Our preschool curriculum is based upon the Virginia Standards of Learning and Foundation Blocks for Early Childhood by the Virginia Department of Education, which establishes a range of skills and knowledge that are essential in assisting children in a smooth transition to Kindergarten. We specifically use the High Reach curriculum, which teaches children about math, science, and social studies, which introduces them to counting and adding, seasons and animals, and different people of the world. Our preschool curriculum programs contain teaching support materials and family components that provide a solid foundation from which explorations can be built and extended according to the specific curiosities of the children. Curriculum for Threes and Curriculum for Pre-K develops essential Kindergarten readiness skills through play and investigation, encourages self help skills, promotes best practices, provides new language and social navigation skills, and simplifies lesson planning.
Our preschool classrooms are divided into 7 interest centers: Science & Sensory, Dramatic Play, Blocks, Music, Manipulatives, Language and Literacy, Art, and Fine Motor in order to promote intentional learning. Our classroom boasts displays of children’s artwork, pictures of themselves, family and loved ones, and colorful posters and materials of diversity and everyday experiences that children can relate to. Our teachers engage in children’s play by asking questions, providing descriptions, and furthering thought processes and curiosity using these centers and displays.
Preschool: 3 to 5 Year Olds
As a basic evaluation for all children we use the Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ). These questionnaires are completed at the time of enrollment, and then semi-annually for each child. They are completed by our teachers, scored, and then sent home with parents for verification. Any child scoring in a “monitor” or “below” category will be given activities focused on improving skills in the concerned area and re-evaluated in 2 months. If re-evaluation still results in cause for concern, with parents permission, the child’s scores will be entered into a referral system. For further information in regards to the assessment tool, please visit: http://www.brookespublishing.com/resource-center/screening-and-assessment/asq/
Our main goals in lesson planning for our Preschool classroom are based upon the K-W-L strategy. We start with what children Know, invite more knowledge by finding out what they Want to Know, and then reflect on what they have Learned.
We do this by:
Knowing: Our teachers find out what children know by beginning each day with a question that will address the topic of discussion and learning.
Exploring what they Want to Know: Our teachers enhance the classroom environment by placing props and rotating materials that relate to the topic of learning. This prompts children’s curiosity and encourages them to ask questions about the topic. Our teachers observe and record what the children are curious about. They then expand on this and use it as a learning experience, guiding children to their own answers by asking open ended questions and exploring possibilities and experiments that furthers a child’s thought process, eventually leading them to a conclusion
Reviewing what they have Learned: Our teachers record and build on what children have learned and use this as reference throughout the topic of study.
Outdoor play, as well as sensory activities, is a part of our everyday learning. We have frequent toy rotation and sanitize toys at the end of every day. We provide all meals: breakfast, lunch and an afternoon snack and an individual nap mat for each child. We ask that parents supply a nap mat cover and a change of clothing.
Once a child begins our Jr Kindergarten program, we use the Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening (PALS) assessment tool, which is a measure of young children’s knowledge of important emergent literacy fundamentals including: name writing, alphabet knowledge, beginning sound awareness, print and word awareness, rhyme awareness, and nursery rhyme awareness. Each child will be evaluated three (3) times per year: fall, mid-year and spring. The purpose of these evaluations is to provide an instructional framework for curricular planning for literacy development. The scores are entered into an online database that will follow your child into the public school system and provide instructors with the ability to make well informed choices about what to teach in order to advance children’s literacy development. For further information please visit: http://pals.virginia.edu