Children learn best while doing. Giving a child the opportunity to figure it out for himself/herself ensures that he/she will really understand the concept. Memorizing is not the same as understanding.
Before children can understand the importance of the alphabet, they have to understand that the letters mean something when put together in certain ways. The same is true of numerals – understanding “fiveness” is as important as being able to identify the numeral. Before children can write letters or numbers, they have to have enough small muscle control to be able to hold a writing instrument and control it. Small muscle control can be gained by stringing beads, manipulating puzzle pieces and Legos, etc.
Hidden Academics Found in Play
How we encourage literacy in our classroom
- Reading quality literature to the children often in both large and small groups. Making story time fun and interactive.
- Inviting the children to tell a story, either individually or in a group. Writing down the story and then reading it back to the child shows that we respect and value their words, helps make the connection between the spoken and written word, and also helps us chart the progress they make in being able to put a story together.
- Encouraging them to write their own names on art work and waiting lists.
- Keeping a writing center stocked with envelopes, paper, alphabet charts, name cards, and word cards.
- Creating class books.
- Having a designated “journal” time when the children draw and write in their journals.
- Extending stories through art and dramatic play, using story props so that the children can tell a familiar story or make up a new story.
- Reading several versions of a familiar story, making comparisons
- Using sequencing cards.
- Working with magnetic letters.
- Playing an alphabet match game and doing alphabet puzzles.
How we encourage math skills in our room
- Counting how many children are present today.
- Recognizing the numeral and then counting out the correct number of snack pieces at the snack table.
- Manipulating magnetic pieces in many different shapes (circle, triangle, etc.)
- Playing counting and adding games such as Dotted Cards, 10-20 space grid games, and “Hi Ho Cherry-O”.
- Playing board games and card games.
- Weighing and measuring each other.
- Using geo boards.
- Ordering objects by size.
- Playing Dreidel.
- Playing math games in which a numeral is matched to the correct number of objects.
- Playing an assortment of matching games.
- Cooking/Measuring ingredients
Ways we encourage Science and Discovery in our room:
- Planting seeds
- Mixing colors
- Predicting cause and effect
- Studying properties of water
- Growing crystals
- Observing nature (changing colors of the leaves, watching a caterpillar emerge into a butterfly)
Pre-K Philosophy Statement
All children must feel valued.
- We speak to children respectfully at their eye-level.
- We use the children’s names often.
- We listen to the children’s ideas and concerns.
- We offer children choices whenever possible.
- We acknowledge children’s feelings.
- We incorporate children’s ideas and interests into the curriculum.
- We will always be honest with children.
Children need experiences that utilize all their senses.
- Children need time to interact with the materials and each other.
- Children must have hands-on experiences with new material as well as familiar ones.
Children need time for creative exploration.
- Give children lots of time to experiment and explore.
- Make time for art, dancing, music, movement, building and construction, and dramatic play.
- Children should have the ability to use the materials in unique ways.
The children are the “roots” of the classroom.
- They learn from each other.
- The curriculum is based on the children’s experiences, interests, ideas, and developmental needs.
- The classroom is a safe place to make mistakes.
- The environment encourages independence and opportunities to make choices.
- The children feel empowered in their classroom.
Special attention is given to each individual child and his/her developmental needs.
- The curriculum is geared towards each child’s learning style.
- Activities, toys and books are chosen to meet the individual needs and interests of the children.
- Expectations for each child are based on their needs and abilities.
Family’s involvement in the classroom is very important.
- You can share a family tradition with the class.
- You can provide items to enhance our curriculum.
- You can read stories to the children.
- Parents are welcome in the classroom at any time.
Social and emotional developments are key components to learning. They are linked to all other developmental areas.
- We practice cooperating with others and working independently.
- We practice sharing in a relaxed, non-threatening way.
- We take care of each other and ourselves.
- We are respectful and responsible community members.
- We always try because we can do difficult things and there is support available if we need it.
- The classroom is a safe place to express emotions.
- Feelings are acknowledged.
With confidence and a strong self-image, children are more willing to try challenging new activities, utilize creative thinking in problem solving, and share ideas.
Will my child be ready for Kindergarten?
This is a question every parent asks of a Pre-Kindergartener. Our goal is to see that all Pre-K children in our classroom are ready to learn as they enter Kindergarten. At age four, children exhibit a wide range of skills. We will work individually with each child, planning activities to expand on the skills and knowledge they already have.