We provide comforting and safe routines, small class sizes and loving teachers in an effort to help these little ones adjust to being part of a group, gain independence and learn new skills. Teachers lovingly guide students as they work on separating from parents, awareness of others (empathy), self-control, making transitions, listening and self-expression. We develop large muscles in daily activities such as climbing, running, jumping and dancing. Fine motor skills are developed through fun activities such as puzzles, using playdough with various tools, painting, and drawing. Classroom activities are designed to foster creativity, imagination, problem solving skills, exploration and experimentation. Children develop their language skills through singing, listening to stories, dramatic play, and vocabulary development. Starting with their own names, children begin to learn about letters and words. Early math concepts are introduced through hands-on activities. Manipulatives, finger plays, counting songs, and games are just a few of the tools used to help understanding.
Our enriching classrooms are full of activities designed to meet our goals of providing a stimulating environment for these active learners. We encourage development in all of the important areas through a variety of hands-on learning experiences. We emphasize cooperative play and working together. During circle time, children are sharing, listening, and participating with others. At centers, children play independently and in small groups. For three year olds, we focus on understanding and respecting personal space. Teachers encourage students to use their words to work out problems. We integrate language, pre-reading, and writing skills through literature. Books with rhyme and rhythm allow children to play with language and focus on hearing differences and similarities in language. Nonfiction books increase knowledge about the world around us. Singing songs, finger plays and class discussions further add to language learning. We provide many opportunities to incorporate pre-math skills into the daily routine. Children count daily. They count everything from the number of children in line to how many grapes are in their lunch. Children participate in calendar time, sorting activities, graphing, shape and number recognition and problem solving. Many of our games and centers encourage hands-on concept development.
The pre-k curriculum provides a smooth transition from skills learned in the three year old classroom as well as builds the skills needed for a successful kindergarten year. We continue to use a theme/literature based curriculum that is reinforced in various learning centers. Get Set for School Language and Literacy program is a child-friendly developmentally appropriate program that will stimulate and sustain learning. At four, children are becoming more aware of language, both oral and written. Letters are emphasized both on correct letter formation and phonemic awareness. Children need to have a strong foundation in spoken language in order to be successful with reading and the written language. Songs, finger plays, and games encourage children to manipulate sounds. Early reading skills are built through read aloud which is an interactive session involving the whole class. Pre-k students will also participate in the Handwriting Without Tears program. This program helps to develop visual discrimination and necessary fine motor skills for writing in kindergarten. Children in the pre-k class are continuing to develop number knowledge and acquire ideas about size, space, and positon of objects. Children will learn math vocabulary and are encouraged to use it when expressing ideas. Concepts of patterning, one to one correspondence, ordinal numbers, and recognizing numerals are introduced with a numbers and math curriculum from Get Set for School. This curriculum is hands-on and both meaningful and fun. Children build confidence with their ability to follow routines independently and know what is expected of them. Self-management skills are encouraged such as packing and unpacking their backpack, handling their own buttons, zippers, snaps, opening their own lunch items and cleaning up after themselves. Children are beginning to solve their own problems about sharing and difference of opinion. Teachers will build these skills through teaching encouragement and modeling. Our pre-k curriculum is based off recommendations of the Texas Education Agency pre-k guidelines.