For Early Learners, BASIS Independent Fremont’s Transitional Kindergarten (TK) program offers students the opportunity to foster a love for learning through developmentally appropriate play, music, and hands-on activities that help make high-level material more accessible. We spent a day with our Transitional Kindergarten classes to give you a look into a typical day in our TK program.
8:30 AM – Put on your mask and grab your bag, it’s time for school!
After being escorted by their guardians to our playground blacktop drop-off zone, our students are greeted by Dr. Min, Director of Student Affairs. While ensuring our students’ health and safety with a quick wellness check, Dr. Min, takes the opportunity to touch base with our arriving TK students.
“How are you doing this morning? Did you remember to bring your glasses with you today buddy?”
Looking up at Dr. Min, the smiling student nods and points to the glasses hanging from the lanyard around his neck, glasses that had grown infamous around campus for their propensity to disappear.
A quick squeeze of hand sanitizer and he’s off to join his classmates in the TK area of our cafeteria. A few minutes before class begins our TK Early Learning Experts, Ms. Sud, Ms. Joshi, Ms. John, and Ms. Kotla, arrive to collect their classes. The sight of their approaching teachers is enough to make the students snap to attention and begin organizing themselves into a line.
“Look at these happy faces so early in the morning! Our kiddos are excited to get going!” Ms. Sud’s warm greeting brings out giggles in the group and helps to wake up a few of the sleepier scholars. “It’s hard to believe how quickly they have taken to our daily routines!”
As a class, the group makes their way down the Kinder Hallway, practicing being “quiet coyotes” and walking in an orderly line. After walking into the classroom, the students drop off their bags and jackets in their assigned cubbies and sit at their desks. We are ready to start our day!
8:45 AM – Once the students have settled in it is time to begin Morning Meeting. Let’s start the day off right with songs, dances, and fun community time!
Ms. Kotla explains that “in our classroom, we start our mornings by greeting one another and asking the students about their previous evening at home.” The students talk about dinnertime at home and share their dreams from the previous night. Playing with classmates at recess is a dream that was mentioned more than once!
After sharing, the students continue with their morning routine by introducing their ‘student of the day’ to help lead the class through their activities. Ms. John believes that “giving each student the opportunity to take on a leadership role is not only exciting and encourages engagement, but also builds important social-emotional skills and confidence.” Our student leader guides the class through the Pledge of Allegiance and finds the date on the calendar. Following a review of the days of the week and the months, our students are primed and ready for their day!
9:15 AM - Next up, time for math! Our students transition their focus by gathering around on the mat for a fun matching game. Learning to recognize patterns, shapes, and numbers quickly and confidently will create a foundation of fluency to ease them into more challenging material as they move through the Early Learning Program.
After wrapping up the game it’s back to their desks to practice counting, recognizing, printing numbers, and drawing shapes. Today our students are diligently coloring, counting, and tallying up our favorite colors of teddy bears. Our student of the day excitedly announces to the class, “The winner is red!” Math manipulatives have never been more fun!
After practicing writing numbers for a while longer, our students put their “listening ears” to use waiting for direction on whether their assignment should be taken home or submitted to the teacher. Listening to and following instructions is reiterated throughout the day. Establishing these skills is one of the key focuses of our Early Learning Program.
9:45 AM - Everyone’s favorite...recess! The students are ready to shake out their wiggles, excitedly giggling as they prepare their line and make their way to the playground.
A few students gather around an interesting rock they have found near the garden. They shout out, “We’ve named it Joe!” With that, they take their new friend and run to join another group of students playing “office” nearby.
10:00 AM - The class is all smiles as they learn about phonics and proper penmanship in Language & Literacy. Ms. Joshi coaches them on alphabet recognition and position, the formation of the letters, the sound it makes, and what it sounds like when blended with another sound. Today we are focusing on the letter G. “This group puts the ‘g’ in GREAT!”
Several students proudly show off their work as they practice printing the letter and writing their names legibly. “Read this! That says my name!”
10:30 AM – This group has been working hard and it is time to refuel with a snack! While the students eat, Ms. Joshi treats them to a lovely story.
10:40 AM - In our science lesson, we are learning about identifying parts of the body and their functions.
“Where are our eyes?” The students point to their eyes in unison. “Good! And what do they allow our bodies to do?”
“See the world around us!” they echo together.
Grrrrummmmbbblllleeeee…..the sound of a rumbling stomach reminds the class that it is almost time for lunch!
11:30 AM – Lunch is on! The students make their way outside to the TK lunch area, space out, and prepare their areas.
Ms. Sud reminds them, “We practice being tidy by laying out our placemats and cleaning our hands!” When they finish eating, the students clean up their areas before moving on to recess. After a little practice, our young students learn how to handle these responsibilities independently and develop more autonomy in their daily routines!
“I finished it all!” A student smiles at Coach Ross with surprised delight. Our youngest scholars already understand the importance of a healthy diet when it comes to building energy and strength for their afternoon activities! Running, climbing, playing catch and ball games, and sharing sweet moments with our friends at recess is tiring work after all.
12:15 PM - Ding ding ding! There goes the bell signaling to our students that it is time to line up! In a flash, the students have collected their lunch bags and belongings and are assembling in their lines. Good thing they have been practicing their listening skills. With their wonderful teachers leading the way, the TK students make their way back to class. Follow the leader!
After the excitement of our social playtime, the class takes a few moments to put lunch boxes back in cubbies, wash up, and settle down on the mat for READ! Our TK students love spending this time reading stories and jokes with their Early Learning Teachers. Being transported to fantasy worlds and sharing humor with one another is some of the students’ favorite time of the day!
12:30 PM - Next up, time to explore the world around us! Today our students are learning about community helpers and what it means to be a good citizen! Ms. Joshi guides the students through a book about community helpers and leads a discussion on how to be responsible and serve the community we live in! It’s never too early to start instilling these lifelong values.
1:00 PM - Time to get strong with Coach Ross! Our students are excited to stretch their legs and get their bodies moving!
When we get outside, Coach Ross is there to greet the class. Before heading back inside, Ms. Kotla leaves the class with a small reminder to “use your listening ears to follow Coach Ross’ directions.”
After working their way through stretches and various strength exercises, the class jumps into some fun games that get their blood pumping!
“Playing tag games help students to develop agility, spatial awareness, and quick decision-making skills. They also reinforce integrity and fair play.” Coach Ross explains.
“Wow, I’m so sweaty!” one of the minnows exclaims proudly. Playing Sharks and Minnows together is both a blast and a workout to boot!
We are ready to make our way back inside to rest, rehydrate, and focus on our next activities!
1:30 PM - After collecting their Communication Journals (CJs), notebooks, and pencils, the students line up and make their way to our dedicated engineering lab. There, our Subject Expert Teacher, Ms. Thomas, greets us at the door. “Good afternoon engineers! Who is ready to build today?”
Our TK students are learning about the basics of structures and what it takes to build a sturdy structure. Today, Ms. Thomas is guiding our students through the construction of their very own tower. Our students cannot wait to get hands-on with their subject matter, and more importantly, to get their hands on their building materials!
“We are experimenting with different materials today, such as picks, play dough, spaghetti, and marshmallows to see what works when you are building tall and wide towers.”
Through trial and error, our young engineers persevere in crafting their structures. Learning about the steps of the Engineering Design Process (EDP) - Ask, Imagine, Plan, Create, Experiment, Improve - through fun activities, helps students to build foundational problem-solving skills that will prepare them to face challenges across disciplines, both in and outside of the classroom.
2:30 PM - When we return to our classroom, we drop off our materials and settle back down on the mat for a story! Reading new storybooks every day introduces new words into our students’ ever-expanding vocabularies.
2:45 PM - Snack and recess time! A spontaneous ukulele performance from Coach Andy catches our attention and snares a few of our friends away from the playground! What a treat!
3:10 PM - Last order of business for the day….Afternoon Meeting! After reviewing their day’s activities and getting organized for the week ahead, our students have an opportunity to celebrate their hard work and successes together! Earning rewards, dancing, and playing games - what a fun Friday!
3:30 PM – Our students’ day is nearly over and the teachers begin to help them prepare for dismissal. Students gather items from their cubbies: jackets, lunchboxes, CJs, and maybe some worksheets too. Once the students are all packed up, they line up and head on their last journey of the day to the front of the school together.
While waiting for their guardians, our students sit together and share memories of the day or exciting weekend plans they are looking forward to. Once their name is called, a teacher or administrator escorts the hard-working student to their car and safely on their way. Time to go home!
Ms. John states our objective succinctly and beautifully. “Our goal is to teach our students to be engaged and captivated with music, excitement, laughter, hands-on activities, action-packed lessons, all in a simple way, so our students can be involved learners.”
Early Learners are capable of limitless potentials. Through constant engagement, diverse and hands-on activities, and movement breaks these students are able to maintain focus and achieve remarkable results. Dedicating two Early Learning Experts to each classroom is pivotal in achieving these goals, while also providing the opportunity to work individually with students that would benefit from extra attention. Our Transitional Kindergarten program challenges students with advanced curriculum and content, expanding their understanding and cultivating a lifelong curiosity for knowledge.
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.