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Jr. K allows children an extra year to prepare for Kindergarten

April 27, 2020
By Ms. Keli Eichholtz, Jr. K Teacher

Since young children develop skills at different ages, Christian Academy of Knoxville (CAK) has the option of Jr. Kindergarten. This class allows for an extra year before Kindergarten for its students to practice listening skills, engage in rich language, socialize through pretend play, participate in letter, word, and number games all to lay the foundation for Kindergarten. It encompasses ages 4 and 5. 

I love transforming areas of my preschool classroom into grocery stores, libraries, zoos, bakeries, hospitals, Veterinarian’s offices, Lego museums, and other familiar work environments. It brings me such delight to see my little ones take the props for these centers and immerse themselves to become clerks, librarians, doctors, nurses, veterinarians, curators, and even sick pets or patients!

Our small class sizes allow for effective teaching of the whole group and also to differentiate instruction in small groups. In my preschool classroom, the children have adequate space to immerse themselves in centers and learn through play and exploration.

For our older grades (3rd grade and up), we are a 1:1 iPad school. At the Jr K level, we do introduce technology for learning, but slowly. Technology in my classroom is predominately used in the whole group with myself leading. I integrate learning instructional videos from various educational websites that enrich my curriculum and actively engage my students.

My Jr. Kindergarten students also have the opportunity to attend one special class each day for thirty minutes. These classes include fun topics like Spanish (yes, even this young) and Music! 

Teaching this age level definitely gives me something to smile about each day. Recently, we were gathered together learning the letter c and its sound. I was naming two words at a time, one that began with c and one that did not. They were to tell me the one that did. After we finished this activity, I said does anyone know of any additional "c" words and a little boy shouted out “coronoavirus!” It was so funny (not that the virus is ever funny but this moment took me off guard) and all of them chimed in with what they knew about the virus, which was quite impressive! Little ones really do notice everything around them. 

At CAK, I feel that I am encouraged to teach my children according to their individual needs and at a comfortable pace which allows for them to be prepared for Kindergarten. I recognize that this timeline is not the same for all students. Through observation and assessment, I determine the most effective and enjoyable methods to obtain the learning objectives.

What really sets CAK apart for me has been the wonderful families whom I get to partner with to educate their little one. The common bond that we share is the love of Christ which is the foundation for every conversation regarding the education of their child. The families here hold a special place in my heart and are counted as some of my greatest blessings.

Teaching at a Christian school allows me the ability to share the good news of Jesus Christ with my students! I love to share with my students their need for a Savior so that they can live their lives daily walking in the beautiful freedom in Christ.

Interested in learning more? Reach out to CAK's admission team to schedule a virtual tour, text chat, or video meeting. 

Tags: Jr K, preschool
Posted in CAK Stories