Brown Bears (4 years – 5 years)
The programming for Sunshine and Rainbows Pre-Kindergarten classroom is designed to prepare children to become successful Kindergarten students. While there is definitely an academic focus, there is still plenty of time dedicated to play, indoors and out, individually and with friends.
The curriculum in the Pre-K classroom is based on current early childhood education theory and methodology and is organized around the basic tenet that children learn first about themselves, their close environment and their families, and then build upon that learning to expand their horizons according to interests and experiential opportunities. The curriculum throughout the school is focused on the developmental needs of the whole child. It emphasizes the integration of themes designed to include opportunities for children to develop in these areas through small and large group activities, self-selected and self-directed independent activities, teacher-initiated activities, time indoors and outdoors, quiet times and active times.
The variety of activities and materials used in the Pre-K classroom allows children to explore their environment through their senses. To encourage the development of the whole child, Pre-K teachers select developmentally or age appropriate activities from seven main areas of concentration:
- Language arts and early literacy skills
- Fine motor and large motor skills
- Sensory experiences
- Science and pre-math
- Kindergarten readiness skills
- Pre-reading skills focusing on the alphabet and phonics
These activities involve thinking, muscle coordination, imagination and problem solving skills which form the building blocks laid in preparation for formal education and higher reasoning used later in life.
The classroom is set-up in centers so the children can choose the activity that they are most interested in during free-play. There are puzzles to put together, blocks to build with and tables to create on. We have a dramatic play area with lots of dress-up clothes and play objects to pretend with, a cozy quiet area with lots of books to read and a science center to explore. Children learn by playing and exploring their world so we give them lots of opportunities to do so.