Transitional kindergarten (TK) is a student’s first and most formative introduction to navigating routines and cultivating autonomy. We, as parents and caretakers, may have fuzzy memories from this time, and a lot has changed since we were little ones experiencing the thrills of transitioning to a “big kid school” for the first time. To bring you up to speed, we followed our TK classes, led by an expert team of Early Education Teachers, to give a look into a day in the life of a 2022 BASIS Independent Fremont TK student.
8:45 AM: School is starting! Time to line up with our classmates. When we get inside the classroom, we get organized for the day and check our Communication Journals for notes from home. We are ready for a fun day of learning!
Starting in TK, students learn to maintain organizational systems, daily assignment tracking, and practice note-taking. Mastering these skills early helps students to thrive when challenged with a more rigorous curriculum and workload in later grades.
9:00 AM: Time for Morning Meeting! We settle in on the rug to talk about our evenings, what we did with our families, and any special dreams we had. We go over the days of the week, discuss the weather, and practice our rote counting. Then we stand up and get some of our wiggles out!
One of our favorite new traditions is Morning Meeting, developed as a happy byproduct of distance learning. Our teachers realized how pivotal it is to have dedicated time to connect with students as they start their day, to share about their lives and help prime them for the day ahead. In addition to reviewing schedules and organizing materials or assignments for upcoming lessons, our teachers enjoy incorporating brain teasers, songs, math riddles, and physical exercises into their Morning Meetings.
9:10 AM: We are having so much fun in Math Discovery! It is hard not to giggle and cheer on your classmates when Ms. John is so entertaining. We are identifying shapes and numbers and creating AB patterns together!
In core subject areas like math, our students engage with material one grade level ahead or more. Our students love a challenge and often say math is one of their favorite classes of the day. Lessons focus on mastering number recognition and writing, simple addition and subtraction, pattern building, and classifications of shapes. After laying this foundation, students are introduced to more complex concepts like fractions, word problems, and more.
9:40 AM: WE LOVE RECESS!!!!!!!!!!!!….And our yummy snacks! Now we are ready to focus and have the energy to keep learning!
10:05 AM: Back at work. After our Language and Literacy lessons, we practice penmanship and recognizing letters and words. We are getting better and better at our writing every day!
Storytime, syllable clapping, phonics practice, penmanship, word decoding, and rhythm practice are just a few of our favorite activities during Language and Literacy. With practice, our students move on to comparing and contrasting elements in stories and using context clues to decode unfamiliar words and ideas.
10:35 AM: During Enrichment, we get to pair up with our classmates to practice our sight words. Ms. Priti and Ms. John let us come up to the board and match letters to the word they belong with. We all want to go up first, but we practice being patient and have fun clapping for our classmates!
Enrichment provides our co-teaching teams an hour out of the day to structure the curricular focus and activities based on the students’ current needs. If the students are struggling with a particular math concept or reading skill or would benefit from a more advanced lesson, they have the freedom to dedicate their Enrichment period to a related activity.
“Today, we focused on letter recognition. Some days, our hard-working Bumblebees just need a few extra minutes to get out their energy on the playground! It is so beneficial to pivot based on what we are observing.” – Ms. Priti
11:40 AM: Recess and lunchtime! We are ready to get up, get moving, and get out our energy on the playground! When we get back to our classroom, we settle down with our tasty lunches
12:10 PM: Next up is our first Specials class! In TK Oxygen, we are practicing Mandarin with Ms. Hong. Next door in TK Uranium, Ms. Chuang is here to teach us about musical notes and playing instruments!
Every day, our TK students are visited by their Subject Expert Teachers for two 30-minute “Specials” classes. Specials subjects include Mandarin, engineering, art, music, and drama. Breaking these lessons into two sessions throughout the week helps our youngest learners to focus on their lessons and comprehend the material more proficiently.
12:40 PM: In our next Specials class, Teacher Danae is here to show us how to paint landscapes! In the Uranium class, Ms. Chuang is switching gears, and now we are acting scenes out for Drama.
1:10 PM: Ms. Sud and Ms. Joshi prepared a very special experiment for our World Discovery and Civics class! We are learning about physical similarities and differences. Just like the eggs in our experiment, we may look different on the outside, but we are all the same inside!
“One of the best parts of teaching TK is guiding lessons in World Discovery and Civics. It is so gratifying to introduce students to concepts like community helpers, the similarities and differences of humans, the way our world works around us, how to voice an opinion, or even better, respect another’s. When you have a lesson like today’s, conducting a simple scientific experiment, and you see those little faces light up with understanding – not just of a scientific idea, but how to shape a better world – it’s magic.” – Ms. Joshi
2:30 PM: After a snack break, it’s time to move and shake with Coach Darrell!
Each day, our TK students have 30 minutes of P.E. time to burn off their extra energy. After stretches and strength-building exercises, Coach Darrell gets the class moving with games that incorporate cardiovascular training. Sharks and minnows, fort dodgeball, and capture the flag are a few crowd favorites.
“Depending on their unit of study, we may work on skills for team sports like basketball and kickball. These units are always a great opportunity for us to talk about teamwork, sportsmanship, and turn-taking!” – Coach Darrell
3:05 PM: Our last class of the day is Afternoon Meeting! After we write down our reminders in our Communication Journals, we have show-and-tell AND are celebrating our classmate’s birthday! Oh, boy!
Similar to Morning Meeting, Afternoon Meeting provides students and teachers an opportunity to touch base on their day together. During Afternoon Meetings, students fill in their Communication Journals with details on assignments they are tracking, upcoming events, important reminders, or notes for their caretakers. After the business of their day is done, teachers can focus on fun activities, like show-and-tell, story time, scavenger hunts, or birthday celebrations!
3:40 PM: Time to say goodbye. See you Monday, Bumblebees!
After collecting items from cubbies, they are off! Those who are not heading to our onsite afterschool care, sports teams, or club meetings head to the front of the school. Sometimes the last few minutes waiting with friends at the pick-up line are the sweetest moments of the day.
When a TK student enters BASIS Independent Fremont on their first day, they may notice a sea of new faces, an intriguing bulletin display featuring funny-looking Greek gods, classrooms with unfamiliar equipment, and students strumming instruments they have never seen in real life before. What they don’t see is the team of world-class educators that will guide them over the next seven years, designing and conducting their first lab experiment, glimpses into future ukulele concerts with their classmates, their introduction to reading and writing Latin, and subsequent obsession with Percy Jackson. By encouraging our Bumblebees to fan their curiosity, explore and get their hands dirty, voice their thoughts and opinions, and pursue knowledge with unrestrained joy, students at BASIS Independent Fremont have the foundation and support to achieve the incredible.
BASIS Independent Fremont is a grades TK-12 private school based in Fremont, California, providing students an internationally benchmarked liberal arts and sciences curriculum. Considering joining the BASIS Independent Fremont community? Join our interest list by clicking here to receive admissions updates for Fall 2022.