Kindergarden Areas of Expertise ("AOEs")

As the end of their first year at school approaches, our Kindergarteners embark on a significant project that draws on, and builds upon, the reading, writing, researching and presentation skills they have learned throughout the year. As "Kindergarten Researchers", they undertake Areas of Expertise ("AOE").
Our Kindergarteners become experts on their topics and teachers to their teachers, their peers, their parents and the Alta Vista community. Each year, the projects are brilliantly engaging and fun for all. We believe it is important for children to realize that you are never too young or too old to learn new things.

AOE Research: Our Kindergarteners pick their own topics to research. They then learn the meaning of research, methods of conducting research, the process of a research project, and how one becomes knowledgable about a subject. As part of the research process, they visit the public library to locate and check out relevant research books. Students become familiar with using non-fiction texts by learning how to search the table of contents and index. As our Kindergarteners learn more details about their topic, they record what they have learned in written reports. Students learn the dictionary spelling of their topic titles and key words related to their reports. Students also practice summarization and how to put a definition and facts into their own words.

AOE Hands-On Projects: As they progress in researching and writing about their AOEs, the students further demonstrate and express their newfound knowledge by designing, creating and building a hands-on project to accompany their written and oral presentation. These projects have included models, replicas, dioramas, artwork, video/slideshows, and demonstrations.

AOE Presentations: On AOE day, the Kindergarteners are joined by their families and friends in learning about all of the interesting topics. Each student presents his/her report to the audience orally and using the Smart Board. The hands-on projects are on display in the exhibit area and, after completing their formal oral presentations, the students stand by their projects to explain their work to parents and peers.

Here are some of the topics we learned about from our Kindergarteners this year:
    • Jupiter
    • The Sun’s Gases
    • Pluto
    • Zebras
    • The San Francisco Zoo
    • Gold
    • Mercury
    • Gophers
    • The Golden Gate Bridge
    • The Secrets of Alcatraz
    • Dreams
    • The Beach
    • The Sun’s Core
    • Dinosaur Bones
    • Monkeys
    • How is Sand Made?
    • The Solar System
    • Gila Monsters
    • Panning for Gold
    • What is the Earth Made Out Of?
    • Chameleons 
    • Singing
    • Hawaiian Reef Fish
    • Army Helmets 
    • How Do You Get Sick? (Germs)
    • How are Rockets Made?