Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten CurriculumThe step from pre-kindergarten to kindergarten is a large leap in the state of Arizona. According to the Arizona Department of Education (ADE), the academic standards for kindergarten reading programs consist of "five critical components of reading, which are Phonemic Awareness, Phonics, Fluency, Vocabulary, and Comprehension of connected text [and] these elements support each other and are woven together to build a solid foundation of linguistic understanding for the reader" (Wieser, 2005, p.77). On the ADE website, the academic standards for pre-kindergarten reading programs consist of a disclaimer that the ADE does not endorse any one curriculum. The ADE encourages the use of "a professionally developed curriculum that incorporates child-centered, developmentally appropriate concepts with academic standards for literacy and numeracy (sic)" (2005, ÃÂ¶ 2). The ADE website provides a list of the commonly used, commercially developed curriculum packages.
The hyperlink on the Arizona Department of Education website labeled Creative Curriculum for Preschools links to the Teaching Strategies (2005) website.
This commercial website states that their curriculum consists of seven research-based strategies that include "talking, singing, and playing with language, reading aloud, storytelling, story retelling, writing,scaffolding children's literacy learning through play, and using studies to promote literacy" (Teaching Strategies, 2005, ÃÂ¶ 9). Teaching Strategies (2005) state that each strategy ties to specific goals and objectives for literacy development and assessment materials are included in the pre-kindergarten curriculum package.
Curriculum Articulation and AlignmentAt this time in Arizona, there is no formal curriculum articulation and alignment between pre-kindergarten and kindergarten. It is an Arizona state law that school districts providing instruction in grades K-3 must "adopt a scientifically based reading curriculum" (AZ ST ÃÂ§ 15-704) and as a result of this legal mandate, the AZ READS program was developed. AZ READS is a comprehensive plan aimed at improving reading achievement.