Our Preschool provides whole group activities, small group activities, and individual activities for the children. Various art media are presented daily and are used by the children to create their own product. The classroom is divided into learning areas which include the art center, science or discovery center, block center, manipulative or fine motor center, library corner, quiet corner, sensory table, dramatic play, writing center, listening center, and the music center. Children are encouraged to participate in self-selected activities in these centers, which are pursued either on their own or with teacher guidance and assistance. Each class plays in one of our 3 playgrounds every morning and afternoon for at least 1/2 hour each time. Nature walks and outdoor learning activities are integrated into the curriculum and current themes. Group 4 has Chapel, Motor Skills, Music, and Spanish bi-weekly.
The curriculum for our Group 4 class continues to build on the skills developed from previous years. However, it is noted that this age group has it’s own unique milestones of development. Children are provided with many opportunities to practice their writing and literacy skills, self-help skills, fine and gross motor skills, and socialization skills. Receptive and expressive language is encouraged to further develop in circle time and every-day interactions between the students themselves, and between the student and the teacher. Around this age, the child may take interest in some concepts of print skills, such as their own name or the first letter of their name. The child may also begin to recognize other letters in the alphabet and understand that print carries meaning. Often, an enhanced interest in books, reading, and puppetry is seen and the classroom teachers will facilitate these interests. Materials and time are provided for children to explore and learn about the environment, to exercise their natural curiosity, and to experiment with cause and effect relationships, thus promoting cognitive development. Creativity is fostered through all of the classroom centers and language and literacy skills are an embedded part of the curriculum.
The children enjoy a greater variety of experiences and more small motor activities such as cutting with scissors, using smaller manipulatives, lacing activities, and other materials to strengthen small muscle control. Outdoor play and motor skills class further develop large motor skills. Opportunities are provided for the children to demonstrate and practice their newly developed self-help skills. At this age, the children will progress through various stages of play. The children will play alone (solitary,) side by side (parallel,) or with 1 or 2 other children (cooperative). As they near 4 or 5 years of age, some of the children will play in larger groups (socio-dramatic play, organized games, or games with rules).
In our classes, we take a balanced literacy approach. Listening, speaking, reading, and writing are integrated throughout all academic and social learning. Children proceed at their own pace and approach the activities at their developmental level. Children are exposed to a print-rich environment and are participants in multiple literacy based interactions, stories, and other activities daily. Listening to their teacher read well-known children's literature, and participating in activities which highlight phonemic awareness are often a favorite activity for children of this age group. Drawing, copying words and letters, and inventive spelling is encouraged in these classes. The children experiment with and enjoy various types of music and art. All activities are responsive to individual differences in ability and interests.
Our Group 4 lead teacher is Martha Lybrook and the assistant teacher is Diana Sandoval.