Kindergarten is the first opportunity for children to begin to understand that school is a place for learning and working. They will learn about sharing, taking turns, respecting the rights of others, and taking care of themselves. The kindergarten program provides initial learning experiences in language development, number concepts, creative skills, and social and physical growth. Using concrete experiences, pupils are given the building blocks for perceiving, thinking, and problem solving. Educational experiences provide balance and variety among physical, mental, spiritual, and social activities as the child’s world of awareness is extended from the home to the classroom. The kindergarten classroom is a language-rich experience for all. Students are introduced to basic reading skills through shared reading experiences, rhymes, poems, classic stories, and stories created by children. Technology is introduced as a learning tool. Skills related to visual and auditory discrimination, left to right orientation, vocabulary development, whole word recognition, and relationships between letters and sounds are taught in the context of responding to high quality children’s literature and our Houghton Mifflin integrated language arts program.