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Welcome to Junior Kindergarten

In Junior Kindergarten, students begin to develop the habits of adaptive expertise. Junior Kindergarten students learn to be strategic and metacognitive about their work when approaching a project and are then reflective about their work upon completion. Students work towards becoming self-governing in Junior Kindergarten by progressively becoming more independent when completing workshops. Free play time allows the children to develop their communication skills as they relate to others and learn more about themselves. We foster risk-taking in our students during whole group instruction and workshops by providing an environment where it is safe to take a chance.

Choose a subject to learn about Cannon's JrK curriculum:

List of 10 items.

  • Art

    In Junior Kindergarten, students work in table centers where they begin to develop their artistic skills and vocabulary, while learning to make choices about the kinds of art they are interesting in creating.  Elements of art are infused into each center, providing the foundation for future artistic endeavors. Centers include collage, drawing, painting, building, printmaking, and 3-D sculpting.
  • Guidance

    The Lower School years are ones of rapid growth and development. Each new birthday brings tremendous change. Typical challenges and characteristics of children, by age and developmental stage, can be found on the School Counseling webpage along with recommended resources.
  • Language Arts

    The Junior Kindergarten Zoophonics literacy program develops phonemic awareness and letter-sound knowledge through a rich language environment which includes read alouds, nursery rhymes, morning messages and poetry. Students garner an understanding of initial phonics and word knowledge through auditory, visual and kinesthetic manipulation activities that enhance each child's beginning literacy skills at a developmentally appropriate level. Beginning handwriting skills are taught through a systematic program and students are encouraged to write appropriate letters for learned sounds.
  • Library

    Junior kindergarteners enjoy an introduction to the library setting. They learn the role of the librarian and learn how to borrow, use, and care for library materials properly. Our ultimate goal is to cultivate a love of books and reading. During their library visits, students enjoy Read-Alouds and lively book discussions. Students are also introduced  to  basic research and public speaking.
  • Math

    With McGraw-Hill Everyday Mathematics Junior Kindergarten students develop lifelong mathematical skills, through numbers and numeration, operations and computations, graphing, measurement and referring, geometry, and patterns and functions of the patterns.  Calendar activities, skill acquisition centers, and circle discussions integrate these concepts throughout the day.
  • Music

    The Junior Kindergarten music program emphasizes speech and singing along with moving and playing instruments. Basic musical concepts of beat, rhythm, instrument play and movement are introduced using songs and games, ostinato patterns, and activities to enhance musical experiences. The methodology of Carl Orff plays a major role in this program, helping each student relate to music in a natural child-centered way. Students are encouraged to sing in unison as well as individually and to recognize differences in pitch, timbre, tempo, mood, and dynamics. Junior Kindergarten students perform at the Teddy Bear Picnic in the fall, and at their Holiday concert in December.
  • Physical Education

    The focus for our junior kindergarteners is to provide fun, child-centered activities that focus on locomotor and balance skills. By providing stations for fitness, freeze dance, tag games and gymnastics, junior kindergarteners have the opportunity to hone their gross motor skill set through play. What better way is there to learn, than by having fun! Our goal as a Lower School Physical Education Department is for all students to be equipped with appropriate knowledge of varying sports and to develop a lifelong love for fitness.
  • Science

    Junior kindergarteners are encouraged to use their natural curiosities to develop into young scientists. Students are led on nature hikes through the school’s forest in search of wonders we can learn more about in the science lab. The students are also energized by many discovery units covering other topics such as: magnets, simple physics principles, early electricity, weather, measuring works, and mixing of colored solutions.
  • Social Studies

    Our Junior Kindergarten Social Studies curriculum consists of students gaining insight on areas consisting of personal knowledge, family, getting along with others, making friends, problem solving socially, lending a helping hand, and the importance of taking care of the environment. Geography and mapping skills are implemented to allow for connections between home and the broader community.

  • Technology

    In Lower School, our learning design involves high engagement, structured so that students are drawn into appropriate levels of challenge. Curiosity and creativity are nurtured, along with consistent encouragement for teamwork and partner work. Students are encouraged to try new things, and to think and talk through problem-solving steps.

    During the Junior Kindergarten year, students participate in a variety of hands-on maker challenges. We primarily use “unplugged” resources, with an introduction to creative computational thinking in the second half of the year, at which point “plugged” technology resources are sometimes employed in weekly media sessions.

Classroom Teachers

Rendi Powers
Junior Kindergarten Teacher

Hilary L. Smith
Junior Kindergarten Teacher

Lori Dorfman
Junior Kindergarten Teaching Assistant

Co-Curricular Teachers

Jennifer Brooks
Learning Specialist

Jennifer Calvert


Kelvin Drakeford
Physical Education

Krista Johns

Nisa Kalambaheti
Media Specialist

Judy Killam
Physical Education

Debbie McKinsey
Aimée Pfitzner

Kathie Riley

Teresa Schmitt
World Language (Grades 1 - 4)

Kelli Waller
Physical Education

Cannon School

Phone: 704-786-8171 | Fax: 704-788-7779