Your child’s teachers design an age-appropriate curriculum using weekly and monthly themes that will interest and stimulate your child. Research shows that children’s thinking, skill mastery, and learning in all developmental areas are enhanced when they become engaged in play. Our preschool program is built upon this notion, as children are encouraged to interact with one another and explore materials in the classroom to gain a greater understanding of the world around them. Your child’s daily experiences with planned learning center activities will enhance independence, inquiry, and active learning.
Our teachers integrate science, language, art, mathematics, and social studies across the curriculum each week. Our teachers continuously observe children to learn more about each child’s development and interests. Teachers then use this information to tailor the curriculum to children’s needs. For instance, based on their observations, teachers may choose thematic units that revolve around the ideas and concepts that the children are drawn towards. Your child’s teachers create a well-balanced program that gives children opportunities to work individually, in small groups, and with the whole group. By planning the program in this way, our teachers ensure one-on-one time with each child as they get to know their individual needs and work continuously with your child to ensure they are being challenged at an age appropriate level.
Your child’s classroom is divided into learning centers that are a central part of children’s active learning. Offering a variety of hands-on play experiences in these learning centers allows your child to make choices and direct their learning. There are opportunities for spontaneous play as well as guided or directed activities. Our principal goals are to develop a positive self-image, create a natural love for learning, teach respect in our cultural diversities and use language to communicate effectively. Your child will explore the multiple learning centers within their classroom.
Art takes place in many areas of your child’s day. We use open-ended art materials that allow your child to express their individual ideas and feelings. Open-ended materials are like open-ended questions. There is no “one” answer or one “right” way to use them. Your child can enjoy and be successful in creating with crayons, markers, and clay, paper, glue, paint and collage materials. Artwork benefits all aspects of your child’s development. As your child draws, paints and makes collages, they experiment with color, line, shape and size. As your child tears paper for a collage or uses scissors to cut, they refine small muscle movements. Making lines and shapes with markers and crayons helps your child develop the fine motor control needed for writing. Your child will express how they feel, think and view the world through art. Art is an outlet that lets your child convey what they may not be able to say in words. We will involve your child in a rich variety of art projects that will instill confidence and pride.
While playing in the sensory table your child will be engaged in scientific thinking processes such as observing, comparing and exploring. Your child will also develop social skills by interacting with their peers. For example, the children will investigate floating and sinking by slowly pushing down objects and watching the water enter drop by drop. When it is almost full, the object sinks quickly. This will encourage discussions of the results facilitated by their teacher. Opportunities for sensory play are an important source of development and are an important part of the curriculum in our program.
When children are read to regularly and encouraged to look through books on their own, to listen to story tapes and to make up their own stories, they develop the motivation and skills to read and write. Our center has a vast library of age appropriate books that the classrooms swap out to coordinate with their curriculum themes and the interests of the children. Books are within easy reach of the children in the classroom. Exposure to books and storytelling will help your child understand that their feelings, fears, questions and problems are not unique.
Classroom Set Up
The best environment for children is one in which you can find the highest possible quantity and quality of relationships. It is our mission to provide those relationships within every material, teacher, family and community member that our students encounter. We believe that the entire space of the school should be utilized by everyone. The classrooms are intentionally set up to be engaging, and are filled with displays of children's work in various stages. Our environment includes a studio which is a room filled with natural materials and art supplies, designed to support learning in all areas, and allow for ongoing projects to be completed at any timeframe, whether it is a day or a month.
Classrooms belong to our team of teachers, who plan, observe, document and work together to build a cohesive learning environment. Our morning groups are mixed by age and the afternoon by interest, thus allowing for modeling of behavior and working together for mixed ages, and also for projects to be designed specifically for one developmental age group. Our children will spend free choice time each day using the classrooms, with a teacher in each room offering a project or activity. Following this, the children will divide into groups, with a teacher, and rotate through the building, allowing for time to explore each area of our designed space. Children will be able to enjoy the skills and unique talents of each of our teachers, spending time getting to know each one individually, and taking part in ongoing investigations.
Our students are divided into three groups for the morning, allowing them to work with children approximately their own age, in small groups of two or three and also in larger groups together, as a whole.
Our learning centers are divided into areas of investigation with opportunities to explore computers, math, science, water/sand, art, reading, writing, manipulatives, puzzles, blocks, housekeeping and dramatic play. Our “loft” can be turned into a restaurant, vet's office, store or any other place the children can imagine, by researching themes each month and putting together a life sized display of any topic they choose to uncover. This child directed activity is supervised by a teacher for safety and resources, but truly child driven in concept and design. As your child progresses through the year, you will see many different materials and projects being created. Our goal is to provide as many process oriented opportunities as possible, for the children to experience as much as they can. Children need to engage in as many open-ended, creative processes as possible. We turn our loft into a dramatic structure based on each of our themes. So far things we have made include a Castle, a Farmer's Market, a Bear Cave, a Submarine, a Diner, a Vet's Office, a House, an Airplane and a Rocket Ship. In the next few months we may be exploring Business Offices, Vacations and a Dinosaurs. Book a tour to come see what we have going on!