The hallmarks of the prekindergarten program are a healthy balance of structured academic activities, free play, and exercise, coupled with a focus on character development and social and emotional learning. In prekindergarten, all students attend school five days a week and may choose either a half-day or full-day schedule. Students enjoy a rich classroom experience while also partaking in our co-curricular offerings: art, music, Spanish, and physical education.
Curious by nature, the “why” questions that are so prevalent at this age are indulged by teachers who capitalize on these opportunities to explore cause and effect with their students. Literacy is infused into every aspect of the prekindergarten experience. Children are read to every day while being introduced to the rich world of literature. The importance of oral language is reflected in meaningful conversations and opportunities for children to tell stories, recognize and anticipate cause and effect, and understand logical sequences and progression of events. Students practice recognition and writing of capital and lowercase letters, as well as numbers. Through a combination of dictation and drawing, written pieces are composed that narrate events and illustrate reactions to what happened.
Mathematics lessons are integrated into the children’s daily routine and play. Formal instruction centers around building number sense, including representation and comparison of whole numbers. Students learn to tell time, count money, use a ruler, and explore geometric shapes. Visual representations of math are highlighted as they model addition and subtraction facts using manipulatives.
Social studies units mirror and reinforce the principles inherent in the school’s Take Five + One! and Life Skills programs. Children continue to develop social skills that help them to become good citizens and positive contributors to the school community. They explore roles within their families, school, and community, and they cultivate cultural and environmental awareness as they learn about the world in which they live.
Prekindergarten students begin to think like scientists and are introduced to the scientific method as they make predictions and observations, gather data, and formulate conclusions. Inquiry-based experiments, planting in the garden, and cooking classes all add to the breadth of experiences for these students. An emphasis on work habits, such as taking care of classroom resources and following directions, prepares them for a successful transition to kindergarten.