Kindergarten boys "learn how to learn." They learn math concepts and language arts skills, discover foreign languages, plant gardens, wonder, paint self-portraits, laugh, play ball, create, make friends, sing and dance, write stories, explore books, run, share ideas, climb, use computers, conduct experiments, imagine, take risks, count, treasure the environment, and develop character.

In Kindergarten, your son will learn:

Language Arts

Kindergarten boys will focus on:

  • Listening and speaking skills
  • Alphabet letter recognition
  • Handwriting
  • Phonological and Phonemic Awareness based on Project Read
  • Personal Journal Writing
  • “Just Right” leveled guided reading books
  • Author studies- Mo Willems, Lio Lionni, Eric Carle, Robert McCloskey, Kevin Henkes


The Kindergarten year emphasizes developing strong number sense, understanding patterns and relationships, and practicing flexible thinking when solving problems.


Kindergarten boys explore their five senses and learn about the health of their bodies. They look at trees, seeds, and plants in earth science and explore forces and interactions with magnets in physical science. The boys end the year with a unit on mechanics and looking at basic cause and effect as they explore cars, racing, and the “Kindy 500.”


The philosophy and work of Zoltan Kodaly (1882-1967), Hungarian composer and music educator, provide the foundation for the lower school vocal program. The boys develop musical skill in pitch, rhythm, form, and harmony and learn a large repertoire of songs with an emphasis on American folk songs. They grow in competency as choral music performers and music readers, and they listen to classical and folk music from around the world. Folk dancing and children’s musical games are an important component of the lower school program.  Twice a year, all students highlight their performance skills in concerts that include singing, dancing, and instrumental playing.  In addition to their own personal skills and performance, all students are exposed yearly to a concert with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.

The music curriculum in the kindergarten consists of songs, games, and dances to aid in the development of pitch, rhythm, and musical expression. Listening skills are enhanced by singing echo songs and repeat clapping. The boys are introduced to the musical “opposites” of tempo (fast/slow), dynamics (loud/soft), pitch (high/low), and rhythm (long/short). Students are also exposed to different styles of music and the families of instruments: brass, woodwinds, percussion, and strings.


The art program encourages the student to express himself creatively and explore the world from an artist’s vantage point. The lower school art program aims to foster the creative growth of each individual student while exposing him to a wide range of art styles and forms. Through engaging and fun instruction our students are exposed to many aspects of art.  Students learn to use art vocabulary, as well as respond to and  appreciate art. The art program Includes drawing, painting, collage, constructing, printmaking, and ceramics.

The Kindergarten art program explores a range of modern artists in addition to traditionally well-known artists, such as celebrated American painter Jackson Pollock, Russian abstract artist Wassily Kandinsky, and glass sculptor Dale Chihuly. Projects including three-dimensional penguin sculptures, large scale figures in motion, sculpture flower reliefs, pinch pots, and watercolor portraits.

Physical Education

The lower school physical education curriculum includes physical education, aquatics, and athletics. Aquatics instruction starts in the Prep-One year and continues through Fifth Grade. Kindergarten through Fifth Grade receive a spiraling program of individual and group experiences. Sportsmanship, cooperation, and skill development are given high priority in all elementary grades. Specific traits of the Gilman Five are reinforced such as humility, respect, and excellence.

Kindergarten physical education classes meet eight days out of 10 for 30-minute sessions. Individual skill development and cooperative interaction are the main emphasis of the physical education program. The students explore and refine basic movement patterns and are exposed to exploratory and discovery experiences involving body awareness, spatial orientation, basic body actions, eye-hand and eye-foot coordination, and rhythmic movement.



French and Spanish

Kindergarten boys are given exposure to both French and Spanish through activities that develop listening comprehension and conversational skills in classes that meet once during the 10-day cycle. The boys will continue with either French or Spanish depending on whether they enter Prep-One or First Grade the following year.


With over 18,000 books, and access to multiple databases and digital content the lower school library, also known as the William Passano Library, offers the boys a rich, global collection of contemporary materials to explore. Students enjoy the library daily, as a space to research and for reading. Weekly classes with the librarian allows the boys to delve into research, explore what makes an award winning story or illustration, and learn about genres that may expand their reading experiences. Additionally, the librarian collaborates with the classroom teachers to support and enrich studies covered throughout the academic year. Building curious, confident, and avid readers who love reading is the goal of the library program.

In weekly classes with the librarian, Kindergarten boys explore books for building their reading skills and discover the scope of an author’s work through in-depth studies of writers. To support and enhance literacy skills, the students study sight words that are found in their books and shared conversations.

Special Events

A number of special events highlight the Kindergarten experience, including:

  • A Spring Tea Party
  • Trees in Winter Lesson at Irvine Nature Center
  • Kindy-500
  • Penguin Parade
  • Grade Three Big Buddies
Penguin Parade
Penguin Parade
Penguin Parade
Penguin Parade
Penguin Parade
Tea Party
Tea Party
Tea Party
Tea Party
Student-Teacher Ratio  
Kindergarten 7-9:1
Prep-One 7-9:1
First 15-17:1
Second 15-17:1
Third 15-17:1
Fourth 15-17:1
Fifth 15-17:1