Early Kindergarten and Preschool Programs
Northwood offers Early Kindergarten students a developmental, child centered learning environment. For each student, we provide time, choice, and differentiated opportunities to develop social, emotional, and academic abilities through authentic hands-on, minds-on learning experiences.
Early Kindergarten Learning Experiences
Early Kindergarten is an option for children who will be 5 years old by September 15 but may not be ready for a full-day kindergarten program. We offer morning and afternoon half-day classes, Monday through Friday, based on a regular kindergarten curriculum.
Early Kindergarten provides learning experiences that focus on literacy and mathematics with embedded social and emotional learning. Learning outcomes for students in Early Kindergarten are the same as those for Kindergarten students. These learning outcomes come from the Iowa Common Core Kindergarten Standards. Students in Early Kindergarten also participate in the same district and state assessments as kindergarten students.
Is Early Kindergarten Right for Your Child?
Please note that birth date is not a reliable factor in judging Kindergarten readiness. If your child did not attend a preschool program, for example, and does not have most of the following skills, Early Kindergarten is an option to consider in supporting your child’s growth and development.
- Pays attention and follows directions for five or more minutes
- Controls strong emotions
- Understands that sometimes one must wait for what one wants
- Manages rules, routines, and transitions with occasional reminders
- Initiates, joins in, and sustains friendships
- Identifies 11-20 upper and lowercase letters
- Names the sounds of 10-20 letters
- Writes first name
- Counts orally to 20
- Counts 10-20 objects and knows that the last number stated is the number of objects
- Tells more, less, or same when looking at objects
Our Learning Environment
Northwood offers students a developmental, child centered learning environment. For each student, we provide time, choice, and differentiated opportunities to develop social, emotional, and academic abilities through authentic hands-on, minds-on learning experiences.
Educators at Northwood use the Iowa Early Learning Standards as a roadmap to take the lead for your child’s individual growth and development. Our program implements the Creative Curriculum, which provides a child-centered, responsive, and comprehensive experience for each student, through opportunities for child-initiated play, literacy development, mathematics, writing, science, and social studies.
Our Instruction Decisions
We assess students regularly using Teaching Strategies GOLD. This assessment provides a growth continuum for each of the learning objectives that align to the Iowa Early Learning Standards. Teachers continually collect evidence of a student’s performance in order to make instruction decisions. We share the GOLD Assessment with families during Parent Teacher Conferences two times a year and provide a final report at the end of each year in our program. This assessment is shared with Kindergarten teachers in order to provide a baseline view of student’s growth and development during their years at Northwood.
Preschool Partner Schools
We also work with a number of community partner schools. If you are interested in attending one of these, please contact them directly.
ISU Child Development Laboratory School
University Community Childcare
2623 Bruner DriveAmes, IA 50010
Phone: 515 294-9838
University Community Childcare Website