Exploring seasons and holidays, field trips and classroom themes create a foundation for rich language experiences. Units are designed to reinforce and expand developing pre-reading and pre-writing skills, such as expanding vocabulary, hearing and retelling stories, and drawing and dictating journal entries. Students also learn finger plays, use puppets and retell flannel board stories to support emerging skills. One such unit is based on the book, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. During this unit, the children engage in variety of activities to reinforce letter recognition and expand developing pre-reading skills. [picture]
Math skills including number recognition, rote counting, patterns, similarities and differences, size, quantity and making predictions are introduced and reinforced throughout the year. Review of the class calendar is one method that supports growth in these areas. Children review the number of days they have been in school or count down the days until an exciting class activity. Size and quantity are explained through graphs, scales, and flannel board activities.
Students study their community, explore differences and develop an understanding about the world around them. Social Studies units provide many opportunities for students to share their experiences.
In classroom science children begin to learn about predictions and observations and are introduced to conducting experiments. They are encouraged to first say what they think will happen and to then say what they see happening. As the year progresses open-ended experiments emphasize helping the children to focus their thinking and verbalize what they observe.
Students observe changes in nature by planting seeds, observing ants in an ant farm, watching caterpillars mature into butterflies and tadpoles become bullfrogs. The properties of liquids and solids are explored through activities with water and eggs. Units on the body and the senses are also covered. Once a week, the children enjoy a dedicated science class in small groups, in the Preschool Science Lab or outside in the Wildlife Habitat.
Students are introduced to technology as they use computers to practice pre-reading skills. Once a week, children work one-on-one with the computer teacher in their homerooms to learn to use technology respectfully and to begin to develop computer literacy. They are expected to follow directions and develop hand eye coordination as they learn to use a mouse.