For ALL classrooms, children will be encouraged to primarily learn through play and experiences. Teachers will spend time actively playing and engaging with children to assist with problem solving, ask questions, lead by example, and scaffold learning. We will strive to offer choices as much as possible, work to build esteem by encouraging independence, provide positive feedback and guidance, and guide children as they make decisions. All classes will participate in daily circle times, story times, music and movement activities, and outdoor time (weather permitting). We strive to make ALL experiences FUN! Children will always learn best if they are enjoying the task!
Woodpecker Class: This program stresses language experiences, social interactions, creative art experiences, music and movement, dramatic play, large motor skills development, fine motor skills development, science and discovery, critical thinking, and increased focus on project work. This program supports and enhances kindergarten/school programs as we work diligently to ensure children are prepared! Woodpeckers will use Zoo Phonics to learn all letters and their sounds, and begin to practice simple blends when appropriate. They will develop their writing skills as well as those basic skills needed for kindergarten such as counting, number identification, geometric shapes, and especially SOCIAL SKILLS. These students will still be primarily learning through play, as is developmentally appropriate for this age group, but we will present activities that will be more typical in kindergarten to prepare them for the next step.
The following are our guiding principles as we plan our curriculum and activities. All teachers are truly invested in creating a safe, loving, nurturing environment designed to help your child learn, grow, and reach their full potential!
- Each child is unique and can succeed. Children are individuals with different rates and paths of development. Each child is uniquely influenced by their prenatal environment, temperament, physiology, and life experiences. With the appropriate support, all children can be successful learners.
- Learning occurs within the context of relationships. Caring families, teachers, and other adults matter in a young child's life. Responsive and supportive interactions with adults are essential to children's learning.
- Families are children's first and most important caregivers, teachers, and advocates. Families must be respected and supported as the primary influence in their child's early learning and education. Their knowledge, skills, and cultural backgrounds contribute to children's school readiness.
- Children learn best when they are emotionally and physically safe and secure. Nurturing, responsive, and consistent care helps create safe environments where children feel secure and valued. In these settings, children are able to engage fully in learning experiences.
- Areas of development are integrated, and children learn many concepts and skills at the same time. Any single skill, behavior, or ability may involve multiple areas of development. For example, as infants gain fine motor skills, they can manipulate objects in new ways and deepen their understanding of cause and effect. As preschoolers gain new verbal skills, they can better manage their emotions and form more complex friendships.
- Teaching must be intentional and focused on how children learn and grow. Children are active, engaged, and eager learners. Good teaching practices build on these intrinsic strengths by providing developmentally appropriate instruction and opportunities for exploration and meaningful play.
- Every child has diverse strengths rooted in their family's culture, background, language, and beliefs. Responsive and respectful learning environments welcome children from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds. Effective teaching practices and learning experiences build on the unique backgrounds and prior experiences of each child.