Early Childhood Class
Our Early Childhood Class (ECC) is for three year olds, where the children are introduced to many learning opportunities in a small (15- to 18- student) classroom-style environment.
The goals of the ECC program are to develop children’s social/emotional growth, physical development, cognitive abilities and language development. Emotionally, the emphasis is placed on socialization – how the children interact with others, learn to share, take turns, and show empathy and respect. The children grow in confidence as they get to know themselves and learn how to be responsible. Physically, gross and fine motor skills are developed. A balance between physical activity such as running, catching and dancing, and the manipulation of small objects, along with quiet play with paints and hand puppets helps to develop the large and small muscles in the body. Cognitively, the children are inspired to use all senses to observe the world around them. The children are encouraged to ask questions, solve problems, engage in conversation, and to use their imagination to explore ideas. Language is developed as the children learn to listen and speak, and make sense of the purpose of the written language within their environment. The children learn the purpose of print by learning letters of the alphabet.
The class day is enriched by music, gym, art, library, outside play and yoga.
To enter ECC in September, students must be three years old by September 1, and be toilet trained.
The goals of the pre-kindergarten program are to continue to develop the child’s social/emotional growth, physical development, cognitive abilities and language development.
Students are encouraged to be independent, to imitate, to make friends, to share, and to be expressive. The children visit the playground to build and maintain gross motor skills by running, sliding and swinging. Fine motor skills continued to be developed through day-to-day activities like cutting, zipping, buttoning and washing their hands. The children are immersed in an environment rich in activities that promote reading and math readiness skills. The daily schedule provides necessary routines, whole group lessons, center time, play time, and individualized instruction.
Special classes – art, music, gym, yoga, and library – enhance the core curriculum.
Our kindergarten program, designed for five- and six-year-old children, builds on the skills introduced in pre-kindergarten. A greater emphasis is placed on academics, while continuing to develop the social and creative aspects of education.
The Houghton Mifflin Reading program provides the framework for a Balanced Literacy approach to reading and writing. Targeted skills in phonics, comprehension, vocabulary, fluency, and writing and grammar are integrated into thematic units. Thematic learning integrates all subject areas within authentic contexts while keeping the interest and engagement of the students as key concepts are connected to learning. Children learn to write as a way to express themselves and for a particular purpose. Kindergarten children are encouraged to begin this process by drawing pictures, dictating stories, and eventually writing to help develop them into powerful and effective writers.
The Everyday Mathematics program provides the framework for mathematical content and reasoning. The content provides a curriculum that is rich in real-world problem solving opportunities. The students will engage in many hands-on activities relating to counting, numeration, measurement, geometry, patterns, sorting, data collecting, and calculator use. Classroom routines refine mathematical skills. Math topics, concepts and skills are revisited in a variety of ways over time connecting new learning with previous experiences, continually helping to develop an understanding of the topics.
In Religion, the weekly gospels are discussed through a lectionary-based program that includes as its primary resources lessons from the teacher's editions of The Complete Children's Liturgy Book and The Liturgy of the Word for Children. Students participate in monthly prayer services, blessing the spaces, people and outreach partners who touch their lives and support them in becoming respectful, kind and loving children.
The students visit the Perry Library, Art Studio, Dixon Gym and Music Suite on a weekly basis. World language instruction begins in kindergarten with an introduction to Spanish.