Programs & Curriculum
LEARNING CENTERS/SMALL GROUPS
We feel that children learn best in small, interactive groups, therefore, the majority of our curriculum is taught in centers—small groups who work together on particular areas of interest. Typical centers could include such areas as art, housekeeping and blocks, but we also teach handwriting, phonics awareness and math as a center. If you visit a classroom, you will most likely see the children in these small groups, working with a teacher or aide and interacting with one another. Social skills are enhanced as the child learns.
Small group time is a separate specific time used to accomplish specific goals—especially in math, phonics, and handwriting. Small groups are different from center time in that the activities are mostly teacher led with specific goals. During the second semester of the school year, phonics and handwriting workbooks are used in the 4/5 year old classrooms.
In view of emergent literacy in preschool age children, our curriculum does not focus on skill alone. We endeavor to foster a love of reading beginning as early as our infant/toddler classes. Our initial approach includes the “lap method.” The child sits in someone’s lap while they share a story with them, which is often one of the most enjoyable for both staff and child. Books that relate specifically to the weekly themes are read throughout the week to enhance a love of reading, to begin to foster literacy skills and to extend the focus of the weekly theme.
As the child begins their formal preschool years of instruction, we begin by laying a foundation of language, listening, writing and reading and continue to strengthen this foundation throughout their preschool experience.
We use what we consider a stair-step approach which having begun with the lap method progresses through phonemic awareness/phonics.
Letter/ Sound Recognition
Introduction to Letters/ Sounds
Any area of a classroom can assist in fostering literacy. Example: The Block Area may include books with pictures of types of buildings, blueprints of a building or varying sizes of blocks that assist the child in visual discrimination.
Please understand that all methods are adaptable and interchangeable depending on the individual child.
Weekly themes are presented as a means of directing the learning in every classroom. Books and field trips are theme related. Our afternoon child care program uses the same themes as the morning preschool classes to avoid confusion and to extend learning throughout the day.