The Pre-K Class, for 4 year-olds, is held on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. The morning class meets from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM, and the afternoon class is from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM. These classes have 12 to 13 students with 2 teachers and are primarily geared toward students that will be enrolling in kindergarten the following year. With this in mind, we work harder on some of the skills that will make the transition to kindergarten easier. We continue to work on playing well with peers and being comfortable with a classroom schedule. Discipline is primarily redirection of behavior to more appropriate activities. Very occasionally a short time out is used as a way to think about better choices.
Your child is eligible for enrollment if they have turned 4 by September 1 of the school year in which they will attend. They must be potty-trained and quite independent in the bathroom, though teachers are happy to help with difficult snaps or buttons. Students visit the bathroom twice each session and are encouraged to try each time. All students are required to wash their hands before returning to the classroom.
We follow this same routine for each class session which helps the students get comfortable with adapting to a school schedule. As the school year progresses, they learn the schedule and are better prepared for classroom transitions.
We begin our day with a free choice session where students are provided with several options designed to encourage imagination, social skills and academic skills. Different toys and manipulatives are provided each week. During centers, a few students at a time are rotated through a station for an art and craft project and fine motor skill practice where they are worked with individually as needed.
Students gather on the ABC rug to learn about today’s date and weather, have a show-and-tell time, do some counting and practice letter names and sounds. Students have a lesson or activity from the Second Step (Social-Emotional Learning) curriculum that helps them learn to listen, pay attention, manage behavior and get along with others. We finish with a short Bible lesson or story and a memory verse.
We play outside as much as possible! Our large playground is equipped with a sandbox area, climbing structure, slides, sidewalks for riding bikes, a playhouse and more. Children learn to put on their own coats and practice zipping. If rain or cold keeps us inside, students will have extra free playtime and a physical activity.
Our leader for the day provides a healthy snack for the class. They help serve their classmates and the students practice manners such as “Please”, “Thank you” and “May I please have some more?” Students learn responsibility by clearing their own place and pushing in their chair.
We end the day with theme teaching which can include stories, songs, games and physical activity.