About Our Preschool Program The Preschool program combines academics with hands on experiences to prepare children for Kindergarten. By using the HighScope Curriculum throughout all of our classrooms children are ready to learn in ways that meet their needs and interests. The HighScope Preschool Curriculum is based on the principles of active learning. With an emphasis on social and emotional development we encourage positive environments and interactions with adults and peers. Studies show that the HighScope Preschool Curriculum promotes children’s development and provides lasting benefits into adulthood.
Our Program is divided into three classrooms: 2 1/2- 3 year olds, 3-4 year olds and 4-5 year olds. We believe by distinguishing each age as it's own developmental group we can meet their unique needs.
2 1/2 Year Olds: The 2 1/2's Room is located off of the Preschool room and is designed to be a transitional room for children who will be moving from the toddler program into preschool. This class features a routine similar to the preschool program and introduces elements to familiarize children with things they will work with when they move up. While in the 2 1/2's room children are encouraged toward potty training, making play choices and building strong relationships with their peers. The slow introduction into the preschool routine gives kids confidence and helps eliminate anxieties when they make the move into the preschool program.
3 Year Old Preschool: The three year old program is part of our preschool that is designed to meet early preschoolers at their developmental level. The focus of this classroom is to expand their academic learning while fostering their social and emotional skills. The teachers in this class work on developing social, large motor, fine motor and problem solving skills to prepare them for the next step in the preschool program. Each child receives individualized attention as well as participating in large group activities. Children in the three year old program feel the patience, love and support needed as they continue to grow out into the next phase of their development.
4 Year Old Preschool: The 4 year old preschool program is designed to fully prepare children for the next step in their education career-Kindergarten. This program emphasizes literacy skills, mathematical concepts, science connections as well as social and emotional development preparing them for advancement in learning. Within this program, we maintain an individualized approach to learning as each child achieves new milestones. The lessons are child inspired and children are encouraged to participate at their own level of comfort. Children in this class feel supported, encouraged and appreciated for who God created them to be. We send children to Kindergarten knowing they have wonderful destinies ahead of them.
Core Elements of the FCDC Preschool Program...
Greeting Time…takes place in the first few minutes of the preschool routine. Greeting time is a short gathering where teachers and children can talk about any special messages, upcoming events such as birthdays or holidays and any new things that are happening in class. Greeting time enables children to feel informed and valued as they listen and share any thoughts teachers or students share about the day.
Large Group Time…is when the entire class and all teachers come together for movement, music activities, storytelling and a variety of intentionally planned activities based on observations of children’s interests. Large group time builds a sense of community within the class. Large group time provides children with many opportunities to make choices and be a leader of the class. Teachers participate and support the ideas of the children through large group time.
Planning Time…includes a game or prop that children can use to layout and explain their plan they have created for work time. Planning time gives children the opportunity to gather and share thoughts on things they desire or intend to do. Teachers support child planning with open ended questions and acceptance that plans may change and as children grow in planning plans may become more elaborate.
Work Time… Work time directly follows planning time. Work time is a time set aside for children to carry out their plans and make decisions on changing or adding to their plans. Children are allowed access any materials and toys on their own and they may expand their plans by combining toys or materials in their play. Children may play as a group or independently during work time. Teachers can be seen partnering with children during work time. This is the time teachers make observations on children’s interests, offer follow up support and review or modify the materials in the room. Teachers and children clean up and take responsibility of the room together.
Recall Time… Recall time immediately follows work time. As with planning recall time is done in the same small group as planning time and is held in a quiet, unhurried place. Recall time is where children are encouraged to draw from their memories, reflect on actions and share their experiences. Teachers encourage children to make connections between the plans they made and the actions carried out. Recall time builds on a child’s ability to retain and gather new information and to share about it which helps teach other children through each other’s experiences. Recall time completes the High Scope “Plan, Do, Review” cycle and equips children for the further learning ahead of them.
Small Group Time… Small group time is where a small group of children (usually the same group as planning and recall time) gather with a teacher to explore new materials or concepts. Teachers develop small group activities based on children’s interests or developmental learning needs. Teachers plan these activities but children have choices and opportunities to make choices in how they use or explore the materials. Small group time gives children confidence in their ability to learn and explore new things. Children are encouraged to share their thoughts and observations freely. Teachers support children’s thoughts and intentionally spend time with the children in the group.