The Day School strives to engage children in a variety of self-selected and teacher-directed activities. An observer can expect to see children painting and draw, building and riding, working puzzles and creating peg patterns, hammering nails, pounding clay, sliding and climbing, co-operating and negotiating, dancing and singing—children learning and growing through their play.
The environment encourages wondering, problem-solving, questioning and all areas of cognitive, social-emotional and physical development through play and planned activities. Social development goals include recognizing one’s own needs, feelings, and rights and making these known to others; recognizing and respecting the rights, feelings, and needs of others; and moving through the stages of play to the level of cooperative level.
(See resources for Parten’s Stages of Play)
At the beginning of our classroom time, we gather on our rug for our morning meeting. During our morning meeting, we:
• Greet one another (social skills)
• See how many children are present (counting)
• Discover who is not at school (deductive reasoning)
• Review job assignments (responsibility)
• Review our schedule for the day (executive functioning-planning/organization)
At the end of our day, we gather on our rug again. During our concluding meeting, we:
• Summarize our day
• Give each child an opportunity to share a question, a comment, or singing a solo
• We sing goodbye and look forward to seeing each other again
To read more about how social skill and Executive Functioning impact future learning, see our resource page.
Our preschool curriculum embodies the belief that all children can love learning. We support each child’s
individuality and independence. Our preschoolers have opportunities to lead, to follow and to explore within their play. Our teachers provide an environment that supports authenticity, self-discovery, and empathy. In this environment, children develop self-confidence and feel a sense of success. It is this confidence and success which fosters a love of learning. A typical day of free play includes activities like these:
- Self-directed free art with a variety of paper, scissors, glue tape, stamps, etc. (creative expression, fine motor development)
- Building using Legos, unit blocks, hollow blocks, train tracks, etc. (problem-solving, planning and executing- trial and error)
- Dramatic play with dress-ups, kitchen, dolls (utilizing imagination, problem-solving, developing social skills)
- Working with playdoh (fine-motor development, tactile exploration)
- Discovery Table (sensory exploration, cause, and effect)
At our Project Table, children and teachers collaborate to create a piece of work. This activity gives children the opportunity to follow directions, respecting materials provided and feel a sense of accomplishment when reflecting on their work. Examples of activities:
- Painting (sensory exploration)
- Cutting (fine motor)
- Drawing (spatial relations)
- Gluing(small muscle development, eye-hand coordination)
Movement is an important part of our day. Children develop hand-eye coordination, motor planning, body awareness in addition to social skills through movement.
- Indoor- Bumpus room:
- Children slide, run, ride, ride bikes, roller skate in our large, open Motor Room.
- Children utilize our spacious, state of the art outdoor playground to climb, run, slide, dig in the sandbox, drawing with chalk
- Children enjoy body movement activities led by our certified yoga instructor. Songs, stories, and props make yoga time fun, relaxing and invigorating.
The Day School has a certified yoga teacher come to the school once a week from January to June. Body awareness, self-regulation, and socialization are all part of the yoga class. Breathing, stretching, and movement facilitate a unique experience for the preschoolers.
Once a week our preschoolers have the opportunity to select a book and check it out from the classroom. Our library is run by parent volunteers. One week later, the children assume the responsibility of returning and checking in their book.