We believe discovery, autonomy, and creativity in early childhood is essential for the development of motivated learners, responsible citizens, and confident individuals.
In a world full of enchantment and wonder, brimming with things to see and hear, we must give our preschoolers rich, tangible experiences in order for them to be better equipped for tomorrow. As teachers we are partners in discovery. We ask questions that will lead your child to deep and meaningful understandings. We promote learning by providing an array of art materials, traditional toys, loose parts, and natural objects that expand your child’s understanding of the world around them. As your preschooler makes discoveries, their curiosity grows and develops into a deep love of learning that extends long beyond the preschool years
Independence is at the root of our class community. When children have the right to make decisions, they become more aware and considerate of others’ needs. The choice-board, classroom jobs, and family-style meals are built into the structure of our day so that our students can practice making decisions that are healthy and safe. Using conscious discipline, we coach children through conflict while validating their feelings, promoting the development of self-regulation. We also use redirection and family learning-groups as tools to guide your child’s social/emotional development.
We offer an array of materials and experiences. Drawing, photography, music, wire working, clay, wood, water, and shadows are some of the creative experiences your child will explore while at school. With time to plan, experiment, and revise their projects the possibilities for creativity are endless. We honor the process of creating because we know it builds self worth. When children are allowed freedom to choose their own materials and to commit themselves completely to projects of their own choosing, they develop their sense of self. Along with confidence, creativity fosters mental growth by providing opportunities for problem solving. Creative thinking allows us a glimpse into each child’s ideas and beliefs to personalize our classroom curriculum.
Our curriculum is based on principles using the Reggio Approach to education. Our program facilitates children’s social, emotional, physical, cognitive, and creative development. As students explore their interests, teachers integrate phonics, reading, writing, and math to ensure a well rounded experience.
Social Emotional Development
Social learning is central to young children. Our students grow both individually and as members of their class. With teacher guidance, they consider differences and similarities among classmates and discuss meaningful ways to build an authentic sense of community. The school year begins by learning classroom routines and what it means to be a member of a group. Compromising, sharing ideas, and recognizing other children’s opinions are emphasized. In our learning families we begin to study our feelings and the feelings of others. In this study, children explore ideas such as constructive ways to express our feelings. They next begin a study focused on learning about each other’s families. As the year progresses, students take part in project work and venture into the world beyond the walls of our classroom, to explore social studies themes inspired by their own interests and play. They use observational skills, ask questions, and then recreate in the classroom what they noticed and learned. The experiences are integrated into classroom work in the forms of the arts, writing, block building, math and dramatic play.
Developing language and exposure to literature are both important to early learners. Active participation in class discussions and dramatic play exchanges enrich children’s language usage and enhances their communication skills. Children have daily opportunities to explore picture books and listen to stories read aloud by their teachers. Students explore the different parts of a book including the cover, the beginning, middle and end of a story, and connect pictures to words. Students frequently create books and story pages by drawing pictures, dictating stories, and writing their own words. Our students also work on letter recognition, letter formation, and connecting letter symbols to their corresponding sounds, all within a meaningful context. Picture charts, graphs, and games also introduce symbols that help children to anticipate the structure of their days and to sequence activities.
Young children are constantly engaged in exploring the world around them and math is a natural part of this. Through their activities in the classroom and explorations with math materials, preschool students investigate a range of math concepts including counting, patterning, sorting, and graphing. Specific activities throughout the school day help children practice these concepts such as discussing the weather chart graph, counting cups during snack set-up, noticing shape relationships in blocks, and sorting art materials, among many others. Block building offers young students many rich opportunities to explore various math and science concepts such as balance, symmetry, patterning, gravity, shape recognition and counting. Children also use math language to describe their work. By using a variety of materials and games, children strengthen their conceptual understanding and gain confidence in their knowledge of these mathematical concepts.
With young students our approach to science focuses on emergent learning. The goal is develop activities that respond to the interests of children by developing curriculum based on their interests. Student observations and questions are guides to curriculum planning. We provide activities and materials to students so they can explore their questions, build on their ideas, and construct new knowledge. As a result, the content studied by the preschool students varies from year to year since, in any given year, students might be interested in studying anything from the weather to wheels.
Exploring and experimenting with materials is a regular activity at our school. Children may work on drawings and paintings over many days and sometimes weeks. Studio arts are a vital and vibrant part of our program. As children draw, paint, sculpt, and work with clay and wire, they begin to use them to represent their ideas and understandings of the world. Teachers speak to the children as they work, providing them with language that describes what they are doing, while asking open-ended questions that invite children to explain their artistic process.
In our Spanish-Immersion program, children learn basic vocabulary and communicative phrases in Spanish. The preschool teachers reinforce the vocabulary and lessons throughout the school day as well. The studies of topics include the following: presentations, greetings and salutations, general class commands, colors, numbers 1-20, body parts, food, class objects, and social interactions. Vocabulary is taught through songs, stories, and immersive interactions. These types of initiatives introduce the children to diverse cultural and linguistic experiences.