Preparation - The staff prepare the classroom by taking down chairs from the table, placing rug pieces on the floor for Circle Time, preparing the snack for the day, setting up art projects and developmental skill areas on the tables, turning on the computer, preparing sanitizing solution and washing hands for the day.
Arrival - Families are welcomed to the preschool. The teachers greet the children and encourage them to hang up their coat and backpack in their locker and then help them transition to a free play activity. We suggest that parents or caregivers only stay a few minutes to say goodbye. Families are encouraged to have their child arrive by 9:00 AM.
Free Play – Free play provides opportunities for learning and social interaction. Self-directed centers of interest are set up to allow children to independently choose activities that help them separate and adjust to the beginning of the day.
Circle Time – Circle Time is a more structured setting where children are asked to practice self-regulation, increase attention span, and develop listening skills. The children greet one another, record the weather, mark the calendar, sing songs, listen to stories, practice finger plays, and talk about what they would like to learn that day. We encourage children to take turns talking and listening to each other.
Activity Center Descriptions – Children are encouraged to freely choose any and all centers listed below. Specific skills checks and activities are facilitated by the teachers during Activity Center Time.
Art – Art projects provide children with opportunities for expanding their creative expression and imagination as well as discovering aesthetic pleasure from art itself. Fine motor skills such as holding a paintbrush and cutting paper are developed when children create art. We encourage self-directed art projects that are unique for each child.
Blocks - Constructive play allows children to create structures of their own design, while developing concepts of size, numbers, shape, and weight. Eye-hand coordination, as well as a sense of accomplishment is also fostered in this area.
Books – We have an extensive library of wide variety and age-appropriate literature for children. This comfortable area provides a quiet place to read and relax. Book reading strengthens cognitive, listening and language skills. Families are encouraged to sign up to be classroom readers.
Computer – We use the computer center in our classroom to encourage social engagement, peer teaching, cognitive learning, and fine motor skills. College student volunteers facilitate this activity on a daily basis.
Dramatic Play – Children are encouraged to put on puppet shows, dress-up, and engage in pretend play. This area enhances creative expression and imagination, social role-play, verbal skills, and storytelling by offering a wide variety of multi-cultural and age appropriate materials.
Language - Language Arts is an integral part of our curriculum. We promote a language-rich environment where children are encouraged to freely express themselves, engage in social problem solving, and ‘use their words.’ Stories, conversations, and observations are narrated by the children and posted throughout our school. Written words in scribble form are the beginning of a positive attitude toward language.
Large Motor – Our encouragement of gross motor skills is tailored to the individual level of each child and encourages muscle control, balance and coordination. The Preschool Lab has a slide and climbing platform inside the facility as well as large trucks, barrels and riding toys.
Math – Math activities expose children to numerical concepts such as counting, number recognition, one-to-one correspondence, more or less than, and grouping objects into sets. Hands-on experiences encourage the understanding of mathematical concepts.
Science – Science experiences allow children to explore, touch, examine, question, take risks, and discover. A science table is set up year-round to encourage daily experimentation. Simple tools, sensory tables, scales, gears and pets are a part of the classroom and allow for science exploration. Exposure to scientific concepts is enhanced by the availability of the college greenhouse, incubator, outdoor biology lab and science displays.
Small Motor – These activities allow children to develop manipulative skills, fine motor control, and eye-hand coordination. Some small motor activities include play-doh, painting, stringing beads, geo-boards, puzzles, and Lego blocks.
Woodworking and Cooking – Our woodworking station and cooking facilities are located in the Preschool Lab. Woodworking projects advance eye-hand coordination skills and small muscle growth. During cooking activities children measure, count, and follow directions. For safety reasons these centers are more structured, teacher facilitated and are offered during scheduled times.
Clean Up/Snack/Health – Children share the responsibility of cleaning up the preschool. Self-help skills such as independent toileting, washing hands, pouring juice, and rinsing cups are encouraged. Snack is also a social time where children learn table manners and visit with each other and the teachers. Healthy eating is promoted and a variety of nutritional foods are a part of snack-time.
Outside Play & Creative Movement – We use the playground outside the preschool whenever possible. Children develop their large motor and social skills during outside play. A climbing structure, swings, sliding board, tricycles, balls, scooters and a child sized playhouse are included in the playground equipment. The M/W/F class walks to the college’s Old ’77 gym on Wednesdays for creative movement sessions during the winter months.
Music – Activities are designed to help children explore sound and enjoy singing, listening, and moving to music. By using recordings, instruments, and voices, children learn rhythm, beat, and pitch. College students majoring in music may sometimes lead these sessions.
Show and Tell – While children share their own special items from home during this activity; it is also a learning experience. Show and Tell allows children to develop language and cooperative skills in a familiar social context. The four year old class brings in items relating to the letter of the week, while the three year old class chooses any item to share.
Dismissal – Departure is the closing routine of a busy day. The children sing the “Good-bye Song”, practice self-help skills by putting on their coats, and gathering projects or information to be taken home. The parent or caregiver is asked to enter the classroom to pick-up their child.