Children are constantly learning through everyday experiences and they are constructing their own knowledge and understanding of the world. It is important to be conscious of the whole learning environment such as time, utilizing classroom space (learning centers), resources, and ideas.
Preschool is an important time to learn and develop life skills. At this age, children are learning to be an individual, as well as attaining social skills in order to be a successful part of a group setting. It is important to display a diverse curriculum to encourage non-stereotypical experiences so that children gain an appreciation of our society.
The foundation of our curriculum is to teach children everyday morals, such as respect for themselves and others, resolving conflict, decision-making, and maintaining healthy relationships. To attain this goal, we have several major components to our curriculum, which are listed below:
AREAS OF DEVELOPMENT
- Physical Development:
Preschool children are constantly on the go developing their large and small motor skills.
- Emotional Development:
Preschool children are becoming aware of their feelings towards others and other people’s feelings towards themselves. They are developing a sense of belonging to family, friends, and their community.
- Cognitive Development:
Preschool children are becoming active learners who learn best through play and firsthand experiences. They become curious about the world around them and their language and problem-solving skills begin to flourish immensely.
- Social Development:
Preschool children are beginning to understand the concept that their peers have feelings and often show compassion towards each other. They are learning how to share and take turns developing friendships.
During early childhood, children begin to speak and understand language. They start participating in conversations and forming sentences. Questions become more apparent in their quest for learning languages. Children will be able to follow instructions, convey thoughts, tell stories, sing songs and begin to understand the concept of the alphabet and writing. In order to grasp a language, it is important to develop listening skills; introduce them to vocabulary, letter recognition, rhymes, songs, letter sounds (phonics), whole language (labeled classrooms); and most importantly, to promote social interaction.
Reading is the window that opens the doors to all areas of development. For a child to develop an interest and love for reading it is important to lead by example and show them your love for reading. Reading to children is one of the most important ways to encourage children to read. It is also an opportunity to teach them many different things about our world. By keeping a variety of books in the school and in the classroom, children have many options of books to choose from, maintaining their interest. It is important to let them choose books that they are interested in and to let them read their favorites again and again. Reading is one of the most important parts of our program and the children are read to several times a day.
Writing is a skill that is learned primarily through small motor activities. Activities in the classroom such as, crayons, markers, pencils, paintbrushes, play-doh, tearing, scissors, puzzles, tweezers, etc., are developed so that children can improve their fine motor abilities.
Math is taught through play and is seen daily in learning centers. Activities consist of: classifying, sorting comparing, graphing, differences, measuring, building, shapes, tracing, large-small, number recognition and meaning, same and opposite, patterns, constructing, counting, and time concept.
Although children wonder, explore and question our environment they do not yet can think abstractly; therefore, children need hands-on experience for them to grasp the concept of science. When children are taught science through the five senses, they begin to ask questions, observe, develop critical thinking skills, making predictions and experiment.
Cooking with children is a fun way to have the children try foods that they normally wouldn’t be interested in and also to teach about nutrition. Cooking can also help develop essential skills such as math, language, measuring, counting, following directions, vocabulary, sequence, problem-solving, and science.
- Arts & Crafts
Art encourages children to explore and to use their imagination. It is important to realize that the whole process that goes on while creating art is more important than the product. Art develops children in all major areas. Children learn from creative experiences: to be an individual, sensory, fine motor, eye-hand coordination, color, size, formation, sharing, problem-solving, and decision-making.
Music develops a child’s physical, cognitive and emotional well-being. Through song, young children develop vocally. Music also develops children’s listening skills and they can differentiate between different genders, tones, rhythms, instruments, and so on. Music also encourages a child to move, thus creating body awareness and expressive motion.
A child’s family, school, and home life are a very important part of their life, making it natural for a child to imitate what they know. Children act out the world around them and explore people by acting out their work, feelings and their words. By playing dramatically, children are able to encounter situations that they may not understand and are able to develop their problem-solving skills and gain new knowledge.
- Large & Fine Motor Skills
Motor skills are the physical abilities children develop that help them control the movements of their bodies. Both skills are encouraged inside the classroom and outdoors at the school. There are many opportunities for children to develop their large muscles such as reaching, crawling, walking, climbing, throwing, running, skipping, galloping, etc. There are many opportunities for the children to develop their fine motor skills as well, such as eye-hand coordination, self-feeding, buttoning, zipping, manipulative toys, etc.
IMPORTANCE OF PLAY
Play enhances language development, social behavior, creativity, imagination, and thinking skills. During play, children have the chance to practice what they already know and the time to develop new skills.
Five Types of Play:
- Onlooker Behavior:
Playing passively by watching or conversing with other children engaged in play activities.
- Solitary Independent:
Playing by oneself.
Playing, even in the middle of a group, while remaining engrossed in one’s own activity. Children playing parallel to each other sometimes use each other’s toys, but always maintain their independence.
When children share materials and talk to each other, but do not coordinate play objectives or interest.
When children organize themselves into roles with specific goals in mind (roles of doctor, nurse, etc.).
At Puffin we believe that it is our responsibility to complement the role of parents, who are the child’s first teachers in providing infant care for their children. We encourage open communication between parents, teachers, and administrators using daily reports, parent-teacher conferences, development assessments, and our KidReports app.
Puffin has an open-door policy. Please feel free to visit our centers during the day or call at any time to discuss how your child is doing at preschool. We understand how special your child is and how precious your time is together. We encourage parent participation and welcome your involvement in classroom activities.
- Parent Involvement
When parents are actively involved in their preschooler’s early childhood educational experience, not only do the children benefit greatly, but teachers do as well. Whether it’s volunteering to read a book to a class, attending an open house or special program, or even offering tips and advice for new preschool parents, the active involvement of moms and dads can provide an excellent support system for teachers while also encouraging them in their work.
- Parent Feedback
Parent feedback is important for teachers. As teachers learn about the specific issues or any unique needs or circumstances parents or their children may have, it will help teachers and school staff members work diligently to provide solutions and create a positive overall experience for everyone.