Throughout the day, children in Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten are engaged in play-based learning. The teachers use the curriculum as a springboard to create original learning materials, songs, plays, and crafts. You might see a group of children playing an octopus math game when learning about the ocean environment, or wearing headbands with straw proboscis when learning about insects. Games, crafts, and academics blend seamlessly as our students become excited about the world around them in our private day school.
Reading, Writing, and Literature
At several times throughout the day you will see children sitting with rapt attention as they listen to a story. It might be about the Native Americans who lived in this region, or about tapping maple trees at the end of winter. Whatever the topic, the children are learning about words and sounds and how books can transport you to another time or place. Pre-reading and reading skills are taught daily in our private school through rich literature, which relates to the interests and themes of the class.
Our program introduces children to the world of numbers, problem solving, and critical thinking skills which will be used for the rest of their lives. Using math manipulatives, games and creative lessons for the development of math skills fosters our student’s natural curiosity. As they progress from Pre-K through Kindergarten, the children apply their hands-on learning to solving paper and pencil math problems.
Science and Social Studies
It is spring and the sun is shining warmly as the Junior Pre-K class brings out a tray of food to the playground. It is not for them, however, but part of a science experiment. What do ants like to eat? Will they eat a pretzel? Some honey? A carrot? Using literature and hands-on activities make units such as seasons, insects, family, community, and space an exciting educational adventure. For this lesson, the use of the outdoors as a backdrop for demonstrating scientific concepts allows students to make a real connection to the people, places, and animals all around them.
Our classrooms bustle with activity as the children move from center to center. In Pre-K, children laugh and help each other find the right match for a fire dog number matching game, and the sounds of Kindergartens figuring out the best way to balance the blocks for their building is a reflection of the value of cooperation. In order to encourage the development of skills and concepts taught in class, as well as a child’s imagination, students explore theme-based centers during “center time.” This time is either directed by the teacher or a “free” period during which children have opportunities both collectively and independently to choose a sustained activity. These activities may include math, writing and drawing, reading, science, housekeeping, building, and painting. As the curriculum evolves throughout the year, so do the centers.