evaluating. Effective speakers prepare and communicate messages to address the audience and purpose.
- What do good listeners do?
- How do active listeners make meaning?
- How do speakers effectively communicate a message?

**Math Focus**

To fully understand math, children must be able to connect mathematical concepts to real-world situations and across disciplines. Math skills are developed and based on children’s experiences with their environment, their interactions with adults and other children, and their daily observations. Throughout the early years of life, children notice and discover mathematical dimensions of their world. They compare quantities, find patterns, problem-solve, communicate, and confront real problems such as balancing a tall block building or angling a ramp to roll a ball down. Mathematics helps children make sense of their world and helps them construct a solid foundation for future success. Mathematical thinking is foundational and important to academic success in all subjects. All children are capable of developing a strong knowledge of mathematics in their earliest years.

Components:

- Mathematical relationships among numbers can be represented, compared, and communicated. Numeral quantities, calculations, and measurements can be estimated or analyzed by using appropriate strategies and tools. Mathematical relationships can be represented as expressions, equations, and inequalities in mathematical situations. Patterns exhibit relationships that can be extended, described, and generalized.
- How is mathematics used to quantify, compare, represent, and model numbers?
- How can mathematics support effective communication?
- How are relationships represented mathematically?
- How can expressions, equations, and inequalities be used to quantify, solve, model, and/or analyze mathematical situations?
- What does it mean to estimate or analyze numerical quantities?
- When is it is appropriate to estimate versus calculate?
- What makes a tool and/or strategy appropriate for a given task?
- How can patterns be used to describe relationships in mathematical situations?
- How can recognizing repetition or regularity assist in solving problems more efficiently?

- Patterns exhibit relationships that can be extended, described, and generalized. Geometric relationships can be described, analyzed, and classified based on spatial reasoning and/or visualization.
- How can patterns be used to describe relationships in mathematical situations?
- How can recognizing repetition or regularity assist in solving problems more efficiently?
- How are spatial relationships, including shape and dimension, used to draw, construct, model, and represent real situations or solve problems?
- How can the application of the attributes of geometric shapes support mathematical reasoning and problem solving?
- How can geometric properties and theorems be used to describe, model, and analyze situations?

- Numerical quantities, calculations, and measurements can be estimated or analyzed by using appropriate strategies and tools. Measurement attributes can be quantified, and estimated using customary and non-customary units of measure. Data can be modeled and used to make inferences. Mathematical relations and functions can be molded through multiple representations and analyzed to raise and answer questions.
- What does it mean to estimate or analyze numerical quantities?
- When is it appropriate to estimate versus calculate?
- What makes a tool and/or strategy appropriate for a given task?
- Why does “what” we measure influence “how” we measure?
- In what ways are the mathematical attributes of objects or processes measured, calculated, and/or interpreted?
- How precise do measurements and calculations need to be?
- How does the type of data influence the choice of display?
- How can probability and data analysis be used to make predictions?
- How can data be organized and represented to provide insight into the relationship between qualities?

** **

** **

** **

** **

**Science Focus**

Children are born with natural curiosity and the innate science and math skills to interpret and respond to the world. They explore, experiment, invent, design and test solutions, and form ideas about how the world works. Students who are given opportunities to conduct experiments, gather data, and make conclusions are developing skills that support discovery about the natural world and scientific inquiry. Adults support science in play by providing an engaging environment and facilitating appropriately. Scientific play is enhanced with natural objects. High-quality early learning environments provide students with the structure in which to build upon their natural desire to explore, build, and question. Adults must acknowledge and support students in extending their curiosity through the scientific process of inquiry, observing, asking questions, forming hypothesis, investigating, gathering data, drawing conclusions, and building ideas that lead to new questions. Adults facilitate scientific inquiry when classrooms or learning environments are structured to promote curiosity. One role of the adult during this active exploration is to scaffold students’ thinking by asking open-ended questions. Open-ended questions encourage problem-solving and support students’ learning of the world around them. When learning environments are structured to promote curiosity, students use strategies that are based on scientific inquiry.

Components:

- Living things have unique characteristics which differ from nonliving things. The characteristics of living things can be observed and studied.
- In what ways do living and nonliving things differ?
- What are similarities, differences, and patterns of living things?

- Physical properties help us to understand the world.
- What are physical properties of objects?
- How are physical properties of objects discovered?
- What effect does energy have on the physical properties of objects?

- The earth, which is part of a larger solar system, consists of structures, processes, and cycles which affect its inhabitants.
- What structures, processes, and cycles make up the earth?
- How do the various structures, processes, and cycles affect the earth’s inhabitants?
- How do we know the earth is part of a larger solar system?

- People live in an environment. People share the environment with other living things. People are impacted and have impact on the environment.
- How can I describe my immediate environment?
- In what ways can I use the environment?
- How does what I do (positive or negative) affect my environment?

** **

** **

**Social Studies Focus**

** **

The foundation of social studies, economics, history, and the workings of government begin with children’s personal experiences and their initial understanding of themselves in relation to their families, homes, and schools. Gradually, students expand their under- standing to include communities and the larger world. As their perception grows, they further expand their scope to understand how systems work together. Adults facilitate children’s social studies skill development by helping them engage in active investigations that build knowledge and understanding.

Components:

- Learning to be a good citizen helps one contribute to society in a meaningful way.
- What rules and consequences are important?
- Can I identify some American symbols?

- Money can be used to purchase goods and services, or can be saved. People make choices about how to spend money based on different influences.
- How can I use money?
- What influences the choices I make about spending what I have earned?

- Location can be represented using a variety of tools.
- What tools help me to understand the location of places and things?
- How can I represent the location of places and things?

- Past experiences and ideas help us make sense of the world.
- In what ways can events be sequenced?
- How do I use past experiences and events to understand the present?

**Learn at Home, Scholastic Magazine**

Pennsylvania Department of Education. (2016). *Pennsylvania learning standards for early childhood. *Retrieved from http://pdesas.org