Toddler Class (2 1/2 Year Olds)
The toddlers primary job is to learn about themselves and others through play. They will be sharing, taking turns and learning how to interact with others. Independence is fostered by encouraging children to dress themselves and by teaching them how to use appropriate health routines such as washing hands, toilet use and proper use of tissues. The children will learn to accept instruction from adults (other than family members) and follow simple directions. Appropriate social behavior is learned through dramatic play. Children enjoy imitating kitchen and house routines, as well as jobs of community workers. Toddlers love the self-expression provided by music. They enjoy learning songs, body movements and using instruments.
Working towards the ability to separate from family, the children learn to express feelings and concerns by using verbal skills. Kids will learn to trust adults and begin to have friendships.
The toddler enjoys using large muscle skills while playing. Running, jumping, rolling and climbing, as well as kicking and throwing a ball are some favorites. Small muscle skills are developed through the use of manipulation such as puzzles and beads; art mediums such as coloring, painting (finger and brush) and play dough. Eye/hand coordination is developed through the use of both large and small muscle skills.
Fall – The toddler loves to explore, look at books and has the ability to listen to short stories. They complete simple puzzles and can follow one set of directions at a time. Through play, conversation and discussions, vocabulary growth is encouraged. The children will begin to identify colors, shapes and common pictures in books and games.
Spring – The toddler now has a longer attention span with an increased interest in stories and more advanced puzzles. The children are now developing better visual discrimination of objects such as recognizing size differences, matching and the concept of spatial relations (how things fit relative to size). The children are now counting two or more consecutive numbers and they can remember simple poems and songs. Due to the rapid growth of language development, there is an increase in general vocabulary, as well as in the identification of colors, shapes and common pictures.
Three Year Old Class
Once the three year old is comfortable and adjusts to the school environment they are eager to make new friends and interact with others. They can follow direction and have respect for new adult authority. During the first half of the year, the children will play in small select groups. As the year progresses they will initiate new games and boys and girls interact more together. They now see themselves as part of a group; their community has grown larger than their family.
The three year old enjoys coming to the school and playing with friends but still may find it difficult to separate from Mom and Dad. The children find security in this new environment and gradually feel comfortable speaking alone during “Show and Tell.” They are discovering new emotions (such as jealousy) and can show empathy for others. The three year old shows sign of increased patience with puzzles, art work and teacher's attention.
The three year old participates in activities that promote the improvement of large and small muscle skills. These skills are used to help develop and increase eye-hand coordination. The children will work with more advanced puzzles, string large and small beads and learn to use scissors. They color, paint (finger and brush) use glue and practice lacing. The children will use pencils and may be able to connect dots. Many children have not yet established a set handedness (right or left) yet. Large muscle skills are more advanced. They can now ride a tricycle, throw and catch a ball more accurately, hop, tip toe and attempt skipping. The children enjoy songs and moving to music. The three year old has better use of health skills, but is still working on hand washing, toilet use and tissues. The class will reinforce dental hygiene.
Fall – The three year old child has an ever increasing vocabulary and is now speaking in longer sentences. The rapid growth in language development makes their interaction with others more enjoyable. The children are practicing their recognition of colors and shapes and will have exposure to letters and numbers with an introduction to counting from 1 to 10. Some children may be able to consecutively count 5 objects. The three year old has a growing attention span, yet is still distractable. They can sit through a short story and enjoy predicting outcomes. The children enjoy playing learning games, can recognize objects, same and different and love to repeat songs and poems. They may recognize the first letter of their name and enjoy seeing their name in print.
Spring – In the spring, the children are very comfortable with their surroundings and ready to learn. They can identify more colors and shapes and have a longer attention span. Some children may be able to count to ten and consecutively count ten objects. They enjoy the “ABC” song and be able to identify letters in their own name and some random letters and numbers. With exposure to their last name, they may be able to say their first and last name together. For safety reasons, as well as general knowledge, the children will practice saying their address and telephone number. The three year old has better sequencing skills and awareness of increased and decreased size. They have improved spatial relations and can understand more time concepts such day and night routines. The children are encouraged to increase language development by answering questions using sentences and explaining the message that they are trying to convey. The teacher will ask thought provoking questions to stimulate their problem solving ability. This skill when developed early on, will be a great learning tool. The children are beginning to develop personal reading interests and artwork and pictures they draw are more recognizable. The three year old enjoys listening to music, dancing and using instruments.
Four Year Old / Pre-K Class
The four year old interacts enthusiastically with other children and adults. The social skills that they are mastering through play are helping to build a strong foundation for life experiences. They still need practice sharing but have increased patience with self and others.
Vocabulary and language development is rapidly growing and the children can carry on extended conversations. Their ever increasing dialogue enhances playtime and the personal interaction between friends. The four year old is proud to be independent and may be able to dress themselves using zippers, snaps and buttons. The children are aware of the community to which they belong and are eager to explore the world around them. Four year olds demonstrate a more mature dramatic play and understand that others may be different. Good health manners are still being taught to help reinforce bathroom independence and good dental hygiene.
The four year olds are more responsible for themselves and their possessions. They feel very comfortable in school and separate easily from Mom and Dad. The children now have the ability to understand the feelings of others and forms lasting friendships. Having a positive pre-school experience with fosters independence and builds self esteem prepares the children for kindergarten.
The children are able to sustain more advance coordination of both large and small muscles. The four year old has better control of pencils, scissors and paint brushes. They can complete intricate puzzles and string small beads. The children enjoy acrobatics and exercise; they now have better control of ball throwing and catching, hopping and bike riding. One of the four year olds favorite activities is self-expression using music, body movements singing and instruments.
Fall – The four year old program will continue to review colors and shapes. They will work on numbers and number concepts while increasing problem solving skills and discovering basic math concepts by exploration and experimentation (e.g. games and activities using materials for weighing and measuring). They will use concrete materials to develop abstracts concepts (e.g. numbers, same and different, big and little), make sets and classify/group a variety of objects. The children now have the ability to recall information that was previously taught, they can put pictures in proper sequence and retell stories. The four year old enjoys songs, finger plays and poems. They understand some time concepts such as morning, afternoon and night and try to figure out the days of the week by when they go to school and other daily activities. The children now have good recognition of their first names and some their last. They can recognize some or all letters along with numbers one to twenty (some beyond) in and out of sequence. Most children can count to ten or beyond consecutively. They are exploring their ability to write both numbers and letters. They are able to draw some detailed pictures and like to discuss their artwork.
Spring – The four year old child is eager to learn and is able to retain the information he is taught because of the increase in attention span. The children learn best by working in small groups where they receive individual attention. They are capable of sequencing events and identifying relationships between objects. The children are learning to reason and are developing the ability to make value judgments. The four year old can count to twenty with accuracy and recognition while increasing the amount of letters in the alphabet that they can identify. Many children can write some or all letters, recognize their first and last name and with practice, say their address and phone numbers. The children are beginning to play with words such as rhyming and making up nonsense sentences. The four year old has a great sense of humor.
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