Pre-K Program Description
Storybook offers a full day program rich in variety of activities and learning experiences. A new curriculum was implemented in October 2017, which coincides with both local school district and NYS standards. The lesson plans were created based on 58 key areas of learning to assure kindergarten readiness. The activities and experiences are planned to promote growth in the various areas of each child’s development such as large & small motor, cognitive & language, and social-emotional. The program provides the children with many choices of activities, and allows for a balance of active and quiet activities. We use a thematic approach to teaching, concentrating on one or two “children friendly” topics each week. Our activities are planned to encourage learning through hands on play and exploration, and with the developmental needs of each age group (and for the individual children within the group) in mind.
We assess children regularly to ensure they are reaching age appropriate milestones, maintaining the ultimate goal of Kindergarten readiness.
Goals of the Program
- To provide an environment that makes children feel welcome, valued & respected as a person.
- To foster each child’s individuality and unique development with lots of hands-on, personal attention.
- To address all areas of the children’s growth; emotional, social, physical (both small and large motor skills), language, cognitive and creativity.
- To provide a wide range of activities and experiences that will help to develop independence in daily routines, and a curiosity and a love for learning.
Basic Content of Our Program
We begin our formal program each day with Circle time. During circle time we review our calendar and the weather. We also review the special letter, color or shape of the week. We discuss current events pertinent to the children and review any special activities taking place at the center during the week. We may also sing a song, do a fingerplay, or read a short story.
Learning Talking Doing
This section of the program includes tasks for language & conceptual development along with concrete experiences, and is often conducted in a group. Through these
hands-on experiments, the children experience a great deal of cognitive development including how to problem solve.
Storybook emphasizes “process oriented” art where the children “work” more on their fine motor skills and creativity than on the finished product. We work with a large variety of media including paint, crayons, markers, glue, glitter, paper, felt, tinfoil, feathers, clay, cotton balls, and an endless source of everyday items.
Large Motor Activity
These activities often involve games, which help to develop the children’s running, jumping, catching/throwing, balancing, climbing, and general coordination. We also have a variety of special climbing equipment, both indoors and outdoors, which helps with large muscle development. Along with movement games, we often do daily exercises to instill healthy habits.
Small Motor Activity
In addition to the daily art project, we plan a special activity each day to help in the children’s small muscle development. This activity often includes playing with a variety of anipulatives such as bead stringing, lacing cards, legos, puzzles, playdoh, and pegboards. This activity may also be a fingerplay that corresponds to our weekly theme.
Popular children’s songs, nursery rhymes and fingerplays are repeated everyday throughout the day. Besides adding fun to the program, they help to develop language, rhythm, balance, coordination, and small motor skills.
The teacher reads to the children from books or tells the story with puppets or pictures. As often as possible, the children participate in and discuss the story of the day. This storytelling builds a strong foundation of the children’s language development.
During dramatic play, the children often act out a story, event or natural occurrence (ie. “pretend you are a leaf blowing in the wind.”) These activities serve to strengthen a variety of skills such as imagination, creativity, problem-solving, large motor and social. Most importantly, the children love it!
This portion of our program is a “structured freetime” where the children move from center to center, interacting with a variety of learning activities. The different areas may include dramatic play, construction, manipulatives, art, and investigation. The teacher frequently changes the materials, and monitors the children’s investigation. The teacher frequently changes the materials, and monitors the children’s interactions in the centers.
Art & Science Projects
Each week we plan a special art and science project. These “experiments” provide the children with yet another concrete learning experience, which strengthens their growth and development in a multitude of areas, including math, fine motor, problem solving, and cooperative play.