Junior Kindergarten

Almaden Country Day School has featured its Junior Kindergarten program since 1982, and consistently we’ve seen that Junior Kindergarten graduates are among our most poised and capable students in the elementary and middle school years.

Our Junior Kindergarten is a fun-filled, academically rich bridge between preschool and kindergarten that we like to call “the gift of a year.” Junior Kindergarten students, who generally turn five during the academic year, are engaged in circle time, regular work jobs and self-directed play, which includes outdoor activities, singing, painting and a wide range of guided hands-on activities. As the year progresses, students begin to complete more structured tasks and have fewer free-choice options.

Junior Kindergarten Schedule

(Age 5 by December 31)
Monday - Friday
8:00 am - 12:00 pm
Extended Junior Kindergarten
Monday - Friday
8:00 am - 3:00 pm


  • An ECE specialist plus a full-time aide lead the classroom in addition to regular visits with our full-time Librarian and a Musical Movement teacher.
  • 9:1 student to teacher ratio


Language Arts

Pre-Reading and Pre-Writing Skills
  • Letter recognition and formation
  • Letter and sound sequencing
  • Exposure to rich, age-appropriate literature to develop comprehension skills and expand critical thinking
  • Story retelling and plot sequencing
  • Phonemic awareness
  • Print awareness
  • Development of fine motor skills for future letter and number printing
Oral Language
  • Story dictation and retelling
  • Sharing experiences
  • Listening and observing
  • Memorization & recitation
  • Rhyming
Social Studies
  • Learning about other cultures through parent presentations and cultural holiday celebrations
  • Learning about the United States through songs, stories, and poems
  • Memorizing and reciting poems for the Patriotic Assembly

Math & Science

  • Random numeral recognition 1-10
  • Counting by correspondence 1-12
  • Increased rote counting ability
  • Classification by color, size and shape
  • Pattern recognition
  • Calendar skills
  • Left to right progression
  • Numerical sequence
  • Graphing
  • Hands-on participation in science experiments and activities
  • Engage in and practice the scientific method
  • Observe, compare, sequence, classify, describe and ask questions
  • Solve problems and reach conclusions


  • Fine & gross motor skill development
  • Repeated and regular usage of scissors, pencil, markers, glue and small building sets to develop fine motor skills
  • Development of large muscles in arms and legs to ride bikes, climb stairs and ladders, run, hop and skip, and participate in all playground activities and Musical Movement
  • Development of trunk muscles and center of gravity to ride the indoor swing

Musical Movement Program

  • Building body and space awareness
  • Developing non-locomotor and locomotor skills
  • Manipulative skills (throwing, catching, dribbling, kicking, jumping rope)
  • Engaging motor memory skills; visual and auditory cues to copy and recall single movements and movement/rhythm patterns
Dramatic Expression/Creative Movement
  • Practice self-initiated movement and expression through music, poems and stories
  • Develop students' ability to listen for musical cues as they relate to movement

Art & Music

  • Fine-tune ability to communicate thoughts and feelings through a variety of art mediums
  • Develop creativity and self expression through a variety of art mediums and risk taking
  • Exposure to the Orff music program, which combines movement, instruments, speech and song
  • Refining auditory abilities to discern and discriminate sounds through a variety of music genres
  • Beginning to discern rhythm
  • Learning to use voice to sing a song
  • Gaining an appreciation of different kinds of music


Twice a week, students help prepare food in our ECE kitchen, which includes development of concepts using all of the five senses through concrete experiences.

Library Visits

Junior Kindergarten students are able to visit the library and spend time with our full-time Librarian who introduces the students to new authors and allows them to check out books to take home.

Field Trips

Preschool students generally take at least one annual offsite field trip to places such as the local farm, grocery store, or local fire station. 

Big Buddy Program

Each Junior Kindergarten student is paired with a "Big Buddy" from the Middle School. Throughout the year, Big Buddies meet to work, play and learn together in a variety of activities. Big Buddies care for their Little Buddies, and Little Buddies look up to their older friends, forging affectionate connections and lasting memories. The beloved Big Buddy Program is a highlight of the ACDS experience for younger and older children alike.