Upon arrival children are invited to choose interest areas within the classroom to play and work including Dramatic Play, Blocks, Art, and Book Area. During this choice time a Teacher directed project is offered in small groups to the children. The project is an extension of the concepts being worked on each day such as colors, shapes, numbers, and letter recognition. Beginning in January we focus on a letter of the week with many theme based activities to reinforce. Other activities are offered daily include table/floor puzzles, playdough, painting, drawing, cutting, gluing to name some examples.
Circle time is provided daily for children in an engaging, interactive and age appropriate manner. The children are introduced to concepts related to the weather and calendar for example. This large group offering helps children practice taking turns, listening and speaking in front of others.
A predictable schedule is provided each day so the children can gain comfort in the structure of the schedule, they know what to anticipate and can better regulate themselves as they transition through the day. Each day of the week offers a special offering. Mondays we have Yoga, Tuesdays and Wednesdays we have a Music class, Thursdays our Teachers prepare a Science activity and Fridays we visit our Sensory Exploration room.
Outdoor time is provided daily unless the weather is not appropriate. If we can’t get outdoors we visit our indoor large motor room. We believe the children need this dedicated time to run, jump, climb and be free.
Story time is provided on a daily basis as well. Children are given time on the “reading quilt” for independent reading and teachers read to the children daily, either in a large group, small group or during snack time. Stories offered are geared to reinforce the concepts being introduced such as specific letters, shapes, colors, holidays, etc. Felt board stories are also offered daily which can be more interactive for children as they are given turns to apply the pieces as the stories are told.
Group responsibilities are important to learn at this age. As a group the children are asked to help clean up the room when play and work is done or even help set the table for snack. Specific jobs are assigned to children daily to help guide them such as line leader or handing out cups. This helps to build pride, independence and cooperation. We often play music to clean up to which helps make the process fun.
Snack is served family style with a teacher present at the table to engage the children in conversation. Manners and social skills are emphasized and practiced. As children finish they are expected to clean their space by throwing out their garbage and they then report to the reading area to look at books while their friends finish. This allows everyone ample time to finish and not feel rushed.
Toileting is approached in a supportive and positive manner. Children develop at their own pace and we will help them through this process. Many 3 three year olds are already trained but may still have accidents, which is okay. We offer bathroom times daily, especially before going outdoors and will take any child any time they need to go. Emphasis is placed on helping the child gain full independence from start to finish including washing hands.