Children in our nursery classes range in age from those turning 3-years-old in the fall (by December 31st) or 4-years-old by May of the school year. Two teachers guide the class of up to 12 students. Additional resource teachers support the class throughout the week. There are two to three morning and afternoon sections and morning students meet four to five mornings per week for four hours each day. Afternoon students meet five afternoons per week for three hours each day.
Interactive Play – Students freely choose from various learning centers where the teachers facilitate play. Learning centers may include a game of “feed the bunny,” in which children work on fine motor skills by using tweezers to pick up “bunny food” and place it inside the bunny’s mouth; paint in the art center; dress-up in dramatic play center; using magnifying glasses in the science center; building with blocks; manipulating playdough, sand or flour in the sensory table; writing with paper and pencils; or sorting objects to develop math skills.
Morning Meeting – Children sit in a circle with the teachers and greet one another (often through song). They discuss the day’s activities, review classroom rules and read a story. This time together orients the children and develops social, pre-literacy and other skills.
Small Group Time – This time revolves around projects of interest to the children and class themes. They may include time for inquiry and observation, such as conducting a “sink and float experiment,” or putting on their chef hats to cook, which teaches math, cause and effect, new vocabulary and various ingredients’ textures. Books, songs and other learning centers support and enrich the experience.
Self-Responsibility – Children take part in cleaning up their play areas and helping set the table for snack time. They learn other self-help skills including hand washing, clearing their snack when finished, and packing their totes to go home.
Enrichment – Students transition once per week to Music, Sensory and Studio Art and Science/Nature.
Large Motor and Active Exploration – Children have an opportunity to develop large motor skills and safe play in the multi-purpose room and on the playground. They learn to appreciate nature and the outdoors through exploration on the playground, gardens and during Nature class.