Preschool Program and Learning Activities
We have committed ourselves to implementing a high quality, developmentally appropriate program for children to enjoy. We regularly take workshops, attend conferences, and research current issues and trends in early childhood education.
Our program is continually growing and changing as we make observations and reflect on the child’s perspective. Its essential goals are to guide the child to self-regulation, emotional expression, and positive social relationships - essential skills for later schooling and life.
Our daily classroom activities are a blend between teacher and child-initiated curriculum. They aim to motivate and support the child’s intellectual need to construct their understanding of concepts, while still being playful to minimize stress or feelings of incapability.
Classroom Set Up and Activities
We aim to keep the environment esthetically stimulating. Gifts of fresh flowers, plants or beautiful objects are always welcome.
The room is divided into the following areas:
Fine motor skills
Sand and water
Open shelves with an array of different art tools and materials are available for the children to choose from and create artwork. The emphasis is on choice, decisions, and process, not product. Other open-ended art activities such as ice-cube, string or marble painting are also set up in this area. Exposure to the paintings of great artists such as Emily Carr and Chagall are present for inspiration.
Children become scientists as they explore and experiments with the properties of sand, water, finger-paint, play-dough, clay, cornstarch, shaving cream, bubbles, and colors. This play serves to soothe and calm; it also stimulates vital sensory input needed for conceptual understanding.
Inside the classroom we have creatures such as fish, crickets, earthworms or snails, to investigate and observe. Outside the children help to plant bulbs, flowers, and vegetables and take care of the garden by raking leaves, sweeping, or watering the trees and flower beds.
Children experience math in many different concrete ways throughout our classroom. They can play, count, sort, classify, match, measure, pattern, seriate, and form spatial relations with a variety of equipment and objects that are integrated in all of the activity areas.
Language and Emergent Reading and Writing
Rather than using formal instruction (e.g. flash cards, work sheets) to teach pre-academic skills, we use a developmentally appropriate approach called Whole Language which relates skills such as speaking, listening, reading, and writing to the child’s interests and experiences. We help children make the connection between the written word and communication by writing down their dictated stories and then reading them at circle time. We have a print-rich environment, which is incorporated into all areas of our curriculum. Children have access to writing materials and books throughout the classroom and are exposed to a variety of literature individually and in small or large groups every day. When children show an interest in wanting to write letters and words, they are given individual support.
Children enjoy many forms of musical activities such as, singing songs, playing percussion instruments and dancing and listening to different musical styles (e.g. classical, blues, rock).
Children use real tools to hammer and saw in this area , developing eye-hand co-ordination and problem solving. Because carpentry is seen as an adult activity, its inclusion in the classroom can enhance a child’s sense of accomplishment.
We are fortunate to have our natural outdoor play space for sand and water play, bike riding, hiding, climbing, and running around. We take the children on walks and picnics in the forest to hug the trees and learn about forest plants and animals. We have use of the tennis courts to play with balls, hoops, and parachute games.
For pictures of our school, please visit our Photo Galleries.