Our classroom promotes positive interactions between teacher/child, a sense of belonging to a classroom community, and a love of learning. Children are encouraged to socialize with their peers and play with a purpose. Each one of our preschooler’s curiosity is different and so are their developmental levels, so our goal is to arrange our room, our lessons and our activities in such a way that each child develops at their own rate.
Here’s a peek at each exploration area:
Quiet corner: In our quiet corner we offer a wide variety of books, puppets, magazines and books on tape. We provide a cozy corner, soft furniture and rugs, puzzles and shelving the children can reach. This area is a child friendly place where children can explore language and print while relaxing and having a place they can be with a small group or by themselves.
Music and Movement: This area promotes social-emotional skills through group play as well as language and literacy through listening and singing. We provide various musical instruments and materials to aide in motor development. Through scarf play, the children learn logic and reasoning and create patterns through songs and chants. By playing musical instruments and learning vocabulary dealing with music, children are introduced to an aspect of learning they may not be familiar with. This area is not only important, but a fun area to provide an outlet for the children’s high spirits and creative energy. We also provide music time with Sharon Gustkey, our church youth choir director, once a month. The children really enjoy her coming and love getting a visit from her puppet “dog” Freckles.
Pretend Living: Children learn through experiences, so what better way to learn than through various life experiences. Here we provide materials that come from daily living. This area changes throughout the year to go along with certain themes or children’s interests. For example, we provide learning through various pretend play materials such as play food, cooking utensils, groceries, doctor and veterinarian supplies, camping, baby dolls, child size furniture and community helper props. Here children learn each content area when they “play and socialize.” They build language and literacy skills, learn to problem solve, explore life science, learn about people and how they live, as well as drama and the visual arts.
Building: When children construct, create and represent using blocks, people and cars, they develop in the following areas- social-emotional, physical, language and literacy, as well as cognitive. They learn about geometry and spatial awareness, measurement, physical science, people and how they live, along with developing their language. Literacy is a focus in all of our areas, an example of literacy in the building center would be exploring the books placed in this area about construction and shapes.
Science and Sensory: Children have a strong sense of wonder. They are always asking questions and exploring new ideas. They inquire about how things work, they make predictions, have a curiosity about tools and materials, and have a need for explanations. This area is a child’s wonderland. We provide materials for hands on exploration, discovery and things that make the children ask ” who, what, where, when, why and how” questions.
Writing and Art: Exploring this area gets the creative ideas flowing. We supply the children with various medias of art such as paint, glue, scissors, crayons, chalk, markers, paper and pencils. We also have various art supplies readily available. Children can explore this area “studio” and can develop a love of art and writing, express their ideas and feelings, refine their small motor skills, use language to tell us all about their creation while learning new vocabulary (sculpt, palette, knead etc), and learn cognitive skills such as planning, organizing and representation. Some children will visit this area with an idea in mind or just visit and explore purely for a sensory experience.
Math and Manipulative: This is an area we have designated with a shelf, tables and some manipulative items, but the children learn math in every area of the room. Math is also taught through one-on-one activities with the teachers, during meeting time.
Outdoor Play: As of Fall 2013 Creative Fish Preschool offers a natural playground for motor, exploration and inquiry based learning. When weather permits, we love taking the children outside to explore. Some days we take out equipment for large motor play, and other times we extend our inside learning to the outdoors.