Pre-Kindergarten classes (specific areas of study include apples and apple orchards, holidays, seasons, states of matter, author and illustrator studies, homes and addresses, families, community helpers, and other areas)
- continuing to build on two and three-year-old goals and objectives
- developing language arts skills through studies of specific letters and letter sounds and words, writing in journals about shared experiences and classroom field trips, etc. Journals are part of a portfolio of a student’s work over the year.
- developing mathematical skills through counting, beginning addition and subtraction, the concept of bundles of items representing 2’s, 10’s, etc.; continuing to build with varying sizes and types of blocks
- developing self-help skills in all areas
- engaging in sophisticated dramatic play
- understanding time over hours, days, weeks, months, seaons, and years
- continuing to develop fine and gross motor skills, especially those needed for successful printing; continuing to use the Handwriting without Tears program to begin writing
- developing confidence outside of school through several field trips across the ten months that school is in session
- Encouraging reflection and problem-solving by responding to open-ended questions throughout the class session
- Talking about special days such as Election Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Presidents’ Day to gain awareness and understanding of social studies outside of the classroom.
A Typical Pre-Kindergarten Day
Note that we have two Pre-Kindergarten classes, and each group has a different daily schedule, but both classes include the following:
- Arrival and greetings; putting away belongings and signing in to class with attendance sticks or by answering recorded open-ended questions
- Table time – participating in centers, some of which are teacher directed and some of which are self-directed. These focus on reinforcing fine motor development; emphasizing the unit of study; working cooperatively on a building project or puzzle
- Clean-up time; everyone helps
- Circle time; each class has two circles. The first is a time for greetings; honoring the child of the day; sharing thoughts, learning about time passage through calendar and counting; discussing plans for the day. The second circle features a story or book related to the unit of study; questions about a topic; sharing items from home; giving each child opportunities to speak in front of the group
- Gross motor play, either on the playground or in our large indoor play room. Each of the Pre-K classes has its own half hour on the playground on in the playroom
- Snack, which is served family style. Children pass plates of food to one another, pour their own milk and water, and develop self-help skills as well as responding to the needs of others.
- Free Choice time – Children self-select their own areas of interest from a variety of options throughout the room.
- Creative art time – Children use a wide range of materials to create their own designs
- Guided group time – children participate in a game or a pencil and paper activity that involves whole-group direction by the teacher. This activity involves following a sequence of directions and is meant to be like kindergarten experiences.
- One day each week, our music teacher instructs the children in songs, musical games, activities, movement, and puppetry for a half hour, so the above schedule is slightly adjusted
- Note that children are taken to the bathroom whenever they need to go. Most children in the pre-kindergarten classes have been toilet trained, but teachers are ready to help if an accident occurs.