The next step: Transitional kindergarten

The step between Pre-K and Kindergarten can be a big one. When children aren’t quite ready, or aren’t old enough to enroll in their local kindergarten program, KinderCare Education’s Transitional Kindergarten program fills the gap without requiring children to repeat Pre-K – and makes sure children have all the skills they need to move on the following year. In 550 KinderCare centers across the country, transitional kindergarten teachers help children develop their critical-thinking skills, decision-making skills, communication skills, and more. Using Pre-K as a foundation, transitional kindergarten turns learning up a notch. The star teachers profiled below are paving the way for this exciting program.

ScavoneBrie Scavone
Lombard KinderCare
Lombard, Illinois

Scavone’s class is small but mighty. Each week the visit the public library, where the librarian has books and games picked out to help bring the curriculum to life. Parents get involved too; Scavone invites parents into the classroom to share their expertise or donate materials for the class’s long-term projects, like shoe boxes for animal habitat dioramas. After doing research about their favorite animals from books at the library, Scavone’s students create habitat dioramas with fun craft materials like moss, foam, and flowers. With everyone involved, Scavone’s project-based classroom is the perfect place to learn and prepare for kindergarten.

AlvarezJoanne Alvarez
Stanford Ranch KinderCare
Rocklin, California

When Alvarez noticed her student Hughes was having trouble focusing in her transitional kindergarten class, she worked with his parents to set up strategies in the classroom and at home to help him get back on track. To ensure their hard work would pay off next year in kindergarten, Alvarez accompanied Hughes’s parents to a conference with his future teacher to make sure Hughes would be confident making the transition, and to go over the skills he’d been building all year in her class. A year later, Hughes was a focused and enthusiastic learner at the the top of his kindergarten class.

Larissa Pomper

Coolidge Highway KinderCare
Troy, Michigan

Pomper’s favorite part about teaching transitional kindergarten is seeing how much fun her students have while they learn and develop. At the beginning of each unit, her students work together to brainstorm what they want to know more about; then they come up with a project to bring their questions to life. Along the way, they document their learning by writing and drawing in their project journals. The independence and confidence they gain through directing the classroom is what makes transitional kindergarten stand out from pre-k, according to Pomper. “They need to figure things out for themselves and make decisions,” she said. “They take pride and ownership of the work they do – and they always want to learn more!”

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