By the Year Before Kindergarten.
The Mechina: Kindergarten Prep program at The Davis Academy serves four and young five-year olds in a nurturing and encouraging environment where we challenge and support the intellectual, social, emotional and physical development of our students. Whether it is a child’s transitional year or their pre-K year, Mechina is designed around an age appropriate curriculum that is developmentally adjusted for individual learners and focused on preparing young children for success in an elementary school setting.
The Mechina curriculum accentuates the academic readiness skills of the students through exposure to fully certified, passionate teachers, innovative instructional technology, specialist instructors, student mentors, divergent learning spaces, engaging field trips, hands-on learning and purposeful play time. Emphasis is placed on developing a strong foundation in Language Arts, while introducing students to important values as members of the community through an integrated Jewish Studies and Social Studies program. The Mechina program prepares students to be life-long learners by teaching them how to attend to tasks and directions, to participate in group activities and discussions, and acquire the social skills to make and maintain friendships.
Simply put, Mechina delivers more:
More innovative learning
More creative exploration
More purposeful play
More enriching field trips
More individualized education
More time for your family to be a part of the warm and welcoming Davis community.
Why wait? Beat the Kindergarten wait list and create an easy transition into the Kindergarten year.
Mechina students are immersed in a language-rich environment wherein instruction is differentiated from the beginning to meet the emerging literacy needs of all learners. Whether a student is reviewing letter identification, sounds and basic concepts of print or they have already begun some early reading, Mechina teachers provide opportunities for growth for each student. As the year progresses, students are increasingly exposed to the techniques of the Orton Gilingham program, sight words, and extend their development into working through a variety of reading materials. Children learn to write using the “Handwriting Without Tears” program where they write sentences in response to questions and ultimately author their own book for Young Author’s Night in the spring.
Our multi-sensory Math program is designed to teach a wide range of mathematical concepts that ensure knowledge of basic math skills. Basic concepts such as number sense, shapes, graphs and patterns build the foundation for more challenging concepts such as measurement, money, time and simple addition. By the end of the year, students will also gain initial exposure to fractions and geometry.
The Mechina Social Studies experience focusses in on nurturing and broadening our students’ perspectives of the communities of which they are a part. Starting with the classroom community, then moving beyond the walls of their classroom, and even into the greater community on field trips, students learn about what defines each community, the various roles each community member plays, and how to be respectful and responsible members of their community. A culminating Community Helper project reflects the development of research and creativity skills in our Mechina students.
Mechina students learn science through a variety of engaging hands-on activities that expose them to life and physical science concepts. Through these lessons, which include nurturing and caring for the school vegetable garden, students begin to understand the importance of being responsible stewards of our environment. Focusing on the lifecycle of plants, animals, and insects, students learn research and lab skills. Our Mechina students also get to study the seasons and are introduced to properties of matter.
Jewish and Hebrew Studies
Mechina students experience a combined Jewish and Hebrew Studies class four times each week. Over the course of the year they build a strong and joyful foundation of both Jewish knowledge and the Hebrew language. Through creative and engaging instruction, students begin to understand how fortunate they are to be Jewish as well as how unique the Hebrew language truly is. The focus of the year will be on how a Jewish person is supposed to act and behave (mitzvot) as well as Hebrew letters, words, phrases, and songs.
Mechina students have dedicated time in the art studio for class each week, where they learn to focus on the overall process as well as the finished product. The Art Program provides balanced instruction and a strong foundation for the young art student. This is achieved through a strong emphasis on visual perception, drawing skills, and an understanding of the principles of art, as well as the elements of design. The goal of the program is to develop students’ abilities to understand and appreciate art, while also inspiring a passion and joy for creation. Student work is often displayed across the building, inspiring in our Mechina students a sense of pride in their creative efforts.
Mechina students travel to the music room to participate in music class each week. The music program at The Davis Academy is based on the National Standards of Music and is designed to instill music appreciation through a dynamic program that fosters the growth of the well-rounded child. Our younger students participate in creative movement and expression, singing and playing rhythm instruments, as well as exploring famous musicians and composers throughout music history. Students learn proper music reading fundamentals and develop keen listening skills. Classes are geared to expose students to music from different historical time periods and cultures. A highlight for Mechina is having the opportunity to perform in a variety of ways both in the classroom and for larger groups.
Media & Technology
During their weekly Media time, Mechina students visit the Media Center and our Technology Lab designed specifically for younger students. Media center visits include an instructional lesson, story time, and book check out. Technology lab visits include an integrated technology lesson that develops media literacy and technology skills for a globalized world. During the media instruction, students practice the standards for the 21st Century Learner as outlined by the American Association of School Librarians, which includes inquiring, thinking critically, and gaining knowledge. In addition, students are taught to draw conclusions, make informed decisions, and apply knowledge to new situations, both productively and ethically, and pursue resources that encourage personal growth.
Beyond the Classroom
Throughout the year the Mechina class takes engaging and meaningful field trips to compliment the curriculum. They include a visit to the Apple Store, fun in the Pumpkin Patch, and our Community Helper Field Trip. The biggest project of the year is when the Mechina students create and star in their own movie about community helpers.