THE PRESCHOOL EXPERIENCE
We have developed a curriculum that helps each child master the skills and attains the knowledge necessary to enter Kindergarten with confidence. We use weekly themes to keep our students excited and engaged in learning. Beginning with our Three Year Old Class, we introduce phonics using the Letterland Preschool Curriculum and deepen that learning in our Four Year Old Class and Pre-K. Chapel is held on Wednesdays for our Four Year Olds and Pre-K. Chapel is often a highlight of the week. Mr. James brings his guitar and we sing fun Bible songs, Ms. Melissa leads a short devotion. To learn more about individual classes and how the day is structured click on the links below.
Mother's Morning Out/Two Year Old Class
This is a sweet class for our youngest students. There are plenty of hugs and cuddles to go around as we learn how to get along with our friends, share and take turns.
Free Play: Children play independently with toys placed around the room. They are encouraged to explore their environment and to play well with others. Teachers help them learn how to share, socialize with others, and even how to clean up their toys. During this time they are working on their fine motor skills, using their imagination and becoming friends.
Craft: Teachers call students over one at a time and help them create crafts. We use a lot of paint, crayons, and glue! Some projects are displayed in the classroom before they are sent home.
Potty Training: Some of our children are beginning to potty train while others are still in diapers. We work with parents to be consistent between school and home once potty training begins. We also help teach children to wash their hands after each trip to the potty.
Snack: Children learn to sit at the table with their friends and enjoy a snack. The Mother's Morning Out Class uses sippy cups, while the 2-Year-Olds transition to drinking from a regular cup. Children learn to clean up their snack area and to wait for their friends to finish before leaving the table. We also learn to use please and thank you.
Outside Play/Gym: Children develop gross motor skills on our playground equipment designed especially for their ages. They learn to walk up and downstairs, take turns, and climb. They also learn how to line up to go out on the playground and how to walk in a line to come back in from playing. We focus on being kind to others as we play together.
Circle Time: Children learn how to sit still while listening to a story. We even practice "retelling" the story after we read it. We practice recognizing shapes and colors. We sing songs with fun movements and enjoy spending time together as a group.
Throughout the day the teachers take advantage of natural opportunities to reinforce key concepts such as counting, letters, shapes & colors.
Three Year Old Class
Our three-year-olds are a busy and active class. Our classroom is often filled with the sound of children playing, which can get quite noisy. Our students learn best through play and routines. If you were to step into our classroom on a typical day you observe the following:
Greeting: The children come in and find their names on the table and place them in a basket. By doing this every day we are helping the children to learn to recognize their name in print.
Indoor Play: Children will play in one of the stations around the room and can move freely among these areas. While children are playing teachers are calling them over to work on crafts or other learning activities in either a one on one or small group setting. Teachers will also use this time to connect with students through play and books on an individual or small group basis.
Blocks - Learning about shapes, measurement, counting
Free Art - Improving fine motor skills, pencil grasp
Creative Play (Dress Up & Kitchen Area) - Using imagination and acting out stories
Sensory Table - Developing & strengthen fine motor skills
Craft: We use our Letterland characters and our monthly themes to inspire our crafts. Through cutting and gluing we are strengthening our hands and developing the fine motor skills necessary for correct pencil grasp.
Outdoor Play: Children develop their gross motor skills through running, jumping, and climbing.
Snack Time: Children learn good manners and patience
Calendar Time: Children learn the seasons, months of the year, days of the week, they count the days and discuss the weather each day.
Circle Time: Children learn how to be good listeners while hearing a story, they discuss the weekly theme, review Letterland characters and sounds, count the number of students and learn more or less, they learn the Pledge of Allegiance, and enjoy songs.
We will also work with you to help potty train your child. We encourage all of our three-year-olds to use pull-ups as this makes potty training easier.
It is a busy active room, but it is truly amazing to see each child grow and develop in our three-year-old class.
Four Year Old Class
Arrival: We begin the school year with the parents walking their children down to the classroom. In October, parents begin dropping their children off at the gate with Ms. Kari and allowing the children to walk in by themselves. Walking in without a parent increases their independence and helps to prepare them for School. Once in the classroom, children are greeted by the teachers and they check in by finding their names on the table and placing it in the basket and finding their cubbies and putting their backpacks and jackets in their cubbies.
Centers/Instructional Time: We begin the morning with the children rotating freely among various centers set up in the classroom. During this time, teachers will call students over to them one or two at a time to work on various skills and activities. Some centers are independent and some are teacher led.
Letterland/Alphabet: Students learn to recognize the letters and sounds that go with them. Students also learn how to write each letter. Children also work on writing their name.
Math: Students work on counting, sorting, patterns, ordering, graphing, and other math concepts.
Craft: Students improve their find motor skills through cutting, gluing, drawing, and coloring.
Dramatic Play: Children create stories by role playing different scenarios. This imaginative play helps them become writers as they grow older.
Blocks: Children explore shapes and use their imaginations as they create with blocks. They also improve their social skills as they learn to share with their friends.
Sensory Table: Children continue to develop and strengthen their fine motor skills through manipulating various objects such as beans, rice, pasta, water beads, and play-doh. These fine motor skills are necessary for a correct pencil grip.
Snack Time: We even use snack time as a learning opportunity. A line leader and napkin holder are chosen and we count the number of letters in their names, and look at the letters in their names.
Circle Time: This is our main large group instructional time. We report the weather each day. We also learn about the calendar, reviewing months of the year, days of the week, and counting. We discuss today, tomorrow, and yesterday. We also learn about the seasons and holidays.
Story Time: We read a book together and learn how to listen as a group. We also review our Letterland Characters and sounds. We learn words that start with our letter of the week.
Chapel: On Wednesdays our 4 year olds and Pre-K attend chapel in the Sanctuary where we sing songs and hear a Bible story.
Show & Share: Each Friday, children bring in a special object that starts with the letter of the week to show to their friends in class.
This is an amazing class! While our class offers more structure, we still have a lot of fun learning through play. We gear all of our experiences toward preparing for Kindergarten. Below is what you could expect on a typical day in our class.
Coming In: Children check in each morning by moving their star sticker to the “in” column on our welcome poster. The children have various table activities for the first part of the morning, while they take turns doing the counting jar.
Counting Jar: This is a daily activity for each child. We change the items in the jar to suit themes or season. This is one on one time to assist them with counting and improve their number formation. We have some creative poems that help them remember how to draw their numbers.
Calendar Time: During this time you would hear us sing our months and days of the week. We work on knowing which day comes before and after our current day as well. Our class loves to count how many days we have been in school. As the year progresses this gives us the opportunity to count by tens and learn place values. We also learn about our seasons, count down to holidays, learn each other’s birthdays and graph the weather daily. Calendar time is complete with the Pledge of Allegiance. This also gives us a chance to discuss being a good citizen in the classroom and our world.
Circle Time: This is always an impactful part of our day. It’s a time we might read a book, learn our Letter Land character, have a Science lesson, go on a Scavenger hunt, or play a game related to our letter of the week or theme. The best part of circle time is that while our students just think we are having a good time, we are truly building our social and listening skills.
Instructional Tables: We have three “work” tables the children visit daily. While we may say “work”they are all activities that disguise learning as fun.
Creation Station- Sometimes we have free art where the children are free to make their own masterpiece. Other times we are working on a craft that reinforces our letter or theme for the week. Occasionally we will even tackle group projects to decorate our classroom.
Math-We engage students with activities such as counting, sorting, creating patterns, identifying shapes, measuring, graphing and making simple equations. These activities normally utilize manipulatives that complement the season and/or theme.
Writing- We work on improving our pencil grasp and bettering our letter formation. While we say writing, we sometimes use sand, shaving cream and playdough as a creative medium.
Centers: We have a variety of centers for the children to explore and play once they have finished their worktables. Children move between centers freely to interact with friends.
Stay and Play: doll house, cars, blocks, Lincoln Logs, and more
Dramatic Play: our kitchen center
Book Nook: reading a book under our butterfly canopy is always a favorite
Playdough: rollers, cookie cutters, scissors, and play dough
Art Zone: our easel with chalk on one side and dry erase markers on the other
Snack Time: It’s not just about eating. This is a great time for us to practice our manners especially our pleases and thankyous.
Outdoor Play or Gym Time: This is a great time to work on gross motor skills by running, jumping, throwing balls and climbing. Sometimes we play an organized game such as duck, duck goose or tag.