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Program Enhancements

Spanish Language and Culture

Recognizing the importance of the awareness and understanding of other cultures, the children experience basic vocabulary and expressions related to the themes under study. The children in the Yellow Group will meet with the language teacher twice a week and will engage in songs, movement activities, finger plays, stories, role playing and other exciting and fun experiences to gain knowledge of the Spanish language and an appreciation of other cultures.

Second Step

The preschool years are very important in a child’s overall development. This is not just about knowing letters and numbers. It’s also about knowing how to learn and get along with others. The Head of School uses the Second Step Early Learning Program in the Blue and Yellow Groups to teach these important skills.

The Second Step program teaches skills in the following four areas:


1. Skills for Learning: Children gain skills to help them to be better learners, including how to focus their attention, listen carefully, and ask for help.


2. Empathy: Children learn to identify and understand their own and others’ feelings. Children also learn how to show care for others.


3. Emotion Management: Children learn how to calm down when they have strong feelings, such as worry or anger.


4. Friendship Skills and Problem Solving: Children learn how to make and keep friends and to solve problems with others in a positive way.

Throughout the year, the children will take home HOME LINKS that go with each of the Second Step Weekly Themes. HOME LINKS are simple, fun activities for parents/guardians and children to do together. They are a great way for parents/guardian to understand what the children are learning. Discussing the skills at home helps to reinforce the learning that is occurring at school.

In-house Science Field Trips

All of the children experience enrichment activities in the areas of scientific exploration, discovery, and inquiry when they work with a science specialist. Nature Jack, and other science specialists from Riverbend Environmental Education Center. We know that young children who are given opportunities to use their senses, conduct experiments, gather data, and make conclusions are developing skills that support discovery about the natural world and the scientific process. This emphasis on scientific thinking and technology is aligned with the PA Learning Standards for
Early Childhood.

Rhythms

In a small group setting, the children fine tune listening skills by identifying a rhythm played on the piano and matching it to a particular physical movement (i.e. walking, marching, skipping). The movements become progressively more complicated throughout the year. The remainder of the Rhythms session is spent learning songs and playing musical games and instruments that correspond to the current curriculum theme.

Creative Movement

The Creative Movement teacher delights the children with fun and exciting ways to use their large and small motor skills while concentrating on letter of the week or a curriculum theme. Working in small groups, the children are introduced to the principals of dance, yoga, and movement while developing their own natural ability to imagine and pretend.

Library

In a small group setting in the library, the Librarian engages the children in weekly read alouds (fiction and non fiction) that are aligned with the thematic unit being studied. Each interactive literacy session promotes awareness of the format of a book (cover, title, author, and illustrator), the proper handling of books, and left to right directionality. While the librarian is reading, the children respond to the literature by predicting outcomes , using picture cues to enhance comprehension, and asking and answering questions. Each story concludes with a hands on activity or discussion. The goal of the library session is to create a literacy-rich experience for the children in a caring, fun, and interactive environment. Parents/Guardians receive reading lists throughout the school year to encourage a love of reading in the home.