Pathfinders (3 year-old preschoolers)
It is our hope that we can develop in each child a positive self-image and a love of learning and attending school. In the three-year old class, we provide many activities to do just that. Each activity presented to the children is a result of much planning from the children’s interests. Children like to be actively involved. When more than one sense is used in teaching a task, learning is greatly improved.
Art is used as a teaching device, as well as a fun way to play, in the preschool class. Freedom with art supplies encourages using the imagination and is a good release for emotions. Eye-hand coordination is also developed.
Cooking is included in our curriculum at FMCP. Besides learning about the major food groups, the children are more likely to eat something they have made. This is also a good time to encourage math and science through measuring and mixing and cooking.
Language Development includes time set aside in-group time for show and tell, discussions about different subjects, flannel board stories, and books.
Creative Dramatics and Movement encourages free expression and allows the imagination to surface. This is done using puppets, dress up clothes, blocks, and various props added to the classroom.
Games and Social Activities as a group happen often in the three-year classroom. Games that are played in a group teach the children how to cooperate with one another, and learn to take turns.
Math is taught through games adapted to follow the theme of the day. For example, counting how many crackers were eaten at snack time. Other math games include identifying shapes, measuring, sorting, and comparisons.
Science ideas that are simple to adults often are magic to the young preschooler. The children are introduced to the meteorology, biology, chemistry, and physics in simple, developmentally appropriate activities.
Music is used as an important teaching tool in the three-year class. It is easy to remember the rules at school when a song is sung to remind the children what to do next. Music activities include activity tapes or CD’s to help children to listen and follow directions. Anything can be taught through music.
Physical Development is included through using large muscle play on our playground, through activity tapes or CD’s, parachute play, or obstacle courses.
As We Play children further develop gross and fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination with all kinds of painting (easel, finger, watercolor, feather, string etc.), cutting, gluing, pasting, including collage items. Activities with play-dough, water play, games, and small manipulative play, which includes readiness activities (basic colors, shapes, math skills, matching, and change of seasons) creates a well rounded preschool experience.
Children will have an opportunity to choose a variety of activities (free play) every day, including manipulative, dramatic play, blocks, listening center, library, science corner, and cooperative play. This time is also for the creative activity of the day, connected with the day’s lesson plan.
Periods of quiet alternating with periods of activity, weather, calendar, story time, show and tell, games, records, songs, musical instruments, finger plays, conversations, and other activities for the group together.
Teachers encourage outside play, weather permitting. A variety of equipment is provided for children to develop their bodies and coordination with climbing, crawling, and sliding. When the children are unable to go outside, they have dance movement in the classroom. The staff will decide to limit outdoor play due to weather or safety concerns.