Every child in Annie Wright’s three-year-old Preschool class is viewed as an individual with unique needs and abilities. To ensure that a child is active, engaged, and continually supported in his or her healthy growth and learning, the curriculum is inquiry-based, thoughtfully planned and developmentally appropriate for each child.
The language arts curriculum is rich with activities and experiences that encourage listening, speaking, writing and reading readiness. Language arts may be taught as part of math, science, social studies, or any other area of the curriculum. The "Handwriting Without Tears" program develops fine motor skills and encourages creativity.
The activity-based mathematics curriculum includes classifying, measuring, sorting, sequencing and patterning. Lessons develop skills in numerical relationships and sets and introduce simple fractions, addition and subtraction.
The inquiry-based science curriculum offers authentic lab work to budding scientists. The program emphasizes a range of skills including observing, comparing and contrasting, predicting, sorting, and the beginnings of ordered thinking. Topics are integrated with those covered in the classroom, and are often fluid as in the nature of science itself.
Preschool students have Spanish lessons twice a week. During class students learn songs, hear stories and engage in movement activities in Spanish. As students become more confident with the language, they begin to answer simple questions. Preschool students also explore cultural aspects of diverse Spanish-speaking countries.
Teachers recognize students’ unique learning styles and assist them in reaching their full potential by helping them develop strategies for success. Learning resources are also available from Learning Specialists, who provide both extra challenges and extra support with specific skill work as necessary. Social/emotional resources are also available from the Day School Counselor, who offers parent education; meets with teachers, individual students, small groups and entire classes; and provides the social/emotional support that helps children feel secure, successful and happy.
Preschoolers visit the library weekly. They enjoy stories that tie into classroom activities as well as the world around them. Books are developmentally appropriate but stretch young students to increase their vocabulary.
Three-year old musical learners work on singing on pitch both with and without instruments and pre-recorded accompaniments. Dancing to simple songs and focusing on keeping a steady beat help develop a sense of rhythm as well as fine and gross motor coordination. Students also explore different kinds of musical sounds and dynamics.
What jumps like a frog, flies like an airplane, crawls like a kitten and gallops like a horse? Preschool students who come to the gym ready to move! The goal for physical education is to introduce the children to the value of physical activity for health, enjoyment, challenge, self-expression and social interaction. Fifty percent of the curriculum is based on developing motor skills, as these are the building blocks for body awareness, coordination, and game play. Laughter and high energy are hallmarks of Preschool PE.
All Preschool students participate in swim class once a week throughout the school year. In a nurturing environment, teachers work with the students both in the locker room and in the pool to gain independence and learn how to be safe. Swim skills include safety in and around the pool, comfort and security in the water, kicking and basic strokes.