3-5 years * 1:10 Ratio *
Using differentiated instruction, flexible grouping and individualized instruction, our multi-ageprekindergarten classrooms give children of all ages an opportunity to learn social-emotional, cognitive, and physical skills. Our goal is getting your child ready for kindergarten. To prepare for formal schooling, all of our 3-5 year olds, both part and full time, are enrolled in a developmentally appropriate academic setting. This program includes instruction across all domains of learning and is aligned with Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) standards.
The learning environment is primarily based on The Creative Curriculum*, a MSDE approved curriculum. Throughout the day, children make self-directed and guided choices to teacher structured learning centers. Children also participate in large and small teacher directed groups, and receive one-on-one instruction. Through informal and formal observations of their children, teachers can individualize their lesson plans. This is known as differentiated instruction. The Creative Curriculum model blends well with a multi-age classroom because it highlights teaching the individual child based on their strengths and challenges, instead of merely teaching to one age group using a set of developmental milestones.
*Dodge, Colker, & Heroman; Teaching Strategies, Inc.
Teachers build upon, rather than direct or control, the thoughts and actions of children. Children are guided to critical learning experiences that form the building blocks of healthy development. Using The Creative Curriculum and knowledge of the children and families as a framework, teachers use their talent and expertise to design, adapt, and invent learning centers that best serve their children.
Our teachers are trained in the Maryland Model for School Readiness, an instructional and assessment system designed to provide a common understanding of what children know and are able to do upon entering school. We incorporate research based instruction, age-appropriate assessment of children’s learning, and communication between teachers and parents. Teachers receive on-going professional development to implement these practices.
Throughout the school year, we offer nine different units of study. These thematic curriculum topics will offer opportunities to ask questions and discover how things work. Children will create and experiment, developing the critical thinking and problem-solving skills they will need to succeed in kindergarten, school and life. Well planned learning centers allow for learning through play and child choice. The development of language, mathematical reasoning, and scientific thought are emphasized throughout the centers. The teachers make changes to the learning environment each month to reflect thematic units. Learning centers result in the guided experiences that encompass all the skills and understandings necessary for optimum development and success in school.
Our school offers each child experience with a rich literacy program with a strong reading – writing component. As they are ready, children will receive formal writing instruction through the Handwriting Without Tears writing program.
Our curriculum is designed to maximize:
Personal & Social Development
Working cooperatively, planning projects with friends, interacting appropriately with adults, participating in the group life of the class, showing empathy and caring, seeking help to resolve conflicts,
Using strategies to solve mathematical problems, showing understanding of number and quantity, sorting objects into subgroups that vary by one or two attributes, recognizing, duplicating and extending patterns, recognizing and describing attributers of shapes, ordering, comparing and describing objects according to a single attribute.
Asking questions when observing and exploring materials, continuing to use simple tools and equipment for investigation, continuing to make comparisons.
Identifying similarities and differences in personal and family characteristics, beginning to understand family needs, roles and relationships, describing some peoples jobs, continuing to be aware of technology and how it affects life, demonstrating awareness of rules, beginnings to express geographic thinking, showing beginning awareness of the relationship between people and where they live.
Participating in music, movement, dance and drama experiences and using a variety of art materials.
Physical Development & Health
Learning to move with balance and control, learning coordination, improving fine motor ability, using eye-hand coordination, showing beginning control of writing, drawing, and art tools, performing self-care tasks independently, and following basic health and safety rules
Language & Literacy
Gaining meaning by listening, learning letter and sound recognition and rules of print, following multi-step directions, demonstrating phonological awareness, speaking clearly and accurately, using an expanded vocabulary and language, beginning understanding of concepts about print, representing ideas and stories through pictures, dictation and play.
PreKindergarten Literacy Curriculum
NAEYC and IRA (the International Reading Association) have published a joint position statement on Developmentally Appropriate Practices (DAP) for reading and writing in early childhood programs. It stresses that literacy is emergent and develops along a continuum. The early childhood years – birth through age eight – are the most important period for literacy development. However, the position statement also acknowledges that often the early beginnings of literacy acquisition have resulted in the use of inappropriate teaching practices suited to older children. The purpose of this curriculum is to offer a variety of DAP activities that can be used with our students in order to provide the foundation they need to read and write.
Activities are included for the following areas:
Phonological Awareness: The sounds of language, including rhythms, rhyme, sound similarities and at the highest level, awareness of syllables and phonemes.
Letter Knowledge: The ability to identify the letters of the alphabet.
The Alphabetic Principle: The understanding that there is a systematic relationship between letters and sounds. Letters stand for phonemes, which are the smallest unit of sound. They combine to form syllables and words.
An Understanding of Print: Print represents the words that can be read aloud. We read and write left to right, top to bottom. The language of print – spaces, sentences, punctuation Comprehension Monitoring:: The ability of children to examine their understanding of what they are reading when they are reading it. What is read makes sense.
Writing: Organizing marks to communicate for a purpose.
Tiger: Friends* Autumn* Intro to Food and Nutrition* Nursery Rhymes* Winter* Building* Shapes* Spring* Cars and Trucks
Ocean, Monkey and Alligator: Myself * Health & Safety * Music * Nutrition * Weather * Communication * Dinosaurs * Insects * Plants * Family * Farm * Libraries, Stories, Books * Celebrations * Health * Tools & Machines * Zoo * Rocks, Soil, Our Earth * Water
A part time option is available for three- and four-year-olds. Children may attend MWF, TTh or M-F from 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM. We also offer a Preschool Plus option which allows children to remain at school until 1:30 PM one or two days per week. This program runs from September through May. Children may not combine this program with regular or occasional full-time-care.