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Top Nine Benefits of Full-Day Kindergarten

by Nancy Maida, Lead Kindergarten Teacher, Village Green Day School at Lowes Island

Kindergarten is the formal starting point in every young child’s school career. It is the place where critical foundational skills are introduced and practiced. Mastery of these skills plays a key role in the readiness and success of the child as they enter first grade and beyond. In my 16 years of teaching Kindergarten, I have seen that the stronger the foundation, the happier, more confident, the student! The benefits of a full-day program are plentiful and long term. In my opinion, these are the top nine:

  1. More time spent on core areas of reading, writing, and mathematics;
  2. In-depth exploration of skills and concepts presented such as individualized learning centers, science experiments, hands-on mathematic activities and word building with moveable alphabet;
  3. Increased learning activities such as scavenger hunts, nature walks, academic games, movement and music activities, making thematic class books; and strategies such as how to use a number line for mathematic tasks, how to use a letter line to locate and identify letter sounds;
  4. Teachers are better acquainted with students making it easier to identify and address student strengths and challenges;
  5. Development of student stamina, focus, social and self-help skills;
  6. Longer periods of uninterrupted and meaningful class time;
  7. Facilitation of critical, analytical, and problem-solving skills through exploration and application;
  8. Enrichment experiences that require more time than allowed in half-day programs including field trips, class projects, science experiments, art, music, and foreign languages;
  9. Smoother transition to the more structured and longer learning days experienced in first grade.

Now in her 14th year as the lead teacher in Traditional Kindergarten, Mrs. Maida, has molded the Village Green Day School curriculum and class into one of the most unique and respected programs in Northern Virginia. Mrs. Maida holds an undergraduate degree in Elementary Education,N-8, and a Masters Degree in Reading Education, K-12. She has created a Kindergarten program, combining the Core Knowledge Curriculum ideals with the Virginia Standards of Learning, that strives to facilitate and foster a love of learning in a hands-on environment where children are taught to respect themselves, one another, and the world around them.

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