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Classroom Activities

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 consists of a more structured group setting where children are asked to practice self-control, increase attention span, and develop listening skills. Children participate in discussions by listening first, then responding by taking turns. The children record the weather, mark the calendar, sing songs, listen to stories, practice fingerplays, and talk about what they would like to explore that day.

Learning Centers - Learning Centers offer plenty of hands-on experiences that allow children to expand and develop cognitive, social, small and large motor skills.

Clean Up/Snack - During this time children share in responsibility for cleaning up the Preschool Lab. Self-help skills such as washing hands, pouring juice and rinsing cups are developed. Snack is also a social time where children learn table manners and visit with each other and the teacher.

Outside Play/Creative Movement - The playground outside the Preschool Lab is utilized whenever possible. Large motor and social skills are components of this activity. Our creative movement classes also provide a time for the children to enjoy physical exercise. During the winter months the M/W/F class walks to the Old '77 gym for 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 from home items relating to the letter of the week, while the three year old class chooses any item to share.

Music - Music activities are designed to help children explore sound and experience enjoyment through singing, listening and moving music. Auditory memory and discrimination are increased while language development is enhanced by using instruments, recordings and voices.

Dismissal - At the end of the day the teachers help the children practice putting on their own coats and getting their back packs together. We join our circle once again and close the day with a goodbye song. The children wait on their rug pieces while parents/guardians enter the preschool room . The safety of the student is insured and the family is also provided with a time for informal communication with our staff.

Field Trips - Field trips either on campus or within a short driving distance are often included in our curriculum. These monthly trips extend experiences learned in the classroom to the outside world. Parents are always notified of such plans in advance, by way of field trip permission forms, newsletters and notes. We encourage parental participation in transportation and in providing field trip ideas. Some examples include the equestrian horse farm, lumberyard, apple orchard, retirement home, and local airport.


Learning Centers

Art - Art provides 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. Examples can be found in our art gallery.

Blocks - Constructive play allows the 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, are also fostered in this area.

Computer Lab - We use the computer center in our classroom to encouragement social engagement, peer teaching, cognitive learning, and fine motor skills. College student volunteers facilitate this activity on a daily basis.

Dramatic Play - Here children put on puppet shows, play dress-up, and pretend. This area enhances creative expression and imagination, social role play, verbal skills and storytelling.

Large Motor - Our encouragement of gross motor skills is tailored to the individual level of each child. The Preschool Lab has a climbing structure inside the facility as well as a large play structure on the playground. Balls, tricycles, a large sandbox and a playhouse are also part of the outside play experience.

Literacy - We offer plenty of experiences with written language both formal and informal. Literacy in the classroom includes experience stories, story telling, invented writing and environmental print. We have an extensive library of age appropriate children's books. This area provides a comfortable, quiet place for children to read and relax.

Math - Math centers help children learn basic mathematics through counting, sorting, classifying, sequencing, one to one correspondence and watching.

Science - Science centers allow children to make discoveries through creative activity. Through experimentation, basic principles of science are learned.

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, geoboards, puzzles and Legos.

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, but are frequently part of the preschool day.