As a parent, deciding if and when your child is ready for the structure and content of a kindergarten classroom can be intimidating. For little learners, a small age difference of a few months can mean a big difference in maturity and capability.
Transitional Kindergarten gives students ages 4-5 developmentally appropriate opportunities to learn and grow, setting them up for a successful kindergarten experience.
The Yew Chung International School TK program provides an intentional, progressive transition from preschool learning to elementary expectations.
The first part of our TK curriculum (August-December) is student-led, teacher-guided through inquiry-based learning activities. Our teachers identify what is currently capturing their students’ attention and then build engaging activities around those interests. For example, if butterflies are of great interest to TK students, their teacher will create lessons around insects, bringing in caterpillars to show growth and metamorphosis, worms and ants to compare body structures, count their legs or spots, and create butterfly-inspired art projects. At the end of each week, parents receive a newsletter summarizing the content covered.
The second part of our TK curriculum (January-June) is more teacher-led and project-based, as students are introduced to kindergarten concepts and a more structured classroom setting. Learning centers are introduced to the daily routine, as centers will be a part of their kindergarten school day. Each center focuses on an activity that incorporates art, language, literacy, math, science, and writing, in both Mandarin and English, which further enhances each student’s bilingual development.
At the TK level, students receive daily instruction from English and Mandarin-speaking teachers, which provides an effective introduction to the bilingual learning experience. Circle and activity times are taught in both Mandarin and English, with additional bilingual instruction woven throughout the day during indoor exploration times. Students are introduced to vocabulary, culture, and simple Mandarin characters. Students do not need to have any previous knowledge of Mandarin before starting Transitional Kindergarten at YCIS.
YCIS’s TK program is housed on our TK-8 campus at 310 Easy Street in Mountain View, California, and students participate in a full school day, from 8:00 a.m. – 3:15 p.m. Monday through Friday. Our TK students observe and interact with our older students regularly and engage with the campus resources.
The TK curriculum focuses on the following:
In addition to academics, TK students are nurtured personally, socially, and emotionally through learning self-regulation, self-confidence, and self-awareness, as well as social skills and healthy relationship building. Communication and language are emphasized through practicing listening skills and paying attention.
We intentionally placed our TK classrooms on our Easy Street campus so that the YCIS elementary school environment will become familiar and comfortable. TK parents can drop off their children at the campus’s main entrance or walk their children inside to their classrooms.
Your child’s day includes:
Students and teachers greet each other, share news, and move on to a group activity and a morning message before starting the day. They focus on class goals, reminders, announcements, and set the expectation for the day.
Students play and practice investigative learning through their choice of hands-on experiences. Teachers observe to identify student interests, which sets the stage for the week’s inquiry based lessons. Students are also able to practice regulating their emotions and being aware of other people’s feelings, while developing conflict resolution skills and learning to take turns. They’re able to be creative, think critically, and enhance their communication skills, all while having fun.
Students listen to Chinese stories and learn to sing Chinese songs. They’re introduced to some simple Chinese characters and learn about Chinese culture by celebrating traditional Chinese festivals. Students participate in various activities, such as art, science, language, and mathematics.
Students further explore and learn about the themes in which they’ve expressed interest. Lessons target social and emotional development, language, literacy, and mathematics. The teacher demonstrates projects they’ll be working on during activity time.
Students practice following multi-step directions as they enjoy either a class or small group activity that incorporates fine gross motor skills like holding a pencil, cutting paper, or gluing materials together. Small group activities promote teamwork and friendship-building, as students work together to complete a project. Activities are usually connected to what the English teacher teaches during circle time.
We know how important play is for a child’s developing mind and body. TK students enjoy three recess periods every day. Our playground is equipped with some classic favorites, including hula hoops, jump ropes, tricycles, and large waffle blocks.
As students wrap up their day, they enjoy alternating days of quiet time and teachers reading aloud. Students can also practice their reading skills with the Scholastics First Little Readers; first a teacher reads to the student, and then asks the student to read it back to the teacher or to their peers.
During the second part of our TK curriculum (January – June), learning centers are set up around the classroom to intentionally foster collaboration, exploration, and creativity. During this time, students may work individually, in small groups, or directly with teachers.
Is your 4 year old academically and socially advanced, and likely ready for a classroom environment that will introduce them to kindergarten content and concepts? If you think your child might benefit from Transitional Kindergarten rather than a preschool environment, we can assess him or her to see if they’re a good fit for TK. For more information, please contact our admissions team at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note, an assessment is not required for your child to apply to YCIS’s Transitional Kindergarten.