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.
Outdoor Active Play
Children will spend approximately 30 minutes each preschool session (rain or shine, snow or ice) outdoors engaged in active play. It is very rare for the weather to prevent us going outdoors at all.
Children will be encouraged to run, jump, climb, ride bikes, sled in the snow, and dig in the sand in our outdoor area. Sometimes outdoor play will involve a walk in the neighboring forest where children will navigate the forest path by climbing over and under branches and running along the paths.
Neighborhood walks will be also taken occasionally. Group games such as “What Time is it Mr. Wolf”, “Follow the Leader”, “Farmers in the Dell” and Parachute games will be played on the tennis courts or in Anmore’s Spirit park which has a large space to facilitate active group games.
Children learn about other cultures and traditions by providing hands on exploration through cooking, dance, music, instruments, stories clothing and materials.
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.
This type of play is where children accept and assign roles to one another. It is a time when the pretend to be something or someone and they create situations and actions to go along with these roles. Children are actively experimenting with the social and emotional roles of life. By providing various types of dramatic play children engage themselves in different roles.
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.
Music helps the body and mind work together. Exposing children to a variety of music during early childhood will help them learn the sounds and meanings of words. Movement with music helps children build motor skills while allowing them to practice self expression.
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 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.
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.