Our 4's are offered the opportunity to name letters, master sounds, and recognizes simple words. Our teachers build on early literacy skills through phonics and whole language activities. Through the use of children’s literature and the dramatic arts, pre-reading skills, such as fact recall and expanding attention spans, are further developed.
4's start off the year learning about themselves and their individuality. As the year progresses, teachers extend lessons to include information about other people and places, around them. Our experiential world cultures class helps children to develop a sense of belonging to a country, and to expose and share traditions of different people from around the world. Themes such as the rainforest, the globe, mapping, environmental issues, and Earth Day provide an even wider perspective of social awareness.
Preschool math skills include identification of numbers 1-10, shapes, and rote counting up to 20. In the four year-old program, we teach math-readiness skills such as one-to-one correspondence, matching, measuring amounts and sizes, comparisons, sorting, and pattern sequences. Teachers introduce more advanced concepts such as estimations, graphing, time, and the concept of the number 100 as the year progresses. By incorporating these specific concepts into our weekly themes and activities in art, cooking, games, music, group interdisciplinary experiences, and self-selected play, we allow the 4's the freedom to explore and learn these math concepts in their own way.
Art is a sign of personal expression and our program focuses on process versus product. It is also the first way our children learn to communicate with paper. Art projects are designed to develop both fine and gross motor skills. Art stimulates the imagination, creativity, self-esteem, and initiative, and extends to build teamwork, cooperation, time on task, and language skills, while encouraging the children to follow multi-step directions.
Our 4's experience a multi-sensory, hands-on approach to science. Our approach demonstrates and teaches observation, predictions, comparisons, cause and effect, and reporting skills. Topics include weather, seasons, pond life, and the life cycles of plants, frogs, and butterflies, and much more.
Our music teacher exposes children to different types of instruments, music, and cultural experiences. Music appreciation and enrichment is the goal of the program. The 4's learn to identify instruments and the sounds they make. Daily, in classrooms, teachers integrate rhythm, music, creative movement, and songs into each discipline. These are powerful tools for teaching children memorization, auditory recall, and discrimination skills.
Foreign language is incorporated into our world cultures curriculum. Basic counting and conversational phrases and words are introduces to our 4's as they study various countries. Weekly lessons in Spanish help to round out our foreign language introduction.