"Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood." -Fred Rogers
We embrace this philosophy as ten children gather together along with their certified teacher and caring aide, to play. Not only do we play, but we engage in developmentally appropriate socialization and learning activities.
After 30 minutes of free play, the class joins together for circle time. It consists of a good morning song, weather bear, fingerplays, songs, and a story. This starts out short in time and lengthens, as the children are ready for more. Parents are amazed at what their toddlers can do! We then have a snack and prepare for centers. Each class focuses around a theme and the children do a craft that matches it. The children have an opportunity to use a variety of materials throughout the year. The teacher also gives an overview of the day after each class.
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Our three year old program is made up of a certified teacher, qualified aides and a fabulous group of children.
We begin our day with a half hour of cooperative play. During this time, parents may sign up to work with the children in small groups or help the children use the computer. Keeping the attention span of a three year old in mind, our class has two short circle times, one before and after snack. Next, the children in small group centers that go with the theme of the day The centers are chosen to reinforce large and small motor skills, age appropriate academic skills, and social skills.
Each month we reinforce/learn a specific color, shape, and learn a nursery rhyme. We also pray daily. At the end of every class the teacher greets the parents and gives an overview of the day. This is when the parents can learn the concepts of the day so they can then reinforce these topics at home. During this time the children are doing an activity with the aide: a short story, a song, a short game, along with a "Jesus Loves You" activity. Our class goes on two field trips a year. Our fall trip is to Cherry Crest Farm. We then visit Springton Manor in the spring.
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We have several options available for our 4/5 year old children. Our first is a traditional half day program (9:00-11:30). The second is an all day option (9:00-3:00). Each class includes a certified teacher, qualified aide, and a super group of
children. Our day begins with 30 minutes of free play. This is
time when the children arrive and are able to choose an
activity. Choices include arts and crafts, building activities,
dramatic play, language skills and math skills. Children are
also responsible for cleaning up areas in which they play. The
goal of free play is to increase social skills and
independence, decision making skills, self-control, and
self-esteem as well as various academic skills.
We then proceed to circle time in which large group instruction helps children learn school social skills such as, taking turns when sharing ideas, listening to others, following rules in group games, and participating in group musical activities. Academic skills are taught through daily alphabet and math activities such as calendar. The children are given a bathroom break and then it's on to snack and storytime.
After storytime, we break into small groups and the children rotate through various fun and educational center activities. Center activities vary depending on the letter of the week or the theme being taught and usually include crafts, puzzles, games or imaginative play. This time is wonderful for learning speaking and listening skills, academic skills (letter, number, and shape recognition and writing, counting, patterns, sequencing, sorting, rhyming words, opposites, direction following), fine motor skills (holding pencils and scissors properly, cutting continuously on a line, name writing, completing puzzles and stringing beads).
Our half day class dismisses at 11:30. Our full day children will continue their day with lunch/recess, rest time and enrichment activities.
At the end of class children meet with the classroom aide to say goodbye to each other and participate in a closing circle, while the teacher greets the parents outside the classroom to give an overview of the days activities and upcoming events.