Our play-based curriculum is grounded in research of best practice and the Florida Early Learning and Developmental Standards, and are embedded in teaching strategies that include play, discovery, interaction and direct instruction. Lessons are prepared with social, emotional, physical, intellectual and spiritual goals for our students. We support children who need extra encouragement as well as those who need extra challenges. Our teachers research and develop thematic units of study, integrating the standards across all domains into their instruction.
Our 1s, 2s and 3s classes use The Creative Curriculum to teach literacy, mathematics, science, social studies, art and music. The Creative Curriculum is a “comprehensive, research-based curriculum that promotes exploration and discovery as a way of learning, enabling children to develop confidence, creativity, and lifelong critical thinking skills”. They also use Cloud9World curriculum to support social and emotional learning, literacy, diversity, cultural sensitivity and positive behavior.
Our Pre-K classes use Learning Without Tears to support their literacy, mathematics and handwriting instruction. Their monthly thematic units of study incorporate science and social studies into their daily work. Maintaining child centered learning is important, so teachers may expand upon themes or add units of study according to student interest. STEAM is integrated into student learning with an emphasis on open ended problem solving while focusing on the process not the product.
The Preschool program includes the following daily activities:
🖍️ Work-Play Period: Children make choices of working at different learning centers - home-living center, blocks center, manipulative toys, sensory bins, art center, dramatic play and book center.
👏 Large and Small Group Experiences: Singing, music, rhythm, dramatizations, finger plays, stories, unit studies, art, sequencing, sorting, fine and gross motor activities, listening exercises, and other readiness activities are coordinated by the teacher.
🥕 Morning Snack: Parents provide a nutritional snack for their children.
🌳 Outside Play: A minimum of 30 minutes of scheduled playground time in the morning - choices of tricycles, sandbox, swings, balls, and climbing equipment. Children staying for After School Clubs have additional playground time in the afternoon.
😌 Quiet Time: A brief quiet time to listen to music or stories and look at books.
📖 Weekly Bibletime and Monthly Chapel: Weekly Bibletime reviews our monthly Bible verse and children learn the songs they will sing during Chapel. Our monthly Chapel service is led by the Curriculum Coordinator in collaboration with the First Presbyterian Church pastor. Chapel is filled with simple Bible stories emphasizing God’s love and creation. Activities include singing, music, movement and prayer. Families are welcome to join us for Chapel. Coffee and Chatter, compliments of our Parent Volunteer Association, is held prior to Chapel starting.
🏵️ Spanish: Weekly Spanish classes will teach students beginning conversational Spanish through movement, music and reinforcement activities.
Preparing your child for Preschool
School is going to be a great experience for your child! There is so much to look forward to: circle time, new friends, music, make-believe, new toys and games, art projects, a new playground to explore and learning their ABC’s and 123’s! Since new situations can sometimes be stressful for children, parents can help ease the situation by preparing their child in the following ways:
Be sure your child has a good night’s sleep and is healthy before arriving at school.
Always speak of going to school as a pleasant, exciting event.
Take time beforehand to talk over the new experience of going to school so that the event will be looked forward to with pleasure and anticipation.
Rehearse a good-bye routine with your child. For instance, create a special handshake, blowing of kisses, special jingle to remind them you’ll be back soon, etc. Avoid hugs as those can be difficult to let go of.
Read books about going to school that talk about what children can expect during a typical school day. There are many other wonderful books about school that you can read.
Talk about how much fun you had when you went to school. Reminisce about your favorite teachers and tell funny stories.
Prepare your child for the fact that you will have to leave but will return promptly when school is over.
Get to know the teacher. Your child will be happy and secure knowing that his/her teacher and parents are friends.
Be sure to attend your Meet and Greet appointment. You and your child will get to meet their teacher and visit the classroom.