In the preschool classrooms, the children learn novel ideas from the experiences and activities provided each day.
As the children arrive each morning, they play in all different centers available. Our school day officially begins at 8:30 a.m. where the children have the opportunity to sit down for large group experience. This is where the children learn rhyming, repetition, language & literacy, number/letter recognition, and plan for the day.
After large group, the children have an hour of center/choice time. At this time, the children have the opportunity to pick which center they want to explore and learn from. This is accomplished by having each child placing a picture of themselves on a particular center on the center board. This holds the children accountable of the learning experience and claims their spot of where they are going to explore. Some of the centers include: open-ended art (process art), science and discovery, math, computers/technology, games and puzzles, dramatic play, music, block/community, and library.
In the dramatic play area, we offer the children the opportunity to explore with real pots, pans, utensils and recycled bottles, and cardboard boxes of the foods the children normally see in their kitchens at home.
We also provide music and movement time when the children get to dance or play musical instruments while listening to music.
The children love the arts and crafts area of the classroom where they have the opportunity to choose materials from the shelf and manipulate those materials to construct their own creations.
The children enjoy learning outdoors on our large playground twice a day as in other classrooms where they have the opportunity to explore the outdoor learning environment.
The children practice counting, letter recognition, phonics, rhyming recognition, and the alphabet through their daily experiences as well as during small group. Also during small group, the children work on fine motor skills, early literacy, science and math.
The teachers encourage the children to utilize natural materials which are open-ended to explore with and to use as long as possible instead of specific tasks that have a definite beginning and ending to them. These materials which are provided in the classroom help build the children's interests in certain areas and provide the foundation for learning.
After the morning outdoor experiences, the children come in and have lunch followed by quiet time which starts off with a reading circle. The children have the opportunity to lay down and sleep/ rest for approximately one hour each day. After we rest, our afternoon program commences with a story, conversations about what we did in the morning and what the afternoon will bring. This includes: a nutritious afternoon snack, outside play or indoor learning experiences in centers held in the classrooms.
All of the materials offered to the children in our program promote and enhance a child's pre literacy/ reading skills, as well as writing, science, and math skills. The program is child-directed with teachers engaging with the children asking open-ended questions to find out information on what the children are interested in and then build their lesson plans from these conversations.