Curriculum in Preschool
The preschool curriculum is designed to be emergent in nature to follow the needs and interests of the children.
Developmental goals for preschool include:
Self-awareness: understanding one’s personal preferences, developing trust in relationships, emotional well-being, demonstrating knowledge of personal information. Developing a sense of wonder in the world
Self-Regulation: understanding routines and transitions, following rules, expressing feelings appropriately, demonstrating personal responsibility, self-selecting play, respecting others and property
Building Relationships with Peers: recognizing the emotions of other and responding appropriately, engaging in interactive play, forming friendships, resolving conflicts.
Three Year Olds:
The three year old curriculum expands on the foundation established in the two-year old classes. This class offers a schedule of independent, small group, and large group activities. Students in the class begin to become more independent through self-toileting, hand washing, putting materials away, and cleaning up the classroom during transitions. The students continue to learn about literacy, numeracy, and shapes and colors through explicit lessons built around themes in the classroom. Play-dough and scissors are a few examples of activities to promote fine motor development. Manipulatives are an important teaching tool to encourage students to develop a sense of patterning, creativity, promote inquisitiveness, and encourage observations. Students at this age love to ask questions and are naturally curious, a perfect time to introduce science concepts through the use of nature (such as growing butterflies) and everyday objects (such as building blocks). Opportunities for cooking teach about nutrition, measuring, mixing, and how matter changes.Play continues to be important at this age, and at St. Thomas, we incorporate a long period of unstructured play to allow opportunities for social development, questioning and clarifying language opportunities amongst peers, and to allow children to climb, run, and swing.Teachers weave a rich curriculum through the use of preschool manipulatives such as puzzles, imaginative play through toy cars and dress up, literature, and art opportunities with rich sensorial experiences.
Enrichment: Music, Chapel, Spanish
Four Year Olds:
The goal of the four-year old program is to prepare students for kindergarten by continuing to build on the preschool foundation. Lessons in the four year old class are more structured, and children learn to attend for longer periods of time. A developmental, center-based approach to learning allows student to make choices, follow their interests, and capitalize on their curiosity. Students begin to learn letter names and phonics while participating in small and large group activities. Pre-literacy skills include learning about print, learning about language, making predictions, asking questions, sharing evaluations, and retelling stories. Students begin to learn to write letters and numbers on either the white boards, chalk boards, or paper with markers. Learning about numbers and counting is incorporated into play. Play continues to be an important part of the preschool curriculum. This is an age when children begin to explore role-playing and creating puppet shows. Children enjoy weekly art projects and have opportunities for self-expression through art.Teachers make choices about manipulatives to meet a variety of developmental processes, and they rotate the materials to maximize interest. Further, students have opportunities to have computer and Spanish classes. Chapel is part of every day for the class.Again, teachers choose manipulatives and curriculum such as calendar math to provide a well-rounded experience. Materials used published by:Frog Street Press,Handwriting without Tears, Carson Dellosa, and Abeka.
Enrichment: Music, Chapel, Library, Spanish, Computer
Gift of Time:
The GOT class provides an extra year of growth or students to prepare for kindergarten. The class offers developmentally appropriate activities to enhance readiness for kindergarten success. This class is designed for students who turn five years old over the summer before the September 1 cut off date, or those who just miss the date for kindergarten placement. The curriculum is similar to the kindergarten class with built in time to allow students to gain confidence and refine their skills.
Enrichment: Music, Chapel, Library, Spanish, Computer, P.E.
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