The Preschool at Country Day Curriculum
Preschool Curriculum Goals
Our curriculum encourages children to be actively involved in the learning process, to experience a variety of developmentally appropriate activities and materials and to pursue their own interest in the school life, the broader community and the world.
Preschool Curriculum Rationale
The curriculum is not just the goals of the program and the planned activities but also the daily schedule, the availability and use of materials, transitions between activities and the way in which routine tasks of living are implemented. Criteria for curriculum implementation reflect the knowledge that young children learn through active manipulation of the environment and concrete experiences which contribute to concept development.
The Reggio Emilia Approach
The Preschool at CDS is child originated and teacher framed. Hailed as the world’s best model of early childhood education (Newsweek, 1991), the Reggio Emilia approach to education creates conditions for learning that enhance and facilitate children’s construction of “his or her own powers of thinking through the synthesis of all the expressive, communicative and cognitive knowledge” ( 1993). The Reggio approach gives children a very enriched and beautiful environment. The teachers listen to and observe the children and pose questions so they can research and learn new things. The approach requires children to be seen as competent, resourceful, imaginative and inventive and to possess a desire to interact and communicate with others. Our staff has trained in Italy and at numerous seminars around the U.S. . The Country Day school is the only Reggio Preschool in North Alabama.
For more information about the Reggio Emilia Approach can visit the following websites:
Language development is enhanced through:
- verbally communicating and listening to others
- role playing and dramatic play
- listening to music and singing songs
- beginning to identify meaningful words – own name, etc.
- listening to tape-recorded stories along with the books
- making books and dictating stories for adults to write
Math skills are being formed while children play. These activities involve:
- shapes, sizes, patterns, and sequencing
- sorting and categorizing
- counting and comparison
- measuring length and weight
Science concepts are developed by:
- observing seasonal changes related to weather, plant life, animal behavior, and activities of people
- sorting and categorizing items according to various properties
- hiking the trails to observe plant and animal life and collect bugs and other small creatures for temporary
- learning basic conservation of and respect for nature
- growing plants from seeds and bulbs and observing and caring for them
- discovering how magnets work
Social studies concepts are introduced by:
- learning about similarities and differences in peers and their families
- exploring the community on field trips and learning about occupations
- sharing family traditions
- experiencing a variety of multi-cultural customs
- learning how people who have disabilities experience life
- role-playing about families and occupations
Play time uses open spaces and equipment to build large and small motor development with:
- climbers, trikes, wagons, bean bags
- balls to kick and throw, sand to scoop and pour
- bubbles, sidewalk chalk, painting at easel
- simple games and sport skills
- hiking and exploring the campus
- movement to music
Other capabilities are developed and integrated throughout the curriculum: Building self-esteem, Communication, Planning, Responsibility, Problem-solving, Participation, Following directions, Imagination, and Sharing.
Art experiences emphasize the process rather than the product. Time, space, and the freedom to work independently help children increase their attention span, improve fine motor skills, have a successful emotional experience, and a sense of independence. Art activities include:
- drawing with crayons, pencils, chalk, markers
- painting with brushes, feathers, sponges
- printing with rubber stamps, potato shapes, utensils
- cutting and gluing
- sewing with plastic needles and yarn on various materials
- creating collages from any combination of fabrics, pictures, 3-dimensional items, etc.
Preschool Library Program
Preschool has a designated library time on Thursday mornings, when they come as a group to read a poem, a story and look at books. The preschool book bag program allows these students to borrow a book and manipulative for home reading. In the event that a parent wants additional reading material, they are welcome to come by with their preschooler and check out additional books.