Our play-based curriculum

prepares children for kindergarten. 

Our curriculum emphasizes social-emotional skills, early literacy and reading, early math, art, science, engineering, fine and gross motor skills, sensory experiences and problem solving.

Early Literacy and Reading

We have many opportunities to learn letter concepts throughout our day. Reading books, singing songs, rhyming, jumping on chalk letters, practicing writing our names and our friends names, working with letter magnets, listening to audio books, chatting about beginning letter sounds, writing and drawing are all things that we do each day that provide valuable early literacy and reading experiences.  

 

Some pre-reading skills learned at school include: letter recognition, printing practice, letter sounds, vowel sounds, rhyming and alliteration and beginning letter sounds.

THEME of the WEEK

Every week, the teachers expose the class to a different theme (ie. the farm, food and harvest, Thanksgiving, forest and mountains, Christmas, winter, weather, day & night, space, rainforest, feelings and friendship, birds  bugs and insects, butterflies and caterpillars, ponds, bears, spring and Easter, desert), which is weaved into the books, songs, toys and activities.

Daily Schedule

Every day is a little different, however some elements of our daily routine are constant: 


Indoor classroom play.

Outdoor play.  

Outside snack, lunch and circle time.  

Classroom nap / quiet time for Friends who stay.  

Outdoor guided movement or yoga.  

Greetings and Screenings

upon arrival

Upon arrival, your child's teacher will greet you and your child at the front of the classroom.

 

Safety and health is top priority.  Masks on.

Sunscreen applied.   Snacks and lunch packed.  Temperature check.    Your child's teacher will also ask, each morning, about any fevers and coughs that the child or anyone in the household has had. If any child or anyone in their household has been sick, they will be asked to stay home. 

For an easy drop-off experience, there is tons of parking in the parking lot just behind the school.

A hug, a kiss and a wave bye-bye.

Washing Hands

Washing Hands

upon arrival and throughout the day

As soon as the children enter the classroom, their teacher will help them put away their backpack in their cubby and prompt them to wash their hands with soap and water.  In fact, washing hands is part of the routine throughout the day.

They might even sing the 'Happy Birthday' song or the like to make it fun and to empower the child to know for how long they need to wash.

Outdoor Play

Every morning, the children spend at least one hour playing outside.  The large yard has two play structures with slides, monkey bars, a climbing wall, a pole and a pretend kitchen space.  The children can grab one of the many tricycles or cars and ride around the track with their helmet.  If they prefer, they can play ball and shoot some hoops. Or play in the sand pit. 

 

The children learn to garden, and are encouraged to water the plants at any time they wish.  We've grown flowers, potatoes, sugar snap peas, lettuce, tomatoes strawberries, green onions, rosemary, parsley and basil.  There are planters surrounding the yard and the children are free to pick and eat what's ripe. 

 

Artists, we encourage process art both inside and outside.  Builders, the carpentry workbench is loads of fun and an opportunity to create wooden structures.

Teachers engage the children with songs and games. They are consistently present to support the children in respectful and kind interactions with each other.

 

Covid safety note:  The children maintain safe distance from one another, and continue to socialize with their friends from just a few feet away.   Also, some of the outdoor elements (such as the sand pit and outdoor paint station) are on hold until it is safe to resume.  

Indoor Play

As children begin their classroom time, different activities are made available to them: some that  feature the theme of the week, and others that are continuously offered.

Endless opportunities for process-art.  Finger paints, sponge paints, paintbrushes, glue, glitter, paper mache.  Scissor practice and all kinds of paper cut-outs.  The kids come home with PLENTY of art-work that they can proudly share with their parents.  

Books are always on hand for the children to look through.  Teachers read books and tell stories, and we also make use of books on tape.

Stringing / beading activities, building blocks, building magnets, stencils, and other fun, educational manipulates for the children to experiment with.  

 

In class, we love making paper airplanes and understanding the mechanics and environmental factors behind how they fly.

In preschool years, many children take interest in learning their letters.  Teachers are always available to support children as they learn to recognize letters and write. Children are exposed to alphabet puzzles, letter stencils, labels around the room.  A favorite play-based alphabet activity is name recognition.  There is so much motivation and excitement around recognizing and finding one's own name and that of your friends.  And later learning to write your name!

    

Note: We used to love taking out electric skillets to make communal stone soup, or using our full kitchen to make bread and butter and all kinds of tasty treats from scratch at school, however due to Covid-19, at-school cooking has been paused.   Some of our sensory experiences are also on hold.  

Circle Time

The teachers introduce the theme of the week, tell a story via flannel felt board, read a book, play games, sing songs or rhymes and engage the kids in conversation about the theme.  

The teacher might also designate daily helpers to empower the children, instilling a sense of responsibility and community.  

Mealtimes

( morning snack, lunch and afternoon snack times)

Every day, the children bring snack and lunch from home, and enjoy mealtime with their friends.  All mealtimes are held outside.

We say a blessing in appreciation of our food.

 

This is a special time for teachers to engage the kids in organic conversations.

Nap or Quiet Time

For the children who stay for nap time, they each have their own designated cot.  They can bring a pillow, blanket and special stuffed animal.  If the child is unable to fall asleep, they are encouraged to rest before playing again.

Classroom 2.jpg

Movement or Yoga

The teachers guide the children in outdoor movement and/or yoga.  Some teachers choose to make this a part of the morning routine, while others keep it for the afternoon.

Working on different body poses in our beautiful outdoor space is fun for the children, and a wonderful way to  improve body awareness, mindfulness, concentration and discipline.

In association with the
St. John's Presbytarian Church

https://www.stjohnspres.org
(310) 477-2513

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Yelp