We believe that children gain comfort as well as confidence through the predictability of a regular routine. However, we also recognize the need for flexibility when it is appropriate. The table to the right outlines a typical day, and below we’ve expanded upon each item.
Arrival and Sign-in
Arrival time is between 8:00 AM and 8:45 AM. The manner in which the children begin their day at school often sets the tone for the rest of the day. Adults participate in the arrival/greeting procedure to help make the transition from home to school easier for the children. Teaching staff greet children near their “cubbies” each day as they arrive. During the arrival/greeting time, it is important for families to communicate any pertinent information to the teaching staff.
The morning begins with a circle of children, teachers, and the parent volunteer together. This time is used to learn from each other and about each other. It is a time for community building. The teacher reads a story or children may act out a familiar story, sing songs, or complete a movement activity. Children are encouraged to share their observations and ideas. This is also an important time to observe birthdays and other child accomplishments. The teaching staff will go over specific choices for the day.
Adults provide help as well as guidance during this social time. The children are encouraged to talk to each other during snack as well as clean up their area when they have completed their snack. Discovery Preschool does its best to accommodate differing dietary needs of the children in our program.
This child-centered time is the majority of the preschool experience. We believe that children gain readiness skills through hands-on experiences. For this reason, each child chooses from the entire learning environment. There are many active learning centers in the classroom based on areas of interest expressed by the children and provided to the children so that they can test out their theories about the world. During what is commonly thought of as “play time,” children are at work learning that their world has reason, meaning and order.
Parent volunteers have direct interaction with the children. During this time, you may help children with self-directed work, or move freely around the room and assist where needed.
Children are given time to clean up their space, first, because social responsibility starts with learning how to take care of your environment; and second, because wonderful interactions are fostered during clean-up. Children actively demonstrate cooperation, verbal interaction, problem solving and further room discovery skills.
This is an opportunity for children to review the books in the Preschool’s library. They may read to themselves, to each other or with a teacher (or parent volunteer). It is a quiet time for children to transition from play to second circle. It is also a time to develop literacy skills and a love of books and stories which will last a lifetime. The books in the library are available for borrowing using the Preschool’s borrowing system.
Teachers lead children in songs and movement activities. Children are encouraged to join group activities, games and songs according to their comfort level and to contribute to the enjoyment of the activity through suggestions of songs and activities. Second Circle provides a chance to reflect on the morning’s learning as well as an opportunity for closure of the day.
Dressing for Outside
We reserve this time in the winter months to ensure everyone is properly dressed before going outside for gross motor activities.
Gross Motor Play
We go outside daily, weather permitting. Inside or out, children and adults use this time to stimulate, strengthen, and coordinate muscles. In addition to play on playground structures, there are times we take a walk and notice nature, rake a pile of leaves on our lower nature area, slide down the hill on a snowy day or play organized games. However, this time is primarily a time when children are free to choose the gross motor activities they wish.
Parent Pick-up and Departure
Family members are encouraged to join in the play at the end of the day. This provides a nice transition for departure. At pick-up time there is an opportunity to chat with teaching staff about your child’s day. Children are dismissed when their rides (a parent or a parent-approved adult) arrive.