PRE-K CLASS DESCRIPTION
The emphasis at this age level is on building the child's self confidence in the social/school setting. The children are expected to sit for gradually longer periods of time for group activities, listen, follow directions, and get along with others. Skills such as counting, letter recognition, pre-reading and writing are taught informally through games, but are also introduced more formally at circle time and through small group instruction at "station time". The children are never forced to meet certain criteria, but are taught as they become ready for new challenges.
The schedule includes both structured and unstructured times. Choice times, active play (gym or outside), P.E., circle (worship, calendar, sharing, songs), story, snack, and "stations".
About one hour of the preschool morning is devoted to "Station Time". The classroom is set up with 3 to 4 stations per day. The children are rotated through them in small groups so that each child gets a turn at every station. The areas included in stations are 1) Exploration; such as play doh, water play and cornmeal 2) Arts and Crafts 3) Manipulatives; such as blocks, marble works, and train set 4) Skills; such as letters, writing, shapes (often in the form of a game) 5) Science; such as magnets, experiments, and planting flowers 6) Math Readiness; such as number games, pattern blocks, sorting, and classifying 7) Dramatic Play; such as puppet theater, doll houses, and housekeeping 8) Games.
Curriculum Projects, stories, songs, field trips, visitors, etc. are all centered around a weekly theme. For example, during "Pet week" the class will make a graph of the types of pets each person has, or would like to have. They may also bring their pet for sharing time, have a visitor from the Humane Society, and construct their own version of a pet store in the classroom. "The Story" curriculum also allows for "religious concepts" to be integrated into the everyday activities.
Each week there is a new letter/sound to explore! There is a letter board with pictures of things that start with the letter, letter cards and a letter box with objects that start with the letter. Many of the class activities will center around the letter. For example, during "P" week we may bake pretzels and sort paper clips.
At least once per month there is a field trip. Examples of trips in the past are the fire station, post office, library, pumpkin patch, petting zoo, and children’s museum.
The class is taught by Miss Beth Koloszar. She has an associates degree in Childhood Education and Family Studies. She has been the assistant teacher in this class as well as the head teacher of our childcare program for 12 years. This is her eighth year as the teacher of this class. There will be an assistant in the class if there are more than 10 children enrolled on any given day.
The teacher's role is that of a facilitator in the learning environment. She observes, comments, asks questions to provoke problem solving, encourages conflict resolution, is aware and takes advantage of the teaching opportunities as they arise throughout the day.
Each morning starts off with "Worship Time." "The Story" curriculum is an excellent source of age appropriate object lessons, Bible stories, songs, and prayers. There is also a prayer before snack. God and Jesus are brought into daily conversations and activities. There is also a weekly chapel for which the classes get together for a special object lesson and singing time. It is led by the Pastor.
Parents are always welcome in the classroom. Field trips and other “special” activities provide opportunities to get involved. The children present two programs for their families, one at Christmas, and one in the spring. There is a weekly class newsletter as well as a monthly school newsletter to keep parents informed. We feel that parent involvement is very important in early childhood, so we encourage any input you may have for us.
The teacher evaluates progress in the following areas of development: social, emotional, cognitive, physical and spiritual. A portfolio is compiled which includes samples of the child’s work, photos of him/her “in action” and a skills checklist. Twice during the year (Nov. and April) parent-teacher conferences are scheduled if parents and/or the teacher deem it necessary.
Enrollment is limited to 18 children per day so the ratio is 1 to 9.