3 to 5 Year Old - Preschool 9: 1 Ratio
The goal in our preschool classroom is to promote the healthy growth and school readiness of each child.
Our teachers focus their daily activities on both individual growth and quality group experiences for the children with a fun, exciting, and hands on approach.
Prekindergarten skills are incorporated into this classroom preparing each child to move on to the next level. Our preschool classroom is equipped with developmentally appropriate materials and equipment to enable the children to learn and grow.
Although most of our activities and interactions with the preschoolers take place in their classroom, we also give them the opportunity to explore and move in bigger ways in our large muscle room where climbing, crawling, jumping, balancing, riding, and cooperative play through games and much more are encouraged.
The play area which is enclosed provides a safe and exciting outdoor experience for the children. In addition we take the children for field trips when appropriate to explore and learn about the world around them.
Because communication is the key to keeping parents involved and aware of their child’s activities and growth while at the center we will provide the following:
* Periodically reports
* The opportunity to develop relationships between the classroom and the families through our family events and activities.
* Parent/teacher conferences two times per year covering each child's development and growth.
* Frequent conversations between teachers and parents either in person or by phone.
* Our center’s open door policy which allows parents to visit at any time and spend time in the classroom.
Children in the Preschool years are curious, creative, and playful. Their world is full of exciting and interesting ideas to explore and learn about. They need variety in activities, freedom to explore and experiment, a safe environment in which to make mistakes, and engaging units or projects to get involved in.
Children of this age benefit from a combination of individual, shared, and teacher-led activities. The role of the teacher includes:
Understanding the learning goals for the age group and how to help each child achieve them,
knowing as much about each child as possible in order to provide the variety in the classroom,
Preparing experiences to match each child’s individual likes and learning styles. Children of this age learn by doing, not by being told what to do. They must have firsthand experiences. We ask ourselves the following when we are tempted to do something for the child, “Who needs the practice, me or the child?”
To help children develop toward each learning standard, we provide materials and activities that the children may not have used or mastered. These activities must be appropriate to each level of ability and be challenging but not frustrating.
Building with blocks, throwing a ball, pounding play dough, and pouring water all provide immediate feedback and problem solving situations. In addition, we provide creative and literacy experiences that encourage exploration, writing, and reading.
The teacher’s role during play time is connected to the child’s learning and developing. We extend children’s learning by routinely sharing in activities chosen by the children. We observe, share, converse, and extend learning during the shared activity. We acknowledge the child’s efforts and talk about how far she’s come. It’s during this time that authentic assessment notes are made and level of development is observed. But, it’s also at this time that the child’s learning is moved farther along to what she can do on his/her own.
Socially constructed knowledge is knowledge that children and teachers create together. We provide many opportunities for conversation, sharing ideas, asking questions, and helping each other. We watch for times when children can become peer tutors; each child is an expert at something. We help children use that expertise to help others in the classroom.
Classroom lesson plans contain enough information so the teacher feels prepared, yet flexible enough to make room for children’s questions and curiosity.