Our Pre-K friends grow and learn in a print and literacy rich environment which has been thoughtfully designed to ignite their passion for reading, writing, and learning. Through the careful art of active listening, note-taking, and documentation, teachers help children identify their passions and learn more about them. Teachers co-construct learning with children by providing them with the skills and tools they need to explore their particular passion. This approach to learning cultivates tremendous independence and self esteem.
Pre-K Program: 4 Years Old
A key component of the Pre-K program is thoughtful integration of STEAM: Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math, into our inquiry-based and child-led approach to learning. STEAM at POTA takes on an active, hands-on, and immersive role in learning where children “test” their ideas to expand their depth and understanding of them. The scientific method comes alive in our classrooms beginning with each child’s careful observations of his surroundings, which are documented by both him and the teacher. Children regularly form hypotheses based on their observations and together with their teacher, begin planning the process of testing the validity of their hypotheses.
Literacy assumes many forms in Pre-K. Children “read” independently, listen to stories read aloud, participate in author studies, act out stories, create new endings for stories, and author their own stories. During story time, there is a special emphasis placed on communication, collaboration, and perspective taking, as well as building vocabulary, making predictions, sequencing events and drawing inferences. Our Pre-K library corners are well stocked with high quality books that reflect children’s interests. They are invitingly designed to encourage children to select books and read independently or together with a friend. Throughout their years of schooling at Preschool of the Arts, our children have been developing phonemic awareness critical to reading and writing. In Pre-K, they have many opportunities throughout the day to practice using this developing awareness to sound out and write words. Children use their own inventive spelling to write signs to describe their artwork or block structures. They write menus and doctors prescriptions as they assume roles in our dramatic play corners. They write birthday cards and letters home.
Research And Observation
While these terms are technically skills that relate to the sciences, our children use them in all areas of classroom life to explore the difference between fact and opinion by honing in on the key skill of objective observation and, when relevant, the recording of data. The scientific method comes alive in our classrooms beginning with each child’s careful observations of their surroundings, which are documented by both the student and the teacher. Children regularly form hypotheses based on their observations and together with their teacher, begin planning the process of testing the validity of their hypotheses.
Children are encouraged to think freely about what interests them and teachers help them to dive deep into a particular topic that is interesting to the class, a small group or an individual child. Children continue to develop the confidence that their ideas are worth exploring, and they are validated by a teacher’s partnership in helping them pursue their interests. Through the careful art of active listening, note-taking, and documentation, teachers’ help children expand knowledge and understanding of their passion by utilizing an inquiry-based approach in which they ask and model probing questions. Teachers co-construct learning with children by providing them with the skills and tools they need to explore and learn cultivating tremendous independence and self esteem.
Service And Empathy
Our children meaningfully contribute to our efforts to make the world a better place. They use their newfound cognitive and academic skills to pack goods and write cards to those in need of items and care at various times throughout the year.
8:30 - 9:30 - Morning Discovery Centers
9:30 - 9:45 - Snack
9:45 - 10:00 - Circle time
10:00 - 10:30- Specialist / music and movement
10:30 - 11:45 - Outside time
11:45 - 12:15 - Guided Centers
12:15 -12:45 - Lunch
12:45 - 1:00 - Library time
1:00 - 1:30 - Yoga / Meditation
1:30 - 2:15 - Open Centers
2:15 - 2:30 - Snack
2:30 - 3:15 - Group Activity
3:15 - 3:30 - Closing circle
3:30 - Dismissal for Full Day friends / Extended day begins
4:00 - 5:00 - Outside
5:00 - 6:00 - Small group centers and gradual goodbye