Preschool Program: 3s and 4s
Our preschoolers are ready to reach new heights. They are beginning to form deeper bonds with their peers. They are developing ideas and expanding their understanding of the world through their experiences. Our program focuses on developing social skills, critical thinking skills, and pre-academic skills. Our preschool children grow and learn in a print and literacy rich environment, which has been thoughtfully designed to ignite their passion for reading, writing, and learning. Our individualized approach to literacy allows children to develop their language, literacy, and writing skills with an experience designed especially for them.
Play-based Academics: We introduce new and engaging manipulative activities that strengthen children’s fine motor skills, as well as foster creativity, independent thinking, color identification, and important pre-math skills such as sorting, classifying, and counting.
Literacy in Multiple Forms: Children develop at their own pace and teachers take great care to provide them with successful pre-academic experiences. Preschoolers “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. At POTA, we work on developing phonemic awareness critical to reading and writing, and provide 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 leaf creations. They write menus and welcome signs as they assume roles in our dramatic play corners.
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.
Self-Motivated Learning: 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.
Process Art: Children are provided with more complex art mediums and will often work on the same piece over time, deepening the experience and thought process behind the work. They are also strengthening their motor muscles through the use of smaller and more delicate tools.
Socialization: Preschool aged children, naturally seek out friendships. Teachers provide children with the opportunities to develop the skills required to collaborate, empathize and work productively with one another. Our children participate in many engaging group discussions. Sharing in a group discussion teaches children turn taking, perspective taking, listening skills, and communication skills. Our preschoolers are thrilled to have the opportunity to practice their expanding vocabulary by sharing their thoughts, ideas, and experiences with their peers and teachers.
Joy in Responsibility: Our classroom is set up thoughtfully to foster independence and responsibility. Children hang up their own coats, set the table and clean up after lunch, and clean up their own messes. They are expected to return toys and materials to their proper places when they are finished using them. Children are delighted and proud of the responsibility and trust we place in them.